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Saturday, November 22, 2003

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St. Cecilia

1 Maccabees 6:1-13
Psalm 9
Luke 20:27-40

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happy, holy, joyful deaths

"God is not the God of the dead but of the living. All are alive for Him." —Luke 20:38

Throughout the course of my priesthood, I have preached and taught many times today's Gospel readings on the resurrection. But yesterday the promise of this revelation meant more to me than ever before. I read it at the bedside of my dying father. Jesus promises that His faithful disciples "become like angels and are no longer liable to death. Sons of the resurrection, they are sons of God" (Lk 20:36).

We know that Jesus will keep His promise to raise His disciples from the dead because He has the power to do so. We have extensive credible evidence that Jesus has risen from the dead and is all-powerful. Jesus has always kept His promises (see 2 Cor 1:19-20). We can be sure that Jesus will raise us, His disciples, from the dead. Thus, "death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (1 Cor 15:54-55)

The only thing that can prevent us from being raised from the dead is ourselves. If we do not live as His disciples, we will not die as His disciples, unless we repent. So let us no longer live for ourselves "but for Him Who for [our] sakes died and was raised up" (2 Cor 5:15). Let us accept the grace to believe in Jesus, "the Resurrection and the Life" (Jn 11:25). Then "death has no more power over" us (Rm 6:9). Jesus has saved us from death. Let us love Him with all our hearts forever. Alleluia!

Prayer:  Father, free me from the fear of death (see Heb 2:14-15).

Promise:  "I will give thanks to You, O Lord, with all my heart; I will declare all Your wondrous deeds. I will be glad and exult in You." —Ps 9:2-3

Praise:  St. Cecilia dedicated her virginity and her very life to her Beloved. She had the consummate happy death as she gave her life in martyrdom for her Lord.


The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, April 24, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 28, 2003