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Sunday, July 28, 2002

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17th Sunday Ordinary Time

1 Kings 3:5, 7-12
Romans 8:28-30
Psalm 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-130
Matthew 13:44-52

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"the valley of decision"

"The reign of God is like a buried treasure which a man found in a field." —Matthew 13:44

Joel prophesied that life after death on Judgment Day and even life before death can be described as "the valley of decision" (Jl 4:14). Life is the opportunity to decide to be like the young Solomon and to choose wisdom (1 Kgs 3:9). Life in the new covenant is to decide to live for Jesus. The meaning of life is either to sell all of the little that we have to buy what appears to be a vacant lot or to sell all of our great wealth to buy the pearl of great price (Mt 13:46). In either case, life is to surrender our independence, that is, our kingdom, and to submit to Jesus as our only King.

You can't accept Jesus as your King while you ignore His commandments. Have you decided to accept Jesus not on your terms but on His? Have you lost your life for Jesus? (Lk 9:24) "How long will you straddle the issue? If the Lord is God, follow Him" (1 Kgs 18:21). "Decide today whom you will serve...As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord" (Jos 24:15). We sing: "Have you decided to follow Jesus?" Once you decide, there is no turning back. What's your decision forever?

Prayer:  Father, I decide to love You forever with all my heart (Dt 6:5).

Promise:  "We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His decree." —Rm 8:28

Praise:  Praise Jesus, "the Resurrection and the Life!" (Jn 11:25)

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Deciding to Accept the Lay Vocation on audio AV 95B-1 or video V-95B.)

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