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Friday, July 9, 1999

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Genesis 46:1-7, 28, 30
Psalm 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40
Matthew 10:16-23

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my death today?

"As soon as he saw him, he flung himself on his neck and wept a long time in his arms. And Israel said to Joseph, 'At last I can die.' " —Genesis 46:29-30

Are you ready to die now? Will you die for love of Jesus (see Mt 10:21-22) and therefore escape the second death, that is, damnation? (Rv 2:11) At this moment, can you pray with Simeon: "Now, Master, You can dismiss Your servant in peace; You have fulfilled Your word. For my eyes have witnessed Your saving deed" (Lk 2:29-30). If we have lived for Jesus, we will die with Him, and "if we have died with Him we shall also live with Him" forever (2 Tm 2:11). We are ready to die at any time when we love with all our hearts Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life (Jn 11:25).

"The Church encourages us to prepare ourselves for the hour of our death. In the litany of the saints, for instance, she has us pray: 'From a sudden and unforeseen death, deliver us, O Lord'; to ask the Mother of God to intercede for us 'at the hour of our death' in the Hail Mary; and to entrust ourselves to St. Joseph, the patron of a happy death" (Catechism, 1014).

" 'Every action of yours, every thought, should be those of one who expects to die before the day is out. Death would have no great terrors for you if you had a quiet conscience....Then why not keep clear of sin instead of running away from death? If you aren't fit to face death today, it's very unlikely you will be tomorrow....' " (Catechism, 1014, quoting from The Imitation of Christ, 1, 23, 1).

Prayer:  Father, in this year dedicated to You, give me a deep trust in You. St. Joseph, patron of a happy death, pray for me.

Promise:  "Take delight in the Lord, and He will grant you your heart's requests." —Ps 37:4

Praise:  After his heart attack, Charles learned to take more time to ask himself, "What would Jesus do?"

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