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Tuesday, February 1, 2005

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Hebrews 12:1-4
Psalm 22:26-28, 30-32
Mark 5:21-43

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the evil cling-ons

"Let us lay aside every encumbrance of sin which clings to us." —Hebrews 12:1

Many people spend much time and money trying to shed the extra pounds that "cling to" them. They go on a weight-loss program where they will stop eating fatty foods, give up snacks, get up early and work out, or jog several miles at a time. They'll do whatever it takes, even to the point of undergoing surgery, because they understand that without the extra weight they will prolong their life and feel free, vital, strong, and healthy again.

It's far more critical to lay aside every encumbrance of sin  which clings to you (Heb 12:1; Bar 1:20). If you are spiritually obese, the Church offers these proven "sin-loss" programs:

  • Sin-loss surgery, called "Confession." No charge; cost of surgery is covered totally by the blood of Jesus (Heb 9:14ff).
  • Read daily the Church's sin-loss manual, the Bible.
  • Get up early and pray (see Mk 1:35) to shed those clinging demons (Mt 17:21, NAB; Gospel of Life, Pope John Paul II, 100).
  • Another proven shedding program is called "fasting." It's also great for shedding those clinging demons (Mt 17:21, NAB). (It works wonders for weight-loss as well!)
  • Finally, the Head of the Church, Jesus, offers the ultimate sin and weight loss prize: a resurrected, glorified body (1 Cor 15:53) for those who "go the distance" in running the race (see Heb 12:1-2).

Prayer:  Father, give me the grace to "fight against sin" (Heb 12:4), shed it all, and run the Christian race "to win!" (1 Cor 9:24)

Promise:  "Fear is useless. What is needed is trust." —Mk 5:36

Praise:  It was only after fasting for a few days that Gail saw a change for the better in regard to a sinful behavior she had been trying to change.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, August 18 8, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 23, 2004