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Friday, July 2, 1999

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Genesis 23:1-4, 19; 24:1-8, 62-67
Psalm 106:1-5
Matthew 9:9-13

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a promise for life

"He left the side of his dead one and addressed the Hittites: 'Although I am a resident alien among you, sell me from your holdings a piece of property for a burial ground, that I may bury my dead wife.' " —Genesis 23:3-4

When Abram was seventy-five years old, the Lord promised to give him and his descendants the "promised land" (Gn 12:4, 7). Sixty-two years later when Abram, now named Abraham, was 137 years old, God's promise began to be fulfilled when Abraham bought a burial plot for his wife in the "promised land" (Gn 23:19). This shows that:

  • Sometimes, we must wait for a very long time for God's promises to be fulfilled.
  • The fulfillment of God's promises may begin very small.
  • Sometimes, the Lord needs to change us and our names before we can receive His promises.
  • Someone may have to die for us to receive God's promises (see Gn 23:1ff).

Jesus died that we may receive all the promises of God. If we let Jesus change our names and give us new life, we will inherit God's kingdom, which may seem as small as a mustard seed (Mt 13:31). However, if we persevere in Jesus, we will enter the land of promises — eternal life.

Prayer:  Father, in this year dedicated to You, prepare me to enter the "promised land" of the year 2000, The Great Jubilee.

Promise:  "I have come to call, not the righteous, but sinners." —Mt 9:13, our transl.

Praise:  When his wife died, George turned to the Lord and understood God's promise of eternal life.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 28, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 1998