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Monday, February 11, 2002

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Our Lady of Lourdes

1 Kings 8:1-7, 9-13
Psalm 132
Mark 6:53-56

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baptism is the greatest

"I have truly built You a princely house, a dwelling where You may abide forever." —1 Kings 8:13

When the Temple was dedicated to the Lord, "King Solomon and the entire community of Israel present for the occasion sacrificed before the ark sheep and oxen too many to number or count. The priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place" (1 Kgs 8:5-6). "When the priests left the holy place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord" (1 Kgs 8:10).

When we were dedicated to the Lord in Baptism, we received a new nature, were adopted as sons and daughters of God, and became temples in which the Holy Trinity dwells. This was made possible by the inexpressible sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. From the time of our Baptisms, the Holy Spirit, like a cloud, rests on us (see 1 Pt 4:14).

The dedication of Solomon's Temple was one of the great events in history. However, Jesus is greater than Solomon (Lk 11:31), and we who have been baptized into Him are also greater than Solomon (Mt 11:11). We have been baptized into Jesus' death and resurrection, the Paschal mystery, the greatest event in the history of the human race.

Pope John Paul II has taught that the purpose of our lives is to come "to a knowledge of the radical newness of the Christian life that comes from Baptism" and to "live the immense, extraordinary richness and responsibility received at Baptism" (Lay Members of Christ's Faithful People, 10, 61). Renew your baptismal promises and live your Baptism to the full.

Prayer:  Father, lead me to celebrate my baptismal anniversary with exultant joy.

Promise:  "All who touched Him got well." —Mk 6:56

Praise:  By wondrously providing for the trip, Our Lady of Lourdes built up Robert's faith even before he and his ill wife visited Lourdes.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001