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Monday, January 17, 2011

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St. Anthony

Hebrews 5:1-10
Psalm 110:1-4
Mark 2:18-22

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stop the leaks

"No one sews a patch of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he should do so, the very thing he has used to cover the hole would pull away — the new from the old — and the tear would get worse." —Mark 2:21

We are cracked "vessels" because of our sins (see 2 Cor 4:7). A person with unrepented sin is unable to hold the Holy Spirit, Who cannot be contained in the broken cistern (see Jer 2:13) of an earthly lifestyle. The living waters of the Holy Spirit leak out of the cracks of a person living a sinful lifestyle, and even can "burst" that life (Mk 2:22). The coming of the Holy Spirit into someone's life can tear that person apart if they do not change their lifestyle accordingly.

In a loose analogy, this "tearing apart" of a life is seen when a person without God's wisdom wins the lottery. All of a sudden, an immense amount of money flows into the life of a person who is not prepared to handle the new lifestyle. Many new problems suddenly appear. Thieves attempt to steal. New "friends" badger the individual for money. A lack of discipline which was never tested by opportunity now becomes a major problem. Before long, the money has dwindled as if placed into "a bag with holes" (Hg 1:6), yet the new problems remain and compound the old ones.

The new lifestyle of a Spirit-filled disciple of Jesus is a serious matter. An earthly, carnal, "old," lifestyle is completely incompatible with the life in the Spirit (Mk 2:22; see also Rm 8:5-8; Gal 5:17). Don't wait for the test of discipleship. Stop the leaks! Repent now and be "filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:4).

Prayer:  Father, I won't delay deeper conversion to You (Sir 5:8). Beginning today, I will turn ten times the more to seek You (Bar 4:28).

Promise:  Jesus "became the Source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him." —Heb 5:9

Praise:  Although a hermit, St. Anthony never refused anyone who came to him for prayers or advice.

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

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 28, 2010

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