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Monday, July 9, 2012

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St. Augustine Zhao Rong
& the Chinese Martyrs

Hosea 2:16-18, 21-22
Psalm 145:2-9
Matthew 9:18-26

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love supreme

"I will espouse you to Me forever." —Hosea 2:21

Imagine going to a funeral home and seeing Jesus raise a twelve-year-old girl from the dead (Mt 9:25). What would you think? What would you say to Him? What if Jesus then walked over to you and said: "I will espouse you to Me forever" (Hos 2:21)?

Jesus is proposing to you something which transcends any relationship — including marriage — something which will last forever. How could you accept His proposal? How could you even understand it?

Jesus will do three things to prepare you to make the decision of espousal to Him forever. He will:

  • allure you (Hos 2:16). Jesus — lifted up on the cross, in the Resurrection, and at the right hand of the Father — will draw you to Himself (Jn 12:32; see also Jn 6:44).
  • lead you into the desert (Hos 2:16).
  • speak to your heart (Hos 2:16). The Sacred Heart of Jesus will have heart-to-heart talks with you.

After this desert experience, you will decide to be espoused to Jesus forever "in right and in justice, in love and in mercy" (Hos 2:21). You will be espoused to Jesus in fidelity "and you shall know the Lord" (Hos 2:22). Respond "I do" to Jesus, the Bridegroom (Mk 2:19).

Prayer:  Father, may I "grasp fully, with all the holy ones, the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ's love" (Eph 3:18).

Promise:  "Jesus turned around and saw her and said, 'Courage, daughter! Your faith has restored you to health.' That very moment the woman got well." —Mt 9:22

Praise:  St. Augustine Zhao Rong was a soldier who converted to the Catholic faith while providing an escort service for a French bishop. He became a priest and spread the Gospel until arrested. He died as a martyr while in prison.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 29, 2012

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