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Monday, November 10, 1997

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Pope St. Leo the Great

Wisdom 1:1-7
Psalm 139
Luke 17:1-6

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scandalized or de-scandalized?

Jesus "said to His disciples: 'Scandals will inevitably arise, but woe to him through whom they come.' " —Luke 17:1

Throughout the history of Christianity and humanity, scandals have inevitably arisen. Talking about these scandals makes matters worse. However, we can make even scandals work together for the good of all who love God (Rm 8:28), if we:

  • are on guard so as not to cause scandals (Lk 17:3),
  • are on guard to prevent scandals (Lk 17:3),
  • correct our brothers and sisters (Lk 17:3),
  • forgive others 70 x 7 (Lk 17:4; Mt 18:22),
  • pray for an increase of faith (Lk 17:5), and
  • use our faith to move trees, mountains, and anything else so as to further God's kingdom (Lk 17:6).

Of course, we cannot do all these things by our power but only by the power of the Spirit (see Zec 4:6). Throughout history, the Spirit has transformed the worst situations, and will do it in our times also. Consequently, ask for the Spirit (see Lk 11:13) to be stirred into flame in your life (2 Tm 1:6-7). Follow the Spirit's lead (Gal 5:25) as the Spirit lusts against the flesh (Gal 5:17) and convicts the world (Jn 16:8). You will not cause scandals but cause them to be turned into blessings. De-scandalize the scandalized.

Prayer:  Father, may I let the Holy Spirit work through me to renew the face of the earth and rid it of scandals (see Ps 104:30).

Promise:  "God is the Witness of (the blasphemer's) inmost self and the sure Observer of his heart and the Listener to his tongue." —Wis 1:6

Praise:  Leo preached life-changing sermons and called many to holiness. His sermons are still read today by the Church in the Liturgy of the Hours.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 22, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 26, 1997