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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

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St. Jerome Emiliani
St. Josephine Bakhita

1 Kings 10:1-10
Psalm 37:5-6, 30-31, 39-40
Mark 7:14-23

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success is spelled c-r-o-s-s

"Blessed be the Lord, your God, Whom it has pleased to place you on the throne of Israel." —1 Kings 10:9

Solomon was the wisest person who had ever lived or will ever live (1 Kgs 3:12). He was amazingly rich and lived in such majesty as to leave even the sophisticated queen of Sheba breathless (1 Kgs 10:5).

The Lord made Solomon so awesome to confirm His promise that the Davidic dynasty would last forever (2 Sm 7:16) and bring forth the Messiah (1 Sm 16:1; Mi 5:1). The success of David, Solomon, and their descendants was seen as proof they were God's chosen ones.

Today, many people think prosperity indicates God's approval of their life. However, the "prosperity gospel" is only true if we look at prosperity in the long run, and if we define it by Biblical standards. For instance, Jesus was the ultimate Chosen One, yet He appeared a failure. He underwent adversity rather than prosperity for much of His life. Nevertheless, after His crucifixion, when He rose from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father, He was certainly more than prosperous (see Is 52:13; 53:12).

Success or prosperity, by Biblical standards, is centered on the wisdom, power (1 Cor 1:24), and glory of the cross (see Gal 6:14). God's chosen ones are chosen for the glory of the resurrection only because they are chosen for the apparent failure of the cross.

Prayer:  Father, may I boast of nothing but the cross of Jesus (Gal 6:14).

Promise:  "Commit to the Lord your way; trust in Him, and He will act." —Ps 37:5

Praise:  St. Jerome Emiliani, who learned prayer while chained in a dungeon, was the first to teach children the faith using questions and answers. Surely Jerome had many questions that God answered during his imprisonment.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 2011

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