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Thursday, January 13, 2011

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St. Hilary

Hebrews 3:7-14
Psalm 95:6-11
Mark 1:40-45

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an ounce of prevention

"Today, if you should hear His voice, harden not your hearts as at the revolt." —Hebrews 3:7-8

It's disturbing to think about what could happen to us. We could die in a car wreck or accidentally kill someone. We could get cancer or have a stroke. We could lie comatose for years. These tragedies cannot always be prevented, but there are worse things (see Jn 5:14) that can be prevented. For example, by resisting temptations, we can prevent contracting the leprosy of sin (see Mk 1:40).

If we have already fallen into sin, we can repent, and then we will not die in our sins (see Jn 8:21, 24). We can also guard against hardening our hearts (Heb 3:7-8), which cuts us off from God's life and love. A hard heart causes us to "have an evil and unfaithful spirit" and even to "fall away from the living God" (Heb 3:12). This is the worst condition possible for a human being. "When men have fled a polluted world by recognizing the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then are caught up and overcome in pollution once more, their last condition is worse than their first" (2 Pt 2:20).

We can prevent falling away from our commitment to Jesus by repenting of sin immediately and thereby not falling under the spell of sin's deceit (Heb 3:13). Regular, frequent Confession can prevent hard-heartedness, unfaithfulness, self-deception, spiritual blindness, and damnation. Prevent the worst tragedy possible. Repent now!

Prayer:  Father, may I repent and then be a minister of reconciliation who leads others to repent (2 Cor 5:18).

Promise:  "Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out His hand, touched him, and said: 'I do will it. Be cured.' The leprosy left him then and there, and he was cured." —Mk 1:41-42

Praise:  St. Hilary was a monk, writer of hymns, defender of the faith, bishop, and a Doctor of the Church.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 28, 2010

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