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Saturday, January 21, 2006

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St. Agnes

2 Samuel 1:1-4, 11-12, 19, 23-27
Psalm 80
Mark 3:20-21

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never alone

"You have fed them with the bread of tears and given them tears to drink in ample measure." —Psalm 80:6

Jesus is having a rough day. The Pharisees and Herodians are plotting to destroy Him (Mk 3:6). Jesus' relatives are trying to probate Him by charging: "He is out of His mind" (Mk 3:21). The scribes are asserting that Jesus is possessed by the devil (Mk 3:22). The apostles whom Jesus just chose are not mentioned. The next time we hear of them, they're terrified by a storm, and lacking in faith (Mk 4:40). Jesus is being attacked from all sides — relatives, the government, the religious establishment. He faces a barrage of enemies, all by Himself.

Does this sound familiar? Maybe you have many rough days. Do you often find yourself bombarded from all sides and yet also find yourself all alone? Jesus had the twelve apostles, but they weren't much help. You may have a spouse, children, family, and friends, but where are they when you need them? No matter what, Jesus will always be there for you (Mt 28:20). Even if your mother forsakes you, He will never leave you (Is 49:15). Jesus explicitly asserts: "No one who comes will I ever reject" (Jn 6:37).

Prayer:  Jesus, because of Your love I can never be alone (Jn 16:32). Thank You.

Promise:  "...Saul and Jonathan, beloved and cherished, separated neither in life nor in death, swifter than eagles, stronger than lions!" —2 Sm 1:23

Praise:  St. Agnes, whose name means "lamb," chose a martyr's death over any violation of her vow of virginity.

Reference:  (Presentation Ministries' ten-day series of retreats starts April 1, 2006, with Sermon on the Mount (Gospel of Matthew), then Paul's Letter to the Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, then The Letters of Peter. For information and a brochure, call 937-205-0128 or e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 19, 2005

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