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Monday, July 20, 2009

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St. Apollinaris

Exodus 14:5-18
Exodus 15:1-6
Matthew 12:38-42

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freedom fighters

"Why did you bring us out of Egypt?" —Exodus 14:11

Patrick Henry said: "Give me liberty or give me death." The Israelites said: "Give me life, and who cares about liberty." They said: "Far better for us to be the slaves of the Egyptians than to die in the desert" (Ex 14:12). Most of us can relate better to the Israelites than to Patrick Henry. We want "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." However, life and happiness can be higher priorities than liberty. In fact, pleasure is often a higher priority than liberty. We may know we are trapped in compulsive behavior. We may admit a relationship is not God's will, but we choose pleasure over liberty.

We will never want liberty enough to die for it until we give our lives to Jesus, Who died to free us. He is the Truth Who sets us free (Jn 8:32). If we let Him free us, we're truly free (Jn 8:36). Jesus came to give "liberty to captives" and "release to prisoners" (Lk 4:18). He is the Redeemer, the One Who paid the price to free us from slavery.

Think of an area in your life where you truthfully don't want freedom enough to die for it. Pray to Jesus: "Jesus, Redeemer, have mercy on me and free me." Keep praying this prayer. When you're tempted, keep praying to Jesus the Redeemer. He will free you.

Prayer:  Father, may I be free to do godly things that most people in our society are afraid to do.

Promise:  "You have a greater than Solomon here." —Mt 12:42

Praise:  St. Apollinaris, tradition says, was ordained by St. Peter and noted for his gift of healing.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our book, The Truth Will Set You Free.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 5, 2009

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