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Wednesday, July 6, 2005

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St. Maria Goretti

Genesis 41:55-57; 42:5-7, 17-24
Psalm 33
Matthew 10:1-7

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families in pain

"We saw the anguish of his heart when he pleaded with us, yet we paid no heed; that is why this anguish has now come upon us." —Genesis 42:21

Joseph's family makes soap operas look mild. In this episode, we see starvation, imprisonment, guilt, resentment, and depression. Sadly, Joseph's may be a typical family. How many third world families are starving to death physically because first world families are starving spiritually?

Is prayer and Bible reading a significant part of your family life, or do you try to live on bread alone? (Mt 4:4) Are the rooms of your home prison cells inhabited by family members, who are addicted, compulsive, or chained by invisible bonds? Could you truthfully say your home is thoroughly washed clean of guilt? (Ps 51:4) After more than twenty years, Joseph's brothers said: "Alas, we are being punished because of our brother" (Gn 42:21). Guilt is often the oldest resident of a home. How many resentful Reubens occasionally break in: "Didn't I tell you not to do wrong?" (see Gn 42:22) How many tears are shed behind closed doors and closed hearts? (Gn 42:24)

The good news is we have authority over evil spirits and sickness (Mt 10:1). In Jesus, we can free and heal the most broken, chained and hurt families.

Prayer:  "I kneel before the Father from Whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name; and I pray that He will bestow on you gifts...May He strengthen you inwardly through the working of His Spirit. May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith" (Eph 3:14-17).

Promise:  "As you go, make this announcement: 'The reign of God is at hand!' " —Mt 10:7

Praise:  St. Maria's family had the blessing to see her murderer repent and Maria's sanctity recognized in her canonization as a saint.

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

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