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Wednesday, January 13, 1999

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St. Hilary

Hebrews 2:14-18
Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9
Mark 1:29-39

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"Jesus likewise had a full share in ours, that by His death He might rob the devil, the prince of death, of his power." —Hebrews 2:14

  The devil is "the prince of death," but Jesus is the King of kings. The devil has made many people life-long slaves "through fear of death" (Heb 2:15), but Jesus holds "the keys of death" (Rv 1:18). Jesus beat death at its own game by dying on the cross. It looked as if the prince of death had defeated the King of life, but on the third day Jesus rose from the dead.

  Now we who follow Jesus can taunt death: "O death, where is your sting?" (1 Cor 15:55) "Death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor 15:54). Death is now our friend and sister, as St. Francis of Assisi claimed. "Death has no more power" over us (Rm 6:9). The Lord has turned death to the good (see Rm 8:28) by His sovereign, risen power. Death no longer ends life but begins perfect, everlasting life. It does not so much separate us from our earthly family as reunite us with our heavenly family. In death we do not enter darkness but eternal light where we will see Jesus face to face (1 Cor 13:12).

  Jesus, "the Resurrection and the Life" (Jn 11:25), we adore You.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I choose You and thereby choose life (see Dt 30:19).

Promise:  "Rising early the next morning, He went off to a lonely place in the desert; there He was absorbed in prayer." —Mk 1:35

Praise:  St. Hilary had great zeal to defend the true Catholic faith. As a result of his teaching and his perseverance, all of Gaul (France) was freed from heretical teaching.

Reference:  (Lent is approaching. To help you observe Lent more deeply, order our book, Scriptural Stations of the Cross, and our leaflets: A Prophetic Lent, Lent and the Renewal of Our Baptismal Promises, The Secret of Fasting, and  The Secret of Confession.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, June 11, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 20, 1998