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Wednesday, October 4, 2006

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St. Francis of Assisi

Job 9:1-12, 14-16
Psalm 88
Luke 9:57-62

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"how great thou art"

"Should one wish to contend with Him, he could not answer Him once in a thousand times." —Job 9:3

God is beyond the powers of human expression. "He removes the mountains before they know it; He overturns them in His anger. He shakes the earth out of its place, and the pillars beneath it tremble" (Jb 9:5-6). "He alone stretches out the heavens and treads upon the crests of the sea" (Jb 9:8). "He does great things past finding out, marvelous things beyond reckoning" (Jb 9:10). "Should He seize me forcibly, who can say Him nay? Who can say to Him, 'What are You doing?' " (Jb 9:12)

The truth that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" echoes throughout the Scriptures (e.g. see Ps 111:10). We feel amazement, awe, and wonder at the presence of the almighty God. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb 10:31). "How great Thou art!"

When we have a more realistic awareness of Him, everything comes into right perspective. We realize our privilege to be in His kingdom. We recognize that the greatest honor possible for a human being is to praise and serve God. We feel blessed to suffer, even to die for Him. We almost faint to think we receive the all-holy God into our bodies in Holy Communion. When we have the fear of the Lord, we disdain a minimalistic, mediocre Christianity and abandon ourselves to a life of joyful, sacrificial commitment to the Lord.

Prayer:  Jesus, why did You ever pay any attention to me? Thank You, Lord, for loving me.

Promise:  "Jesus answered him, 'Whoever puts his hand to the plow but keeps looking back is unfit for the reign of God.' " —Lk 9:62

Praise:  When St. Francis heard the Lord calling him, he left behind his old way of life and did not look back (cf Lk 9:62).

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Fear of the Lord and Evangelization on audio AV 59-1 or video V-59.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2006

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