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Thursday, July 5, 2007

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St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

Genesis 22:1-19
Psalm 115
Matthew 9:1-8

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"They praised God for giving such authority to men." —Matthew 9:8

On a mountain in Moriah, God provided Abraham with a ram to be sacrificed in place of his son. Abraham named this place "Yahweh-yireh," sometimes called "Jehovah-jireh" (Gn 22:14). This means: "God will see to it" or "God will provide." Ultimately God provided not just a ram, but His Son Jesus, Who was sacrificed on Mount Calvary for our salvation. When Yahweh provided His Son, He provided the only way for us to be freed from sin, for Jesus has "authority on earth to forgive sins" (Mt 9:6).

Those exercising authority have to provide many things. For example, for a police officer to arrest a person, the state must provide a judicial system and prison system. It must provide food, shelter, facilities, guards, medical care, and hopefully rehabilitation. For Jesus to exercise authority by forgiving us of our sins, He had to provide justification, reparation, healing, atonement, redemption, and salvation. No one has the authority to forgive sins but God alone, because no one but God could provide all that is necessary to back up this awesome exercise of authority. Because He is Lord, Yahweh is Yireh.

Prayer:  Father, You can provide all things and have unlimited authority. I decide to obey You always, even when I want to do my own thing.

Promise:  "I will bless you abundantly and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore." —Gn 22:17

Praise:  St. Anthony was doubly blessed to be both priest and doctor, and was gifted in spiritual as well as physical healings.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Secret of Confession on audio AV 44-3 or video V-44.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 22, 2007

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