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Sunday, July 24, 2011

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17th Sunday Ordinary Time

1 Kings 3:5, 7-12
Romans 8:28-30
Psalm 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-130
Matthew 13:44-52

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finish line

"We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His decree." —Romans 8:28

God the Father, unlike His children, never did a halfway job. God always does everything necessary to complete His work. "Those whom He foreknew He predestined to share the image of His Son" (Rm 8:29). "Those He predestined He likewise called; those He called He also justified; and those He justified He in turn glorified" (Rm 8:30). Paul said: "I am sure of this much: that He Who has begun the good work in you will carry it through to completion, right up to the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil 1:6).

If the Lord always finishes His jobs, why do we see so many unfinished Christians and half-built lives? (see Lk 14:28ff) First, we are all "under construction" so it would be expected that God won't finish with us until later. Second, we don't always cooperate with the Lord. We are living stones (see 1 Pt 2:5). The Lord will complete His plan of salvation, but we can decide to exclude ourselves. If we are insisting on staying unfinished, the Lord will work with us to lead us to repent. If we decide to repent, He will even take our sinful rebellion and its dire effects and make them work together for our good because He loves us so much (Rm 8:28). Repent and let God finish the masterpiece of your life.

Prayer:  Father, may I give You glory by finishing the work You gave me to do (see Jn 17:4).

Promise:  "The reign of God is like a buried treasure which a man found in a field. He hid it again, and rejoicing at his find went and sold all he had and bought that field." —Mt 13:44

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, Whose sacrifice was complete when He said, "It is finished!"

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Am I Going to Heaven? on audio AV 54-3 or video V-54.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011

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