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Thursday, July 4, 2019

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Genesis 22:1-19
Psalm 115:1-6, 8-9
Matthew 9:1-8

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the tools of evangelization

Abraham "carried the fire and the knife." —Genesis 22:6

Abraham shows what is needed for evangelization, that is, spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. First, he was "ready" to respond to the call of God (Gn 22:1). He acted out of obedience and trusting surrender to God, no matter how much sacrifice the Lord required of him.

Abraham carried the fire. Jesus revealed that he came to light a fire on the earth and greatly wished that the blaze would be ignited (Lk 12:49). After Jesus ascended, He sent forth the Holy Spirit in "tongues as of fire" on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:3). Like Abraham, we are to carry the fire of the Holy Spirit within us as we burn with zeal to spread the Good News of the Lord.

Abraham also carried the knife. We are to carry more than a knife — indeed, we carry the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. As the Spirit wields the Living Word through us, the Word of God will become living and effective, piercing the hearts of those who hear that Word (Heb 4:12). The Word of God, sown through us by the Holy Spirit, will bear abundant fruit.

Be like Abraham. Carry the fire and the knife in self-sacrificial, obedient, Spirit-guided evangelization.

Prayer:  Father, everything I have is Yours. I trust completely in You. Use me and use me up.

Promise:  "I will bless you abundantly and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore." —Gn 22:17

Praise:  More than one member at Marie's Bible Study asked about becoming Catholic.

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

(Two Bible studies to inspire and renew you this summer! On July 12-14, we will "set our minds on things that are above" (Col 3:2) as we study Paul's letter to the Colossians, and on July 19-21 we will delve into Paul's letter to the Philippians. E-mail retreats@presentationministries.com or call 513-373-2397 to register or for more information or see our website.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 24, 2018

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