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Thursday, August 16, 2007

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St. Stephen of Hungary

Joshua 3:7-10, 11, 13-17
Psalm 114
Matthew 18:21—19:1

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raiders of the lost ark

"When the soles of the feet of the priests carrying the ark of the Lord, the Lord of the whole earth, touch the water of the Jordan, it will cease to flow." —Joshua 3:13

If you're covenanted to the ark of the covenant you can't lose. The river Jordan will stop in its tracks. The walls of Jericho will come tumbling down (Jos 6:1-20). Your enemies will cringe beneath your feet (Ps 66:3). Victory is assured. The ark is the focal point of God's presence on earth.

In the new covenant, the Lord's presence with the ark is Jesus' eucharistic presence. While Jesus is present in many ways, the Eucharist is His presence "par excellence" (Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside of Mass, #6). When we leave church after receiving Communion, we are the ark, walking tabernacles, the closest thing to heaven on the face of the earth.

With this most intense presence of the Lord within us, we have victory in all things. This victory requires that we be arks of the covenant and not merely empty arks. We must be covenanted, that is, totally committed to the Lord, or His eucharistic presence will be hidden under the bushel basket of our selfishness (Lk 11:33). The Israelites once took the ark of the covenant to battle without obeying the covenant (1 Sm 4:4-11). They were disastrously defeated. This will happen to us unless we are covenanted and in communion when receiving our eucharistic Lord.

Prayer:  Jesus, You live in me. I live for You.

Promise:  "Moved with pity, the master let the official go and wrote off the debt." —Mt 18:27

Praise:  Surrounded by a cloud of witnesses (Heb 12:1), St. Stephen of Hungary was taught by St. Adalbert of Prague and grandfather of St. Elizabeth of Scotland.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Eucharistic Obedience on audio AV 73-1 or video V-73.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 14, 2007

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