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Friday, July 24, 1998

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Jeremiah 3:14-17
Jeremiah 31:10-13
Matthew 13:18-23

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ground for hope

"What was sown on good soil is the man who hears the message and takes it in." —Matthew 13:23

Human beings have a natural desire to "see the world." For centuries, young people have left home  to "see the world." People join the army, watch TV, or travel to "see the world." Jesus, however, is the only Way to truly "see the world." He alone can prevent us from projecting our own illusions onto our worldview and from being propagandized by commercialized or ideological interests.

When Jesus takes us on a world tour, He won't take us up "a very high mountain" and display before us "all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence" (Mt 4:8). That's the world tour the devil presented to Jesus in tempting Him. Jesus, in His love for the poor, will take us on a world tour of the starving, the victims of war, the aborted, and the refugees. Jesus will let us see the world as being sheep without a shepherd (Mt 9:36). Jesus, not being One to gloss over sin, will show us the wages of sin, that is, the "culture of death" (see Rm 6:23).

As Jesus continues to show us the world, He will also show us shepherds after His own heart (Jer 3:15) who are feeding the sheep with the precious, life-giving word of God. He will show us business owners putting people ahead of profits, politicians standing up for Jesus, fathers sharing with their children the teachings of the Church, mothers softly singing hymns of praise while nursing their babies, priests and catechists fearlessly proclaiming His word, and simple people poring over their well-worn Bibles.

"See the world." There is hope even in the "culture of death" because God's word is falling on good ground (see Mt 13:23).

Prayer:  Father, I will fight to receive and give Your life-giving word in a "culture of death."

Promise:  "Return, rebellious children, says the Lord, for I am your Master." —Jer 3:14

Praise:  Ralph and Gloria regularly travel to Haiti, bringing medical supplies, food, donations, love, and faith to many poor and afflicted people.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 2, 1997