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Tuesday, August 14, 2001

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St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe

Deuteronomy 31:1-8
Deuteronomy 32:3-4, 7-9, 12
Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

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"It is the Lord Who marches before you; He will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed." —Deuteronomy 31:8

Jesus insisted we "change and become like little children" (Mt 18:3). We are tempted to disobey this command because we know little children are vulnerable and often abused. However, Jesus gave His little children some protection by encouraging everyone to welcome them. He said: "Whoever welcomes one such child for My sake welcomes Me" (Mt 18:5). He also provides guardian angels for His little vulnerable ones (Mt 18:10). Furthermore, Jesus the Good Shepherd protects His little ones (Jn 10:11), for it is no part of our "heavenly Father's plan that a single one of these little ones shall ever come to grief" (Mt 18:14).

When we choose to forgive seventy times seven times, fight in a non-violent way, love our enemies unconditionally, and expose ourselves to the persecution of Calvary, we are not mere doormats. Jesus fights our battles for us (2 Chr 32:8). Even if He permits us to suffer and die, He will raise us from the dead. Jesus either protects His little ones or gives them victory over suffering and death. Therefore, because of our faith in Jesus, we should choose to be vulnerable, to turn the other cheek (Mt 5:39). When we stop protecting ourselves, we will find we have a divine Protector.

Prayer:  Lord, may I let You fight my battles, even if I seem to be a casualty.

Promise:  "It is the Lord, your God, Who will cross before you; He will destroy these nations before you, that you may supplant them." —Dt 31:3

Praise:  Suffering a nearly fatal illness only deepened St. Maximilian's efforts in spreading God's truth and defending the faith.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, February 13, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 20, 2001