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Friday, November 24, 2006

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St. Andrew Dung-Lac
& Companions

Revelation 10:8-11
Psalm 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131
Luke 19:45-48

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"In my mouth it tasted as sweet as honey, but when I swallowed it my stomach turned sour." —Revelation 10:10

Imagine hearing a voice from heaven. Then you meet an angel, a gigantic angel who stands "on the sea and on the land" (Rv 10:8). This angel commands you to eat a little book (Rv 10:9). Books are not your favorite food, but try saying "no" to an angel. Surprisingly, the book tastes sweet, although later it tastes sour in your stomach and gives you indigestion (Rv 10:10).

Eating the little scroll is accepting God's call to prophesy. This ministry of prophecy works out well initially, but later becomes a bitter experience of rejection, suffering, persecution, and martyrdom.

Many of God's callings are also sweet-sour. For instance, how sweet was your honeymoon and those first months or even years of marriage! Yet now you may be rejected by your spouse or struggling to keep your marriage vows. How sweet it was when you first gave your life to Jesus and joined the Church! But now you, like Jesus, may feel sick to your stomach (see Rv 3:16) when you think of loving the Church and laying down your life for her (see Eph 5:25).

When sweet turns to sour, we feel like turning our commitment to unfaithfulness. However, by God's grace, we can be sweet to Jesus, even if life has turned sour.

Prayer:  Father, I offer You the sacrifice of faithfulness. May this be sweet to You.

Promise:  "The entire populace was listening to Him and hanging on His words." —Lk 19:48

Praise:  St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Peter Thi were beheaded for the "crime" of being priests. They joyfully accepted their sentence, glad to be worthy of ill-treatment for Jesus (Acts 5:41).

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

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