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Monday, August 25, 2003

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St. Louis
St. Joseph Calasanz

1 Thessalonians 1:2-5, 8-10
Psalm 149
Matthew 23:13-22

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"the wrath to come"

"You turned to God from idols, to serve Him Who is the living and true God and to await from heaven the Son He raised from the dead — Jesus, Who delivers us from the wrath to come." —1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

There is "the wrath to come." "A day of wrath is that day[,] a day of anguish and distress, a day of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick black clouds" (Zep 1:15). "How mighty is that day — none like it!" (Jer 30:7) "For great is the day of the Lord, and exceedingly terrible; who can bear it?" (Jl 2:11) "It shall be a time unsurpassed in distress" (Dn 12:1). On the day of wrath, many will "[cry] out to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us! Hide us from the face of the One Who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! The great day of their vengeance has come. Who can withstand it?' " (Rv 6:16-17)

Hard and impenitent hearts are "storing up retribution for that day of wrath when the just judgment of God will be revealed" (Rm 2:5). "Whoever disobeys the Son [Jesus] will not see life, but must endure the wrath of God" (Jn 3:36). However, "God has not destined us for wrath but for acquiring salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thes 5:9). "Now that we have been justified by His blood, it is all the more certain that we shall be saved by Him from God's wrath" (Rm 5:9). We can flee from (Mt 3:7) and be delivered "from the wrath to come" (1 Thes 1:10) by totally giving our lives to Jesus and living for Him alone. Accept the love and mercy of Jesus. Don't insist on receiving His justice. "There is no condemnation now for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rm 8:1).

Prayer:  Father, thank You for loving me so much that You sent Jesus to die for me and free me from the wrath to come.

Promise:  "Our preaching of the gospel proved not a mere matter of words for you but one of power; it was carried on in the Holy Spirit." —1 Thes 1:5

Praise:  St. Louis, king of France, was renowned for his concern for the poor and every day invited thirteen of them to eat with him.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, February 27, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 3, 2003