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Friday, February 18, 2011

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Genesis 11:1-9
Psalm 33:10-15
Mark 8:34—9:1

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"It was from that place that He scattered them all over the earth." —Genesis 11:9

We are divided, fragmented, even shattered. Even our divisions are divided and sub-divided. Our different languages, nationalities, and denominations have cut the human race and even the body of Christ into hundreds of thousands of pieces.

Pride is the cause of our divisions and divisiveness. Like the builders of the tower of Babel, we want to make a name for ourselves and make monuments to ourselves reaching high into the sky (see Gn 11:4). We want to be better, superior to others, to stand apart, that is, be divided (see Lk 18:9ff).

Jesus contradicts human pride. He made a name for Himself by dying on Calvary, and His monument in the sky was a cross. By the blood flowing from His crucified body, Jesus reconciles us and makes the two of us one (Col 1:20; Eph 2:14). As we deny ourselves and take up the cross (Mk 8:34), we possess "the one love, united in spirit and ideals" (Phil 2:2). In Jesus, we "never act out of rivalry or conceit" (Phil 2:3). "Let all parties think humbly of others as superior to themselves, each of you looking to others' interests rather than to his own. Your attitude must be that of Christ" (Phil 2:3-5).

Prayer:  Father, may I die to self to bring about unity within the Church (see Jn 11:51-52).

Promise:  "Whoever would preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will preserve it." —Mk 8:35

Praise:  Robert now considers losing his job and his pension a blessing since it forced him to seek "higher things." He came to know Jesus as his Provider (Phil 4:19).

Reference:  (Lent is approaching. To help you observe Lent more deeply, order our book, Scriptural Stations of the Cross, and our leaflets A Prophetic Lent, Lent and the Renewal of Our Baptismal Promises, The Secret of Fasting, and The Secret of Confession.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July27, 2010

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