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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

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St. Paul of the Cross

Romans 5:12, 15, 17-21
Psalm 40:7-10, 17
Luke 12:35-38

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the shock of obeying god

"Ears open to obedience..." —Psalm 40:7

Sin is rebellion against an all-holy God. Because God is so great, sin is very evil — so evil that it penetrated and warped human nature. "Through one man sin entered the world and with sin death" (Rm 5:12). The effects of sin were so catastrophic that God became a human being, died on the cross, and gave us the opportunity to be born again into a new nature (see Jn 3:3).

As powerful as sin is, Jesus' obedience is much more powerful. "Just as through one man's disobedience all became sinners, so through one Man's obedience all shall become just. The law came in order to increase offenses; but despite the increase of sin, grace has far surpassed it" (Rm 5:19-20). Jesus' obedience even to death on the cross (Phil 2:8) is the greatest act of love ever done on this earth. Therefore, to obey the Father as Jesus did is an awesome privilege in which we enter into the heart of God's power and love. We should be shocked that the Lord has chosen us to obey Him and to be His slaves (see Col 3:24). Why would God ever command us to do anything? Why should God include us? Why would He choose to work through us?

Moreover, the Lord in His love for us gives us constant opportunities to obey Him. If we had only one opportunity to obey the Lord, we would plan and center our lives around this precious moment of obedience. Yet we can live constantly in obedience. May we realize the privilege of obeying God. May we be constantly amazed that God would ever command us to do anything.

Be shocked that we can sin and have sinned. Be more shocked that we can obey.

Prayer:  Father, teach me to obey You no matter what it takes.

Promise:  "I tell you, he will put on an apron, seat them at table, and proceed to wait on them. Should he happen to come at midnight or before sunrise and find them prepared, it will go well with them." —Lk 12:37-38

Praise:  St. Paul's example as a holy teenager led to many religious vocations.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 20, 2015

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