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Thursday, July 5, 2018

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St. Elizabeth of Portugal
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

Amos 7:10-17
Psalm 19:8-11
Matthew 9:1-8

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love the lord with your mind (see mk 12:30)

"Some of the scribes said to themselves, 'The Man blasphemes.' Jesus was aware of what they were thinking." —Matthew 9:3-4

Everyone present in the scene of today's Gospel account had the opportunity to have a part in Jesus' healing the paralyzed man. Jesus did the healing and the forgiving. The man's friends had faith to bring the paralyzed man to Jesus (Mt 9:2). The paralyzed man had the humility to receive Jesus' forgiveness for his sins (Mt 9:2). The crowd responded to the healing with praise (Mt 9:8).

The scribes too could have participated by faith, repentance, and/or praise. Instead of taking part in the healing, they decided to oppose it. They did this not by saying anything but by thinking "evil thoughts" (Mt 9:4). In their minds, they accused Jesus of blasphemy, and this made them obstacles to healing and forgiveness instead of participants in them (Mt 9:3).

What about your thoughts? Do they give glory to God? Are they thoughts of peace or of affliction? (Jer 29:11) The Lord can read your mind (see Mt 9:4), so your thoughts can either include you or distance you from God's work. Therefore, ask God to transform your mind by focusing your mind on God's will, "what is good, pleasing, and perfect" (see Rm 12:2). "Your thoughts should be wholly directed to all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous, or worthy of praise" (Phil 4:8).

Prayer:  Jesus, purify my mind and be Lord of it.

Promise:  "Go, prophesy to My people Israel. Now hear the word of the Lord!" —Am 7:15-16

Praise:  St. Anthony was doctor of both the body and the soul. He worked assiduously to get lukewarm Catholics to care so much about Jesus that they would desire to receive the Eucharist daily.

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

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