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Daily Devotional for August 3


August 3                                                            Mark 7:1-23

The innermost part of each of us, the heart, is pure love, the
very essence of God. Ideally, we reveal God to the world by
words and deeds which flow from this divine center. However,
when our hearts become overgrown with impurities - "evil
thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting,
wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride,
foolishness" - we end up reflecting those impurities rather
than the love of God to the world.

In order to purify and recenter us as a people and as indi-
viduals, God sent Jesus, the Christ, to dwell in our hearts. Christ
begins by cleansing our hearts of the impurities so that the
love of God can shine through us to the world. With Christ
in our hearts we can grow to love with the love of Christ.

As Jesus loved the tax collector, the thief, the prostitute, the
disciple who denied him, the disciple who betrayed him, the
leper, the children, the poor, and all others, so he showed me
how to love the co-worker who wronged me, the friend who
was false, the lover who rejected me, the one who hurt me,
the one who needs me, the one who used me, the street person
who confronts me. It isn't always easy to love, but Christ in
my heart makes it always possible.

            Come, O Lord, into my heart and cleanse it of
       all impurities. Empower me to see you in others and
     to love and serve God by loving and serving them. Let
         me be a true manifestation and reflection of your
                love to all those whom I encounter today
                              and every day. Amen.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.

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