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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

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Founders of the Servites

Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10
Psalm 29
Mark 8:14-21

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heartbroken god

"When the Lord saw how great was man's wickedness on earth, and how no desire that his heart conceived was ever anything but evil, He regretted that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was grieved." —Genesis 6:5-6

The human heart became so evil that during Noah's time nobody desired anything but evil. This evil condition of the human heart broke God's heart, "and His heart was grieved." God in His broken heart sent prophets to challenge and encourage us to change our hearts. Jeremiah exclaimed: "More tortuous than all else is the human heart" (Jer 17:9-10).

If we believed Jeremiah, we would cry out to God for a heart transplant. The Lord promised: "I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts" (Ez 36:26). David was inspired by God to teach us how to pray for this new heart. He prayed: "A clean heart create for me, O God...My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a heart contrite and humbled, O God, You will not spurn" (Ps 51:12, 19).

These prophecies and prayers for a new heart were fulfilled and answered when God became man and received a human heart. Paradoxically, when this divine and human heart was pierced and broken on Calvary, the human heart was changed and God's broken heart was loved (see Jn 19:34). Sacred Heart of Jesus, we place our trust in You!

Prayer:  Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, make my heart like Yours (Mt 11:29).

Promise:  "The Lord is enthroned above the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever." —Ps 29:10

Praise:  The Servite founders honored God in their service and gave their hearts to Him and His mother.

Reference:  (Come, refresh your heart and soul this April 17-25, for one day or for all nine days of retreats at our Discipleship Center in Adams County, Ohio. Call 937-587-5464 or 513-373-2397 for information.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 11, 2008

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