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Monday, December 14, 2015

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St. John of the Cross

Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17
Psalm 25:4-9
Matthew 21:23-27

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arrogance and sight

"The utterance of one who&#133;sees what the Almighty sees" —Numbers 24:4

Balaam was a professional "curser" hired by the enemies of Israel to curse the Israelites in the desert. In addition to being world-class at uttering curses upon nations, Balaam was world-class in arrogance as well. He boasted that he could see what Almighty God sees, yet on the trip to the desert, he couldn't even see what his donkey saw! (see Nm 22:22-35)

Those in authority at the time of Jesus considered themselves guardians of the truth and the law. In their arrogance, they considered the people lost and themselves the keepers of the truth (see Jn 7:47-49). They even challenged the authority of God to teach His own people in His own house! (Mt 21:23) Sadly, they couldn't see the Truth standing before them in the person of Jesus (Jn 14:6).

"When dealing with the arrogant, [God] is stern, but to the humble He shows kindness" (Prv 3:34). "The arrogance of men will be abased…For the Lord of hosts will have His day against all that is proud and arrogant, all that is high, and it will be brought low" (Is 2:11-12). "The arrogant may not stand in [God's] sight" (Ps 5:6). Perhaps this is why so many could not recognize the Infant Jesus at the first Christmas. It was the lowly shepherds (Lk 2:8ff) and those who invested the time and expense to seek the Lord (Mt 2:1ff) who saw the Baby Jesus and recognized Him.

The Lord calls us to repent of pride, self-exaltation, and arrogance and become "a people humble and lowly" (Zep 3:12). Those who humble themselves in the sight of the Lord are rewarded with the sight of the Lord.

Prayer:  "Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and for You I wait all the day" (Ps 25:5).

Promise:  "Good and upright is the Lord; thus He shows sinners the way." —Ps 25:8

Praise:  St. John said: "Live in the world as if God and your soul only were in it."

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2015

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