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Monday, February 9, 2009

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Genesis 1:1-19
Psalm 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 24, 35
Mark 6:53-56

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"separate yourselves" (2 cor 6:17)

"God then separated..." —Genesis 1:4

God's original creation involved multiple acts of separation (Gn 1:4, 6, 7, 14, 18). God's separations were "good" (Gn 1:12, 18). God's new creation in Christ also involves multiple acts of separation. In His new creation, the Lord separates us from:

  • original sin and its loss of intimacy with God through the Sacrament of Baptism (Gn 3:23; Catechism, 1263),
  • our sins through the ministry of Jesus (Mt 1:21),
  • those who would lead us away from Him, even if it might be a member of our own family (Mt 10:35), and
  • our illnesses on many occasions (see Mk 6:56).

Following the Lord's lead, we must separate ourselves from:

  • sinful environments and lifestyles (2 Cor 6:14ff; Rm 8:13),
  • the world, the flesh, and the devil, and
  • our attachment to possessions. Jesus clearly stated: "None of you can be My disciple if he does not renounce all his possessions" (Lk 14:33).

God's new-creation lifestyle and worldly, sinful lifestyles don't mix (Mk 2:21-22). No one can choose both the things of this world and Jesus (Mt 6:24). Sadly, a number of people cannot separate themselves from the attachments of the world. Instead, they separate themselves from Jesus (see Mt 19:22). This choice is hell on earth, as hell is the state of "remaining separated from Him for ever by our own free choice" (Catechism, 1033). Repent of choosing sin, pleasure, and possessions. Choose Jesus.

Prayer:  Lord, separate me from anything which might separate me from You in this life or in eternity.

Promise:  "All who touched [Jesus] got well." —Mk 6:56

Praise:  David refused a promotion because it would require working weekends, and so missing Sunday Mass.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 11, 2008

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