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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

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St. Irenaeus

Genesis 19:15-29
Psalm 26:2-3, 9-12
Matthew 8:23-27

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way out now

"As dawn was breaking, the angels urged Lot on, saying, 'On your way!' " —Genesis 19:15

The Lord warns us to disassociate ourselves and be independent from the Sodoms and Gomorrahs in our lives. We must flee from our wickedness and sin or be "swept away in the punishment" for the wicked (Gn 19:15).

However, when the Lord warns us to hate sin while loving sinners, we hesitate (see Gn 19:16) instead of running for our lives. Like Lot, we even ask God if we can stay on the outskirts of sin's destruction rather than flee far away (Gn 19:20). We want the Lord to spare a small area of sin in our lives. We keep telling Him that it's such a small place, such a little thing (Gn 19:20) that He doesn't need to destroy it along with the grosser evils.

The Lord tells us to flee sin and not look back (Gn 19:17). We should have no regrets that we have left sin behind. However, like Lot's wife, some of us longingly look back on the old life as if it were something other than dehumanizing slavery (Gn 19:26; see also Lk 9:62). When we do this, we perish.

The Lord wants to crucify us to the world and the world to us (Gal 6:14). Make a clean, immediate break with sin; "avoid any semblance of evil" (1 Thes 5:22). Otherwise, we will be enemies of the cross of Christ (Phil 3:18). "Such as these will end in disaster!" (Phil 3:19)

Prayer:  Father, may I associate sin with Your Son's death on Calvary and thereby hate sin. May I associate sinners with Your Son's death on Calvary and thereby love them.

Promise:  "He stood up and took the winds and the sea to task. Complete calm ensued." —Mt 8:26

Praise:  St. Irenaeus was true to his God by his persistent quest and propagation of truth. His preaching of the truth led to his martyrdom.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Effects of Sin on audio AV 81-3 or video V-81.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011

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