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Saturday, August 23, 1997

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St. Rose of Lima

Ruth 2:1-3, 8-11; 4:13-17
Psalm 128
Matthew 23:1-12

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"Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, but whoever humbles himself shall be exalted." —Matthew 23:12

The Lord will eventually humble us if we don't do it ourselves. However, He wants us to do our own humbling, while He does the exalting. We can humble ourselves by carrying the daily cross(es) (see Phil 2:8), choosing the lowest place (Lk 14:10), asking for help, admitting we're wrong, asking forgiveness, simplifying our life-style, being a fool for Christ (1 Cor 4:10), associating with the lowly (Rm 12:16; Lk 14:13), or gleaning, as Ruth did (Ru 2:2).

Gleaning is settling for other people's leftovers. Gleaning is wearing hand-me-downs or driving a third- hand car that nobody wants anymore. Gleaning is not only physical but psychological. It is appreciating just a "hello," while someone else gets almost all the attention.

Gleaning is no fun. Yet, there are gleaners like Ruth who rejoice in picking up the leftovers. These gleaners seem intuitively to know that God gleans. This was manifested when Jesus emptied Himself (Phil 2:7), became poor for our sakes (2 Cor 8:9), and was rejected. He continues to settle temporarily for our left- over time and money.

Let's put God out of the gleaning business before He comes back again. Let's exalt Him and give Him our all and our best, not our leftovers.

Prayer:  Father, I humble myself and constantly exalt You.

Promise:  "He will be your comfort and the support of your old age." —Ru 4:15

Praise:  Rose's life of gospel poverty, prayer, and extreme penance served as a prophetic witness against the worldliness of the comfortable and corrupt society in which she lived.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 1, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 1997