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Monday, July 1, 2013

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Bl. Junipero Serra

Genesis 18:16-33
Psalm 103:1-4, 8-11
Matthew 8:18-22

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a love to die for

"Far be it from You to do such a thing, to make the innocent die with the guilty." —Genesis 18:25

Abraham believed that the Lord would not "make the innocent die with the guilty" (Gn 18:25). However, the Lord actually lets the innocent die for the guilty. "Yes, God so loved the world that He gave His only Son," Jesus, the Innocent One, "that whoever believes in Him may not die but may have eternal life" (Jn 3:16).

Jesus came to die so that we sinners might have life through Him. "At the appointed time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for us godless men. It is rare that anyone should lay down his life for a just man, though it is barely possible that for a good man someone may have the courage to die. It is precisely in this that God proves His love for us: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us...When we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him by the death of His Son" (Rm 5:6-8, 10).

We are disciples of Jesus. Therefore, we follow in His footsteps, take up our cross each day, die to ourselves, and offer up our lives for Him (Lk 9:23). It's not humanly possible for us to love the Sodoms and Gomorrahs of this world enough to die on their behalf. However, "the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us" (Rm 5:5). We love with God's love, not a human love.

"Fix your eyes on Jesus" (Heb 3:1). "Live in His love" (Jn 15:10). "He laid down His life for us; we too must lay down our lives" for those He loves (1 Jn 3:16).

Prayer:  Jesus, may I follow You on Your terms (Lk 9:62).

Promise:  "Not according to our sins does He deal with us, nor does He requite us according to our crimes." —Ps 103:10

Praise:  Bl. Junipero gave thirty-four years of his life for love of native Americans. He led over six-thousand native Americans to Jesus.

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, January 18, 2013

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