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Tuesday, February 20, 2001

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Sirach 2:1-11
Psalm 37: 3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40
Mark 9:30-37

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great expectations

"When you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials." —Sirach 2:1

To prepare ourselves for trials, we must expect them. "Anyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Tm 3:12, our transl). Expect it. "Christ suffered in the flesh; therefore arm yourselves with His same mentality" (1 Pt 4:1). The psalmist stated: "If  an enemy had reviled me, I could have borne it...but you, my other self, my companion and my bosom friend!" (Ps 55:13, 14) It is hardest to take sufferings inflicted by those closest to us, because we don't expect them to hurt us.

However, we must be like Jesus. He knew and expected that His apostles and disciples would abandon Him, Peter would deny Him three times, and Judas would betray Him. Jesus even knew and expected that each one of us would share in crucifying Him through our sins. Jesus prepared Himself for the greatest of all trials. Expect suffering, but don't dread it. Rather, in love for Jesus, rejoice in suffering (1 Pt 4:13; Col 1:24).

Prayer:  Father, purify me through trials.

Promise:  "If anyone wishes to rank first, He must remain the last one of all and the servant of all." —Mk 9:35

Praise:  Because of her faith in the risen Jesus, Margaret was able to grow in holiness at the time of the unexpected death of her husband.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 9, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 18, 2000