the tyranny of self
"When the Pharisees were outside they began to plot against Him to find a way to destroy Him. Jesus was aware of this." —Matthew 12:14-15
Jesus was aware that some of the religious leaders of His time were plotting to destroy Him. When we are rejected, hated, and threatened with murder, we normally turn in on ourselves and become preoccupied with our problems. However, Jesus did just the opposite. He reached out to many people and cured them all (Mt 12:15). When we're wounded, we think of being healed. When Jesus was wounded, He healed others.
When Jesus was hanging on the cross, He did not give in to self-pity. Rather, He kept forgiving those executing Him (Lk 23:34), promised paradise to the good thief (Lk 23:43), called Mary to be a mother to His disciples (Jn 19:26-27), and commended His Spirit to His Father (Lk 23:46). Jesus was God-centered, other-centered, and sinner-centered. Even in His agony and pain on Calvary, Jesus was not self-centered.
It's humanly impossible to die to self when you feel as if you're dying. However, Jesus lives in all those who have given their lives to Him. Jesus will make us Christ-centered rather than self-centered. He will free us from the tyranny of self.
Prayer: Father, may I not be self-centered so that I can truly love You and myself.
Promise: "Here is My Servant Whom I have chosen, My loved One in Whom I delight. I will endow Him with My Spirit." —Mt 12:18
Praise: St. Lawrence defended the Church against heretics and Turks.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Crucified to the World on audio AV 40A-3 or video V40-A.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 29, 2012
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