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Thursday, July 6, 2000

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St. Maria Goretti

Amos 7:10-17
Psalm 19
Matthew 9:1-8

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"Off with you!" —Amos 7:12

"Indeed, the Lord God does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants, the prophets" (Am 3:7). Therefore, the Lord showed Amos that God's people were about to be decimated by starvation due to a plague of locusts (Am 7:1). Amos cried out for God's mercy and the people were spared (Am 7:2-3). The Lord also showed Amos that God's people and their land were to be destroyed by fire (Am 7:4). Again, Amos cried out for God's mercy and the people were spared (Am 7:5-6). Then, after all that Amos had done for the nation, he was thrown out of Bethel (Am 7:12). Amos was expelled from a place that would have been destroyed by fire except for his intervention. He was driven away by a person who may have starved to death except for Amos' prayer. Amos' expulsion from Bethel was the height of injustice and ingratitude.

Have you ever been kicked out of your own home, disinherited from your family, thrown out of your church, expelled from a school, or fired from a job? Possibly some of these expulsions have been very unjust. Jesus wants you to forgive those who have kicked you out. He Himself was kicked out of our world when we crucified Him by our sins. Yet Jesus, even when He was being spit at, cussed out, insulted, and executed, prayed: "Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing" (Lk 23:34). For love of Jesus, and by His power, forgive.

Prayer:  Father, forgive me as I forgive those who have kicked me out and "kicked me in the teeth" (see Mt 6:12).

Promise:  "A feeling of awe came over the crowd, and they praised God for giving such authority to men." —Mt 9:8

Praise:  The mother of St. Maria Goretti forgave the man who murdered her daughter. She later attended Mass with him.

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