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Friday, August 29, 2003

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Beheading of
St. John the Baptizer

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
Psalm 97
Matthew 25:1-13

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a growth-spurt

"It is God's will that you grow in holiness." —1 Thessalonians 4:3

The Lord told Paul to tell the Thessalonian Christians to grow in holiness (see 1 Thes 4:3) and to please God by their conduct even more than before (1 Thes 4:1). The Lord expects and delights to see His children grow holy in every aspect of their conduct (1 Pt 1:15).

In fact, the Lord probably wants us to have a growth spurt in the last part of this year. Little children and teenagers commonly grow several inches in a short time. Likewise, we who are God's children can grow in holiness in a greatly accelerated way. The Lord delights to see His children grow quickly to great levels of holiness.

Because we love the Lord, we want to please Him by growing holy as deeply and as quickly as possible. Let us commit ourselves today to obey the Lord in any and every way so as to grow holy. Let us live, suffer, and die for holiness. May holiness be the greatest desire of our hearts because it is the greatest desire of the Lord's heart.

Prayer:  Father, may I want holiness more than anything else.

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

Praise:  St. John's desire for holiness in himself and others cost him his life. "Love for life did not deter [him] from death" (Rv 12:11).

Reference:  (To deepen your love for Jesus, "come away for a while" to one of Presentation Ministries' Discipleship Retreats: Life of Christian Prayer, Oct. 3-4; Mother's and Daughter's Camp, Oct. 25; Touching the Living Christ in the Sacraments,  Nov. 7-8; Men's Retreat, Nov. 22. For information or to register, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, February 27, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 3, 2003