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Thursday, February 19, 2009

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Genesis 9:1-13
Psalm 102
Mark 8:27-33

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Jesus "began to teach them that the Son of Man had to suffer much, be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, be put to death, and rise three days later." —Mark 8:31

When Peter did not accept the revelation of Jesus' suffering, rejection, and death on the cross, Jesus called Peter "satan" (Mk 8:33). This word means "adversary." If we downplay the necessity of the cross, we are adversaries of Jesus, enemies of God (see Jas 4:4), antichrists (see 1 Jn 2:18), "enemies of the cross" (Phil 3:18).

Jesus wants us to embrace the cross, kiss it, take it up each day (Lk 9:23), speak of nothing but Christ crucified (1 Cor 2:2), and boast of nothing but the cross (Gal 6:14). It is the sign of our salvation and of the Lord's perfect love for us. We put crosses in our churches, around our necks, and in our pockets. More importantly, we choose to take up crosses of persecution, self-sacrifice, or rejection.

We are the people of the cross. With St. Francis of Assisi, the prayer of our heart is: "We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world!"

Lift high the cross!

Prayer:  Father, may I be near the cross with Mary (see Jn 19:25).

Promise:  "In the image of God has man been made." —Gn 9:6

Praise:  David accepted his cross when his conversion to Christianity caused his Jewish family to reject him.

Reference:  (Through reading the Bible every day, we will grow in carrying our crosses. We have several tape series that may help you. Overview of the Bible is six audio tapes starting with AV 10A-1 or three video tapes starting with V-10A. 15-minute Bible Teaching - New Testament is 40 audio tapes starting with #700. An Introduction to each Book of the Bible is 32 audio tapes starting with AV 21-1 or 17 video tapes starting with V-21.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 11, 2008

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