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Monday, March 7, 2016

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Sts. Perpetua & Felicity

Isaiah 65:17-21
Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13
John 4:43-54

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in twenty days

"You changed my mourning into dancing; You took off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my soul might sing praise to You without ceasing; O Lord my God, forever will I give You thanks." —Psalm 30:12-13

The Lord is promising "to create new heavens and a new earth" (Is 65:17). "No longer shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days" (Is 65:20). No longer will we chemically and surgically abort well over nine million babies each year in this country. "He dies a mere youth who reaches but a hundred years" (Is 65:20). We will not be offering euthanasia to our elderly people, but we will be respecting them and valuing their sacrificial suffering. If we let God have His way, our culture of death will be displaced by a civilization of love and life.

Our culture is sick and near death (see Jn 4:46-47). We have asked Jesus to come down and restore it to health (see Jn 4:47). Jesus is challenging us to put our "trust in the word" (Jn 4:50). At the very hour we take Jesus at His word (see Jn 4:53), our culture will begin to be healed.

In twenty days, on the first day of Easter, the Church at every Mass in the entire world will challenge us to express our total and radical faith in the Lord by renewing our baptismal promises. If we say, mean, and live "I do" to the six baptismal promises, our culture will be raised from the death of sin. Jesus said: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God and faith in Me" (Jn 14:1).

Prayer:  Father, give me great and ever increasing faith.

Promise:  "There shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create; for I create Jerusalem to be a joy and its people to be a delight." —Is 65:18

Praise:  St. Perpetua was so absorbed in God's love in the amphitheatre where she was martyred that she refused to believe she had already suffered great injuries until she was shown the marks on her body.

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

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