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Saturday, February 14, 2004

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St. Cyril & St. Methodius
St. Valentine

1 Kings 12:26-32; 13:33-34
Psalm 106:6-7, 19-22
Mark 8:1-10

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what religion are you?

"Jeroboam thought to himself: 'The kingdom will return to David's house. If now this people go up to offer sacrifices in the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, the hearts of this people will return to their master, Rehoboam, king of Judah.' " —1 Kings 12:26-27

Jeroboam realized that religion is part of human nature. Therefore, human beings must be religious. The only question is: "Will we be committed to the only true religion, Judaism fulfilled in Christianity, or will we be involved in some of the many thousands of false religions?" Even people who pride themselves on not being religious do so religiously, or they play games with the word "religion." The billions of Communists and other secular humanists are examples of this.

God constantly calls us away from false religions to "worship the Father in Spirit and truth. Indeed, it is just such worshipers the Father seeks" (Jn 4:23). The writer of the book of James summarizes the old covenant's delineation of true religion: Religion that is pure and undefiled before God is to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world (see Jas 1:27, RNAB). Even with these clarifications, human beings tend to be deceived about religion. So God the Father sent Jesus, fully man and fully God.

Now we know the only Way to which our religious aspirations should be directed. Now we know the Way to the true, religious life (see Jn 14:6).

Prayer:  Father, free me from false religions. Give me Your pure, true religion in Christ.

Promise:  "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd. By now they have been with Me three days and have nothing to eat." —Mk 8:2

Praise:  Sts. Cyril and Methodius were natural brothers who worked hard to preach the good news to the Poles. In so doing, they helped bring us Pope John Paul II eleven centuries later.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003