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Tuesday, February 25, 2003

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Sirach 2:1-11
Psalm 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40
Mark 9:30-37

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it's your serve

"When you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself." —Sirach 2:1

Many of you have decided to follow Jesus, deny yourselves, take up the cross, and live for Jesus (Lk 9:23). In other words, you have decided to "serve the Lord" (see Sir 2:1). You are privileged to be able to serve the Lord, for one day within His courts is better than a thousand elsewhere (Ps 84:11).

To serve the Lord is exciting, challenging, painful, and joyful. To meet the challenge of serving the Lord, we must begin by obeying seven commandments:

  1. "Prepare yourself for trials" (Sir 2:1). Remember we are following the crucified Lord.
  2. "Be sincere of heart and steadfast" (Sir 2:2).
  3. "Cling to Him, forsake Him not" (Sir 2:3). Those who cling to Jesus always bear fruit abundantly (Jn 15:5).
  4. "Accept whatever befalls you" (Sir 2:4). No pity parties.
  5. "In crushing misfortune be patient" (Sir 2:4).
  6. "Trust God and He will help you" (Sir 2:6).
  7. "Make straight your ways and hope in Him" (Sir 2:6).

The beginning of obeying all these commandments is fear of the Lord. "You who fear the Lord, wait for His mercy, turn not away lest you fall. You who fear the Lord, trust Him, and your reward will not be lost. You who fear the Lord, hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy" (Sir 2:7-9). You who fear the Lord, "serve the Lord with gladness" (Ps 100:2).

Prayer:  Father, "the greatest thing in all my life is serving You."

Promise:  "If anyone wishes to rank first, he must remain the last one of all and the servant of all." —Mk 9:35

Praise:  When tempted to self-pity or discouragement in his ministry work, John contemplates the crucified Christ.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 1, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 7, 2002