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Monday, June 30, 2014

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First Martyrs of Rome

Amos 2:6-10, 13-16
Psalm 50:16-23
Matthew 8:18-22

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"Beware, I will crush you into the ground as a wagon crushes when laden with sheaves." —Amos 2:13

The Lord promised to crush the Israelites because of their sins. Some of the sins they committed were:

  • putting money and a comfortable lifestyle above people (see Am 2:6).
  • trampling the heads of the weak and forcing "the lowly out of the way" (Am 2:7). (Compare this to abortion.)
  • being lustful and therefore idolatrous (see Eph 5:5). Both parents and children were impure (see Am 2:7).
  • charging interest on loans (see Am 2:8).
  • financing their drinking of alcohol through unjust practices (Am 2:8).

There are striking parallels between the sins of Amos' time and those of our society. Living a comfortable lifestyle is the main issue on the minds of most people in our culture. We hardly notice our injustices against the poor, weak, and lowly. Impure behavior is a regular occurrence and is either condoned, ignored, or encouraged. Moreover, abortion is commonplace.

We must repent or give God no alternative but to crush and damn us. The Lord wants to forgive and save us, but He won't force us to accept His love. God does not have a double standard. He is just. He will treat us like Sodom, Gomorrah, or the Israelites of Amos' time, unless we repent.

Go to Confession as soon as possible. Take responsibility for your part in the sins of our society. Let God love, not crush, you.

Prayer:  Father, may I repent and then help others take the sins out of their lives (see Mt 7:5). May I crush Satan under my feet (Rm 16:20).

Promise:  "Teacher, wherever You go I will come after You." —Mt 8:19

Praise:  It was the seed of the outpoured blood of the First Martyrs of Rome that gave great life to the Church and provided an enduring witness to Christ for the ages.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 2, 2014

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