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Friday, July 1, 2005

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Bl. Junipero Serra

Genesis 23:1-4, 19; 24:1-8, 62-67
Psalm 106:1-5
Matthew 9:9-13

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"As He moved on, Jesus saw a man named Matthew at his post where taxes were collected. He said to him, 'Follow Me.' " —Matthew 9:9

Matthew had to leave his tax collector's post to follow Jesus. Peter, Andrew, James, and John left their fishing nets (Mt 4:20). The young rich man was called to leave his possessions to follow Christ (Mk 10:21). A married man must leave his father and mother and cling to his wife, and the two become one flesh (Gn 2:24).

Like marriage, our relationship with Christ requires that we leave "home, brothers or sisters, mother or father, children or property" (Mk 10:29). Leaving other people and things is necessary for developing the deepest relationships. Many Christians deceive themselves into thinking that they can come into the Lord's kingdom without leaving the world behind. But we can't serve two masters (Mt 6:24). "After all, what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common, or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What accord is there between Christ and Belial, what common lot between believer and unbeliever?" (2 Cor 6:14-15)

Are you clinging to Jesus? Is He your life and love? Are you wedded inseparably to Jesus the Bridegroom? (Mk 2:19-20) If not, possibly you haven't left behind everything.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I reappraise as loss what I used to consider gain, because of my love for You (Phil 3:7).

Promise:  "In his love for her Isaac found solace after the death of his mother Sarah." —Gn 24:67

Praise:  Bl. Junipero established several long-lasting missions in California to the native Indian populations. Visitors described them as a true culture of peace, "a country without its poor."

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 20, 2004

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