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Friday, October 3, 2008

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Job 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5
Psalm 139
Luke 10:13-16

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eye-opening repentance

"If the miracles worked in your midst had occurred in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have reformed in sackcloth and ashes." —Luke 10:13

"If the miracles worked in [Capernaum] had taken place in Sodom, it would be standing today" (Mt 11:23). Sodom, Tyre, and Sidon were among the most wicked places of the Old Testament (see Ez 26-28; Gn 18-19). Yet Jesus declares that the people of these condemned cities would have reformed. The problem was that they had no one to bring to them a ministry of power evangelization, that is, preaching accompanied by miracles. The people of Nineveh were infamous for their wickedness, but "at the preaching of Jonah they reformed" (Lk 11:32). Yet we have something greater than Jonah to offer them (Lk 11:32).

Where is your personal Tyre and Sidon? Is it your family, coworkers, neighbors? What environment do you think has no hope for conversion? Is it the inner city, the public schools, the government, or corporate America? How do we know they will automatically reject the gospel? If the gospel is presented to them, there is always a chance for conversion. If they never hear a clear, powerful presentation of the good news, then "how shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? And how can they believe unless they have heard of Him? And how can they hear unless there is someone to preach?" (Rm 10:14) How can they believe if we don't believe enough to tell them about Jesus?

No one ever caught any fish by staying at home. Let's spread the good news and try to catch some big fish for Jesus (Mk 1:17).

Prayer:  Father, may I never underestimate Your power.

Promise:  "He who hears you, hears Me." —Lk 10:16

Praise:  Thomas chose to live in the inner city specifically to be a Christian presence where the need seems greatest.

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

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 1, 2008

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