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Wednesday, August 9, 2006

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St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Jeremiah 31:1-7
Jeremiah 31:10-13
Matthew 15:21-28

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with abandon

"Carrying your festive tambourines, you shall go forth dancing with the merrymakers." —Jeremiah 31:4

The joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh 8:10). The Lord tells us to "praise His name in the festive dance" and to "sing praise to Him with timbrel and harp" (Ps 149.3). "Then the virgins shall make merry and dance, and young men and old as well" (Jer 31:13). This applies to all God's people, not only the young.

As we dance and make a joyful noise to the Lord (Ps 100:2), we are to "shout with joy" and proclaim His praise (Jer 31:7, 12). Shouting, singing, dancing, and clapping are human ways of expressing praise. If we can do these things for athletes, politicians, and celebrities, how much more worthy is our God of such acclaim!

Consider what the Lord has done for us. He died to save us from sin, slavery, death, damnation, and Satan (Mt 15:22). He rose from the dead and poured out the Spirit. He is with us always (Mt 28:20). He will never forsake us. "With age-old love," He has loved us (Jer 31:3). He constantly forgives, heals, feeds, and frees those who call on Him. He alone is worthy to be praised (Rv 5:12), praised in every way, with all our strength, praised forever.

Prayer:  Father, send the Spirit of praise so that I may worship You with abandon as David did (2 Sm 6:14).

Promise:  "Jesus then said in reply, 'Woman, you have great faith! Your wish will come to pass.' That very moment her daughter got better." —Mt 15:28

Praise:  St. Teresa Benedicta, co-patroness of Europe, was raised as a Jew, met Jesus as Messiah, and became a Catholic sister. She was killed in a concentration camp, and offered her sufferings on behalf of her beloved Jewish and Catholic brethren.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 26, 2006

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