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Monday, July 17, 2000

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Isaiah 1:10-17
Psalm 50
Matthew 10:34—11:1

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"He who seeks only himself brings himself to ruin, whereas he who brings himself to nought for Me discovers who he is." —Matthew 10:39

The Lord addressed His people and their leaders as "princes of Sodom" and "people of Gomorrah" (Is 1:10). In the new covenant, this would be as if the Lord called His Church "Nazis" and "perverts." Then the Lord, through the prophet Isaiah, announced that He couldn't care less about His people's sacrifices, liturgical celebrations, and prayers (Is 1:11-15). Today this is analogous to the Lord saying that He hates our Baptism, Masses, Christmas celebrations, and rosaries. The Lord is out to shock us into realizing the immediate necessity for us to repent. He proclaims: "Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before My eyes; cease doing evil; learn to do good. Make justice your aim" (Is 1:16-17).

Jesus said: "My mission is to spread, not peace, but division. I have come to set a man at odds with his father, a daughter with her mother, a daughter-in-law with her mother-in-law: in short, to make a man's enemies those of his own household" (Mt 10:34-36). The Lord continues giving us "shock-treatments." We must see our need to repent even if the Lord has to rip up our lives to wake us up.

"Repent! The kingdom of God is at hand!" (Mk 1:15, our transl) In this year of the Great Jubilee, repent to bring justice and freedom to our sinful culture of death.

Prayer:  Father, I will go to Confession as soon as possible. Send the Holy Spirit to help me examine my conscience.

Promise:  "He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies Me; and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God." —Ps 50:23

Praise:  Uncomfortable about the radical change the Smiths saw when their grown children gave their lives to Jesus, they themselves grew closer to the Lord when they realized their children were not just "going through a phase," but had made a true commitment to God.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 16, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 1999