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Saturday, February 5, 2005

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St. Agatha

Hebrews 13:15-17, 20-21
Psalm 23
Mark 6:30-34

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"Through [Jesus] let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise." —Hebrews 13:15

Our whole life should be a sacrifice of praise. Our good deeds and generosity are primarily sacrifices of praise blending into the cosmic symphony of worship to the Lord (Heb 13:16). We not only worship the Lord in spirit, but offer our "bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God, [our] spiritual worship" (Rm 12:1).

"Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all my being, bless His holy name" (Ps 103:1). We praise with all our being and all our time. Life can be simply defined as an ever-mounting crescendo of praise. At the end, we just praise our way off the face of this earth and enter the perfect, eternal praise of Heaven.

Ask the Spirit to increase your praise quotient. How much of the day do you praise and worship? How many of your deeds praise Him? Ask God to increase your praise time. Praise the Lord for things you never have included in your praises before. Can you now praise Him in even the most difficult circumstance? Say you've had a bad day. You've been attacked, stripped, flogged, imprisoned, and chained (Acts 16:22-24). With Paul and Silas, can you still praise the Lord "always and for everything"? (Eph 5:20)

Prayer:  "May the God of peace, Who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do His will. Through Jesus Christ may He carry out in you all that is pleasing to Him. To Christ be glory forever! Amen" (Heb 13:20-21).

Promise:  Jesus "pitied them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them at great length." —Mk 6:34

Praise:  Through great trials and intense physical tortures, St. Agatha endured in her praise of her Creator.

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