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The great violinist, Nicole Pagannini, willed his marvelous violin to Genoa, the city of his birth, only on the condition that it not be played. It is a peculiar wood in that as long as the violin is used and handled, it shows little wear. As soon as it is discarded, the wood begins to decay. The exquisite, mellow-toned violin has become worm-eaten in its beautiful case, valueless except as a relic. The moldering instrument is a reminder that life, withdrawn from all service to others, loses its meaning.

Jesus taught this in a dramatic and unforgettable way. He said, “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for Me and for the gospel will find it.” (Mk 10:45) If a life is to remain useful, it must be lived in service to others.

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