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Friday, June 10, 2005

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2 Corinthians 4:7-15
Psalm 116
Matthew 5:27-32

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i'm just dying to serve jesus

"Continually we carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus, so that in our bodies the life of Jesus may also be revealed." —2 Corinthians 4:10

Each day, we human beings are one day closer to death. "Death is at work in us" (2 Cor 4:12). Some would wryly agree with the observation that our churches are full of dead people. Jesus Himself told the church of Sardis: "You are dead!" (Rv 3:1)

In one sense, our churches should be filled with dead people. We Christians must die to ourselves (Lk 9:23; Jn 12:24). We daily put to death our sinful nature. We renounce ourselves, our desires, and our possessions to be Jesus' disciples (Lk 14:33). We empty ourselves (Phil 2:7) and count all as loss (Phil 3:8). We are at this point a dead body. In this state of emptiness, we receive Jesus, Who is Life (Jn 14:6), and His life is revealed in us (2 Cor 4:10) in such a way that it is obvious to all that anything we do is God's doing and not our own (2 Cor 4:7).

This is the essence of the Paschal mystery. Jesus, shortly before He died, broke bread and said, "This is My body to be given for you" (Lk 22:19). We in turn receive Him in the Eucharist and tell Him, "Jesus, this is my body, to be given for You." We offer our bodies to Him as living sacrifices (Rm 12:1). We have so completely died to ourselves that nothing in us can block the flow of His life through us.

Die to yourself daily; take up your cross; receive the eucharistic Jesus; and "make known the glory of God shining on the face of Christ" (2 Cor 4:6).

Prayer:  Father, "to me, 'life' means Christ; hence dying is so much gain" (Phil 1:21). I offer You every moment of my life. Bring many to You through my sacrifices.

Promise:  "Everything is ordered to your benefit." —2 Cor 4:15

Praise:  Ann serves the Suffering Servant by tending to the needs of the dying as a hospice volunteer.

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

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 20, 2004

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