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Monday, January 28, 2008

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St. Thomas Aquinas

2 Samuel 5:1-7, 10
Psalm 89:20-22, 25-26
Mark 3:22-30

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water and blood

"Here we are, your bone and your flesh." —2 Samuel 5:1

David became king of the tribes of Israel because they were his flesh and blood. They considered it desirable to have their own kin as their ruler, for "blood is thicker than water."

However, in the new covenant, the waters of baptism are thicker than the blood of natural relationship. In other words, the blood of Jesus is thicker than the blood of human kinship. That's why Jesus left His mother and relatives to invest His life in His apostles. He said: "Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to Me" (Mk 3:35). On another occasion, after a woman "called out, 'Blest is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you,' " Jesus made the same point, saying: "Rather...blest are they who hear the word of God and keep it" (Lk 11:27-28). Jesus also taught: "If anyone comes to Me without turning his back on his father and mother, his wife and his children, his brothers and sisters, indeed his very self, he cannot be My follower" (Lk 14:26).

Jesus calls us to make our baptismal relationships the highest priority. For instance, we should see our wives not only as wives but as baptized sisters in the Lord. Our children are more than just our children. We are united to them through the waters of baptism and the blood of Jesus. Furthermore, we see strangers differently since both of us may have been "baptized into one body" (1 Cor 12:13). Our unity in Jesus' kingship is more important than our kinship. Living out our baptisms in Christian community is the priority which strengthens all our relationships.

Prayer:  Father, may my vocation help me to better live out my baptism and vice versa.

Promise:  "David grew steadily more powerful, for the Lord of hosts was with him." —2 Sm 5:10

Praise:  St. Thomas is credited with composing the beautiful eucharistic hymns, O Salutaris, and Tantum Ergo.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007

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