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Friday, July 5, 2013

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St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

Genesis 23:1-4, 19; 24:1-8, 62-67
Psalm 106:1-5
Matthew 9:9-13

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"Abraham had now reached a ripe old age, and the Lord had blessed him in every way." —Genesis 24:1

God turned everything that happened to Abraham to the good (see Rm 8:28). Even the death of Abraham's wife Sarah resulted in Abraham purchasing the first piece of the promised land (Gn 23:4) and in Isaac, Abraham's son, being blessed with Rebekah for his wife (Gn 24:67). "Indeed, everything is ordered to your benefit" (2 Cor 4:15, NAB).

God also turned the events of Matthew's life to the good. Matthew became an apostle, saw the risen Jesus, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and compiled a Gospel, the first book of the New Testament. For God to turn the events of Abraham and Matthew's lives to the good, both men had to leave behind something. Abraham left behind his homeland (Gn 12:1) and Matthew his job (Mt 9:9).

The Lord wants to bless every event of our lives, but we must also leave something behind. Obviously we must leave sin behind. However, we may also be called to leave behind some good things, which are not God's will for us at this time. We must reassess every aspect of our lifestyle to see if we are doing our will instead of God's. Only if we are in the right place at the right time — in God's place — will God orchestrate the events of our lives for the good.

Prayer:  Father, may I be willing to leave jobs, priorities, finances, and lifestyle for You.

Promise:  "It is mercy I desire." —Mt 9:13

Praise:  St. Anthony gave up his inheritance to become a priest, and later helped found several religious congregations.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Lifestyle on audio AV 14A-3 or video V-14A.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 18, 2013

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