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Friday, February 7, 2003

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Hebrews 13:1-8
Psalm 27
Mark 6:14-29

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"never, my love"

"Be content with what you have, for God has said, 'I will never desert you, nor will I forsake you.' " —Hebrews 13:5

We live in a world of broken and hurting human relationships.  Few of us are untouched by the effects of widespread divorce, unforgiveness, unfaithfulness, treachery, revenge, backstabbing, gossip, slander, and other problems stemming from interpersonal breakdowns. Those fortunate to have some deep friendships with Christian brothers and sisters still at times might endure the sting of a brushoff, a turned back, or a deaf ear from even the closest of friends.

We may suffer from relationships to the point where we are tempted to think: "The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me" (Is 49:14). The Lord responds: "Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you" (Is 49:15).  God "has said, 'I will never desert you, nor will I forsake you' " (Heb 13:5).

Jesus loves each one of us personally, individually, uniquely. Jesus in His mercy even became a human being like us, so that we could relate to Him more intimately. He will never reject us (Jn 6:37). He calls us friends (Jn 15:15). Jesus is "Emmanuel," meaning "God is with us" (Mt 1:23). Jesus assures us: "I am with you always" (Mt 28:20). "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Rm 8:31)

Prayer:  Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit, make me constantly aware of Your presence in my life.

Promise:  "The Lord is my Helper, I will not be afraid; what can man do to me?" —Heb 13:6

Praise:  Rick and Heidi were excluded from neighborhood gatherings by their neighbors because of their lifestyle of holiness (see Wis 2:14). They responded with kindness and kept their eyes fixed on Jesus (Heb 12:2).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

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