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Tuesday, February 5, 2002

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St. Agatha

2 Samuel 18:9-10, 14, 24-25, 30—19:3
Psalm 86
Mark 5:21-43

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"My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!" —2 Samuel 19:1

Absalom started a civil war and tried to kill his father, David. When Absalom was killed in battle, David was not relieved or happy. He wished that he would have died instead of Absalom. Who wants to die in place of his enemies?

Jesus loves us, His enemies, for we all are sinners, and sinners are enemies of God. Jesus loves His enemies so much that He does not want us to get the wages of our sins, that is, death (Rm 6:23). He desired that He get the wages of our sins. So, on the cross, He took our place and died.

After being loved by Jesus even to His death on the cross in our place, we can be sure that there is nothing good that Jesus will not do for us (see Rm 8:32). His love is such that He lives in us and wants us to live in Him (see 1 Jn 4:16). He heals, frees, and saves us. He will even raise us from the dead to live with Him in perfect happiness forever. Because of His unconditional love for us, His enemies, He will love us infinitely and perfectly — even if we do not choose to repent and thereby remain His enemies. He will love us even if we choose to go to hell and never accept His love. "His love is everlasting" (Ps 136:1ff, our transl). Because Jesus was your substitute in death, live in peace, security, freedom, and love.

Prayer:  Father, I will not reject Your love. I will love You, Who are Love.

Promise:  "Daughter, it is your faith that has cured you. Go in peace and be free of this illness." —Mk 5:34

Praise:  When St. Agatha was arrested for her faith in Jesus, she is said to have prayed: "Jesus, possess all that I am! I am Your sheep; make me worthy to overcome the devil."

Reference:  (To grow more in the vocation to love, register for the Discipleship Retreat, Loving the Most Important People in Your Life, March 1-3. Call 937-587-5464 or e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001