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Thursday, April 5, 2001

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St. Vincent Ferrer

Genesis 17:3-9
Psalm 105:4-9
John 8:51-59

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"impelled by love" (see 2 cor 5:14)

<b>"Whom do You make Yourself out to be?" —John 8:53</b>

Imagine that you are a present-day medical doctor who has been transported back in time a thousand years. Impelled by love for the suffering people of the time, you use your knowledge to cure many people of malaria, smallpox, and other diseases. Your reputation as a healer spreads rapidly. Local doctors, spurred by jealousy, attack you viciously. Though you try your best to reveal the modern medical truth about sterility, hygiene, etc., these doctors angrily contest your every word. They ask you: "Whom do you make yourself out to be?" (Jn 8:53) Before long, they put you to death.

Jesus loved us so much that He allowed Himself to be transported into time and space to save a lost and dying world. Like the doctor above, He did not withhold the saving, healing truth from the people He loved. In the gospel of John, Jesus continually reveals to us His relationship with the Father, from which flows everything He does (see Jn 8:38). Jesus knows that when we understand His relationship with the Father, then we will respect and be true to His words, and we will then have eternal life (Jn 8:51). Jesus' love impels Him to speak the truth, even to proclaim the truth that He is God (Jn 8:58). Sadly, a jealous and hard-hearted people then "put to death the Author of Life" (Acts 3:15).

"It is precisely in this that God proves His love for us: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rm 5:8). Let us "not treat God's gracious gift as pointless" (Gal 2:21). Listen intently to the words of Jesus. He is God. He reveals to us what we could never know on our own. Be as hungry for Jesus' words as a dying person is for words of healing.

Prayer:  Father, make me "humble of heart" as Jesus is (Mt 11:29).

Promise:  "Look to the Lord in His strength; seek to serve Him constantly."—Ps 105:4

Praise:  God used the preaching of St. Vincent to successfully rouse many Christians to repentance as well as to lead many Jews to Christ.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

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

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2000