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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

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Sts. Perpetua & Felicity

Jeremiah 18:18-20
Psalm 31:5-6, 14-16
Matthew 20:17-28

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scrutinizing self-aholics

"The mother of Zebedee's sons came up to Him accompanied by her sons, to do Him homage and ask of Him a favor." —Matthew 20:20

As we enter more deeply into this Lent, Jesus asks us: "What is it you want?" (Mt 20:21) The desires of our hearts may be like those of the mother of Zebedee's sons (Mt 20:21). We may be thinking more about ourselves than God. During this Lent, Jesus tries to break the spell of self. He asks another question: "Can you drink of the cup I am to drink of?" (Mt 20:22) Jesus tries to change us from being self-seeking to cross-carrying.

Next Sunday, in many Catholic churches throughout the world, "the scrutinies" will take place. We will ask the Lord to scrutinize the hearts, motives, desires, and lives of those preparing to be baptized and/or enter the Catholic Church. Let's join with the catechumens and candidates by asking the Lord to scrutinize our own hearts. May God's Word penetrate our inmost being, separate the good from the bad, judge the thoughts and reflections of our hearts, and purify us (Heb 4:12).

When Jesus asks us at Easter, "What is it you want?", may we not be fixated on ourselves but focused on Him. May we want to give more than receive (Acts 20:35) and to serve more than be served (Mt 20:28). May we want the cross more than pleasure and Jesus more than self. May we want what He wants.

Prayer:  Father, give me the desires of Your heart.

Promise:  "Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest, and whoever wants to rank first among you must serve the needs of all." —Mt 20:26-27

Praise:  St. Perpetua wrote to her father concerning her impending martyrdom, "We depend not on our own power but on the power of God."

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Accepting Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God, or on audio AV 43-1 or video V-43.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 2011

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