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Friday, July 6, 2012

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St. Maria Goretti

Amos 8:4-6, 9-12
Psalm 119:2, 10, 20, 30, 40, 131
Matthew 9:9-13

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yearn to learn god

"I gasp with open mouth in my yearning for Your commands." —Psalm 119:131

During Mass, are we concentrating on the next sale at work or the ballgame that afternoon? (Am 8:5) Amos urges us to listen intently to the Word of God, for a time is coming when there will be a famine for hearing the Word of God (Am 8:11). Those who live in countries where faith is persecuted may understand all too well the spiritual starvation in such a famine.

We must work at listening to God. Listening to the Lord sacrificially is a good thing. Still, God wants more from us than sacrifices (Mt 9:9, 13). We are His beloved. He wants a more intimate relationship with us. For if we sacrifice for God, yet have not love, we gain nothing (1 Cor 13:3).

God wants us to yearn for His Word (Ps 119:131) with a yearning far deeper than that of a beloved longing to hear from a separated lover. With the psalmist, let us tell God: "My soul is consumed with longing for Your ordinances at all times" (Ps 119:20). The Lord wants us to listen to His Word and "long for" it (Ps 119:40), so we may not just know what is good, but also listen so as to know Him (Phil 3:8-10) and to love Him with our all (Lk 10:27). Our sacrificial service to Him and others will then flow out of a response to His amazing love.

Prayer:  "Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening" (1 Sm 3:9).

Promise:  "I have come to call, not the self-righteous, but sinners." —Mt 9:13

Praise:  God rewarded St. Maria's mother by allowing her to live long enough to witness her daughter's canonization as a saint forty-eight years after she was martyred.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

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

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