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Monday, August 7, 2006

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St. Cajetan
Pope St. Sixtus II & Companions

Jeremiah 28:1-17
Psalm 119:29, 43, 79, 80, 95, 102
Matthew 14:13-21

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self-effacing love

"When Jesus heard this, He withdrew by boat from there to a deserted place by Himself." —Matthew 14:13

This was one of the worst days in Jesus' life. He had just received the bad news that His friend and relative, John the Baptizer, had been beheaded. It was John who was used by the Father to minister the Spirit to Jesus. He and Jesus had a special bond. Now John was dead, murdered, beheaded.

Jesus had to get away, go off by Himself, and receive healing from His Father. He got in the boat and intended to go to a deserted place (Mt 14:13). However, He couldn't shake the crowds. He "saw the vast throng, His heart was moved with pity, and He cured their sick" (Mt 14:14). Jesus, screaming inside with hurt, "cured their sick." By His wounds, we are healed (1 Pt 2:24).

If this were not enough, Jesus did not dismiss the crowds, even though it was late and He had an excuse that would give Him a chance for a moment's peace. Instead, Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish. This was not only an act of power, but of amazing, sacrificial love. Maybe this is why the Last Supper, or Holy Communion, came to be called "the breaking of the bread." The Last Supper, the supreme act of love, was associated with one of the worst days of Jesus' life and one of the greatest days of His love.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I want to receive You in Holy Communion daily and love as You do.

Promise:  "The prophet who prophesies peace is recognized as truly sent by the Lord only when his prophetic prediction is fulfilled." —Jer 28:9

Praise:  Pope St. Sixtus II was martyred for the "crime" of celebrating the Holy Eucharist in the catacombs of Rome. He willingly risked his life to bring Jesus to persecuted Christians.

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

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