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Friday, July 8, 2005

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Genesis 46:1-7, 28-30
Psalm 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40
Matthew 10:16-23

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are we worth persecuting?

"You will be hated by all on account of Me. But whoever holds out till the end will escape death. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next." —Matthew 10:22-23

Are you enough like Christ to merit persecution, to be a threat to the political and religious system? (see Mt 10:17) Like Christ, are you a "sign of contradiction" (see Lk 2:34), and even persecuted by your own family? (see Mt 10:21)

When we Christians are not persecuted, this does not indicate that the world has become holy or even tolerant but that we have lost our flavor and are not respected enough to be persecuted. We are no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot, not in persecution, but as if we were garbage (Mt 5:13).

Christians who aren't persecuted aren't living like Christians. We must repent, give our lives to Jesus, and live godly lives. Then we will merit persecution. "Anyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus can expect to be persecuted" (2 Tm 3:12). It will be a great day when the church of the USA merits persecution rather than an apathetic response to its half-hearted claims. One day we'll be more proud of our prison records than of our academic degrees, the blood will still be wet on the church steps, and going to Mass will be an act of civil disobedience. When we see people die for Christ, many will decide to live for Him.

Prayer:  Father, give me the privilege not only to believe in You but also to suffer for You (Phil 1:29).

Promise:  "Trust in the Lord and do good, that you may dwell in the land and enjoy security." —Ps 37:3

Praise:  Tara endured mockery by fellow parishioners week after week as she boldly spoke truth in RCIA classes.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 20, 2004

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