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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

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St. Agatha

2 Samuel 24:2, 9-17
Psalm 32:1-2, 5-7
Mark 6:1-6

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the debt of sin

"Afterward, however, David regretted having numbered the people, and said to the Lord: 'I have sinned grievously in what I have done.' " —2 Samuel 24:10

David sinned by taking a census against God's will. This sin caused the deaths of 70,000 people in three days by pestilence (2 Sm 24:15). The wages of sin is death, in fact, thousands of deaths (Rm 6:23). Moreover, this was probably not David's worst sin.

This shows us the devastating effect of one sin, and why one sin is a tragedy much greater than the worst natural disasters. In this passage, we see the measurable results of one sin. This gives us some idea of the astronomical debt of sin amassed by the accumulated sins of all times.

This helps us understand how heavy was the cross Jesus carried. "He was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins, upon Him was the chastisement that makes us whole" (Is 53:5). "The Lord was pleased to crush Him in infirmity" (Is 53:10). The word "crushed" is a great understatement, but it's the best the English language can do.

We can see why Jesus screamed on Calvary: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Mk 15:34) No one has ever suffered to a degree that was even remotely comparable to Jesus' suffering. Jesus says: "Come, all you who pass by the way, look and see whether there is any suffering like My suffering" (Lam 1:12).

Prayer:  Jesus, I love You. Give me the grace to avoid sin and to lead others to become Your disciples.

Promise:  Jesus "made the rounds of the neighboring villages instead, and spent His time teaching." —Mk 6:6

Praise:  St. Peter denied Christ three times. St. Agatha, as she was being tortured, was asked three times to deny Christ. She held fast to Jesus each time and received the crown of life (see Rv 2:10).

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape, Effects of Sin, on audio AV 81-3 or video V-81.)

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

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