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Sunday, March 11, 2001

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Second Sunday of Lent

Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18
Philippians 3:17—4:1
Psalm 27
Luke 9:28-36

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the word of words

"He did not really know what he was saying." —Luke 9:33

The average man in the USA speaks 9,000 words a day, and the average woman 15,000 words daily. Jesus promised: "I assure you, on judgment day people will be held accountable for every unguarded word they speak" (Mt 12:36). The Lord cares about our words and holds us accountable for what we say and don't say.

Considering all this, what is the most important word you will say today? Quite possibly, your most important word today will be the "Amen" at Holy Communion in response to the statement and invitation: "The Body of Christ." In Holy Communion, Jesus offers His body and blood, soul and divinity to us. By saying "Amen," we express our faith, accept Jesus' body, and respond by offering our "bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God" (Rm 12:1).

This is a monumental decision with multiple ramifications. For example, when a wife and husband offer their bodies to each other in marriage, this is to mean love, sacrifice, sexual relations, pregnancy, labor and delivery, giving birth, nursing, stress, exhausting work daily for years, joys, shared meals, great expenses, sharing the pains of old age, etc. However, the results of giving our bodies to Jesus are even much greater. By saying "Amen" at Holy Communion, we deny ourselves and take up the cross each day (Lk 9:23). We carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus (2 Cor 4:10). Our bodies are healed and strengthened miraculously (see Is 40:29-31). Finally, our dead bodies are raised from the dead and remade according to the pattern of Jesus' transfigured, glorified body (Phil 3:21). Say the word of words today at Holy Communion: "Amen."

Prayer:  Jesus, I will listen to You (Lk 9:35).

Promise:  "We have our citizenship in heaven; it is from there that we eagerly await the coming of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." —Phil 3:20

Praise:  Praise the transfigured, crucified and risen, glorified body of Jesus!

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