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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

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St. Paulinus of Nola
Sts. John Fisher & Thomas More

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9
Matthew 7:15-20

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covenant knowledge

" 'O Lord God,' he asked, 'How am I to know?' " —Genesis 15:8

At God's command, Abram left his homeland at age seventy-five (Gn 12:4). "Some time" passed with little visible improvement, and so God decided to reassure Abram of his great future (Gn 15:1, 7). Abram, now quite old, asked God how he could know that this would happen (Gn 15:8). God didn't answer Abram's question with specifics. Instead, God's answer to Abram was: "Make a covenant with Me, and then you'll know for sure" (see Gn 15:9ff).

To the logical, modern mind, God's answer might sound somewhat like the politician who answers his challengers by saying: "Trust me!" We often want to see concrete plans and results before we'll entrust ourselves to someone's promise. The blind trust God requests of Abram and us flies in the face of conventional human wisdom.

How can we know God will make good on His scriptural promises to us? Make (or renew) a covenant with Him. We make our first covenant with God through our Baptism. If you are already baptized, renew your baptismal covenant and live your baptism in a new way. In each Mass, we covenant with the Lord when we receive the eucharist (Lk 22:20). Some people commit themselves to join covenanted Christian communities as a way of living out their baptismal covenant (see Acts 2:42). "Commit to the Lord your way; trust in Him, and He will act" (Ps 37:5).

Prayer:  Father, with every Mass I attend, may I enter more deeply into the Paschal mystery and your "new covenant" (1 Cor 11:25).

Promise:  "He remembers forever His covenant." —Ps 105:8

Praise:  Sts. John and Thomas were martyred because they stood up publicly for the teaching of the Church on the sanctity of marriage.

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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