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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

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Pope St. Martin I

Acts 8:1-8
Psalm 66
John 6:35-40

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unrequited love incarnate

"All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me; no one who comes will I ever reject." —John 6:37

Could you imagine going to Mass on Sunday to be greeted by an announcement from the pulpit that Mass was canceled because Jesus was tired of being ignored? What if Jesus informed the Pope that He was sick and tired of half the world's Catholics staying home on Sundays and therefore He would stop humbling Himself to become eucharistic bread and wine until further notice? This would be shocking to us.

We expect Jesus to continue to submit Himself to our whims day after day without complaint. He must always be immediately available in case we need Him. Yet many of us — Catholics, Christians, and millions of others — hold ourselves to a different standard. Do we allow ourselves to worship Him only when (or even if) it suits our schedule? Do we consider serving Him only if it doesn't disrupt our plans? We may think of ourselves as being good believers. However, we may simply be rejecting Jesus (see Heb 6:6). We may actually be His enemies (Phil 3:18ff).

Against this backdrop, Jesus' assurance that He will never reject anyone who comes to Him (Jn 6:37) is even more astonishing. Who is this Jesus? How can He love so loyally without even a promise of gaining anything in return? He is Love (1 Jn 4:8) and love never quits (1 Cor 13:8). He so desires your love. Give Him the gift of your love, and bring Him great joy by leading many others to love Him in return.

Prayer:  Jesus, pour out Your love in my heart (Rm 5:5) so that I will never reject You but constantly worship You.

Promise:  "I Myself am the Bread of Life. No one who comes to Me shall ever be hungry, no one who believes in Me shall ever thirst." —Jn 6:35

Praise:  Pope St. Martin I never quit despite unspeakable sufferings including imprisonment, disease, public insults, floggings, and eventually starvation which cost him his life.

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

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 2004

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