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Thursday, December 31, 2009

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Pope St. Sylvester

1 John 2:18-21
Psalm 96:1-2, 11-13
John 1:1-18

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the end

"Children, it is the final hour." —1 John 2:18

As this year ends, ask yourself: "How is my relationship with God?" The phrase "All's well that ends well" is certainly true biblically, for it's the state of our relationship with Him at the end that counts.

God tells us in His word that the final state of our relationship with Him is what He judges us on. "If the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil...can he do this and still live? None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered, because he has broken faith" (Ez 18:24). "If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, if he keeps all My statutes and does what is right and just, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him; he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced" (Ez 18:21-22).

Consider the good thief (Lk 23:40-43). Despite a wasted life, he turned to Jesus in his "last hour." Now he's in heaven with Jesus. Conversely, you can guess how your spouse would evaluate your relationship if you said: "I gave you thirty years, but now I'm tired of you. I'm leaving you for someone else." We must become faithful, and then remain faithful to the end (see Mk 13:13).

Since we know this is the last hour (1 Jn 2:18), let us recommit our lives to Jesus. The Lord can do great miracles and fulfill wondrous promises in the last hour. The one who perseveres to the end will be saved (Mt 24:13).

Prayer:  Father, may I live each day as if it were my last day on earth. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!

Promise:  "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us." —Jn 1:14

Praise:  Pope St. Sylvester used many gifts of the Holy Spirit as he led the Church into an era featuring the beginning of greater religious tolerance by the government.

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

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2009

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