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Thursday, May 18, 2006

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Pope St. John I

Acts 15:7-21
Psalm 96
John 15:9-11

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the secret of joy

"All this I tell you, that My joy may be yours." —John 15:11

Jesus promises us we can have His joy, the joy of God enthroned in heaven. We receive this joy by keeping God's commandments as Jesus kept the Father's commandments (Jn 15:10).

This may come as a surprise to many because we think joy depends on doing our own thing rather than God's thing. However, let the facts speak for themselves. Possibly never before has a culture been so preoccupied with feeling good, pleasure-seeking, and selfish pursuits. Yet we are very discontent. Alienated youth, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, and apathy are telltale signs something's very wrong. We've tried to gain our lives but, just as Jesus said, we've lost them (Lk 9:24).

If we refuse to learn by believing, maybe we can learn by failing. Let's try God's way, the way of self-denial (Lk 9:23), the way of the cross. Jesus' way is the only way to happiness, contentment, and joy. Jesus is the Way (Jn 14:6). Sin and disobedience rob us of our joy. Repentance and obedience restore it. Rejoice in the Lord! (Phil 4:4)

Prayer:  Jesus, may I meet You risen and be delivered from selfishness.

Promise:  "God, Who reads the hearts of men, showed His approval by granting the Holy Spirit to them." —Acts 15:8

Praise:  Pope St. John I reconciled the Eastern and Western Church. Pope St. John, pray for unity in the body of Christ in our present time.

Reference:  (To grow as a disciple and be a strong witness, you may be called to "come away for a little while." We offer summer Discipleship Retreats June 23-July 15, 2006. For information or to register, call 937-205-0128 or e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 27, 2005

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