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Wednesday, February 11, 2004

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Our Lady of Lourdes

1 Kings 10:1-10
Psalm 37:5-6, 30-31, 39-40
Mark 7:14-23

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recognize true riches or lose everything

"When the queen of Sheba witnessed Solomon's great wisdom, the palace he had built, the food at his table, the seating of his ministers, the attendance and garb of his waiters, his banquet service, and the holocausts he offered in the temple of the Lord, she was breathless." —1 Kings 10:4-5

Christians are the wealthiest people in the world (see Eph 1:18). Yet what does that mean? Some Christians have been given a heavy responsibility of stewardship. The Lord has given them extensive material wealth to be distributed according to His specific directions. Such was the breathtaking wealth of Solomon.

All Christians have been given an awesome inheritance in  the "unfathomable riches of Christ" (Eph 3:8). These are interior riches. Some of these riches are to be "rich in mercy" (Eph 2:4), love, compassion, justice, and many other virtues, charisms, and graces of the Holy Spirit.

Frequently, spiritual riches are not recognized as valuable. Because of this sinful failure, some people gain the whole world and lose their immortal souls (see Lk 9:25). However, other people lose their lives for love of Jesus and paradoxically gain their lives (Lk 9:24) and the ultimate riches of eternal life.

All Christians are rich (Rv 3:9). But what are true riches? Which riches can you take with you after death? How can we store up riches in heaven? (Mt 6:20) Everything is at stake on how we live the answer to these questions. Be rich in God's eyes.

Prayer:  Father, make me wise in the area of wealth so that I may accept Your salvation on Your terms.

Promise:  Jesus "summoned the crowd again and said to them, 'Hear Me, all of you, and try to understand.' " —Mk 7:14

Praise:  Our Lady of Lourdes led St. Bernadette through acts of faith, trials, and miracles toward a holiness that led countless others on the same path.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003