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Sunday, August 30, 2015

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22nd Sunday Ordinary Time

Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8
James 1:17-18, 21-22, 27
Psalm 15:2-5
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

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how to receive a gift

"Every worthwhile gift, every genuine benefit comes from above, descending from the Father." —James 1:17

Our Father wants to give us a "worthwhile gift," a "genuine benefit." He will give us this gift as He gave us the gifts of birth and rebirth (see 1 Pt 1:23). The Father will gift us through a word spoken in truth (Jas 1:18). If we listen to this word (Jas 1:19) and act on it (Jas 1:22), we will receive our gift.

For example, the Father may want to give you the gift of health. He may give you this gift by speaking a word, such as: "Repent!" Possibly some patterns in your life are sinful and are hurting your health. If you listen to this word, you are on your way to receiving the gift of health. You must "strip away all that is filthy, every vicious excess" (Jas 1:21). These things obstruct your spiritual hearing. Then you will hear God's call to repent. Finally, if you act on this word by going to Confession and accepting God's grace to repent, you will have received God's gift of health.

This is only one example. It helps us see how God gives gifts through words to which we must listen and act on. What gifts does your Father want to give you? What words have "taken root in you?" (Jas 1:21) Are you "quick to hear" (Jas 1:19)? Are you humbly welcoming these words? (Jn 1:21) Are you acting on this word, or deceiving yourself? (Jas 1:22) Receive God's gifts!

Prayer:  Father, let me receive so many of your gifts that people ask me about them. May I then tell them about Your love.

Promise:  "What great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the Lord, our God, is to us whenever we call upon Him?" —Dt 4:7

Praise:  "God freed Him from death's bitter pangs, however, and raised Him up again, for it was impossible that death should keep its hold on Him" (Acts 2:24). Alleluia!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Hearing God, or on audio AV 45-1 or video V-45.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 18, 2015

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