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Saturday, June 30, 2001

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First Martyrs of Rome

Genesis 18:1-15
Luke 1:46-50, 53-55
Matthew 8:5-17

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join the service

"My serving boy is at home in bed paralyzed." —Matthew 8:6

Jesus came not to be served but to serve (Mt 20:28). As followers of Jesus, we too come to serve others by providing both their physical and spiritual needs. Like Jesus, we wash the feet of others and commit ourselves to live and even die in love and service (Jn 13:5).

Nevertheless, many of us are out of action, that is, "out of service." Like Peter's mother-in-law and the centurion's serving boy, we are "in bed with a fever" (Mt 8:14) or "at home in bed paralyzed, suffering painfully" (Mt 8:6).

We need faith by which we let Jesus return us to service (see Mt 8:10). "Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do?" (Gn 18:14) "Nothing is impossible with God" (Lk 1:37). The Lord can take the worst sinners and most broken people and make them serviceable. In Christ and in faith, we are "in service" no matter what.

"The harvest is great; the workers are few" (Mt 9:37, our transl). St. Teresa of Avila said that God has no feet but our feet, no hands but our hands, no tongue but our tongues, etc. The Lord needs servants through which to serve. By faith, accept God's grace to "join the service."

Prayer:  Father, by Your grace and by faith I will serve till death and beyond.

Promise:  "It was our infirmities He bore, our sufferings He endured." —Mt 8:17

Praise:  The first martyrs of Rome served as seeds which caused faith to grow in countless others. They came from all classes of society — soldiers, peasants, nobility, and merchants.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, January 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 24, 2001