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Monday, August 16, 2010

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St. Stephen of Hungary

Ezekiel 24:15-24
Deuteronomy 32:18-21
Matthew 19:16-22

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can't cry

"By a sudden blow I am taking away from you the delight of your eyes, but do not mourn or weep or shed any tears." —Ezekiel 24:16

Imagine your wife dying, and you can't even go to the funeral. You don't cry, take off from work, or even break stride. God called Ezekiel to do just that. God told him: "Groan in silence, make no lament for the dead" (Ez 24:17). People were puzzled by Ezekiel's behavior and questioned him: "Will you not tell us what all these things that you are doing mean for us?" (Ez 24:19) Ezekiel replied they would be as cold and callous about the temple's destruction as he seemed about his wife's death (Ez 24:21-24).

What's your reaction to the near-death of religious vocations? Do you coldly rationalize that it may be a blessing in disguise? Did you shed a tear when the "40 Hours of Eucharistic adoration" became "4 Hours" in your parish? When they closed the parochial school, did you mourn?

Oh, we feel very sad when called to die to our self, to our will, to our pleasure-seeking (see Mt 19:22). Yet we seem to endure quite well when God's works die for lack of concern. If we do not cry now, we will cry later. Care; cry (Jn 11:35).

Prayer:  Jesus, You said the love of most would grow cold (Mt 24:12). May my love for You grow hot.

Promise:  "If you seek perfection, go, sell your possessions, and give to the poor. You will then have treasure in heaven. Afterward, come back and follow Me." —Mt 19:21

Praise:  St. Stephen, king of Hungary, implemented a strong support system that propagated churches and priests in his country.

Reference:  (The society in which we live is like the society in Ezekiel's time. Many people do not mourn the loss of millions of aborted children, weep over the societal acceptance of immoral lifestyles, or groan over the threat of euthanasia. The Church calls us to faithfulness! Attend our retreat, The Gospel of Life, Sept. 18-19. Call 513-373-2397 or 937-587-5464 to register.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2010

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