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Monday, July 15, 2002

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St. Bonaventure

Isaiah 1:10-17
Psalm 50
Matthew 10:34—11:1

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just worship

"Make justice your aim." —Isaiah 1:17

Isaiah prophesied to God's chosen people by calling them "princes of Sodom" and "people of Gomorrah" (Is 1:10). This is like your pastor beginning his homily addressing the Nazis, Communists, bigots, and perverts in his congregation.

Then Isaiah further shocked God's people by maintaining that God was sick of their sacrifices (Is 1:11), and considered their offerings worthless and their incense loathsome (Is 1:13). Isaiah said that God had closed His eyes and ears to their prayers (Is 1:15).

Injustice was the reason God condemned His people and refused to hear their prayers. Therefore, we must "make justice" our "aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan's plea, defend the widow" (Is 1:16). "Looking after orphans and widows in their distress and keeping oneself unspotted by the world make for pure worship without stain before our God and Father" (Jas 1:27).

The Lord is our Justice (1 Cor 1:30), Who justifies us (see Rm 3:24). Justice walks before Him (Ps 85:14). Consequently, we must be just, or we will not be pleasing to the Lord. Walk and worship in justice.

Prayer:  Father, make me willing to lay down my life for babies in the womb, the starving, refugees, and victims of prejudice.

Promise:  "He who seeks only himself brings himself to ruin, whereas he who brings himself to nought for Me discovers who he is." —Mt 10:39

Praise:  St. Bonaventure wrote: "Let us pass over with the crucified Christ from this world to the Father."

Reference:  (To learn more about the Bible, we have several large series of teachings on audio tape. One is forty tapes on the New Testament. To start, order the four tapes covering the entire gospel of Matthew, #700 - #703. Another series is a thirty-tape introduction to each book of the Bible. To start, order the tape covering Matthew and Mark, audio tape AV 21-1.)

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

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 2001