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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

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St. James

2 Corinthians 4:7-15
Psalm 126:1-6
Matthew 20:20-28

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the death of death

"Death is at work in us, but life in you." —2 Corinthians 4:12

Our culture of death will eventually be true to its name and die out. (We pray that this death of the culture of death will occur as soon as possible so that fewer people will be traumatized.) Death as a work of the evil one will be destroyed by another kind of death — a loving death to self in the pattern of Jesus' death on the cross (see Phil 3:10). The writer of Song of Songs proclaims: "Stern as death is love, relentless as the nether world is devotion" (Sg 8:6). In fact, Jesus' crucified love is sterner than death. Jesus' death on the cross resulted in the ultimate and total victory of risen life over death.

Consequently, in love let us fall "to the earth" and die so as to produce "much fruit" (Jn 12:24). "Continually we carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus, so that in our bodies the life of Jesus may also be revealed. While we live we are constantly being delivered to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be revealed" (2 Cor 4:10-11). We have been baptized into Jesus' death so as to share in His Resurrection (Rm 6:3, 5).

A friend of mine has a saying: "You're not done dying till you're dead." Die to self in Christ and in love.

Prayer:  Father, teach me how to die in love. St. James, pray for the death of the culture of death.

Promise:  "Such is the case with the Son of Man Who has come, not to be served by others, but to serve, to give His own life as a ransom for the many." —Mt 20:28

Praise:  St. James hid behind his mother when he wanted to sit next to a King (Mt 20:21). After he received the Holy Spirit, James became such a threat to King Herod that he was beheaded for his bold faith in Jesus (Acts 12:1-2).

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 29, 2012

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