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Monday, July 18, 2005

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St. Camillus de Lellis

Exodus 14:5-18
Exodus 15:1-6
Matthew 12:38-42

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let's not make a deal

"Far better for us to be the slaves of the Egyptians than to die in the desert." —Exodus 14:12

Would you say with Patrick Henry: "Give me liberty or give me death"? The Israelites in the desert said to the Egyptians: "We'll give up our liberty if you spare our lives." They were even willing to give up their liberty just to enjoy their favorite foods, like cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic (Nm 11:5). They traded their liberty for the salad bar. Esau did the same; only he traded his inheritance for the soup and salad bar (Gn 25:34). How disgraceful!

However, we ourselves also trade our freedom in Jesus for petty pleasures — the high of sexual sin, the hypnotism of TV, the perverse enjoyment of unforgiveness, or the escape of alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine. We'd be willing to turn our lives and our world over to Satan if he'd assure us of a lifetime daily supply of coffee, beer, sex, cigarettes, or TV.

My brothers and sisters, "we are not children of a slave girl but of a mother who is free. It was for liberty that Christ freed us. So stand firm, and do not take on yourselves the yoke of slavery a second time!" (Gal 4:31—5:1) "Remember that you have been called to live in freedom — but not a freedom that gives free rein to the flesh" (Gal 5:13).

Prayer:  Jesus, I will go to jail or even die rather than lose my freedom in You.

Promise:  "At the judgment, the citizens of Nineveh will rise with the present generation and be the ones to condemn it. At the preaching of Jonah they reformed their lives; but you have a greater than Jonah here." —Mt 12:41

Praise:  St. Camillus was said to forget all pleasures, enticements, and interests of this world when he saw a sick person in need.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Freeing People for Christian Community on audio AV 76-3 or video V-76.)

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

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