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Friday, December 4, 2020

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St. John of Damascus

Isaiah 29:17-24
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
Matthew 9:27-31

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“This I seek...” —Psalm 27:4

Before Jesus healed the blind men in today’s Gospel, they had the gift of faith (Mt 9:28). After they received sight from Jesus, they disobeyed His orders to keep the healing secret. Instead, the formerly blind men spread word of Jesus “through the whole area” (Mt 9:31) before Jesus was ready for that to happen.

On another occasion, Jesus healed a leper (Mk 1:41) who also had humility and faith. Once healed, this leper likewise disobeyed Jesus’ order to keep the healing secret (Mk 1:44). He went off and spread the report abroad with the result “that it was no longer possible for Jesus to enter a town openly” (Mk 1:45). Jesus subsequently had to live in deserted places.

Like the folks above, many of us have been blessed with healings and faith. Will we also have a single-hearted love for Jesus? It’s wonderful to benefit from the good gifts God gives. However, those who love Jesus with all their heart (Lk 10:27) are more concerned with what Jesus gets out of a gift than with how they personally benefit. They ask: “Is Jesus pleased with the outcome of the gift He gave me? Will His kingdom grow as a result?”

Prayer:  : Jesus, You have so many good gifts to give me. May I not be given these gifts until I am ready to receive them in a way that gives glory to You. Quickly, make me ready to receive.

Promise:  “The lowly will ever find joy in the Lord, and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” —Is 29:19

Praise:  St. John of Damascus lived most of his life as a monk. He is a highly respected theologian and defended the practice of honoring icons of the saints. He prayed, “Let Your good Spirit guide me along the straight path. Whatever I do, let it be in accordance with Your will, now until the end.”

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021. Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio January 14, 2020"

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.