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Friday, August 30, 2013

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1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 10-12
Matthew 25:1-13

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pure progress

"It is God's will that you grow in holiness: that you abstain from immorality." —1 Thessalonians 4:3

Paul told the Thessalonian Christians: "You must learn to make still greater progress" (1 Thes 4:1). Paul was referring to progress in sexual purity. When Christians routinely look lustfully at others on TV, on-line, or in person (see Mt 5:28), we must make still greater progress. When many Catholics disagree with Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae without ever having read or understood it, we must make still greater progress. When the Church's biblical teachings condemning homosexual acts as sinful and degrading (see Rm 1:27) are arrogantly dismissed, we have to make greater progress. When lay single people don't know they have the preferred calling of renouncing sex for the sake of God's kingdom (Mt 19:12; 1 Cor 7:7), we must make greater progress. When most Christians don't know that "the pill" is not only a contraceptive but sometimes an abortifacient, we have to make more progress. When people are ignorant of how tubal ligations and vasectomies seriously disrupt the ecological order of their bodies, spirits, and relationships, we must make greater progress. When our stand against abortion is weakened because of our disunity, refusal to submit to authority, and self-centered apathy, we must make still greater progress.

"God has not called us to immorality but to holiness; hence, whoever rejects these instructions rejects, not man, but God Who sends His Holy Spirit upon you" (1 Thes 4:7-8). Be pure as Jesus is pure (1 Jn 3:3).

Prayer:  Father, save me "from this generation which has gone astray" (Acts 2:40).

Promise:  "The moral is: keep your eyes open, for you know not the day or the hour." —Mt 25:13

Praise:  Dr. Jones works to "make progress" by refusing to prescribe birth control pills.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 2013

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