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Thursday, August 13, 2020

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Pope St. Pontian St. Hippolytus

Ezekiel 12:1-12
Psalm 78:56-59, 61-62
Matthew 18:21—19:1

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you are a sign of the living god

“I have made you a sign.” —Ezekiel 12:6

Radical forgiveness is a sign that amazes people. God asks Ezekiel to be a sign by performing a series of bizarre activities — going about blinded, walking aimlessly, acting as an exile. These behaviors were commanded by God to attempt to shock the Israelites into examining the reality of their distance from God.
A few weeks ago in the daily Mass readings, Jeremiah buried the loincloth (his underwear) in the rock in obedience to God’s command. Weeks later, when God directed him to retrieve the loincloth, it was wormy, rotted full of holes. That rotten underwear was a sign to Jeremiah’s hearers portraying their unfaithfulness in God’s sight.
Offering radical forgiveness to those who hurt us is likewise a sign meant to shock people into considering the faithful loving-kindness of God. The proper response to such a sign from God is repentance accompanied by obedient faith.
God says to you: “I have made you a sign” (Ez 12:6). People are looking at your life, much as they look to traffic signs for direction. What message do they see in your life? Will the way you respond to God encourage others to reform their lives and trust in God?

Prayer:  Father, grant that everyone who sees me may immediately turn their thoughts to Your merciful love.

Promise:  “Moved with pity, the master let the official go and wrote off the debt.” —Mt 18:27

Praise:  Pope St. Pontian and St. Hippolytus demonstrate that rivals can reconcile — by surrendering to divine providence. The two men, often theologically antagonistic, were martyred together in Sardinia.

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

Rescript:  "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for One Bread, One Body covering the period from August 1, through September 30, 2020. Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio October 1, 2019"

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.