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Saturday, February 3, 2001

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St. Blase
St. Ansgar

Hebrews 13:15-17, 20-21
Psalm 23
Mark 6:30-34

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a people of sacrifice

Through Jesus, "let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise." —Hebrews 13:15

Because Jesus has offered His once-and-for-all sacrifice on Calvary (Heb 10:10-12), we are a people of sacrifice. We have been baptized into Jesus and therefore into His death and sacrifice (see Rm 6:3). We center our lives on the sacrifice of the Mass, which transcends time and space. We must offer our bodies to the Lord as living sacrifices (Rm 12:1). Through Jesus, we can continually offer God "a sacrifice of praise" (Heb 13:15), which glorifies Him (Ps 50:23). Our "good deeds and generosity" are to be sacrifices which are pleasing to God (Heb 13:16). "To keep the law is a great oblation, and he who observes the commandments sacrifices a peace offering" (Sir 35:1). We are a people of sacrifice.

In our society, we are mass-producing a people of pleasure. After being propagandized by elements in our culture, many people say to themselves: "Relax! Eat heartily, drink well. Enjoy yourself " (Lk 12:19). Jesus calls those who have bought these lies "fools" (see Lk 12:20).

Life is not a matter of pleasure, enjoyment, and comfort. Life is a matter of love, freedom, and self-sacrifice. Let each of us say to one another: "Even if my life is to be poured out as a libation over the sacrificial service of your faith, I am glad of it and rejoice with all of you" (Phil 2:17).

Prayer:  Father, may I find my joy by sharing in the sacrifice of Your Son.

Promise:  "Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for You are at my side with Your rod and Your staff that give me courage." —Ps 23:4

Praise:  St. Ansgar made great personal sacrifices to tell the Danes and Swedes of Jesus' greatest sacrifice for them.

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