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Friday, June 21, 2002

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St. Aloysius Gonzaga

2 Kings 11:1-4, 9-18, 20
Psalm 132
Matthew 6:19-23

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oppressed no more

"All the people of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet, now that Athaliah had been slain with the sword at the royal palace." —2 Kings 11:20

Athaliah, the queen-mother, violently oppressed God's people for seven years. They were freed from her oppressive, idolatrous regime by:

  • the courage of Jehosheba, who risked her life to save the life of baby Joash, the future king (2 Kgs 11:2),
  • the wise and strong leadership of Jehoiada, the priest (2 Kgs 11:4ff), and
  • the submission of the captains and the guards to Jehoiada's authority (2 Kgs 11:4ff).

The Church today throughout much of the world is oppressed. The Church is often decimated, impoverished, marginalized, and insulted. We can throw off this oppression if we have:

  • the courage to fast and pray (see Gospel of Life, Pope John Paul II, 100),
  • the love and unselfishness to lay down our lives in leadership, and
  • the humility to submit to God-given authority.

When our own obedience is complete, we have the power to bring down the strongholds, sophistries, and proud pretensions that raise themselves "against the knowledge of God; we likewise bring every thought into captivity to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Cor 10:5). A disobedient people are oppressed and oppressive. An obedient people are free. Obey the Lord.

Prayer:  Father, may I obey my way into freedom.

Promise:  "Remember, where your treasure is, there your heart is also." —Mt 6:21

Praise:  St. Aloysius wrote: God "invites me to the infinite bliss I have sought so languidly, and promises me this reward for the tears I have so seldom shed."

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

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 2001