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Monday, June 30, 2008

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First Martyrs of Rome

Amos 2:6-10, 13-16
Psalm 50
Matthew 8:18-22

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"bad company corrupts good morals"(1 cor 15:33)

"When you see a thief, you keep pace with him, and with adulterers you throw in your lot." —Psalm 50:18

Not many of us run the streets with thieves and adulterers (Ps 50:18) or take our children to participate in immoral activities (Am 2:7-8). Yet before we dismiss the above passage as irrelevant to our lives, let us examine who we let into our lives through TV, movie screens, magazines, or Internet browsers. It's commonly known that some entertainers are publicly engaged in continuing lifestyles of adultery, fornication, or other perversities. Any trip through an average supermarket checkout line confirms this. Do we throw in our lot with adulterers (Ps 50:18) when we can't wait to see their latest sitcom or movie, or hear their latest song?

Entertainers have no monopoly on sin. Athletes, government officials, members of the media, "religious" people, parents, youth, and any other human being can live unrepentant, sinful lifestyles. Amos accuses his audience of not only being soft on sin, but of keeping up with sinners, sin for sin. The psalmist eloquently describes the progression of falling into a sinful lifestyle (see Ps 1:1):

  1. First, we listen to the thoughts of unrepentant sinners rather than listen to God's thoughts on the subject.
  2. Next, we "keep pace" (Ps 50:18) with them, that is, imitate them by walking "in the way of sinners" (Ps 1:1).
  3. Finally, we sit "in the company" of those who are firmly entrenched in these lifestyles. That is, we join them and are hooked into that lifestyle.

Repent of affection for sin by permissiveness toward sinners.

Prayer:  Father, may those in the public eye who do not believe in You repent, be converted, and lead many into Your kingdom.

Promise:  "He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies Me." —Ps 50:23

Praise:  The First Martyrs of Rome were able to courageously face death because their strength came from the Victor over death.

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

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 4, 2008

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