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Tuesday, March 18, 1997

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St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Numbers 21:4-9
Psalm 102
John 8:21-30

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the "in"-thing

"I am going away. You will look for Me but you will die in your sins. Where I am going you cannot come." —John 8:21

In what condition will you die? Will you die in fear, confusion, guilt, lust, bitterness, selfishness, or unforgiveness? Will you die in your sins? (Jn 8:21, 24) Or will you die in love, joy, and peace? (see Gal 5:22) Will you die forever thankful to the Lord for forgiving your sins? We have been repeatedly asking mother Mary to "pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death." Will we let Mary's prayers be answered? Will we die in God's grace?

Jesus said that if we belong to the world, we will die in our sins (Jn 8:23-24). If, however, we believe that He is the I AM, that is, God, we will not die in our sins (Jn 8:24). Jesus also said: "When you lift up the Son of Man, you will come to realize that I AM" (Jn 8:28). "Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that all who believe may have eternal life in Him" (Jn 3:14-15).

When we fix our eyes on Jesus lifted up on the cross, in the Resurrection, and at the right hand of the Father in heaven, we will believe in Him, and be crucified to the world (Gal 6:14). We will die and live in grace, not sin. Jesus promised: "And I — once I am lifted up from earth — will draw all men to Myself" (Jn 12:32). "Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, Who inspires and perfects our faith" (Heb 12:2).

Prayer:  Father, grace me to "believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, so that through this faith" I may have life in His name (Jn 20:31).

Promise:  "Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he recovered." —Nm 21:9

Praise:  Cyril zealously dedicated himself to instructing catechumens during Lent and Easter. His lessons were so anointed that they have been passed on for seventeen centuries.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 1, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 6, 1996