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Thursday, August 13, 2015

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Pope St. Pontian
& St. Hippolytus

Joshua 3:7-11, 13-17
Psalm 114:1-6
Matthew 18:21—19:1

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"Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know I am with you." —Joshua 3:7

The Lord exalts Christian parents so that their children will listen to them and be disciples for Jesus. The Lord also exalts godly workers so that they will have the influence to impact the secular world with the Gospel. The Lord exalts humble pastors and leaders so that people will follow them into the promised land (see Mt 23:12).

The Lord exalts us by doing miracles through us. For example, Moses called down ten plagues on Egypt and drowned the Egyptian army in the Red Sea. Joshua stopped the river Jordan from flowing so the Israelites could enter and occupy the promised land (Jos 3:16). Paul spoke of performing "the signs that show the apostle, signs and wonders and deeds of power" (2 Cor 12:12). The Lord will not continue to exalt someone who will use his influence to further his own self-interests. The Lord exalts those who exalt Him and not their own egos.

If you humble yourself and believe in Jesus, you will do greater than Jesus did (Jn 14:12). The Lord will exalt you. You will be respected (Acts 5:13). You will have a profound influence on the world for Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, use any popularity, prestige, or influence I have to lead people to You.

Promise:  "Then in anger the master handed him over to the torturers until he paid back all that he owed. My heavenly Father will treat you in exactly the same way unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart." —Mt 18:34-35

Praise:  St. Hippolytus, an anti-pope who caused a schism in the Church for eighteen years, humbled himself, reconciled with St. Pontian, the true pope, and urged his followers to unite under Pope Pontian. The Lord used his death as a martyr to heal all disunity and schism in the Church.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 18, 2015

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