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Friday, January 17, 2003

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St. Anthony

Hebrews 4:1-5, 11
Psalm 78:3-4, 6-8
Mark 2:1-12

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what will happen to me?

"I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home." —Mark 2:11

Will you receive "the promise of entering" into God's rest (Heb 4:1), that is, will you be with the Lord forever in the perfect happiness of heaven? "Let us be on our guard while the promise of entering into His rest remains, that none of you seem to have failed" (Heb 4:1).

By ourselves, we are unable to obey the Lord and enter eternal rest. We are spiritually paralyzed. Our only hope is to come to Jesus just as we are. We need to be carried to Jesus through the intercession, evangelization, redemptive suffering, and service of the members of His Church (see Mk 2:3ff). Jesus in His mercy will say to us in our spiritual paralysis: "Your sins are forgiven" (Mk 2:5). At this point, we can receive the grace to repent and accept Jesus as our Savior, Lord, and God on His terms. If we are freed from our paralysis and become children of God (Jn 1:12), we will enter heaven where we belong, that is, with our heavenly Father forever.

Jesus is the only Way to our Father in heaven (Jn 14:6). Accept Jesus. "Rise" and "go home" to heaven (see Mk 2:11).

Prayer:  Father, may I repent and bring joy to heaven (Lk 15:7, 10).

Promise:  "The Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth." —Mk 2:10

Praise:  St. Anthony went out into the desert simply to hear God and draw closer to Him. So many people were attracted to his lifestyle of holiness that Anthony was eventually called "The Father of Monks."

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Am I Going to Heaven? on audio AV 54-3 or video V-54.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend David L. Zink, June 12, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2002