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Wednesday, November 17, 1999

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St. Elizabeth of Hungary

2 Maccabees 7:1, 20-31
Psalm 17
Luke 19:11-28

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first love

"Accept death." —2 Maccabees 7:29

Loving God is more important than living (see Ps 63:4). Like the seven brothers in today's first reading for Mass, hundreds of thousands of believers have laid down their lives for love of God.

Loving God takes priority over any suffering. The mother in today's first reading endured the extreme suffering of personally seeing her seven sons maimed and martyred.

Loving God takes priority over family (Lk 14:26), money (see Mt 6:24), lifestyle, and self (Lk 14:26). "Were one to offer all he owns to purchase love, he would be roundly mocked" (Sg 8:7).

If you are rejected, penniless, homeless, and despised as a failure, your life is nevertheless beautiful if you love "God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind" (Lk 10:27). "There is no limit to love's forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure. Love never fails" (1 Cor 13:7-8). "There are in the end three things that last: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor 13:13). "God is Love, and he who abides in Love abides in God, and God in him" (1 Jn 4:16).

Look at a crucifix. God the Father loves you so much that He gave His Son to die for you (Jn 3:16). "See what love the Father has bestowed on us" (1 Jn 3:1). "Thus you will be able to grasp fully, with all the holy ones, the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ's love, and experience this love which surpasses all knowledge, so that you may attain to the fullness of God Himself" (Eph 3:18-19).

Prayer:  Love, I live in You.

Promise:  "Whoever has will be given more, but the one who has not will lose the little he has." —Lk 19:26

Praise:  St. Elizabeth was a lifelong friend of the poor and, after the death of her husband, gave herself entirely to relieving the hungry.

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