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Sunday, September 5, 2010

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23rd Sunday Ordinary Time

Wisdom 9:13-18
Philemon 9-10, 12-17
Psalm 90:3-6, 12-14, 17
Luke 14:25-33

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the halves and the half-nots

"All who saw it would jeer at him, saying, 'That man began to build what he could not finish.' " —Luke 14:29-30

Countless Christians are building half-built families, ministries, and churches. We are doing some good things, but it's often too little and too late, "for the deliberations of mortals are timid, and unsure are our plans" (Wis 9:14). We have not faced the reality of how anti-Christian and anti-family our society is. Therefore, we have not calculated the outlay of what we need to build family and church in such a hostile environment (Lk 14:28). This results in half-built families and churches that are unable to withstand the pressures of the world.

To raise a family now, we must have the mentality of Joseph when Herod was planning to kill the Infant Jesus. Joseph had to make a big decision immediately. To save his Foster-Child Jesus, he had to take Mary and the Child to Egypt in the middle of the night (Mt 2:14). Any decision slower or less extreme would not have thwarted Herod.

We, like Joseph, need to make these kind of big decisions to avoid a half-built family. To build a church-family, we need the mentality of Paul. If we're not willing to pour out our lives in evangelization, be persecuted, and lay down our lives, why even try to build the church? If we don't want to have what it takes, or give what it takes, we will have a half-built church which will not give glory to God but be ridiculed.

Prayer:  Father, because of the reality of Your love, may I face the most difficult realities.

Promise:  "Who ever knew Your counsel, except You had given Wisdom?" —Wis 9:17

Praise:  Praise You, risen Jesus. You gave Your all by dying to give us everything we could ever want forever. Alleluia!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Hold Fast to the Faith on audio AV 71-1 or video V-71.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2010

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