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Tuesday, June 25, 1996

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2 Kings 19:9-11, 14-21, 31-35, 36
Psalm 48
Matthew 7:6, 12-14

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a soldier for christ

"That night the angel of the Lord went forth and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. Early the next morning, there they were, all the corpses of the dead." —2 Kings 19:35

Traditionally, nations have waged war by acts of physical violence coupled with prayers to their gods for victory. This is how most of the battles of the Old Testament were waged (see 2 Kgs 19:17-18; 2 Kgs 3:26-27), and how almost all battles are waged today.

Occasionally, a war was waged without any physical violence on the part of the winning army. Moses (Ex 14:14), Jehoshaphat (2 Chr 20:17), and Hezekiah fought such wars (2 Kgs 19:35). In these battles, although the winning army did not kill the enemy, nonetheless, the enemy was destroyed either by their own infighting, an angel, or by God Himself.

In the New Testament, we have a radically different kind of warfare. This is perfectly expressed by Jesus' death on the cross. Jesus did not do any violence to His enemies. He was like a lamb led to the slaughter (see Is 53:7). Jesus did not even use His prerogative to command legions of angels to defeat His enemies (Mt 26:53). Rather, Jesus won the ultimate victory over Satan, sin, and violence by loving His enemies and letting them kill Him. Which kind of warfare do you believe in, B.C. or A.D., non-Christian or Christian?

Prayer:  Jesus, may I let You fight my battles Your way — the way of the Cross.

Promise:  "Treat otheres the way you would have them treat you." —Mt 7:12

Praise:  Joyce prays the rosary every day to stop abortion.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Spiritual Warfare.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1995

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 4, 1995