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Wednesday, August 30, 2000

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2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18
Psalm 128
Matthew 23:27-32

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are you allowed to eat?

"Indeed, when we were with you we used to lay down the rule that anyone who was not willing to work should not eat." —2 Thessalonians 3:10, our transl.

According to the Lord's word, we may not be allowed to eat even if we have worked hard all day. To qualify to eat, we must be willing to work. On the other hand, those too sick to work are still allowed to eat, as long as they want to work.

This Biblical prerequisite for being allowed to eat seems unreasonable because, due to Adam's sin, cursed is the ground and work of all kinds is painful and laborious (Gn 3:17ff). How can we want to do something which will cause us to suffer?

"The love of Christ impels us" (2 Cor 5:14). Love is stronger than death and even overcomes our natural aversion to suffering and pain (see Sg 8:6). Because of the crucified love of Jesus, we are redeemed; both death and the pain of labor have lost their sting (see 1 Cor 15:55). In Jesus and in love, we have the grace to want to work — no matter how hard and painful it may be. Therefore, in Christ's love, we qualify to eat and live the abundant life (see Jn 10:10).

Prayer:  Father, may all my eating be authorized by You.

Promise:  "Happy are you who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways!" —Ps 128:1

Praise:  Patricia continued, by God's grace, to minister to a fellow Christian towards whom she felt many negative feelings.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, March 8, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 9, 2000