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Wednesday, August 4, 1999

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St. John Vianney

Numbers 13:1-2, 25—14:1, 26-29, 34-35
Psalm 106:6-7, 13-14, 21-23
Matthew 15:21-28

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believe and receive or doubt and out?

"I will do to you just what I have heard you say." —Numbers 14:28

Twelve Israelite scouts walked around in the promised land. Ten saw disaster and sowed "discouraging reports among the Israelites" (Nm 13:32); two saw God's hand poised to bless His people with swift entrance into the promised land, and these two scouts sowed faith and confidence (Nm 14:6ff). The people listened to the skeptical majority and died without gaining entrance to the promised land.

Pope John Paul II has prophesied that God plans, beginning in the Jubilee Year 2000, to begin a worldwide freedom from the economics of debt and bring about a new springtime for Christianity (see Toward the Third Millennium, John Paul II, 51).  Many doubt that any worldwide change at all is possible. What they see is the overwhelming power of the forces of society and government to negate any plans God may have.

People of God, open your eyes that you may see! (2 Kgs 6:17ff) When God's people are at a crossroads, God's pattern is to reveal His plan for complete deliverance to His prophets (see Am 3:7), such as our Pope. Throughout history, His prophets faithfully reveal the plan, and generally the people reject it, fearing disaster. But the disaster they fear winds up being the exact punishment they receive (Nm 14:28). When people reject prophecy, they don't simply miss out on a great blessing; they actually "oppose" God (Nm 14:34).

"The measure with which you measure will be used to measure you" (Mt 7:2). If you believe in God and work with Him, you get what you believe — and even better. If you do not believe God and thus oppose Him, you still get what you believed — but even worse.

Prayer:  Father, I believe! Increase my faith in You (Lk 17:5).

Promise:  "Jesus then said in reply, 'Woman, you have great faith! Your wish will come to pass.' " —Mt 15:28

Praise:  A young priest asked St. John how his congregation could become as holy as John's was. John told him to willingly suffer for his people, as he had done for many years.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 22, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 24, 1999