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Monday, September 23, 2013

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St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Ezra 1:1-6
Psalm 126:1-6
Luke 8:16-18

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an open and shut case

"To the man who has, more will be given; and he who has not, will lose even the little he thinks he has." —Luke 8:18

The above saying might seem, at first glance, to imply that God plays favorites, much like a teacher's best student seems to be favored by the teacher. However, God "shows no partiality" (Acts 10:34) and plays no favorites. The meaning of Luke 8:18 becomes clearer when we read it in the context of the parable of the sower and the seed, which directly precedes today's Gospel reading (Lk 8:4-15). The one "who has" is like the soil which bears fruit "a hundredfold" (see Lk 8:8). Such a person is constantly open to God's grace. Since the Lord lavishly (Ti 3:6) pours out His Spirit without ration (Jn 3:34), the one "who has" grace is always receiving more grace upon grace (see Jn 1:16). Therefore, more will be given to the one who has (Lk 8:18).

The one "who has not" resembles the first type of soil, the "rocky ground" (see Lk 8:6). His heart is rock-hard (Ez 36:26) and will not allow God's grace to sink in (see Heb 3:15; Jer 17:9). The Lord continues to pour out grace abundantly on such a person (see Mt 5:45), yet the world, the flesh, and the devil "steal it away" (see Lk 8:12). The one who has wants more of God and takes an active part in daily Bible study, frequent or daily Mass, and Christian community and service, and thereby receives more. The one who has not shuts his heart to these avenues of God's grace. What little grace he had remaining is left to leak away.

Therefore, shut your heart to the pleasures of the world and "open wide your hearts" (2 Cor 6:13) to the grace of God.

Prayer:  Father, as I hear Your voice, may I never harden my heart (Heb 3:7-8). Give me a new heart of love for You (Ez 36:26).

Promise:  "There is nothing hidden that will not be exposed; nothing concealed that will not be known and brought to light." —Lk 8:17

Praise:  St. Pio was blessed beyond imagining and shared that goodness with countless others.

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, February 4, 2013

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