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Friday, March 31, 2006

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Wisdom 2:1, 12-22
Psalm 34
John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

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distinctively different

"His life is not like other men's, and different are His ways." —Wisdom 2:15

In two weeks, it will be Good Friday. We are approaching the conclusion of Lent, a forty-day period of prayer and fasting culminating in the renewal of our baptismal promises on Easter Sunday. When we were baptized, we were born again. Our old nature was drowned in the waters of baptism, and we became new creations (2 Cor 5:17). We were no longer of the world, because Jesus chose us out of the world (Jn 15:19). That's why the world hates us — because we don't belong to it (Jn 15:19).

We are obnoxious to those of the world because we are children of God. Our ways are different, and we are not like other people (Wis 2:12-15). The world naturally feels compelled to persecute us.

As we prepare to renew our baptisms this Easter, as we are transformed this Lent to live more fully our new life, persecution naturally should increase. Hopefully, the world is putting us to the test "with revilement and torture" (Wis 2:19). As we become more holy, we are more of a threat to the devil and more likely to be persecuted. That's a good sign that we are born again and growing this Lent in living the baptized life. God's word commands: "Rejoice...in the measure that you share in Christ's sufferings" (1 Pt 4:13).

Prayer:  Father, clean the slime of the world off me and make me new.

Promise:  "At this they tried to seize Him, but no one laid a finger on Him because His hour had not yet come." —Jn 7:30

Praise:  Mandy suffered with Christ by the words and mockery of a group of friends when she was asked about her faith.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 16, 2005

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