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Monday, August 16, 1999

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St. Stephen of Hungary

Judges 2:11-19
Psalm 106:34-37, 39-40, 43, 44
Matthew 19:16-22

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tests of love

"Afterward, come back and follow Me." —Matthew 19:21

How strong is your personal relationship with God the Father through Jesus and in the Spirit? Would you be like Job and bless the Lord even if all your children died on the day you went bankrupt? (Jb 1:13ff) Will you be faithful to the Lord even during the mass apostasy before the end of the world and Jesus' final coming? (2 Thes 2:3) Do you love the Lord so much that you would physically die for Him?

The Israelites were faithful to the Lord when He raised up the judges to rescue them. "But when the judge died, they would relapse and do worse than their fathers, following other gods in service and worship" (Jgs 2:19). What if the person with the strongest Christian influence on your life died or even apostatized? Would your relationship with the Lord still stand?

"A man came up to" Jesus (Mt 19:16). He believed that he had kept all the commandments (Mt 19:20). Jesus challenged him to sell his possessions and give to the poor (Mt 19:21). The man's relationship with the Lord did not stand up to the test. "The young man went away sad, for his possessions were many" (Mt 19:22).

On the threshold of the Great Jubilee and the third millennium, the Lord is about to test the strength of our relationship with Him. Will we love Him totally no matter what?

Prayer:  Father, may I "grow strong" in my "holy faith through prayer in the Holy Spirit" (Jude 20).

Promise:  "Go, sell your possessions, and give to the poor. You will then have treasure in heaven." —Mt 19:21

Praise:  St. Stephen, king of Hungary, personally gave instructions in the Catholic faith to the poor of his country.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 22, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 24, 1999