You have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self

You have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self.    Have you ever become overly attached to a worn-out piece of clothing?   Perhaps it was an old coat that kept you very warm but was faded and stained.   The zipper was broken, and there was a big tear in the sleeve.   When winter arrived, you took it out of your closet and started wearing it again.   But then a good friend told you,  “Please get rid of that!   It...

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See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy

See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy.    How did the Colossians get so off track?   They had learned that salvation comes through Jesus’ death and resurrection, but some of them were being swayed by false teachings.   Paul called these teachings not only “empty” but “seductive” (Colossians 2:8).   They had a way of drawing people in. Every age has its own seductive philosophies that have the potential to lead...

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For this I labor and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power

For this I labor and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power.   Saint Peter Claver, Priest (Memorial)   Athletes who perform at the highest level train constantly: stretching, running, lifting weights, and working out winning strategies.   They dedicate all their physical and mental powers to their sport.   Winning is always key! There’s no question that St. Paul also labored and struggled—but for the gospel.   He traveled...

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God has now reconciled you

God has now reconciled you.    Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary   In 1981, Pope John Paul II was struck by several bullets as he drove through a huge crowd in St. Peter’s Square.   The assassination attempt put him in critical condition in the hospital, and he bore pain and discomfort from it for the rest of his life. Shortly after the shooting, the pope asked people, “Pray for my brother [his attacker] . . . whom I have sincerely forgiven.” ...

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He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead

He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.    Paul couldn’t have known:   a few years after the believers in Colossae received this letter, their city would be decimated by a powerful earthquake.   Historians tell us that the city never fully recovered. It’s possible that some of the Colossian believers grieved the loss of a spouse or a child in the quake.   Others, seeing their livelihoods buried in the rubble, uprooted their families...

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They left everything and followed him

They left everything and followed him.   Does it ever feel as if there are obstacles that make it hard for you to accept Jesus’ call to follow him?   If so, the Lord has some words of encouragement for you right now: Jesus:   “Whatever you think is holding you back from following me, whatever is oppressing or bothering you, just bring it along with you.   Trust me;   I can handle it.   The most important thing is that you know how much I love...

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