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Thursday, February 5, 2015

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St. Agatha

Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24
Psalm 48:2-4, 9-11
Mark 6:7-13

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talking blood

"You have drawn near...to Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which speaks more eloquently than that of Abel." —Hebrews 12:22, 24

Pope John Paul II has taught: "This blood, which flows from the pierced side of Christ on the Cross (cf Jn 19:34), 'speaks more graciously' than the blood of Abel; indeed, it expresses and requires a more radical 'justice,' and above all it implores mercy, it makes intercession for the brethren before the Father (cf Heb 7:25), and it is the source of perfect redemption and the gift of new life" (The Gospel of Life, 25).

This is a golden age of martyrdom. Pope St. John Paul II wrote: "At the end of the second millennium, the Church has once again become a Church of martyrs. The persecutions of believers...[have] caused a great sowing of martyrdom in different parts of the world. The witness to Christ [is] borne even to the shedding of blood" (Towards the Third Millennium, 37). Like Abel's blood, the blood of the martyrs cries out for justice. "They cried out...: 'How long will it be, O Master, holy and true, before You judge our cause and avenge our blood?' " (Rv 6:10) Like Jesus' blood, the blood of the martyrs cries out for us: "Lord, have mercy!"

Because of the hundreds of millions of surgical and chemical abortions committed each year in the world, we live in oceans of innocent, shed blood (cf 2 Kgs 21:16). The blood of these babies cries out with Jesus' blood for mercy on the people of the culture of death (The Gospel of Life, 25). The blood of Abel, Jesus, martyrs, and babies is crying. By repentance, wash your robes "in the blood of the Lamb," Jesus (Rv 7:14). Receive the mercy of Jesus.

Prayer:  Jesus, when I receive Your precious Body and Blood in Holy Communion (see Jn 6:53ff), may I receive and give mercy.

Promise:  "They expelled many demons, anointed the sick with oil, and worked many cures." —Mk 6:13

Praise:  St. Peter denied Christ three times. St. Agatha, as she was being tortured, was asked three times to deny Christ. She held fast to Jesus each time and received the crown of life (see Rv 2:10).

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2014

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