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Tuesday, February 26, 2002

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Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
Psalm 50
Matthew 23:1-12

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better dead than red

"Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord: though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool." —Isaiah 1:18

We customarily associate colors with sins. We speak of white lies, black magic, gray areas of morality, and people green with envy and yellow with cowardice. The color most emphatically associated with sin is red, especially the deepest shade of red: scarlet or crimson. Red associates sin with danger, excitement, and blood. Scarlet or crimson associate sin with humanly irremovable stains. It took the red blood of God to remove our scarlet sins.

Even when we have repented of our sins, been baptized into Jesus, and renewed our Baptisms through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we can still be stained by and attached to sin. The way we dress (see Mt 23:5), the places we sit (see Mt 23:6), the greetings we receive (see Mt 23:7ff), the pleasures we seek, the way we talk, and even the prayers we pray can be subtle expressions of our attachments to sin. We are so stained and ingrained with sin that there may seem to be no hope.

However, Jesus has washed our lives in His blood (see Rv 7:14). By His grace, we can live our Baptisms. The scarlet, crimson stains of sin can be blotted out (Ps 51:11). We can be holy and pure as Jesus is (1 Pt 1:16; 1 Jn 3:3). We can become the very righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21).

Prayer:  Jesus, I accept Your cleansing blood.

Promise:  "If you are willing, and obey, you shall eat the good things of the land; but if you refuse and resist, the sword shall consume you: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken!" —Is 1:19-20

Praise:  After having an abortion, Sarah felt heavily laden with guilt. Confessing her sin, she received forgiveness and healing.

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