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Tuesday, September 17, 1996

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St. Robert Bellarmine

1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31
Psalm 100
Luke 7:11-17

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Jesus "said, 'Young man, I bid you get up.' The dead man sat up and began to speak." — Luke 7:14-15

If Jesus had raised you from the dead, wouldn't that inspire you to love Him with all your heart and to serve Him with zeal and total abandon? However, Jesus has raised you from a worse death than physical death. He has raised you from the death of sin.

Our lives before receiving new life in Christ were much more like death than life. God's word describes our original state thus: "You were dead because of your sins and offenses, as you gave allegiance to the present age and to the prince of the air, that spirit who is even now at work among the rebellious. All of us were once of their company" (Eph 2:1-3; see also Lk 15:32). "Even when you were dead in sin and your flesh was uncircumcised, God gave you new life in company with Christ. He pardoned all our sins" (Col 2:13). "The wages of sin is death" (Rm 6:23). Those who do not repent are "among the living dead" (1 Jn 3:14). Even whole churches, cities, and nations can be dead (see Rv 3:1). So it is not just a figure of speech that all of us were dead. It is a literal, spiritual statement.

By our Baptism into Jesus through faith, Jesus has raised us from death (Col 3:1). We have reason to be grateful — eternally and zealously grateful. Therefore, "offer yourselves to God as men who have come back from the dead to life, and your bodies to God as weapons for justice" (Rm 6:13). We have been raised! It is true!

Love Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life! (Jn 11:25)

Prayer:  Father, may I act like a person who has come out of the grave.

Promise:  "Set your hearts on the greater gifts." —1 Cor 12:31

Praise:  Robert's students became missionaries and martyrs, and his teachings have helped many for centuries.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, January 29, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 5, 1996