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Friday, April 29, 2005

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St. Catherine of Siena

Acts 15:22-31
Psalm 57
John 15:12-17

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blessed slavery

"You are My friends if you do what I command you. I no longer speak of you as slaves." —John 15:14-15

Almost everyone wants to be Jesus' friend, but we must become Jesus' slaves before becoming His friends. He calls us to serve Him constantly, to no longer live our own lives but to live for Him (Gal 2:20).

The greatest privilege possible for a human being is to be chosen as Jesus' slave. We accept this calling because we love Him. He "emptied Himself," "took the form of a slave," and "humbled Himself, obediently accepting even death, death on a cross" (Phil 2:7-8). Because Jesus loved us so much that He became a Man and a Slave, we respond by loving Him so much that we become His slaves. We may not fully understand the commitment we've made or even what our Master is about (Jn 15:15), but we love Him, and that's all that matters.

As we continue in blessed slavery, Jesus makes known to us all He hears from the Father (Jn 15:15). We are now both Jesus' slaves and friends. We see more clearly how privileged we are to have been chosen as slaves and even friends of Jesus. "Now that you are freed from sin and have become slaves of God, your benefit is sanctification as you tend toward eternal life" (Rm 6:22).

Decide to "be slaves of Christ the Lord" (Col 3:24). He will then make you His friend.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I freely choose to be Your slave before I am forced to be the slave of the evil one (see Rm 6:16).

Promise:  "My heart is steadfast, O God; my heart is steadfast; I will sing and chant praise." —Ps 57:8

Praise:  St. Catherine was so focused on God that between age 16 and 19 she never left her room except to go to Mass and spoke only to her amazed confessor.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet on Accepting Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God or on audio AV 43-1 or video V-43.)

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

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