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Sunday, September 21, 2008

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25th Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 55:6-9
Philippians 1:20-24, 27
Psalm 145
Matthew 20:1-16

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the exhilaration of not getting our way

"As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are My ways above your ways and My thoughts above your thoughts." —Isaiah 55:9

Because God's thoughts and ways are very different than ours, we must think and act very differently from what we are comfortable with, if we are to have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16). In other words, if it feels good, don't do it!

Until we are very holy, doing things God's way will be heart-wrenching. It will upset us to not get our way. However, we give in and do it God's way anyway because we love Him. Sometimes we don't even understand what God is doing, but there's something mysteriously beautiful about living in this kingdom of God and living so foreign to our natural ways. There is such authentic fulfillment in losing our lives (Lk 9:24), abandoning ourselves to the Lord, not relying on our own understanding (Prv 3:5), and not doing our own thing. What freedom we have in not being confined to our own thoughts and ways, but living a new life of faith in the Lord! (see Gal 2:20)

"For who can see Him and describe Him? Or who can praise Him as He is? Beyond these, many things lie hid; only a few of His works have we seen" (Sir 43:33-34). "How deep are the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How inscrutable His judgments, how unsearchable His ways!" (Rm 11:33) "To Him be glory forever. Amen" (Rm 11:36).

Prayer:  Father, by Your grace may I break out of self-centeredness into the light of Your kingdom.

Promise:  "Christ will be exalted through me, whether I live or die. For, to me, 'life' means Christ; hence dying is so much gain." —Phil 1:20-21

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, Who prayed "Not My will, but Thine be done." Alleluia!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Don't Stifle the Spirit on audio AV 56-3 or video V-56.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 25, 2008

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