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Thursday, July 1, 1999

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Bl. Junipero Serra (USA)

Genesis 22:1-19
Psalm 115
Matthew 9:1-8

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if you knew what he knows...

"Jesus was aware of what they were thinking." —Matthew 9:4

Jesus can read people's minds. Probably He read not only the scribes' minds but also the paralytic's. Jesus may have known the paralytic's most disgusting sins, for which He would be crucified. Jesus also knows all of our sins in every detail.

If we saw our sins as God does, we would probably be covered with shame and hate ourselves. The Lord, however, sees us in all our sinfulness and loves us perfectly, infinitely, and unconditionally. "It is rare that anyone should lay down his life for a just man, though it is barely possible that for a good man someone may have the courage to die. It is precisely in this that God proves His love for us: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rm 5:7-8).

Although the Lord is all-knowing, He is all-merciful and all-loving. Accept His unconditional acceptance of you. Let Jesus wash away by His blood the sins of your sordid past. Live in the freedom and purity of His unconditional love (see Jn 15:9).

Prayer:  Father, You love me infinitely. Help me love myself.

Promise:  "I swear by Myself, declares the Lord, that because you acted as you did in not withholding from Me your beloved son, I will bless you abundantly and make your descendants as countless as stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants shall take possession of the gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing — all this because you obeyed My command." —Gn 22:16-18

Praise:  Blessed Junipero established several long-lasting missions in California to the native Indian populations. Visitors described them as a true culture of peace, "a country without its poor."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 28, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 1998