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Friday, August 27, 2004

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St. Monica

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

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the light from the cross

"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 Corinthians 1:18

The five foolish bridesmaids in today's Gospel reading thought they were ready for the bridegroom's coming, but were wrong (Mt 25:12). We too may be deceiving ourselves about our readiness for Christ's final coming, our readiness for death, and the depth of our relationship with the Lord.

Our reaction to the message of the cross can be a window into our souls. For example, when we are faced with the cross of forgiving and loving our enemies, do we embrace forgiveness as the only way to reconciliation and a privileged opportunity to imitate the crucified Christ? Or do we see the cross of forgiveness as impractical and not applicable to our particular situation? Also, do we eagerly ask the Lord for His permission to take up the cross of more penance and fasting? Or do we do what comes natural, that is, maximize our pleasure and minimize our crosses? What are our reactions to the crosses of repentance, evangelization, apologizing, and persecution? If we glory in the cross, it is a good sign that we are living our Baptisms and on the way to heavenly glory. However, if we avoid the cross, are we living according to the mind and heart of Christ?

As we fix our eyes on the cross of Christ, He will reveal to us not only His love but the state of our souls. Glory in the cross of Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, may the light from the cross penetrate my heart.

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

Praise:  St. Monica's husband was ill-tempered and unfaithful. Monica loved him and prayed for him for many years. He repented and converted to faith in Jesus a year before he died.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, January 16, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 26, 2004