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Tuesday, July 1, 1997

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Bl. Junipero Serra

Genesis 19:15-29
Psalm 26
Matthew 8:23-27

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"Lot's wife looked back." —Genesis 19:26

The angels told Lot and his family to flee from Sodom and Gomorrah and not look back (Gn 19:17). "But Lot's wife looked back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt" (Gn 19:26). Jesus said: "Remember Lot's wife. Whoever tries to preserve his life will lose it; whoever loses it will keep it" (Lk 17:32-33).

By becoming Christians, we have left behind the polluted world (see 2 Pt 2:20) of Sodom and Gomorrah. We have "put on the Lord Jesus Christ" and made "no provision for the desires of the flesh" (Rm 13:14). We are tempted to go back to our old life and be "caught up and overcome in pollution once more" (2 Pt 2:20). However, we should not go back or even look back to those things we left behind when we became disciples of Jesus. "Whoever puts his hand to the plow but keeps looking back is unfit for the reign of God" (Lk 9:62). We must "give no thought to what lies behind but push on to what is ahead" (Phil 3:13). "Remember Lot's wife" (Lk 17:32), "and the tomb of a disbelieving soul, a standing pillar of salt" (Wis 10:7).

Prayer:  Father, I rejoice to give all for love of You.

Promise:  " 'What sort of Man is this,' they said, 'that even the winds and the sea obey Him?' " —Mt 8:27

Praise:  Junipero was a zealous missionary to the American Indians in California. He baptized over six thousand American Indians in the course of his ministry.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, November 12, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 1996