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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

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St. John of Capistrano

Romans 6:12-18
Psalm 124:1-8
Luke 12:39-48

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slave trade

"You must realize that, when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are the slaves of the one you obey, whether yours is the slavery of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to justice." —Romans 6:16

In the movie A.D., a woman who is a household slave is bought at the slave trade. When her new owner brings his purchased slave home, he removes her handcuffs, sets her free, and turns her over to his son, with whom she has fallen in love, to be his bride. This scene resembles what happens to everyone who comes to accept Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God. We are set free from the hard slavery of sin. Sin is a brutal slave-master, showing us no mercy. At the end of a lifetime of serving slave-master sin, our hard-earned wages are "death" (Rm 6:23). "Sin is a demon lurking at the door" (Gn 4:7), yet in Jesus "you can be [its] master."

By contrast, obedient and faithful slavery to Jesus Christ is a completely different sort of slavery. Yes, Lord Jesus demands and requires much of us, His slaves (Lk 12:48). Yet His is a slavery of love. In fact, Jesus no longer calls us slaves; rather, He calls us friends! (Jn 15:15) In Jesus, we are no longer slaves; we are sons and daughters of God! (Gal 4:7)

Trade sin-slavery for a life of loving slavery to Jesus. "Be slaves of Christ the Lord" (Col 3:24). "It was for liberty that Christ freed us" from the yoke of slavery to sin, "so stand firm, and do not take on yourselves the yoke of slavery" to sin "a second time!" (Gal 5:1) Rather, take on the yoke of slavery to Jesus, the Lord of love. His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Mt 11:30).

Prayer:  Father, I offer my body to You as a weapon for justice (Rm 6:13).

Promise:  "Sin will no longer have power over you; you are now under grace, not under the law." —Rm 6:14

Praise:  St. John, having a reason for hope, was known for his cheerfulness as he preached untiringly to strengthen others and fight heresy.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 22, 2013

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