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Friday, June 30, 2023

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First Martyrs of Rome

Genesis 17:1, 9-10, 15-22
Psalm 128:1-5
Matthew 8:1-4

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changing names

“God further said to Abraham: ‘As for your wife Sarai, do not call her Sarai; her name shall be Sarah. I will bless her, and I will give you a son by her.’ ” —Genesis 17:15-16

We all want certain things to change. The leper in today’s Gospel reading wanted Jesus to heal him. Jesus touched him, and “immediately the man’s leprosy disappeared” (Mt 8:3). Sometimes we want things to change not by disappearing but by appearing. For instance, Abram and Sarai wanted to have a child. We likewise want changes in our health, families, jobs, financial situations, churches, politics, and world.

The changes we desire are mostly exterior changes. However, interior change often precedes exterior change. Great interior change can often be expressed by a change of name. Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, and Sarai’s name to Sarah. Then they were miraculously able to conceive a child. We too often need a name-change before we can have changes in our health, jobs, families, etc.

Turn to Jesus. His name is “above every other name” (Phil 2:9). His name is the only name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12). When Jesus changes our names, we are really changed inside and outside. Jesus changed Simon to Peter (Rock) and on this rock He built the Church (Mt 16:18). Jesus changed Saul to Paul and turned a murderous enemy of Christians into a Christian missionary. This change of Saul to Paul resulted in the Gospel being proclaimed to the world. The name of the game is the change of the name.

Prayer:  Father, may I fully live the new life expressed by my baptismal and confirmation names.

Promise:  “Happy are you who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways!” —Ps 128:1

Praise:  The First Martyrs of Rome served as seeds which caused faith to grow in countless others. They came from all classes of society — soldiers, peasants, nobility, and merchants.


Rescript:  "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for the publication One Bread, One Body covering the time period from June 1, 2023, through July 31, 2023. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Chancellor, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio December 14, 2022"

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.