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Wednesday, July 2, 1997

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Genesis 21:5, 8-20
Psalm 34
Matthew 8:28-34

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deep-seated rebellion

"Come, children, hear me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord." —Psalm 34:12

Jesus is Lord. A lord gives orders. Lord Jesus ordered a leper to be healed (Mt 8:3), a centurion to go home (Mt 8:13), and Peter's sick mother-in-law to be healed and get up (Mt 8:15). Jesus "expelled the spirits by a simple command" (Mt 8:16). Jesus ordered people to follow Him and become His disciples (Mt 8:22). Jesus even gave orders to a storm. He "took the winds and the sea to task. Complete calm ensued" (Mt 8:26). Jesus next proceeded to drive many demons out of two men (Mt 8:32). However, the townfolk from this area didn't appreciate Jesus' lordship. "They begged Him to leave their neighborhood" (Mt 8:34).

These townfolk preferred to live with demons and demoniacs rather than have Jesus tell them what to do. We sometimes prefer to be leprous, sick, or drowned in a storm rather than have someone tell us what to do. Our rebellion is that pronounced.

When you receive Holy Communion, remember you are asking the Lord to give you an order when you pray: "Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and I shall be healed" (see Mt 8:8). In your next Holy Communion, ask the Lord to teach you obedience (see Heb 5:8).

Prayer:  Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, make my heart like Yours (Mt 11:29).

Promise:  "God heard the boy's cry." —Gn 21:17

Praise:  Five-year-old Veronica was plagued with epileptic seizures that did not respond to any medical treatment. Jesus healed her seizures as she was baptized in the Spirit at a Life in the Spirit seminar.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflets, Accepting Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God, and Obedience School.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, November 12, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 1996