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Monday, January 15, 2018

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1 Samuel 15:16-23
Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
Mark 2:18-22

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under the ban

"Fight against them until you have exterminated them." —1 Samuel 15:18

Saul, king of Israel, was ordered by the prophet Samuel to put the Amalekites "under the ban" (1 Sm 15:3). This meant that Saul was to kill every Amalekite person and animal. In the light of Christ and His new covenant, we no longer think in terms of solving problems by committing genocide. However, the concept of putting things "under the ban" is important in our Christian discipleship. In putting something under the ban, you fight it until you "get it all," as a doctor would fight against cancer. Likewise, we are to put Satan and sin under the ban.

We cannot presume that we can handle "a little bit of cancer." If we are satisfied getting rid of 90% of the cancer in our body, we are mistaken. The cancer will grow back if we let it keep a foothold. The presence of sin in our lives is the same. We are to "fight against it until we have exterminated it" (see 1 Sm 15:18).

The Spirit fights against sin and the flesh and the devil (Gal 5:17). Therefore, a major part of this fight is to receive the Holy Spirit (Jn 20:22) and let the Spirit take control of our entire life. We put off the old flesh, the old lifestyle, represented by the old wineskin (Mk 2:22) and let Jesus make all things new, fresh, and healed. Put your old lifestyle under the ban. Let the Spirit recreate you in Jesus (2 Cor 5:17).

Prayer:  Father, may I no longer allow the things of the world to have any influence in my life. I am all Yours.

Promise:  "He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies Me; and to Him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God." —Ps 50:23

Praise:  Jerome, a young man single for the Lord, spends his free time in Eucharistic adoration, leading worship, leading a youth group, and being involved with Christian community.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 3, 2017

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