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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

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Pope St. Pontian
St. Hippolytus

Ezekiel 9:1-7; 10:18-22
Psalm 113
Matthew 18:15-20

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for crying out loud

"Mark an X on the foreheads of those who moan and groan over all the abominations that are practiced within [Jerusalem]." —Ezekiel 9:4

When Jerusalem was destroyed, those who moaned and groaned "over all the abominations" practiced within it were spared. At the world's end, those who care enough to groan and cry over the mass apostasy (see 2 Thes 2:3) will be spared. When Paul saw Christians distorting the truth and leading others astray, he cried (Acts 20:30-31). Paul had a "daily tension" pressing on him due to his anxiety for all the churches (2 Cor 11:28). He cried when he saw Christians set on the things of the world (Phil 3:18-19). Paul had a "great grief and constant pain" in his heart because most of his kinsmen, the Israelites, did not accept Jesus (Rm 9:2). Paul "could even wish to be separated from Christ" for the sake of the conversion of the Jewish people (Rm 9:3). When Jesus saw Jerusalem in its spiritual blindness, He broke into tears (Lk 19:41).

Do you care about the condition of God's people enough to cry? The Lord will have pity on us when we care enough to groan and cry. When love is stronger than apathy, the Lord "will arise and have mercy on Zion, for it is time to pity her, for the appointed time has come. For her stones are dear to [us] and her dust moves [us] to pity" (Ps 102:14-15).

Prayer:  Father, "oh, that my head were a spring of water, my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night over the slain of the daughter of my people!" (Jer 8:23, NAB)

Promise:  "Where two or three are gathered in My name; there am I in their midst." —Mt 18:20

Praise:  Pope St. Pontian and St. Hippolytus were both slain for their love of Jesus.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape The Remnant on audio AV 79-3 or video V-79.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 25, 2008

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