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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

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Hebrews 2:14-18
Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9
Mark 1:29-39

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"Jesus likewise had a full share in ours, that by His death He might rob the devil, the prince of death, of his power." —Hebrews 2:14

The devil is "the prince of death" (Heb 2:14), but Jesus is the "King of kings" (Rv 19:16). The devil has made many people life-long slaves "through fear of death" (Heb 2:15), but Jesus holds "the keys of death" (Rv 1:18). Jesus beat death at its own game by dying on the cross. It looked as if the prince of death had defeated the King of life, but on the third day Jesus rose from the dead.

Now we who follow Jesus can taunt death: "O death, where is your sting?" (1 Cor 15:55) "Death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor 15:54). Death is now our friend and sister, as St. Francis of Assisi claimed. "Death has no more power" over us (Rm 6:9). The Lord has turned death to the good (see Rm 8:28) by His sovereign, risen power.

Death no longer ends life; rather, it begins perfect, everlasting life. It does not so much separate us from our earthly family as reunite us with our heavenly family. In death we do not enter darkness but eternal light where we will see Jesus face to face (1 Cor 13:12). Jesus, "the Resurrection and the Life" (Jn 11:25), we adore You.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I choose You and thereby choose life (see Dt 30:19).

Promise:  Jesus "went into their synagogues preaching the good news and expelling demons throughout the whole of Galilee." —Mk 1:39

Praise:  Sue kept her faith strong when given only a few days to live. When she recovered, she was an even greater witness to Jesus.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Am I Going to Heaven? on audio AV 54-3 or video V-54.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2006

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