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Saturday, March 22, 1997

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Ezekiel 37:21-28
Jeremiah 31
John 11:45-57

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prophets of life

"You have no understanding whatever! Can you not see that it is better for you to have one man die [for the people]?" —John 11:49-50

How do we transform what Pope John Paul II calls a "culture of death" into a covenant of life- giving peace? (see Ez 37:26) We must prophesy over the dry bones of the culture of death, and these bones will begin to rattle and come to life (Ez 37:4ff).

The prophecy that changes the dead into the living is not just words; it is the ultimate prophecy of a self-sacrificing death for love. Paradoxically, death changes death into life. For example, Jesus was the Prophet (see Acts 3:22ff), Whose ultimate prophetic statement was His death on the cross. Caiaphas, as the high priest, prophesied about this ultimate prophecy. "He prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation — and not for this nation only, but to gather into one all the dispersed children of God" (Jn 11:51-52). Jesus solemnly assures us: "Unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit" (Jn 12:24). Paul taught: "Continually we carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus, so that in our bodies the life of Jesus may also be revealed. While we live we are constantly being delivered to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be revealed in our mortal flesh. Death is at work in us, but life in you" (2 Cor 4:10-12).

Will you be a prophet of life in a culture of death? If so, you must take up the daily cross (Lk 9:23), be crucified with Christ, and die to self (Gal 2:19-20). Then not only will you rise; many of the dead will also rise with you.

This Holy Week, die with Christ. Then this Easter season, raise the dead.

Prayer:  Father, pour out the Spirit on Your servants and handmaids so that they prophesy (Acts 2:18).

Promise:  "This caused many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, to put their faith in Him." — Jn 11:45

Praise:  By praying regularly before the abortion clinic, Carol prophetically announces the sacredness of life to passers-by.

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