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Thursday, October 20, 2011

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St. Paul of the Cross

Romans 6:19-23
Psalm 1:1-4, 6
Luke 12:49-53

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divide and conquer

"I have come for division." —Luke 12:51

Jesus came to divide families, "three against two and two against three" (Lk 12:52). These divisions are tragic because they are due to the refusal by family members to give their lives to Jesus and love Him.

However, divisions are not all bad. "There may even have to be factions among you for the tried and true to stand out clearly" (1 Cor 11:19). Through divisions, those who are lukewarm in their faith turn cold. And Jesus exclaimed: "How I wish you were one or the other — hot or cold!" (Rv 3:15)

Furthermore, when God's word "divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow" (Heb 4:12), cold and hot, or truth and lies, we can better understand Jesus' Gospel. We see more clearly that our decision in life is either Jesus or Satan, heaven or hell, salvation or damnation, light or darkness, life or death. We may be mixed up, have mixed motives, or feel mixed emotions. Nevertheless, Jesus came to divide those things mixed together by sin. He divides the dividing word rightly (see 2 Tm 2:15, KJV). The incarnate Word, Jesus, uses the written word, the Bible, to clarify by dividing. Then we don't stay so mixed up that we refuse to freely give our lives to Jesus forever. Jesus divides to put us back together according to His perfect will.

Prayer:  Jesus, give me the painful divisions that lead to victorious unity.

Promise:  "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." —Rm 6:23

Praise:  St. Paul wrote a vow in the Passionist rule to daily meditate on the Passion of Jesus. He wanted to ensure that all would remember what Jesus suffered for our salvation.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Leading Your Loved Ones to Christ, or our audio AV 42-3 or video V-42.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Bishop-Elect, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 26, 2011 (for 10-1-2011 through 11-29-2011) and May 26, 2011 (for 11-30-2011)

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