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Tuesday, October 17, 2000

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St. Ignatius of Antioch

Galatians 5:1-6
Psalm 119:41, 43-45, 47-48
Luke 11:37-41

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inside jobs

"You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but within you are filled with rapaciousness and evil. Fools! Did not He Who made the outside make the inside too?" —Luke 11:39-40

We all devote a great deal of money, time, and energy to our outward appearance. We dress and comb our hair to look good. We clean our teeth, ears, fingernails, toes, etc. Many people eat, drink, and exercise so that their bodies will be attractive. We buy furniture to give ourselves the most comfortable posture, and adjust the heating and air conditioning for the most comfortable temperature. We make sure that our outsides are well provided for.

However, our insides are another story. How many starve their souls by indulging in selfish desires? (see 1 Pt 2:11; see also Prv 13:19) How many fail to guard their senses and carelessly pump tons of garbage into their spirits until their hearts are bloated? (see Lk 21:34; cf Is 33:15) But no matter what we have done to our insides, "all will be wiped clean," if we but obey the Lord in almsgiving, prayer, and fasting (Lk 11:41).

The Lord has made us new inside through Baptism. If we have defiled ourselves through sin, we can be washed clean by the blood of Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We can even be filled with life and love by receiving the body and blood of Jesus in Holy Communion. Do your inside jobs.

Prayer:  Father, direct my thoughts "to all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous, or worthy of praise" (Phil 4:8).

Promise:  "It is in the Spirit that we eagerly await the justification we hope for, and only faith can yield it." —Gal 5:5

Praise:  St. Ignatius was ardently devoted to Christ and made special plans for unity in and through the Eucharist.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 24, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 27, 2000