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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

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Jonah 3:1-10
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19
Luke 11:29-32

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two-timing

"The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time." —Jonah 3:1

God came to Jonah a second time (Jon 3:1), and a sinful city of 120,000 people repented (Jon 3:5; 4:11). Jesus came to Peter a second time (Jn 21:1ff), and soon three thousand people converted and were baptized (Acts 2:41).

We are called to spread God's Word, and the Lord gives us a major role to play in distributing His Word. Certainly, developing and exercising our spiritual and natural gifts, our creativity at spreading the Word of God and permeating the culture with the Gospel (Catechism, 899) are important. That's why God calls us and gifts us with the Holy Spirit. That's why we write this booklet! However, the biggest issue is not our abilities, but whether we will get off the couch and get to work.

Notice the parable of the sower and the seed (Mk 4:3). Jesus doesn't mention whether the sower was emotionally distressed, bitter, happy, or skillful. The only thing Jesus says about the sower is that he "went out sowing" (Mk 4:3). That is, the sower got up that morning and put the seed out. God's Word has power of its own (Is 55:10-11; Heb 4:12). It grows and spreads of itself (Mk 4:27), not because of the merits of whoever sows it.

"There is no chaining the word of God!" (2 Tm 2:9) So, Satan instead tries to persuade us to slip into some chains. If he can shackle us with chains of sin, addictions, compulsions, sloth, fear, apathy, etc., he's kept the Word of God from spreading as far as it otherwise would. Have you let God down? God lets you start a second time. Get out there and get out God's Word.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, may I be generous in doing Your will and spreading Your Word.

Promise:  "The people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth." —Jon 3:5

Praise:  Richard has spent three decades teaching the Bible to the elderly, adults, teenagers, and young children.

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, September 13, 2012

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