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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

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Amos 5:14-15, 21-24
Psalm 50:7-13, 16-17
Matthew 8:28-34

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"The entire town came out to meet Jesus. When they caught sight of Him, they begged Him to leave their neighborhood." —Matthew 8:34

Some of you may have been rejected several times during your life. Rejections can be an intensely painful experience. Although Jesus is the only Person Who has never rejected anyone (see Jn 6:37), He has been and continues to be rejected more than anyone who has ever lived.

The people near the Gadarene boundary rejected Jesus and begged Him to leave their town (Mt 8:34). At the cost of several thousand pigs, Jesus had profited the town by opening the road into the city which had been closed by the two demoniacs (Mt 8:28). Jesus had made it possible for commerce between this town and the surrounding area to be resumed. By sending Jesus away, the people of the town were not necessarily gaining anything. The road had already been opened, and the pigs had already been lost. Jesus had many more blessings to give these people, but they rejected Jesus and His potential blessings for fear of paying the cost.

Jesus is the Sign of Contradiction (Lk 2:34) and the Stumbling-Stone (Mt 11:6). Eventually, each of one of us must decide whether to accept Jesus or turn our backs on Him. On this Independence Day in the USA, make the decision to express your total dependence on the love and mercy of the Lord.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I never stop loving You. May I never reject You and never love You less.

Promise:  "The demons kept appealing to Him, 'If you expel us, send us into the herd of swine.' He answered, 'Out with you!' " —Mt 8:31-32

Praise:  Jane tells herself "No Bible, no breakfast." She always starts her day reading the Word of God.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 27, 2018

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