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Tuesday, January 30, 2001

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Hebrews 12:1-4
Psalm 22:26-28, 30-32
Mark 5:21-43

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the first, last, only, and sure hope

"Do not fear, only believe." —Mark 5:36, our transl.

Maybe you have been hemorrhaging for twelve years or have been drained of life in another way (Mk 5:25). You may have exhausted your savings in paying for doctors and/or counselors, yet you can find no relief. The situation has only grown worse (Mk 5:26). You feel hopeless and helpless, but you can be hopeful because Jesus loves you and can do all things.

You may have received the worst news of your life. Your twelve-year-old child is dead (Mk 5:35). You go through the funeral preparations and the wake in a traumatized state. You can't even think; you don't dare think. Is there any hope for the shattered heart of a grieving parent? Jesus — Jesus alone.

You may be facing an inhuman, diabolic persecution. Some of your Christian brothers and sisters have "endured mockery, scourging, even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, sawed in two, put to death at sword's point" (Heb 11:36-37). You are afraid, and your heart is breaking. How can you go on? You can persevere in running the Christian race (Heb 12:1) under the worst circumstances by keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus (Heb 12:2). Jesus is your only Hope, but He is a sure Hope.

"Hence do not grow despondent or abandon the struggle" (Heb 12:3).

Prayer:  Father, in Jesus' name heal the broken-hearted, free the suicidal, empower the helpless, and transform the hopeless.

Promise:  "In your fight against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood." —Heb 12:4

Praise:  Alice diligently prayed for her son who had abandoned the church. Jesus changed his heart and led him to promise to never to miss Mass again.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, July 15, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 17, 2000