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Sunday, September 5, 2004

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23rd Sunday Ordinary Time

Wisdom 9:13-18
Philemon 9-10, 12-17
Psalm 90
Luke 14:25-33

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the consequences of lukewarm christianity

"If one of you decides to build a tower, will he not first sit down and calculate the outlay to see if he has enough money to complete the project?" —Luke 14:28

To be disciples of Christ, we must make the radical decision of totally giving ourselves to the Lord. If we decide to do anything less, our Christian lives will be unfinished, and we will be ridiculed and defeated (Lk 14:29ff).

Many Christians in the USA have not made a total commitment to Christ. So they, especially Catholic Christians, are repeatedly portrayed as fools by the media. Moreover, one of the most important works of most Christians is to make disciples of their children. Countless Christian parents have not finished this work, for their adult children are not committed to the Lord. They have been defeated by the world, the flesh, and the devil, and their children are the major casualties of this war.

We have ample evidence of the dire consequences of making less than a total commitment to the Lord. Yet "the deliberations of mortals are timid, and unsure are our plans" (Wis 9:14). We need the "Holy Spirit from on high" (Wis 9:17) to confirm us in faith so that we will decide to live for the Lord totally and radically. Come, Holy Spirit!

Prayer:  Father, I repent of giving You anything less than everything.

Promise:  "I did not want to do anything without your consent, that kindness might not be forced on you but might be freely bestowed." —Phlm 14

Praise:  Praise Jesus, crucified and risen! Praise You, incarnate Love, poured out for me!

Reference:  (To deepen your love for Jesus, "come away for a while" to one of our Discipleship Retreats: Study a Book in the Bible, Sept. 27-29; Mary and the Rosary, Sept. 29-Oct. 1; Praying the Psalms, Oct 1-2. For information or to register, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com)

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