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Thursday, February 6, 2003

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St. Paul Miki & Companions

Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24
Psalm 48
Mark 6:7-13

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a dust rag

"If any place will not receive you or hear you, shake its dust from your feet in testimony against them as you leave." —Mark 6:11

"The love of Christ impels us" (2 Cor 5:14) to share the good news of Jesus. Some people accept Him while others reject Him. When Jesus is rejected by those with whom we share the gospel, we tend to take it personally. We feel rejected, disrespected, and unjustly treated.

We must then shake off this grime and dirt of rejection, or we will become encrusted with bitterness. We shake off the dust by accepting the grace to forgive those who have sinned against us. If we don't "shake it off," we will probably stop sharing the good news of Jesus, because His good news becomes covered with our dust. If we try to continue sharing the good news (although we are dirty and crusty), we will show people the dust of our bitterness rather than the face of Jesus. Therefore, we either "shake it off" or quit the Christian life. We either forgive our enemies or become enemies of God.

Don't let dust keep you from breathing the fresh air of the Holy Spirit. Dust will kill you if you don't get rid of it. Forgive and be clean of the most encrusted bitterness.

Prayer:  Father, give me the grace to forgive, be healed, and evangelize.

Promise:  "They expelled many demons, anointed the sick with oil, and worked many cures." —Mk 6:13

Praise:  Because the Japanese ruler so bitterly opposed the rise of Christianity in his country, St. Paul Miki and his companions were able to practice what they preached by giving their lives in martyrdom for the faith.

Reference:  (For information or to register for Presentation Ministries' Discipleship Retreats, Lenten Retreat: The Life of Christian Prayer, March 7-9, or our ten-day series of retreats April 25-May 4, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 1, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 7, 2002