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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

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St. Benedict

Hosea 8:4-7, 11-13
Psalm 115
Matthew 9:32-38

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spiritual laryngitis

"Beg the harvest Master to send out laborers to gather His harvest." —Matthew 9:38

In this part of Matthew's gospel, Jesus has been on a healing-deliverance tour. He has lifted up the paralyzed, healed the hemorrhaging woman, raised up the dead, and cured the blind (Mt 9:1ff). Finally, Jesus expelled a demon from the mute man, and the man began to speak (Mt 9:33). Matthew recounts this miracle last to emphasize it. "The harvest is good but laborers are scarce" (Mt 9:37). There are few to proclaim the good news of the kingdom (Mt 9:35). The devil's got our tongues; so the sheep continue to lie prostrate from exhaustion (Mt 9:36).

We must be delivered; we must speak up for Jesus. We must yield our tongues to the Holy Spirit rather than to the evil spirit. We are stricken with selective muteness. We can talk about everything under the sun, but when it comes to Jesus we become mute. We have rationalized this condition, saying we are being careful not to impose our religious beliefs on others. However, we're not talking about religious beliefs; we're talking about Jesus. When we love someone, especially Jesus, Who is Love, we should be free to tell the world.

Jesus commands: "Do not let them intimidate you. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, and nothing hidden that will not become known. What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light. What you hear in private, proclaim from the housetops" (Mt 10:26-27). In Jesus' name, be delivered from a mute spirit.

Prayer:  Jesus, be Lord of my voice. May I never be ashamed of You. May I not give in to fear.

Promise:  "At the sight of the crowds, His heart was moved with pity." —Mt 9:36

Praise:  Through his motto "Pray and work," St. Benedict and his monks helped restore a land broken by invaders.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Spiritual Anorexia on audio AV 101-1 or video V-101.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2005

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