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Friday, August 30, 2002

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1 Corinthians 1:17-25
Psalm 33
Matthew 25:1-13

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the after-life of the cross

"Keep your eyes open, for you know not the day or the hour." —Matthew 25:13

Jesus could return, or we could die at any time, for example, right now. If the world were to end or you were to die now, what would happen to you? If your forehead is imprinted with God's seal, you will leave this earth and live with Jesus forever in the perfect love and happiness of heaven (see Rv 7:3). If you are not sealed by God, the end of the world and the end of your life will be the ultimate and irreversible tragedy for you.

To be imprinted with the seal of God means to be baptized into Christ and into His death on the cross (Rm 6:3). God's seal is not a physical mark but the radically different life of taking up the cross each day (see Lk 9:23). "The message of the cross is complete absurdity to those who are headed for ruin, but to us who are experiencing salvation it is the power of God" (1 Cor 1:18). If we live embracing the scandal of the cross and knowing nothing but the absurdity of the cross of Jesus (see 1 Cor 2:2), we will leave this earth resurrected in glory. Therefore, choose the cross in your relationships, vocations, conversations, activities, entertainment, finances, education, and work. Then you will be ready for anything at any time. Come, Lord Jesus!

Prayer:  "Now, Master, You can dismiss Your servant in peace; You have fulfilled Your word" (Lk 2:29).

Promise:  "For God's folly is wiser than men, and His weakness more powerful than men." —1 Cor 1:25

Praise:  Although her brothers and sisters advised her to get out, Martha stayed in her marriage and prayed for her often-drunk husband. God heard Martha and answered her prayers.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Developing A Deep Personal Relationship with Jesus on audio AV 52-1 or video V-52.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 7, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 12, 2002