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Saturday, January 14, 2012

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1 Samuel 9:1-4, 17-19; 10:1
Psalm 21:2-7
Mark 2:13-17

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catholic relationships

"Why does He eat with such as these?" —Mark 2:16

We are God's chosen people. This means not only that God has chosen us, but He has also chosen the people with whom we are to spend our time and lives. For instance, God chooses whom we marry and how many children we have. His is the only "planned parenthood" we need. We should not join a parish we like but the one God chooses for us. God may want us to eat "with tax collectors and offenders against the law," rather than with our friends (Mk 2:16). When Jesus comes to your home for supper, He may say: "Whenever you give a lunch or dinner, do not invite your friends or brothers or relatives or wealthy neighbors. They might invite you in return and thus repay you. No, when you have a reception, invite beggars and the crippled, the lame and the blind" (Lk 14:12-13). The Lord commands us to "associate with those who are lowly" (Rm 12:16). If He is not Lord of our relationships, He's not Lord of our lives.

If we don't accept the people the Lord has chosen to be in our lives, we reject the Lord (see Lk 10:16) and stifle the Holy Spirit. For example, after the first Christian Pentecost, the Lord called Jewish Christians to accept Gentile Christians as members of the chosen people and as their brothers and sisters in Christ. Jewish people had never been in the same house or eaten a meal with Gentiles (see Acts 11:3). It was unthinkable for Jews to accept Gentiles as brothers and sisters in Christ. Nevertheless, Jewish Christians came to accept Gentile Christians as the chosen people — chosen by God to be their brothers and sisters (Acts 15:1ff; see 1 Pt 2:9-10). Because they accepted the people God chose for them, they accepted God and grew in the power of the Spirit. May all the people in your life be hand-picked by God.

Prayer:  Father, may my relationships be catholic, universal, including all — old and young, black and white, rich and poor, etc.

Promise:  "I have come to call sinners." —Mk 2:17

Praise:  When on the road for his job, Tom prayed that God would send people his way so he could minister God's love.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 2011

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