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Thursday, August 19, 2010

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St. John Eudes

Ezekiel 36:23-28
Psalm 51:12-15, 18-19
Matthew 22:1-14

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one hell of a decision

"Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the night to wail and grind his teeth." —Matthew 22:13

We can hear the word "hell" used frequently in the workplace, on TV and radio, in all types of popular music, at the ball games — everywhere, it seems, except in church, the one place where we most need to be repeatedly taught and warned about the reality of hell, that is, the "state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God" (Catechism, 1033). Not enough people in our society have a healthy fear of ending up in hell. Fewer still seem to have a fear of the Lord, the Judge of all (see Jas 5:9).

If we ignore the real possibility that we could freely choose eternity in hell over an eternity with Jesus, we ignore the serious effects of sin. We deny the need to be saved from our sins. Thus, we make ourselves a god. We kick God off the judge's bench and sit there ourselves. We judge that we're doing OK, and that our sins are not serious, or that they aren't even sins. We judge that we'll go to heaven, because we think we're not in danger of going to hell. We feel safe, so we think we don't need a Savior.

The original sin happened because man succumbed to the temptation to be like God and judge for himself what was good and bad (Gn 3:5). Repent of taking the place of God and judging yourself. Even St. Paul did not dare to judge himself (1 Cor 4:3). Like the tax collector, throw yourself on the mercy of God and pray, "O God, be merciful to me, a sinner" (Lk 18:13).

Don't delay even a moment. Repent now! Confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior (Rm 10:9). Reject sin, Satan, and hell.

Prayer:  Father, may everyone who reads this page lead thousands of people to accept Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God.

Promise:  "I will put My Spirit within you and make you live by My statutes, careful to observe My decrees." —Ez 36:27

Praise:  St. John's heart was moved to address the needs of women seeking refuge from a life of ill-repute.

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

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2010

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