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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

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St. John Chrysostom

1 Corinthians 7:25-31
Psalm 45
Luke 6:20-26

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"The world as we know it is passing away." —1 Corinthians 7:31

Our culture has deified sex, but the Lord has revealed that it's good and even better for some people to go through life without any sexual relations (1 Cor 7:26, 1). Sex is important, but only of secondary importance.

Our culture has taken materialism to unprecedented extremes. Never before in history have so many people bought so much. Nevertheless, the Lord says, "Blest are you poor," and "Blest are you who hunger" (Lk 6:20). Poverty is not automatically bad; it can be the very imitation of Christ.

God's ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are as different from ours as the heavens are high above the earth (Is 55:8-9). Jesus and His followers are a sign of contradiction against the world (Lk 2:34). As disciples of Jesus, we have the Spirit Who proves the world wrong about sin, justice, and condemnation (Jn 16:8). The world hates us because we are not of the world (Jn 15:19), and through the cross we are crucified to the world and the world to us (Gal 6:14).

Jesus promises: "Blest shall you be when men hate you, when they ostracize you and insult you and proscribe your name as evil because of the Son of Man. On the day they do so, rejoice and exult, for your reward shall be great in heaven" (Lk 6:22-23).

Prayer:  Father, may I not be conformed to the world but transformed by the Holy Spirit (see Rm 12:2).

Promise:  "Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear, forget your people and your father's house." —Ps 45:11

Praise:  St. John died for Jesus while in forced exile because of his bold public stand for holiness.

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

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