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Thursday, January 11, 2001

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Hebrews 3:7-14
Psalm 95
Mark 1:40-45

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hardening of the arteries?

"Encourage one another daily while it is still 'today,' so that no one grows hardened by the deceit of sin." —Hebrews 3:13

Sin naturally hardens our hearts (see Heb 3:8; Ps 95:8). This hardness of heart can result in our spiritual death, that is, damnation. The only way to prevent this is to repent. However, a hardening heart is not open to repentance. Thus, it is difficult to stop the hardening of our hearts once we have sinned.

Mercifully, the Lord has intervened in this situation through His death and resurrection. He has also chosen people to encourage us to repent and to believe that there is hope for us, even in our sins. This encouragement can put us in touch with the saving grace of Jesus' death and resurrection. Therefore, "we should not absent ourselves from the assembly, as some do, but encourage one another; and this all the more because you see that the Day draws near" (Heb 10:25). "I beg you to bear with this word of encouragement, for I have written to you rather briefly" (Heb 13:22).

Prayer:  Father, help me to receive and give Your divine encouragement.

Promise:  "The leprosy left him then and there, and he was cured." —Mk 1:42

Praise:  Bill went to Confession before Christmas and again before Epiphany. He wanted to be pure as Jesus is pure (1 Jn 3:3).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, July 15, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 17, 2000