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To: Salvation

Any other thoughts?

9 posted on 09/04/2007 2:49:34 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Regnum Christi


The Authority of Humility
September 4, 2007

Tuesday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
Father Matthew Green, LC

Luke 4: 31-37
Jesus then went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, "Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are-- the Holy One of God!" Jesus rebuked him and said, "Be quiet! Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm. They were all amazed and said to one another, "What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out." And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, open my heart and mind to your word, that I may know and love your will in my life. I believe that you are always with me, and I trust in your love to guide and strengthen me. Help me to love you above all things.

Petition: Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart more like yours!

1. The Authority of Holiness    Wherever Jesus preaches, the gospels tell us that those who hear him are astonished or amazed: when he was lost in the Temple at age twelve; when he preached in Nazareth; when the guards were sent to take him prisoner in the Temple and were so amazed they left him alone. What was it that so impressed them? Although he must have been a good rhetorician, there were plenty of other skilled public speakers around. What distinguished him was his authority. Authority in speaking is characterized by intimate knowledge of the subject about which one is speaking, by coherence between one’s life and one’s words, and by confidence. Knowledge of God, living God’s will, and absolute confidence in God are signs of holiness, and that was the source of Jesus’ authority. He is Holiness in Person. Can we speak of God and the things of God with authority?

2. Choosing Our Master    With that same divine authority he is able to cast out demons, in a simple way, without fanfare. God commands demons irresistibly; their freedom is permanently corrupted by sin. However, he respects human freedom until the end of one’s earthly life. He transforms hearts from within by challenging us to love and strengthening us to do good. He wants willing obedience. He exercises his authority over us through service, using force only for our good. The devil aims at domination by force to satisfy his pride, preying on our weakness through our passions and pressure from our peers and society. He breaks us down to make us slaves, while God builds us up to make us his children. It’s easier to let ourselves be broken down than to rise to the challenge of love, but which kind of master do we want?

3. The Power of Humility    As paradoxical as it may seem, then, Jesus has shown us that true authority is inextricably linked to the virtue of humility. He taught us: “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart” (Matthew 11:29). Humility is the path to holiness. For us, this means submitting ourselves to God’s will, recognizing our own weakness, and leading through love. True humility is our greatest defense against the devil. We can do nothing for God, and hence nothing lastingly good for others, unless we acquire this virtue with the help of his grace – particularly in the sacraments. Pride, on the contrary, leads to violence and hate, which makes us like the devil and eventually grants us a share in his fate: eternal separation from God. Right now, on which side of the divide do we stand?

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, grant me true humility. Help me willingly and lovingly accept your authority in my life. I desire to bring your word and your strength to others by living in a way consistent with the truths of my faith.

Resolution: I will go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, recognizing my weakness and seeking God’s pardon and grace to make me more like him, especially in humility.

10 posted on 09/04/2007 4:45:56 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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