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Saturday, July 9, 2011

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St. Augustine Zhao Rong
& the Chinese Martyrs

Genesis 49:29-32; 50:15-26
Psalm 105:1-4, 6-7
Matthew 10:24-33

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"Suppose Joseph has been nursing a grudge against us." —Genesis 50:15

When Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers, he said he had forgiven them for selling him into slavery and even praised God for saving many lives as a result (Gn 45:5). Seventeen years later Joseph's brothers reran this scene. They were afraid Joseph had not forgiven them and would take revenge on them now that their father had died. Joseph told them the same thing he had said seventeen years before (Gn 50:15-20).

Do you have something in your life you could have resolved seventeen years ago? Is there a situation where forgiveness had been given to you but was not received? Have you been unnecessarily living in fear and guilt for years when you could have talked to those involved and found out you had no need to be afraid?

We all are tempted to run away from difficult situations. The devil uses this to manipulate us into living in confusion, guilt, and fear. We should drop everything and reconcile with our brothers and sisters (Mt 5:24-25). We must not let the sun set on our anger (Eph 4:26). Then we will not needlessly torture ourselves with years of confusion, guilt, and fear (see Mt 18:34). Go and settle it now.

Prayer:  Father, may I forgive now everyone who ever hurt me.

Promise:  "Do not be afraid of anything." —Mt 10:31

Praise:  St. Augustine did not fear difficult situations as he bravely gave up his life for God. He and his companions still witness to the one, true God of the Chinese people.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet on Unforgiveness Is The Cause or our tape Unforgiveness on audio AV 41-1 or video V-41.)

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

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