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Friday, March 18, 2016

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St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Jeremiah 20:10-13
Psalm 18:2-7
John 10:31-42

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a rocky relationship

"The Jews again reached for rocks to stone Him." —John 10:31

How ironic that the Jews reached out for a rock to throw at Jesus! If they only knew Who was standing before them, they could have reached out for their Rock, Jesus (see 1 Cor 10:4).

These pious Jews were in the Temple area (see Jn 10:23). Presumably they were celebrating the Feast of the Dedication (Jn 10:22), a time of reconsecration and rededication. On this occasion, a faithful Jew would praise God, perhaps addressing Him as "my Rock and my Salvation" (Ps 62:3), my "Rock of refuge" (Ps 18:3).

They sang "soft-rock" praises, but had "hard-rock" hearts (see Ez 36:26). They "scorned their saving Rock" (Dt 32:15). They forgot the Rock Who made them (Dt 32:18) and spoke "haughtily against the Rock" (Ps 75:6), accusing Jesus of blasphemy and condemning Him to death (Jn 10:33).

As we approach Holy Week, let us bring our own rocky hearts before the Lord and ask Him to give us new hearts of love (Ex 36:26). Let us immerse ourselves in God's Word, which shatters our rock-hard hearts (Jer 23:29). Meditate on Jesus' death on the cross, which splits open rock-hard hearts (see Mt 27:52). Build your life on the Rock (Mt 7:24).

Prayer:  Father, "my Rock and my Redeemer" (Ps 19:15), pour out Your love in my heart through the Holy Spirit (Rm 5:5). You are "the Rock of my heart and my Portion forever" (Ps 73:26).

Promise:  "The Lord is with me, like a mighty Champion." —Jer 20:11

Praise:  St. Cyril urged: "Remove all obstacles and stumbling blocks so that you will be able to go straight along the road to eternal life."

Reference:  (Strengthen your relationship with your Rock by attending our April 15-17 retreat, The Kingdom of God; The Beatitude Attitude. Visit www.presentationministries.com to register.)
(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, September 28, 2015

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