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Thursday, April 14, 2011

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Genesis 17:3-9
Psalm 105:4-9
John 8:51-59

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i am or i?

"I solemnly declare it: before Abraham came to be, I AM." —John 8:58

When Jesus called Himself I AM, that is, God, the people picked up rocks to throw at Him (Jn 8:59). Because they did not believe Jesus was God, they tried to kill Him for blaspheming.

In ten days, you will be asked whether you believe Jesus is God. On Easter Sunday, at every Mass in every Catholic Church in the world, Catholics will be invited to renew their baptismal promises. In the fifth baptismal promise, you will be asked whether you believe Jesus is God. If you answer "Yes," that means you will bow down and worship Jesus. If you believe that Jesus is God, you will desire to receive Him in Holy Communion as frequently as possible, do His will, and tell others about Him. If you believe that Jesus is God, you will center your life on Him and make Him first in your life (see Mt 6:33).

You will then be rejected by millions of people who don't believe Jesus is God. When they pick up rocks to throw at Jesus, they will also throw them at you. If you say "Yes" to the fifth baptismal promise, you are saying "Yes" not only to worshipping, obeying, and witnessing for Jesus, but also to suffering, rejection, and persecution for love of Jesus. Will you be crucified with Jesus, the great I AM, or will you crucify Him and His people? (see Heb 6:6)

Say "Yes" to I AM by saying "No" to I.

Prayer:  Father, I deny my very self (Lk 9:23) so that I won't deny You, Jesus, and the Spirit.

Promise:  "I will make nations of you; kings shall stem from you." —Gn 17:6

Praise:  Jerry finally renounced his on-the-fence agnosticism, and turned his face to the Living God.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Seek First The Kingdom.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, XXX 11, 2011

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