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Saturday, August 16, 2014

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St. Stephen of Hungary

Ezekiel 18:1-10, 13, 30-32
Psalm 51:12-15, 18-19
Matthew 19:13-15

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"Jesus said, 'Let the children come to Me. Do not hinder them. The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.' " —Matthew 19:14

Do we hinder children from coming to Jesus? When we "celebrate" Mass in a listless way, our youth turn to rock concerts rather than to the Lord for excitement. When we compromise the Gospel with fund-raising, drinking, and gambling, our young people see the contradiction and our hypocrisy. They become turned off to Christianity. When we're ashamed of the Gospel and keep our Christianity to ourselves, our youth are deceived by cults which are not as reluctant as we are to promote their beliefs.

The Lord calls us to reach out to our young people. We should not abandon our children to the secularistic educational system, the sadistic teen culture, or the lying television set. Jesus wants to free our children. He will pray for them and lay His nail-scarred hands on them (Mt 19:13, 15). He is the One they are seeking. He is the Meaning of life. Together with our young people, let's repent and make for ourselves "a new heart and a new spirit" (Ez 18:31). Let the children come to Jesus.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I expect millions of young people to turn to You.

Promise:  "For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies, says the Lord God. Return and live!" —Ez 18:32

Praise:  Though in the high position of king, St. Stephen made certain he was accessible to the poor and oppressed and strove for justice in their treatment.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on How to Get Your Kids to Go to Church on audio AV 42-3 or on video V-42.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 19, 2014

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