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Thursday, August 20, 2015

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St. Bernard

Judges 11:29-39
Psalm 40:5, 7-10
Matthew 22:1-14

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the ultimate power of human sacrifice

"Whoever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites shall belong to the Lord. I shall offer him up as a holocaust." —Judges 11:31

In our secular humanistic society, we are rather ignorant concerning spiritual power. Many ancient peoples were in some ways more advanced than we are in regard to spiritual realities. Jephthah knew what few people in our society realize: that there was exceptional power in taking a vow to offer a human sacrifice (see Jgs 11:30-31). When he took this vow, he defeated the Ammonites in war. Moreover, when the king of Moab sacrificed his first-born son, he was spared a certain defeat in war (2 Kgs 3:27). Abraham could understand much better than we do the rationale behind God's command to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham's son (see Gn 22:2). The prophet Micah indicated his awareness of the power of human sacrifice when he prophesies: "Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with myriad streams of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my crime, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" (Mi 6:7) Satanists and abortionists also recognize the power of human sacrifice. However, to offer human sacrifice is a grave sin, an abomination. Does this mean that we are condemned to either powerlessness or sinfulness? No, the Lord has done the impossible when He sacrificed Himself on Calvary in perfect sinlessness to expiate the sins of all people throughout all time.

Praise Jesus, God and Man, Priest and Sacrifice, Savior and Lord!

Prayer:  Father, may I center my life on the Eucharist, where the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary is made present.

Promise:  "Happy the man who makes the Lord his trust." —Ps 40:5

Praise:  St. Bernard, even at an early age, was exceptional in his piety, thanks to the example of his pious parents.

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

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