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Saturday, March 7, 2009

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Sts. Perpetua & Felicity

Deuteronomy 26:16-19
Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8
Matthew 5:43-48

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"You are to be a people peculiarly His own." —Deuteronomy 26:18

The Lord owns everything because He created it all. The earth and its fullness, the world and those who dwell in it belong to the Lord (Ps 24:1). However, the Lord owns His chosen people in a special way. We are "a people peculiarly His own." The Lord's special ownership of us is most recognizable when we love our enemies. Jesus tells us: "This will prove that you are sons of your heavenly Father, for His sun rises on the bad and the good, He rains on the just and the unjust" (Mt 5:45). Pagans love those who love them (Mt 5:46-47), but only those who are peculiarly God's own love their enemies.

In summary, God owns us, wants to own us in a special way, and wants His special ownership of us made obvious by our actions, especially by loving our enemies. Are you more proud of Who owns you than of what you own? Many of us make a point of letting people know what we own. We show off our new cars, home entertainment systems, furniture, appliances, etc. We talk about buying a new house, property, stocks, etc. However, Christians should look at life not from an owner's perspective, but from an "owned" perspective. What is ultimately important is not what we possess, but Who possesses us.

Prayer:  Father, send the Spirit to be the Seal of Your ownership of me (2 Cor 1:22).

Promise:  "Happy are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord." —Ps 119:1

Praise:  Sts. Perpetua & Felicity were so aware of God's ownership that they did not hide from the possibility of being captured and martyred, even when it meant leaving their infants behind.

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

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