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Friday, August 4, 2006

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St. John Mary Vianney

Jeremiah 26:1-9
Psalm 69:5, 8-10, 14
Matthew 13:54-58

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what's right with you?

"When Jeremiah finished speaking all that the Lord bade him speak to all the people, the priests and prophets laid hold of him crying, 'You must be put to death!' " —Jeremiah 26:8

What would happen if you imitated Jeremiah? What if you walked into church and announced, "God told me to tell you that if you do not obey Him, but continue to disobey, and do not repent, your lives will be desolate, and people will use your name to curse one another!" (see Jer 26:4-6) You might get some violent reactions, as Jeremiah did. People might say "What's wrong with you?" and wish you were dead (see Jer 26:8-9).

Jesus calls us to be "the salt of the earth" (Mt 5:13). Salt preserves and adds flavor. However, people have open sores due to unrepented sin, and salt doesn't feel too good on an open sore. We're also called to be the "light of the world" (Mt 5:14). Light helps us see and keeps us from stumbling and hurting ourselves. Yet people are spiritually dormant due to unrepented sin — and light is very irritating to a person who wants to sleep.

Usually, if someone is upset with us, we think we must have done something wrong. In fact, the reverse may be true, that is, we may have done something right! They wanted to kill Jesus for resurrecting Lazarus (Jn 11:53). They even wanted to kill Lazarus (Jn 12:10-11), because he was walking, living proof of the life-giving power of Christ.

Prayer:  Father, may I have the same relationship to the world as You do (Jn 3:16) and as Jesus does (1 Jn 4:17).

Promise:  "In Your great kindness answer me with Your constant help." —Ps 69:14

Praise:  St. John was salt to the many Christians who came to seek his counsel. He had the gift of speaking powerful, life-changing words to repentant sinners in the Confessional.

Reference:  (Be the "light of the world" to others by counseling them by using the Bible. For encouragement, order our series on Biblical Counseling on audio AV 13A-1, AV 13A-3, AV 13B-1 or video starting with V-13A.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 26, 2006

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