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Friday, July 6, 2001

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St. Maria Goretti

Genesis 23:1-4, 19; 24:1-8, 62-67
Psalm 106:1-5
Matthew 9:9-13

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death defeats death

"Then he left the side of his dead one." —Genesis 23:3

Our culture of death is without a foundation and without a future. It's only a matter of time before it self-destructs. We can save many lives by hastening its demise. We can displace our culture of death with a civilization of love and life.

We can conquer our culture of death by dying (Heb 2:14). Paradoxically, this is how Jesus conquered death. Sarah's death and burial plot gave Abraham and his people a foothold in the promised land (Gn 23:4ff). We conquer death by:

  • dying to self (see Jn 12:24),
  • physically dying for Jesus as martyrs do,
  • resisting the temptations to despair and escapism in the face of death (see Wis 2:1ff; 1 Cor 15:32), and
  • receiving the life-changing, earth-shaking graces which are given when someone faithful to the Lord dies (Ps 116:15).

Death has lost its sting and its victory (1 Cor 15:55). Death has been swallowed up in the victory of Jesus' death (1 Cor 15:54) and the victory of the lives of those who have been baptized into His death (Rm 6:3). Though we walk in the valley of the shadow of death (Ps 23:4, KJV), we have victory over death and its culture, for we are in the crucified Christ, "the Resurrection and the Life" (Jn 11:25).

Prayer:  Father, You fill me with hope and life. I love You.

Promise:  Jesus "said to him, 'Follow Me.' Matthew got up and followed Him." —Mt 9:9

Praise:  St. Maria's death gave Life to her killer.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, January 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 24, 2001