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Saturday, July 15, 2017

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St. Bonaventure

Genesis 49:29-32; 50:15-26
Psalm 105:1-4, 6-7
Matthew 10:24-33

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"Every hair of your head has been counted." —Matthew 10:30

Today is haircut day. The apron I wear as I sit in the barber chair is covered with little shavings of white hair. When the haircut is over, the barber removes the apron and shakes it out, spreading those hairs all over the floor. Then he sweeps the floor and throws my shorn hair into the trash. God has counted all the hairs of my head (Mt 10:30), even those that are of no account and were cast into the trash.

Jesus had His disciples pick up the leftover loaves and fishes and collect them in twelve wicker baskets (Mk 6:43). Nothing was insignificant to Jesus.

As Pope Francis often says, we live in a throwaway culture. Secular society treats so much as disposable and not worthy of regard: aborted babies (except for their body parts), the aged who are past the age of productivity, the unprofitable, etc. Yet Jesus taught that "all are alive for Him" (Lk 20:38).

Jesus recycles people who have been discarded (see 2 Cor 5:17). He fertilizes the unfruitful over and over and pours out His grace continually upon them, even though others regard them as mere clutter (see Lk 13:7-9). Our trash is Jesus' treasure. Jesus takes the most unloved, heals and forgives them, restores their souls (Ps 23:3), and creates a masterpiece out of their lives.

Even if you have thrown away your life, give yourself now to Jesus. Nothing is impossible (see Lk 1:37) for the God Who treasures every hair of your head and refuses to discard you.

Prayer:  Jesus, I empty the trash can of my life and place it at the foot of Your cross. Take my life and recreate it in Your image.

Promise:  "Whoever acknowledges Me before men I will acknowledge before My Father in heaven." —Mt 10:32

Praise:  St. Bonaventure built his life on Jesus through his simplicity, poverty, and hard work.

Reference:  (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, February 22, 2017

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