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Saturday, January 21, 2017

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St. Agnes

Hebrews 9:2-3, 11-14
Psalm 47:2-3, 6-9
Mark 3:20-21

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relative-ly crazy

"When His family heard of this they came to take charge of Him, saying, 'He is out of His mind.' " —Mark 3:21

Jesus' relatives thought He was out of His mind. We Christians have been baptized into Jesus (Rm 6:3). We share in His divine nature (2 Pt 1:4). We are called and graced to be holy as He is holy (see 1 Pt 1:15-16), pure as He is pure (1 Jn 3:3), and perfected as He and His Father are perfect (Mt 5:48). We are called to be Jesus' disciples — to imitate Him and be formed into His image (Rm 8:29). As we become more like Jesus, those who are like Jesus' relatives will come to the conclusion that we too are out of our minds. We may even be worthy of being persecuted for the sake of Jesus' name (see Acts 5:41). Of course, the ultimate compliment to a Christian is to be martyred — to be killed as Jesus was killed.

There is reason to believe that in today's culture of death more people are like Jesus' relatives than like Jesus. Therefore, those who are like Jesus can expect to be considered out of their minds and to be persecuted (2 Tm 3:12) and even martyred. Let us live accordingly.

Prayer:  Father, make me so like Jesus that I will be holy, persecuted, joyful, misunderstood, loving, and rejected.

Promise:  "...how much more will the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself up unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God!" —Heb 9:14

Praise:  St. Agnes is said to have been more joyful at her martyrdom than the most exultant brides have been at their weddings.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Be Holy For I Am Holy.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 10, 2016

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