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Monday, December 15, 1997

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Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17
Psalm 25
Matthew 21:23-27

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"We do not know." —Matthew 21:27

Balaam called himself the man who "knows what the Most High knows" (Nm 24:4, 16). He was so highly regarded for his ability as a fortune-teller that nations sent large delegations of dignitaries with large amounts of money to obtain his services (Nm 22:6-7, 15). Yet this man who "sees what the Almighty sees" (Nm 24:16) couldn't even get the picture when his donkey began to talk to him! (Nm 22:28ff) He had to admit that he "did not know that" God opposed His greedy plot against Israel (Nm 22:34).

The Jewish religious leaders were also confident in their expert knowledge of God's plan. They knew that Jesus was a sinner (Jn 9:24). They also knew His background (Jn 7:27; 6:42). Yet when Jesus asked them a direct question which had only two possible answers, they had to admit, "We do not know" (Mt 21:27). They knew the results of each answer to Jesus' question. However, they didn't know the Answer.

During this Advent season, come humbly to Jesus. Look with amazement on the Baby Jesus, the Almighty King of the universe, laying in a dirty feeding trough wrapped in strips of cloth rather than the finest linen. Feel anew the awe that the Eternal Word, Who created the heavens and the earth, should descend to earth and become one of us. Let us be truly wise men and women, and prostrate ourselves before Him (Mt 2:11). "Know that the Lord is God" (Ps 100:3).

Prayer:  Father, "I wish to know Christ" (Phil 3:10). Grant me a Spirit of wisdom and insight to know You clearly (Eph 1:17).

Promise:  "Good and upright is the Lord; thus He shows sinners the way. He guides the humble to justice, He teaches the humble His way." —Ps 25:8-9

Praise:  Jesus healed Juan of the damage done by a heart attack. Since then, Juan has both worshipped Jesus in daily Mass and has gone to Confession monthly.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, June 1, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 9, 1997