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Thursday, March 30, 2006

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Exodus 32:7-14
Psalm 106:19-23
John 5:31-47

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a picture:worth more than a thousand words

"The Lord said to Moses, 'Go down at once to your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved.' " —Exodus 32:7

What if a good friend who was an artist drew your picture, and it looked like a pig? If your artist friend explained that you and the pig looked the same, you would feel bad. You could say what Jesus replied to Philip: "After I have been with you all this time, you still do not know Me?" (Jn 14:9) Your so-called friend did not even know you were a human being, much less know you personally.

This is what the chosen people did to the heavenly Father, "making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it, sacrificing to it and crying out, 'This is your God, O Israel, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt!' " (Ex 32:8) We still do this today, even after the Father's revelation of Himself through Jesus in the Spirit. Most of us know the traditional, Biblical teaching that God is personal, but our experience of this may be B.C. rather than A.D.

Jesus said, "His voice you have never heard, His form you have never seen, neither do you have His word abiding in your hearts because you do not believe the One He has sent" (Jn 5:37-38). Our carnality, lukewarmness, and sinfulness have deprived us of experiencing the tender loving care of Abba, the "passioned" love of Jesus, and the gentle yet powerful movement of the Spirit. We must repent so as to fall in love with the personal God Who is Love (1 Jn 4:16). This Lent and life, take God personally.

Prayer:  Abba, forgive me for not trying to know You.

Promise:  "Yet I have testimony greater than John's, namely, the works the Father has given me to accomplish." —Jn 5:36

Praise:  Joseph has spent more than ten years serving the poor in the missions.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 16, 2005

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