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Monday, July 23, 2007

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St. Bridget of Sweden

Exodus 14:5-18
Exodus 15:1-6
Matthew 12:38-42

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stop sign

"We want to see You work some signs." —Matthew 12:38

To those who wanted to see Him work a magic trick, Jesus replied: "An evil and unfaithful age is eager for a sign! No sign will be given it but that of the prophet Jonah. Just as Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man spend three days and three nights in the bowels of the earth" (Mt 12:39-40). In other words, Jesus gave them the sign of the cross as the sign they wanted to see Him work.

The sign of the cross is like a stop sign. When we are driving and we see a stop sign, we automatically come to a stop and look to see what is happening. When we see a crucifix, we must react the same way. We should immediately stop. We look on the crucified Jesus, keeping "our eyes fixed on Jesus" (Heb 12:2). This should stop us in our tracks. We stand speechless before the sight of the Son of God hanging in agony, as have mighty men and women of old (see Is 52:14-15). We listen to Jesus, as He says: "Stop, and know that I am God" (see Ps 46:11).

Stop sinning, stop striving, stop running. "You have only to keep still" (Ex 14:14). Stop, in the name of Love!

Prayer:  "I will sing to the Lord, for He is gloriously triumphant...He is my God, I praise Him" (Ex 15:1, 2).

Promise:  "Fear not! Stand your ground, and you will see the victory the Lord will win for you today." —Ex 14:13

Praise:  St. Bridget's father set apart all Fridays for special acts of penance among the family. He instilled in his daughter a lifelong love for the Passion of Jesus Christ.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 22, 2007

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