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Tuesday, July 25, 2000

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St. James

2 Corinthians 4:7-15
Psalm 126
Matthew 20:20-28

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the death of death

"Death is at work in us, but life in you." —2 Corinthians 4:12

Our culture of death will eventually be true to its name and die out. (We pray that this death of the culture of death will occur as soon as possible so that fewer people will be traumatized.) Death as a work of the evil one will be destroyed by another kind of death — a death of love in the pattern of Jesus' death on the cross (see Phil 3:10). The writer of Song of Songs proclaims: "Stern as death is love, relentless as the nether world is devotion" (Sg 8:6). In fact, Jesus' crucified love is sterner than death. Jesus' death on the cross resulted in the ultimate and total victory of risen life over death.

Consequently, in love let us fall "to the earth" and die so as to produce "much fruit" (Jn 12:24). "Continually we carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus, so that in our bodies the life of Jesus may also be revealed. While we live we are constantly being delivered to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be revealed" (2 Cor 4:10-11). We have been baptized into Jesus' death so as to share in His resurrection (Rm 6:3, 5).

A friend of mine has a saying: "You're not done dying till you're dead." In this long-awaited year of the Great Jubilee, die to self in Christ and in love.

Prayer:  Father, teach me how to die in love.

Promise:  "Such is the case with the Son of Man Who has come, not to be served by others, but to serve, to give His own life as a ransom for the many." —Mt 20:28

Praise:  St. James fled at Jesus' capture and crucifixion, but later received His Spirit and everlasting life.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 16, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 1999