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Thursday, July 19, 2018

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Isaiah 26:7-9, 12, 16-19
Psalm 102:13-21
Matthew 11:28-30

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"As a woman about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pains, so were we in Your presence, O Lord." —Isaiah 26:17

Maimonides, a Jewish rabbi in the twelfth century, listed 613 commandments in the Old Testament. Moreover, the commands in the New Testament are much more challenging than those of the Old (see Mt 5:22, 28, etc.). We are obligated to obey God's commandments, for if we don't act on God's Word, we deceive ourselves (Jas 1:22). Moreover, "whoever falls into sin on one point of the law, even though he keeps the entire remainder, has become guilty on all counts" (Jas 2:10). We are in an impossible situation. The weight of God's law is overwhelming. We must obey God's law, but we cannot do it.

Jesus offers to rescue us from this dilemma when He invites us: "Come to Me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you" (Mt 11:28). If we ask Him, Jesus will take over our lives. He will accomplish all that we need to do (see Is 26:12). "He Who calls us is trustworthy, therefore He will do it" (1 Thes 5:24). Life in Christ is not a "do-it-yourself" program; it is a "let-it-be-done" situation. "Salvation we have not achieved for the earth, the inhabitants of the world cannot bring it forth" (Is 26:18). Jesus is the only Savior. "There is no salvation in anyone else, for there is no other name in the whole world given to men by which we are to be saved" (Acts 4:12). Trying to obey even one of God's commands by our own power will crush us. Obeying hundreds of His commands by His grace will be easy and light (Mt 11:30).

Lighten up. Give your life to the Light.

Prayer:  Father, teach me to depend on You alone for everything.

Promise:  "Take My yoke upon your shoulders and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart." —Mt 11:29

Praise:  Even though weary from his daily work, Robert takes time to visit Jesus in the Eucharist and feels the great blessing of His quiet presence.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 27, 2018

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