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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

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St. Ignatius of Loyola

Exodus 34:29-35
Psalm 99:5-7, 9
Matthew 13:44-46

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"thy kingdom come"

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant's search for fine pearls. When he found one really valuable pearl, he went back and put up for sale all that he had and bought it." —Matthew 13:45-46

St. Thomas Aquinas stated that Jesus taught us in the "Our Father" not only how to pray but also how to desire (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2763). He taught that the order, that is, the priority of our desires, should be the order of the petitions of the "Our Father." Thus, our first desire should be for our Father's name to be hallowed because of the holiness of His children (Mt 6:9). After holiness, our second desire should be for God's kingdom to come (Mt 6:10).

The kingdom should be sought above all else (Mt 6:33). We enter His kingdom by water and Spirit, that is, by Baptism (Jn 3:5). We live for His kingdom by giving everything we have to the Lord (Mt 13:44ff; Acts 2:44-45; Catechism, 546). We celebrate the kingdom by centering our lives on the Mass (see Mt 26:29). Because the kingdom is a matter "of justice, peace, and the joy that is given by the Holy Spirit" (Rm 14:17), we repent (see Mk 1:15) of quenching the Spirit (1 Thes 5:19). We go to Confession and return to the kingdom. We will even volunteer to be poor (Mt 5:3) and to accept persecution for the sake of righteousness so as to possess the kingdom now (Mt 5:10). Like Jesus, we are preoccupied with God's kingdom. Our lives pray: "Your kingdom come."

Prayer:  Father, I accept the privilege of living and dying for the kingdom.

Promise:  "As Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while he conversed with the Lord." —Ex 34:29

Praise:  As a soldier, St. Ignatius of Loyola was seriously wounded in battle. His long convalescence led to a deep conversion to Christ. His Spiritual Exercises remain prominent today.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 24, 2018

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