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Monday, October 20, 2008

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St. Paul of the Cross

Ephesians 2:1-10
Psalm 100
Luke 12:13-21

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the swamp

"We lived at the level of the flesh, following every whim and fancy." —Ephesians 2:3

When we were dead because of our sins (Eph 2:1) and had not yet given our lives to Jesus, "we lived at the level of the flesh." Our sins of selfishness were our very lives (Col 3:7). We spent our lives on our human desires and not on the will of God (1 Pt 4:2). We were "lovers of pleasure rather than of God" (2 Tm 3:4). "But God is rich in mercy; because of His great love for us He brought us to life with Christ when we were dead in sin. By this favor you were saved" (Eph 2:4-5).

In Jesus, we crucified our "flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24). The Holy Spirit took us in spirit to the cross where we were crucified to the world and the world to us (Gal 6:14). Now we no longer live for ourselves but for Him Who for our sakes "died and was raised up" (2 Cor 5:15). We "put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the desires of the flesh" (Rm 13:14). We will not waste what remains of our earthly life on human desires (1 Pt 4:2). We will not return to the swamp (1 Pt 4:4) of vomit and mud (2 Pt 2:22), in which those living at the level of the flesh exist. We are free! Alleluia!

Prayer:  Father, thank you for sending Jesus to save me from this polluted world (2 Pt 2:20) and a twisted, depraved generation (Phil 2:15).

Promise:  "Avoid greed in all its forms. A man may be wealthy, but his possessions do not guarantee him life." —Lk 12:15

Praise:  St. Paul, a missionary to Italians for fifty years, glorified God by being especially devoted to Jesus in His passion.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Living in Reality or our tapes, either a four-part audio series starting with AV 38-1 or a two-part video series starting with V-38.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 1, 2008

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