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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

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Sirach 35:1-12
Psalm 50:5-8, 14, 23
Mark 10:28-31

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"a living sacrifice" (rm 12:1)

"The just man's sacrifice is most pleasing, nor will it ever be forgotten." —Sirach 35:6

The heart of love is sacrifice. Jesus was sacrificed on Calvary in the greatest act of love in history. The Lord calls us to offer our bodies to Him as living sacrifices (Rm 12:1). We are called to sacrifice "homes, brothers and sisters, mothers, children and property" for Jesus and the gospel (Mk 10:30). "He who observes the commandments sacrifices a peace offering. In works of charity one offers fine flour, and when he gives alms he presents his sacrifice of praise" (Sir 35:1-2). Good deeds and generosity are also sacrifices, and "God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind" (Heb 13:16). Through Jesus, we can "continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which acknowledge His name" (Heb 13:15).

By our lives of sacrifice, we share in the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary. In the sacrifice of the Mass, we perpetuate, make present, and apply the continuing effects of Jesus' once-for-all sacrifice on the cross (Heb 10:10, 12). In summary, our lives in Christ are lives of sacrifice centered on Jesus' sacrifice on Calvary, which continues to be present through the sacrifice of the Mass. Be living sacrifices (Rm 12:1).

Prayer:  Jesus, may I give, pray, and work sacrificially. May the word for this Lent be "sacrifice."

Promise:  "To keep the law is a great oblation." —Sir 35:1

Praise:  John gave up job and personal freedom to care for his adult mentally ill son.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape, Crucified to the World, on audio AV 40A-3 or video V-40A.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July27, 2010

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