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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

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St. Augustine Zhao Rong
& the Chinese Martyrs

Genesis 32:23-33
Psalm 17:1-3, 6-8, 15
Matthew 9:32-38

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prize fight

"You shall no longer be spoken of as Jacob, but as Israel, because you have contended with divine and human beings and have prevailed." —Genesis 32:29

The name "Jacob" was popularly thought to mean "heel" (Gn 25:26). His name was changed to "Israel," which was often explained as meaning "you contended with God." Jacob was changed into a fighter. Sometimes he fought against God and at other times for God.

The Lord also wants to change us into fighters for Him. St. Paul described the Christian life as the "good fight" (2 Tm 4:7, NAB). However, we are not to fight human beings, for our battle is not against them (Eph 6:12). Rather, we should fight Satan, evil, falsehood, abortion, racism, injustice, and sin. The Lord calls us to work in His harvest and fight against demons with the authority He has given us (see Mt 9:38—10:1). The Bible commands us: "Even to the death fight for truth, and the Lord your God will battle for you" (Sir 4:28). "Fight hard for the faith delivered once for all to the saints" (Jude 3).

Are we fighting for God, life, truth, holiness, justice, and peace, or are we apathetic? If we "remain indifferent in time of adversity," our strength will depart from us (Prv 24:10). We must not stand by idly while our neighbors' lives are at stake (Lv 19:16). If we do not speak out to dissuade the wicked from their wicked conduct, we are held responsible for their deaths (Ez 3:18; 33:8). You are named "fighter," so fight in the Lord.

Prayer:  Father, may my life be accurately described as "the good fight."

Promise:  "Once the demon was expelled the mute began to speak, to the great surprise of the crowds." —Mt 9:33

Praise:  St. Augustine and companions planted the seeds of future Catholics through the blood of their martyrdom.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 18, 2013

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