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Friday, December 13, 2013

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St. Lucy

Isaiah 48:17-19
Psalm 1:1-4, 6
Matthew 11:16-19

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o my! o no! o.k. o boy! o-bey!

"If you would hearken to My commandments, your prosperity would be like a river, and your vindication like the waves of the sea." —Isaiah 48:18

At Vespers (Evening Prayer) on the last eight days of Advent, the Church traditionally prays the "O Antiphons." We cry out to Jesus: "O Wisdom," "O Rod of Jesse," "O Emmanuel," etc. I suggest another "O Antiphon," that is, "O-bedience," the theme of today's Scripture readings. The Lord is commanding us to obey Him (Is 48:18) and not be selfish, disobedient brats (Mt 11:16ff).

The Christian life is "a life of obedience" (1 Pt 1:2). If we don't obey God, we don't have life in the Spirit (Acts 5:32). If we don't obey Him, we don't love Him (Jn 15:10; 1 Jn 5:3; see 1 Pt 1:22). If we don't obey God, we don't believe in Him (Jn 3:36; Rm 1:5). If we don't obey Him, we will not have life but must endure God's wrath (Jn 3:36).

If Mary had not obeyed, she would not have been the mother of God. If Jesus had not obeyed, He would not have become a human being and died on the cross to save us (Phil 2:8). Jesus' obedience destroyed the reign of sin (see Rm 5:21) and brought justification to all people (Rm 5:19).

As we near Christ's Christmas coming, the Lord is calling us to obey Him as never before, to break new ground in obedience, and to be pioneers in obedience. The Lord wants us to be the first in our city, parish, family, business, or neighborhood to obey in all areas of His plan for us. Obey now; obey for the first time; obey first; obey all His commands. Live a life of obedience.

Prayer:  Father, everyone obeys some of Your commandments. However, may I decide to live a life of complete obedience.

Promise:  "I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go." —Is 48:17

Praise:  St. Lucy's life was miraculously spared several times before the Lord gave her the crown of martyrdom.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Obedience School or on tape entitled Obeying God on audio AV 62-3 or video V-62.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2013

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