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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

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St. Bernard


Ezekiel 34:1-11
Psalm 23
Matthew 20:1-16

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past tense?

"When those hired late in the afternoon came up they received a full day's pay." —Matthew 20:9

Many people rightfully regret their past lives. They have wasted them on "what the pagans enjoy" (1 Pt 4:3). They wish they could get back those lost years, have another chance to parent their children, or make amends for all those years of sin and confusion. Jesus promises He will do the humanly impossible by giving you a "full life's pay" although you've only recently begun to work for Him (see Mt 20:9). Jesus can make one year of parenting as fruitful as twenty. He can use five minutes to undo the bad effects of five years of sin (compare Lk 23:42-43). Jesus will repay us "for the years which the locust has eaten" (Jl 2:25).

Because of Jesus' lordship even over the past, we can repent of our sins, and "give no thought to what lies behind but push on to what is ahead" (Phil 3:13). We can live a life with no regrets. We can look at a sad past and rejoice with all the angels and saints because we have repented (see Lk 15:7, 10). "The things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind" (Is 65:17). Jesus has saved us from sin, hell, Satan, slavery, self-hatred, and from depressive regrets of our past life. In Jesus, "all is new," even the past (2 Cor 5:17).

Prayer:  Father, may I receive not only a healing of memories but a transformation of memories.

Promise:  "I will save My sheep." —Ez 34:10

Praise:  St. Bernard, even at an early age, was exceptional in his piety, thanks to the example of his pious parents.

Reference:  (For related teachings, order our booklet, The Book on Forgiveness, and our leaflet, Fourteen Questions on Forgiveness, or our audio tapes on the leaflet: AV 106A-1, AV 106A-3, AV 106B-1.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 25, 2008

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