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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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St. Augustine

1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
Psalm 139:7-12
Matthew 23:27-32

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take out the garbage

Jesus said, "Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, you frauds! You are like whitewashed tombs, beautiful to look at on the outside but inside full of filth and dead men's bones." —Matthew 23:27

Inside people, inside Christians, inside churches, there is a lot of garbage. There's filth, dead men's bones, hypocrisy, evil and violence (see Mt 23:28), not to mention sin, guilt, fear, resentment, unforgiveness, jealousy, depression, hurts, anger, frustration, hatred, and bitterness. Often we let the garbage pile up for years.

In this way, the entire world becomes a garbage dump. We feel like garbage; we become part of the garbage that fills and surrounds us. We are defiled and think we're "dirty." We eat "junk food" and watch "junk" on TV in a subtle admission of being junk. Who can save us from tons of garbage? Who can "take out the garbage" of a lifetime?

Jesus is the Answer, the only Answer. He cleanses us through repentance and confession. He encourages us to make our lives worthy of Him (1 Thes 2:12), to become "upright, just and irreproachable" (1 Thes 2:10). Jesus calls us to His kingship and His glory (1 Thes 2:12). We are special, holy, clean, and lovable. We are washed in His blood.

God doesn't make junk. He creates only a work of art, a glorious masterpiece without even the slightest blemish.

Prayer:  Father, may I be, feel, and live clean and holy.

Promise:  "That is why we thank God constantly that in receiving His message from us you took it, not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God at work within you who believe." —1 Thes 2:13

Praise:  St. Augustine is an example of God's glorious handiwork, as he repented of not believing in God for many years. He gave his life to the Lord, and then addressed his God as "O Beauty of ancient days!"

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 2013

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