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Friday, July 10, 2009

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Genesis 46:1-7, 28-30
Psalm 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40
Matthew 10:16-23

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"You will be brought to trial before rulers and kings, to give witness before them and before the Gentiles on My account." —Matthew 10:18

Jesus is the Truth (Jn 14:6), the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth. He does not conceal from us the more difficult realities of following Him. He bluntly states we are sent out "like sheep among wolves" (Mt 10:16). The government will bring us to trial; the religious leaders will flog us; even our families will turn us over to the police because of our Christian witness (Mt 10: 17, 18, 21). We "will be hated by all" on account of Jesus (Mt 10:22).

We are followers of Jesus, not because we don't know any better, but because we love Him. Naturally, we don't want to suffer or be rejected. Nonetheless, our love for Jesus is stronger than our love of self or our fear of pain. We want to be with our Lord, even at the foot of the cross. We prefer to die with Jesus rather than live without Him. We love Him "for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health."

Even death will never separate us from Him, for love is stronger than death (Rm 8:35, 38-39; Sg 8:6). Jesus, the Bridegroom, I love You; I live for You.

Prayer:  Jesus, if it be Your will, may I die a martyr's death for love of You.

Promise:  "As soon as he saw him, he flung himself on his neck and wept a long time in his arms." —Gn 46:29

Praise:  As he grew older, poorer, and sicker, Andrew's faith grew stronger and deeper.

Reference:  (Is your parish Spirit-filled? If not, there is still time to register for our retreat, How to Renew Your Parish, July 20-22. Pope John Paul II teaches: "It is necessary that in the light of the faith all rediscover the true meaning of the parish" (Lay Members of God's Faithful People, 26). Call 937-587-5464 or 513-373-2397 for information or to register.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 5, 2009

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