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Friday, July 11, 2008

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St. Benedict

Hosea 14:2-10
Psalm 51
Matthew 10:16-23

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loving to spend everything

"What I am doing is sending you out." —Matthew 10:16

To be a disciple of Jesus means to be like a sheep which is as smart as a snake and innocent as a dove (Mt 10:16). This is impossible because sheep aren't smart. Therefore, to be Jesus' disciple is naturally impossible. It can only be done by God's grace. To be Jesus' disciple sometimes means to be persecuted and rejected by church, government, and family (see Mt 10:17-22). To be His disciple means to suffer and die because of our love for Jesus, our Master.

When we pay the extreme cost of discipleship, we can react in one of two ways. We can feel the Lord is expecting the impossible and begrudge Him the total gift of ourselves. We "say, 'What a burden!' " (Mal 1:13) Conversely, we can react with joy and excitement. We can consider it a privilege to pay the cost for something so expensive. People in the secular world usually rejoice when they buy something very expensive. They even rejoice in giving up everything to become a professional athlete, a success in business, or a celebrity. Why shouldn't we Christians rejoice much more in giving up everything to pay the cost of discipleship? We should be like Peter, Andrew, James, John, Matthew, and St. Benedict, and gladly leave behind money, job, career, possessions, and relationships to be disciples of Jesus.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I consider one day in Your courts better than a thousand elsewhere (see Ps 84:11).

Promise:  "You have collapsed through your guilt. Take with you words, and return to the Lord." —Hos 14:2-3

Praise:  St. Benedict was blessed to die still facing the altar having just received his Lord in the Eucharist.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Making Disciples in a Culture of Death or our tape on audio AV 97-1, AV 97-3 or video V-97.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 4, 2008

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