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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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James 4:1-10
Psalm 55:7-11, 23
Mark 9:30-37

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flesh be gone

"Is it not your inner cravings that make war within your members?" —James 4:1

Our inner cravings (Jas 4:1) for pleasures (Jas 4:3) and our prideful (Jas 4:6) friendship with the world (Jas 4:4) are the origins of the conflicts and disputes in our lives and in this world (Jas 4:1). "Therefore submit to God; resist the devil and he will take flight. Draw close to God, and He will draw close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you backsliders. Begin to lament, to mourn, and to weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into sorrow. Be humbled in the sight of the Lord and He will raise you on high" (Jas 4:7-10).

This is not only the message for Lent next week, but also for life. "We lived at the level of the flesh, following every whim and fancy, and so by nature deserved God's wrath like the rest" (Eph 2:3), but "those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24). By God's grace and only by God's grace, we must "put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the desires of the flesh" (Rm 13:14). "You are not to spend what remains of your earthly life on human desires but on the will of God. Already you have devoted enough time to what the pagans enjoy" (1 Pt 4:2-3).

Prayer:  Jesus, if You set me free, I will truly be free (Jn 8:36).

Promise:  "If anyone wishes to rank first, he must remain the last one of all and the servant of all." —Mk 9:35

Praise:  For several decades, Linda has spent several weeks each summer organizing evangelistic missions to bring Jesus to rural Appalachia through the Legion of Mary.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 8, 2013

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