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Tuesday, October 4, 2005

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St. Francis of Assisi

Jonah 3:1-10
Psalm 130
Luke 10:38-42

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"Mary has chosen the better portion and she shall not be deprived of it." —Luke 10:42

There are so many things in life we can't control. We can't choose our parents, siblings, the nation of our birth, our height, or skin color. So many things are beyond our control that we may be tempted to feel insignificant and without hope. Yet there is great reason to rejoice. We have absolute control over having the best. We are free to choose Jesus!

When we choose Jesus for ourselves, we choose the Best. No one can take us away from Him (Jn 10:28-29). Nothing can "separate us from" Jesus (Rm 8:39). Jesus promises us that we "shall not be deprived of" Him (Lk 10:42).

There is, however, one person who can separate you from Jesus, and that is yourself. When you choose the better portion and put your life in His hands, you allow Jesus to wrap you in His loving embrace. As long as you "fix your eyes on Jesus" (Heb 3:1), you will always see that He is the "better portion" (Lk 10:42). Satan, who knows he cannot deprive you of Jesus, then attempts to distract you from looking always at Jesus. If he can get you to focus on distractions like TV, pornography, sports, talk shows, gossip, controversies, worldly pleasures, and other "enticements for the eye" (1 Jn 2:16), he knows you might choose them as your "better portion." Then you might consider Jesus' loving embrace as a choke-hold and demand that He take His hands off you. Therefore, every day of your life, choose Jesus anew as your better portion. You shall not be deprived of Him.

Prayer:  Jesus, I'd rather have You than anything else. Protect me from myself. Never let me be parted from You.

Promise:  "With the Lord is kindness and with Him is plenteous redemption." —Ps 130:7

Praise:  St. Francis gave up even the very clothes off his back in his zeal to follow his Lord.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 21, 2005

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