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Monday, March 6, 2006

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Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18
Psalm 19
Matthew 25:31-46

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starved for attention

"You shall not go about spreading slander among your kinsmen; nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor's life is at stake." —Leviticus 19:16

Lent prepares us to celebrate the resurrection. But it's hard for someone starving to death to celebrate Jesus' resurrection from the dead. It's also hard for Christians to celebrate Jesus' resurrection victory when they are at the same time allowing people to starve. "How can God's love survive in a man who has enough of this world's goods yet closes his heart to his brother when he sees him in need?" (1 Jn 3:17) Jesus Himself is saying: "I was hungry and you gave Me no food" (Mt 25:42). "I assure you, as often as you neglected to do it to one of these least ones, you neglected to do it to Me" (Mt 25:45).

We must do something to feed Jesus. For years we have heard pleas to help the poor and starving, and things have only become worse. The poor have become poorer, and the rich richer. We've sent in our contributions but we have not responded as if we really believe these people are our brothers and sisters in Christ. If our own relatives were starving, we would respond differently. If we really believed serving the poor was serving Jesus, we'd do anything for them. Our resignation to mass starvation is a scandal that casts doubt on the reality of the resurrection. The risen Jesus is still saying: "If you love Me, feed My sheep" (see Jn 21:17).

Prayer:  Jesus, so many need my help immediately or they will die. May I not "save for a rainy day," but put my money where my faith is.

Promise:  "These will go off to eternal punishment and the just to eternal life." —Mt 25:46

Praise:  Mrs. Jones' CCD 7th grade class solicited and collected a carful of toiletries to send to a third-world country.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Prophetic Life Style on audio AV 75-3 or video V-75.)

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

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