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Sunday, February 3, 2008

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4th Sunday Ordinary Time

Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Psalm 146
Matthew 5:1-12

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remnant days

"But I will leave as a remnant in your midst a people humble and lowly, who shall take refuge in the name of the Lord; the remnant of Israel." —Zephaniah 3:12-13

Zephaniah and Isaiah prophesied that, after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, the Lord would leave a remnant (Zep 3:12; Is 1:9). These prophets also implied that the Lord would leave some believers not only during the Babylonian exile but throughout the history of Christianity. This gives the impression that only some people would be committed Christians at any particular time.

Jesus seems to have spoken similarly when he said that many are called but few are chosen (Mt 22:14). When asked if few were to be saved, Jesus did not directly answer that question (Lk 13:23), but He did say that many were on the road to damnation and few on the road to eternal life (Mt 7:13-14; Lk 13:23-24). Cardinal Newman commented on this Scripture passage by saying that, although he couldn't know exactly what Jesus meant by "many" and "few," he could safely say that "few" isn't more than "many" and "many" isn't less than "few."

This is a sobering thought. If we fit into this world, if we're like most people, if we have the same habits, buy the same things, and watch the same shows, we may be on the road to damnation.

Prayer:  Father, may I be "out of this world" (see Jn 15:19).

Promise:  "God chose those whom the world considers absurd to shame the wise; He singled out the weak of this world to shame the strong." —1 Cor 1:27

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Who made Himself humble and lowly for the sake of all so that all could be saved.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape The Remnant on audio AV 79-3 or video V-79.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 14, 2007

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