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Saturday, October 30, 1999

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Romans 11:1-2, 11-12, 25-29
Psalm 94
Luke 14:1, 7-11

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"In respect to the gospel, the Jews are enemies of God for your sake; in respect to the election, they are beloved by Him because of the patriarchs." —Romans 11:28

There is an old saying that God writes straight with crooked lines. "God makes all things work together for the good of those who love" Him (Rm 8:28). God is omnipotent; so He even uses His enemies to further His plan (Prv 16:4). For example, Joseph's brothers heartlessly abandoned him in a cistern (Gn 37:24). As a result, he was forced to spend years in Egypt as a slave and then a prisoner. Yet God brought Joseph out of prison to lead Egypt through a time of severe famine. Joseph later told his brothers: "Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve his present end, the survival of many people" (Gn 50:21).

God even uses man's direct opposition to advance His plan. The Jewish leaders were "opposing the Holy Spirit" (Acts 7:51) by condemning Stephen and stoning him to death.  "That day saw the beginning of a great persecution of the church in Jerusalem" (Acts 8:1). Yet God immediately used this tragedy to spread His word "throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria" (Acts 8:1) and soon "even to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

Many first-century Jews did not accept Jesus as Messiah and Lord. It seemed like the ministry of Jesus to His people (see Mt 15:24) failed. Yet God turned even this failure to triumph because the Gentiles began to accept Jesus as a result of Jewish unbelief (see Acts 13:46-48; 28:28).

In this year of God the Father, place your trust in His love, power, and ability. He is supreme and sovereign, "therefore do not be perturbed" by circumstances, no matter how horrible. "Remain calm" and trust in your heavenly Father (1 Pt 4:7).

Prayer:  Father, I put my life in Your hands (see Ps 31:6).

Promise:  "Your kindness, O Lord, sustains me." —Ps 94:18

Praise:  Albert prays before and after parish council meetings — days before and after.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 10, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 16, 1999