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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

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St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

Genesis 32:23-33
Psalm 17:1-3, 6-8, 15
Matthew 9:32-38

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a family of liars

"Jacob arose, took his two wives, with the two maidservants and his eleven children..." —Genesis 32:23

Jacob's family was a mess. Jacob conspired with his mother Rebekah to deceive his blind father Isaac and cheat his older brother Esau out of his father's blessing for the first-born son (Gn 27). Jacob later "got a taste of his own medicine" when his sons deceived him by saying his son Joseph was killed by a wild animal. However, Joseph was alive and had been sold into slavery by his brothers (Gn 37). Jacob's uncle Laban also was crooked and maneuvered Jacob into an unwanted marriage (Gn 29). Jacob eventually outfoxed crooked Uncle Laban with a scheme to increase his possessions at Laban's expense (Gn 30). Jacob's two wives were also conniving and manipulative (Gn 30).

Was anyone in Jacob's family not a liar? For once, when Jacob was in the process of moving, he faced the deceit in his heart and in his family. Although his problems were not completely resolved, he wrestled with God and became a new person. God even changed his name from Jacob to Israel (Gn 32:29). This seems to imply that Jacob's deceitfulness, his guile, was removed (see Jn 1:47). No heart or family is so deceitful (see Jer 17:9) that the Lord can't change them.

Prayer:  Father, even now, change my heart.

Promise:  "The harvest is good but laborers are scarce. Beg the harvest Master to send out laborers to gather His harvest." —Mt 9:37-38

Praise:  St. Anthony gave up his medical practice to serve Jesus as a priest.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our book Conversion-Conversations.)

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

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