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Tuesday, January 9, 2001

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Hebrews 2:5-12
Psalm 8
Mark 1:21-28

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peripheral and vertical vision

"At present we do not see all things thus subject, but we do see Jesus crowned with glory and honor." —Hebrews 2:8-9

The letter to the Hebrews, like the book of Revelation, was written to strengthen Christians suffering severe persecutions. They "endured mockery, scourging, even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, sawed in two, put to death at sword's point" (Heb 11:36-37). The writer of Hebrews encouraged Christians to persevere in their faith and even to be martyred, because Jesus had already won an irreversible, total, final victory over all the persecutors of the faith (see Heb 10:12-13). All things are subject to Jesus (Heb 2:8). Admittedly, "we do not see all things thus subject, but we do see Jesus crowned with glory and honor" (Heb 2:8-9).

The key to enduring persecution and to sharing in Christ's victory is to see, with the eyes of faith, Jesus enthroned on high. Spiritually, if we have only peripheral vision — if we can only see what is going around us — this does not give us a true perspective. It is often confusing and discouraging. However, if we:

  • are "intent on things above rather than on things of earth" (Col 3:2),
  • "lift up" our "eyes toward the mountains" from whence shall come our help (Ps 121:1),
  • lift up our eyes to the One "enthroned in heaven" (Ps 123:1), and
  • look "to the sky above" and see "the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God's right hand" (Acts 7:55),

we will not be intimidated to apostatize by means of passing, earthly persecutions. We will see Jesus on high and will live, suffer, die, and rise for Him on earth.

Prayer:  Father, may I be faithful to You till death.

Promise:  "A completely new teaching in a spirit of authority! He gives orders to unclean spirits and they obey!" —Mk 1:27

Praise:  Carolyn overcame her tendency to false guilt and discouragement by repeatedly turning her thoughts to things above.

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