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Wednesday, April 2, 2003

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St. Francis of Paola

Isaiah 49:8-15
Psalm 145
John 5:17-30

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truth <u>and</u> consequences

"The reason why the Jews were even more determined to kill Him was that He not only was breaking the Sabbath but, worse still, was speaking of God as His own Father, thereby making Himself God's equal." —John 5:18

Many years ago there was a television program called Truth or Consequences. It could have also been named Truth and Consequences, for while lies have consequences, much more so does the truth have consequences. For example, the Jewish people who heard Jesus maintain that God was His Father realized that a consequence of Jesus' claim was that Jesus was equal to God, that is, that Jesus is God (Jn 5:18). They assumed this was blasphemy and consequently determined to kill Him (Jn 5:18).

In a little over two weeks, the Lord through His Church will invite and challenge us to renew our baptismal promises. We will be asked whether we believe that Jesus is God's Son and our Lord. Those who say "I do" will be stating their faith in a truth which has more consequences than any other truths. The consequences of believing in Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God are that we must worship Him (Rv 5:13), obey Him in all things, love Him with all our hearts (Lk 10:27), be His witnesses to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8), live for Him and not for ourselves (2 Cor 5:15), be willing to die for Him, and be holy as He is holy (1 Pt 1:16). These are only the beginnings of the consequences of believing in Jesus' divinity. When we renew our baptismal promises, we will make the greatest statements of truths with the greatest consequences. In the next two weeks, prepare for "truth and consequences."

Prayer:  Father, may I live my "I do's" to the full.

Promise:  "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

Praise:  St. Francis advised: "Look after your spiritual well-being with judicious concern. Death is certain; life is short."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, October 17, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 21, 2002