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Friday, September 13, 2002

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St. John Chrysostom

1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-27
Psalm 84
Luke 6:39-42

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seeing it through

"I do not run like a man who loses sight of the finish line." —1 Corinthians 9:26

Picture this scenario. Seven people gave their lives to Jesus five years ago. When they did so, they entered a marathon race.

Each runner sprinted off to a good start. The first runner eventually suffered some aches and pains and kept "looking back" at his leisurely life as a spectator (Lk 9:62). After a few months, he dropped out of the race and watched it on TV. Another runner soon spotted an appealing lady on a nearby billboard. After searching out a few more "enticements for the eye" (1 Jn 2:16), he veered sharply off the track, continuing his search for pleasure (see Sir 9:7-8). The third runner lost his path in a similar manner and tried to find his way back to the race. He asked a New Age minister for directions. Then he fell into a ditch (see Lk 6:39).

The fourth and fifth runners began to eye each other's progress. They each spotted several flaws in their partner's running style. Soon, they developed major eye problems and were forced to sit out a portion of the race for serious eye surgery (see Lk 6:41-42). The sixth runner, seeing how long and difficult the race was, became frightened when he looked at all of the fierce opposition surrounding him (see Mt 14:30). He sank to his knees in fright and silently disappeared into the crowd.

The final Christian is running faster than ever. Every day, he perseveres in running the race (Heb 12:1). He keeps his eyes fixed on Jesus (Heb 3:1) and focuses his "entire attention" on Jesus, the Finish Line (Phil 3:14). When the track is hard to follow, he looks constantly to Jesus for directions (see Ps 123:2).

How are you running in your Christian race? "What are you looking for?" (Jn 1:38) "Run so as to win!" (1 Cor 9:24)

Prayer:  Jesus, anoint my eyes that I may see clearly (Rv 3:18).

Promise:  "Remove the plank from your own eye first; then you will see clearly." —Lk 6:42

Praise:  St. John was exiled twice for his public stand for holiness.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

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