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Friday, January 31, 2014

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St. John Bosco

2 Samuel 11:1-10, 13-17
Psalm 51:3-7, 10-11
Mark 4:26-34

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mid-life crisis

"At the turn of the year, when kings go out on campaign, David sent out Joab along with his officers and the army of Israel...David, however, remained in Jerusalem." —2 Samuel 11:1

For many years, David had been a strong, successful warrior. He fought many battles, even after becoming king. Eventually, the powerful David reached middle-age. The time came for kings to fight (2 Sm 11:1), but now David stayed behind in Jerusalem.

It's possible the manly warrior David might have been wondering if he had "lost it." Perhaps David felt a need to prove his manliness and usefulness. David suddenly had lots of free time on his hands during the fighting season. Instead of using his "free" time to pray for his army, help his subjects, grow in spiritual strength, or worship God, David let his idle mind and eyes wander. The weakened warrior was also too spiritually weak to fight off the sexual temptation of seeing the beautiful Bathsheba. This resulted in the grave sins of adultery and murder (2 Sm 11:4, 17).

David's fears came true. He was losing strength, but not because of his middle-age. He lost strength to fight spiritual battles because he wanted to be something other than what he was. Thus, he was unable to die to himself, pick up his cross (Lk 9:23), and let God's power be made perfect in his weakness (2 Cor 12:9).

Are you growing in maturity as you grow in age? (see 1 Cor 3:1ff) Do you place your hope in advertisements and products which promise a return to the vigor of youth? God alone restores your youth (Ps 103:5; Is 40:29-31). "Be on guard" (Lk 21:34), trust in God alone (Ps 62:9), and pray for final perseverance.

Prayer:  Jesus, I lose myself in You. Make me a new creation.

Promise:  "He kept explaining things privately to His disciples." —Mk 4:34

Praise:  St. John Bosco trusted that, with God's help, he could reach even the most seemingly hopeless. Many of the poor boys whom John reached became priests.

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, June 17, 2013

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