Regnum Christi | Legionaries of Christ

Daily Meditations Weekly Digest June 28-July 5

Sunday, June 28, 2020 – Being Worthy of Me

Monday, June 29, 2020 – Rock of Peter

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 – Letting Jesus Sleep

Wednesday, July 1, 2020 – Casting Out Evil

Thursday, July 2, 2020 – Fathoming Christ’s Mercy

Friday, July 3, 2020 – “My Lord and My God!”

Saturday, July 4, 2020 – Fasting and Feasting

Sunday, July 5, 2020 – Otherworldly Wisdom

 


June 28, 2020 – Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Being Worthy of Me

 

Matthew 10:37-42

Jesus said to his apostles: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple–truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I wish to put aside all distractions and to give you my total focus. I will do nothing more important today than to meditate prayerfully on your goodness and your active role in my life. Though I am unworthy to be in your presence, I trust in your mercy and love. Through this moment of prayer, I want to draw closer to you and learn to live more like you.

Petition: Lord, grant me a heart that is truly worthy of your presence.

  1. Those Lose Their Life for My Sake Will Find It:  The choice Christ offers is clear and stark. There is no middle ground. It is life or death for us. Moses was just as clear to the Israelites: “I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice, and cleaving to him; for that means life to you and length of days, that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20). Is my greatest concern to gain the kind of life Christ is talking about, eternal life, for myself and those I love? Can I truly say I’m choosing life by cleaving to him above all else?
  2. Giving Without Setting Conditions: Life with Christ demands a total surrender that is not nuanced with conditions, human calculations or personal preferences. Many have determined that they are giving enough to God, but they are still empty of him. They give, but they are not given. They only cheat themselves of a living experience of Christ and a love for his kingdom that would fill their heart and strengthen their spirit. I must labor never to let my decision for Christ decay into self-serving postures.
  3. “…Is Not Worthy of Me”: Just as the High Priest of the Old Covenant could  enter the Holy of Holies in the Temple only with the blood of sacrifice sprinkled before him, we are worthy to enter the divine presence only with sacrifice: Christ’s. When the soldier withdrew his lance from Christ’s side, the unstoppable fire of Christ’s charity broke forth, and the deflated heart of Our Lord taught a lesson that the world had never seen: the heart of a Christian is preserved by giving itself away; it is expanded when it has been completely emptied. Christ wants to enter into our heart, yet nothing makes us more worthy of him than our conscious effort to accept pains and sufferings for love of him. Self-denial, detachment, taking the harder path… these will not destroy us; they will vivify us.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I know that my disordered passions and weaknesses lead me away from you. Help me to re-order my life. With your Sacred Heart as my light, I know I need not fear the loss of anything on this earth as long as I have preserved you in my life and mission.

Resolution: I will offer a special sacrifice in an area where I am often too indulgent.


June 29, 2020 – Solemnity of Saints Peter and Saint Paul, Apostles

Rock of Peter

 

Father Edward McIlmail, LC

Matthew 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so, I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Introductory Prayer: Jesus, I believe in you. I believe that you came into this world to suffer and die to give me a chance at eternal salvation. I want to draw close to you in this prayer. May this time I spend with you be an expression of my love.

Petition: Help me, Lord, to enter into a deeper, personal relationship with you.

  1. Identity Crisis: Jesus isn’t interested in what “others” think of him. He wants to know what I think of him. The test of any relationship is how committed people are to each other. At some point a young woman will wonder, how serious is her boyfriend? After a few weeks of class, a professor wants to know, who are the serious students here? On the eve of battle a soldier might wonder, can I count on my buddies when the bullets start flying? Likewise, Our Lord wonders about us. What does Christ mean to me? Is he just a picture on a holy card? A dimly perceived do-gooder from the past? Or does he have a real place in my life? He is, after all, the Second Person of the Trinity who came into the world in order to save us. How does that truth affect my faith?
  2. Heavenly Revelation: Peter professes that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. And Jesus in turn tells him that this knowledge doesn’t come from the world. It comes from God the Father. Recognition of Jesus as the Christ involves an act of faith. Throughout history skeptics have tried to figure out Jesus, using just their reason and tools of research. But since when do we try to understand the totality of a person with reason? Learning about another person can often require personal contact, above all, listening to him or her. Do I try to listen to Jesus in prayer, in Scripture? Or do I simply try to “figure him out”?
  3. Binding and Loosing: Keys were a symbol of authority. Our Lord had all authority on earth (see Matthew 28:18 and Mark 2:10). Authority implies the ability to delegate it; hence, Jesus gave Peter, as the first pope, the power to bind and loose, that is, to make disciplinary rules within the Church. A child who disobeys a licit command from its mother is committing a sin. Why? Not because Mom is God, but because Mom has authority from God. Authority, in this case papal authority, is not an imposition but rather a service. The Pope’s unique authority gives us a sure guide on moral questions. The Pope doesn’t have the power to make morality but rather to define authoritatively on issues at hand. How well do I know papal teaching? Do I make an effort to learn why he teaches as he teaches? When a difficulty arises, do I consult Church teaching? “Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16).

Conversation with Christ: Lord, help me to love my faith as an expression of my personal relationship with you. Keep me from ever growing cold in my faith. Grant me a renewed appreciation for the gift of papal authority.

Resolution: I will read a few paragraphs of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, for example, a few about the papacy (880-887, 895, 1559).


June 30, 2020  – Tuesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Letting Jesus Sleep

 

Matthew 8:23-27

As Jesus got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come to you in this meditation ready to do whatever it is you ask. Left to myself I often take the easy and convenient path, yet I know the way of a Christian is through the narrow gate. In you I find the reason to abandon the easy path for a more perfect mission of love. I’m ready to learn the meaning of your command: “Follow me.”

Petition: Lord, grant me the grace of a mature faith.

  1. God’s Silence, Man’s Faith: We can imagine ourselves in the place of the apostles, in this poor boat tossed by the turbulent waves. The situation instantly speaks to our worst of fears; yet Jesus sleeps. Our temptation is to wake him…and too many souls do so through complaining incessantly, despairing attitudes, withdrawing from prayer, or unloading anger on others. When in a moment of trial, we find life is no longer under our complete control, the option of meltdown is always at hand. But we mustn’t take that route; instead we must contemplate the power that emanates from the sleeping Christ. Trials are intended by God to draw us closer to him and increase our dependence on him. We have to live from faith; otherwise all that reigns is fear, insecurity and bitterness. The “Silence of Christ” is powerful. To pass over its meaning lightly is to abandon some of the deepest lessons of Christ’s heart. The “Silence of Christ” must teach us.
  2. The “Silence of Christ” Speaks to Our Faith: What is Christ’s sleep like? As a young mother, Mary watched Jesus sleep many times. Archbishop Martinez writes:“Jesus was exceedingly beautiful when he spoke the words of eternal life, accomplished wonders, looked with love, pardoned with mercy and caressed with tenderness. But I would like to have seen him while he was sleeping because I could have contemplated him to my heart’s content, without the fascination of his gaze distracting me, without the perfection of his beauty and the glory of his splendor dazzling my eyes and enrapturing my soul. The beauty of Jesus awake is far too great for my smallness. Who could support it? I felt it more suited to me veiled by sleep, as the glory of the sun is more adapted to my eyes when I look at it through a translucent lens” (When Jesus Sleeps, p.15).

    May I trust the power of Christ just as much when he chooses not to act as when he does.

  3. God’s Eternal Pedagogy: Water, a boat, the apostles and Christ… this scene repeats itself over and over again in the Gospel. Water is a symbol of the experiences of life taken on a human level; the boat is the experience of faith on a supernatural level — it is our life with Christ. Christ’s message is that we can never let our experiences of life overwhelm our experience of faith. We have to live not from the surface level of impressions of the moment, but from the deep channel of faith that reveals the action of God, the wisdom of his Providence and the ultimate destiny of eternity. Faith is what reveals Christ’s presence in our boat; faith is what makes us believe that every wave and wind gust are blessed invitations to confide in the One who rules all. Faith is what permits God to console our hearts, calm our fears and preserve our joy in the midst of problems and difficulties that may take months or years to run their course.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I know belief makes me vulnerable. But I know that I will not know your love if I do not believe that you can make me happier than I can be by myself. If I do not face the enemies of my soul and my mission and abandon myself to your grace, I will not know your victory.

Resolution: Today I will take a problem and, with complete trust and confidence in him, leave it totally in God’s hands.


July 1, 2020  – Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Casting Out Evil

 

Father Steven Liscinsky, LC

Matthew 8: 28-34

When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road. They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding. The demons pleaded with him, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.” And he said to them, “Go then!” They came out and entered the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea where they drowned. The swineherds ran away, and when they came to the town, they reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their district.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are present within me. I want to live this day close to you and see everything through the prism of faith. I want to put my trust and confidence in you. You will grant me all the graces I need today. All I have to do is ask. I want to love you with all my heart, especially in charity; giving myself to everyone I meet today so that I can communicate your love to them.

Petition: Lord, help me defeat the evil of sin in my life.

  1. Sin Keeps Us Away from God: We learn in the catechism that mortal sin takes sanctifying grace away from our soul and cuts us off from God. Today’s Gospel illustrates that separation, as the two possessed men keep their distance from Christ and want him to leave them alone. Our sin, whether mortal or venial, pushes God away from our lives. It is like telling him that we do not need him, that we do not want him in our lives. Have I willfully accepted sin in my life, thereby shunning God? Even in the slightest way?
  2. Sin Hurts Our Relationships with Others: Clearly the evil of the possessed men has hurt their relationship with their fellow men. They can no longer be a part of their community but have to live apart from society. Every sin, in a way, is a “social sin” because it has social consequences. Even our most personal sins – in our thoughts – injure the Mystical Body of the Church, and so have an effect on others. Those sins that others see are even greater because they cause scandal and could lead others into sin. Christ is inviting us to reject sin. Let us join him and cast out the devil from our daily lives.
  3. Sin Harms Us, Too: The evil that we do is harmful above all to ourselves. The demoniacs often gashed and cut themselves. The physical injury to their bodies signifies a deeper spiritual affliction. Our souls are made for God, and so separation from him is truly heart-wrenching. Sin avoids presenting its ugly face, but after we have committed it, our conscience begins to bother us. Then we realize that our wrong choice has separated us from the One we are drawn to by nature. We feel the pain of separation and of that rupture which divides us interiorly.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, help me to cast out sin from my life. I need your help since I cannot do it on my own. Just like the demoniacs who longed to be freed from their torment, I also long to defeat sin in my life. So often I am overpowered by my passions or the temptations of the devil. Grant me the strength I need, Lord.

Resolution: I will promise Christ that today I will reject one specific sin or imperfection that I usually fall into.


July 2, 2020  – Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Fathoming Christ’s Mercy

 

Matthew 9:1-8

After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town. And there, people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” At that, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, “Why do you harbor evil thoughts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — he then said to the paralytic, “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” He rose and went home. When the crowds saw this, they were struck with awe and glorified God who had given such authority to men.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come to you in this meditation ready to do whatever it is you ask. Left to myself I often take the easy and convenient path, yet I know the way of a Christian is through the narrow gate. In you I find the reason to abandon the easy path for a more perfect mission of love. I’m ready to learn the meaning of your command: “Follow me.”

Petition: Lord, grant me a deeper experience of your mercy.

  1. Crippled by Control: For St. Jerome, physical paralysis is an image of man’s inability to return to God by his own efforts. It is man’s inability to create his own salvation, to set the terms by which he can say he has made peace with God. The paralysis is meant to speak more to the Pharisees about their souls than to the cripple who bears it. Christ saw stagnation in the Pharisees’ hearts. They wanted to put God in a box, where their relationship with him could neatly accommodate their status and comforts. We, like the Pharisees, like our routine. We like to coast in our spiritual life and dislike having to adjust to God’s asking for more faith, trust or charity. For saintly souls, Christ is ever new; they are always being asked for more, and new experiences of Christ fill them as a result. Their love never goes stale since they refuse to control what God can do with them.
  2. The Only Real Problem Is Sin: The paralytic and his companions arrive concerned only about his physical condition. This is not, however, what is first on Christ’s priority list. What is first, rather, is the man’s state of soul. For God, the problem of life is not about problems. Problems are merely the pretexts he sends us to heal and develop our relationship with him: “Your sins are forgiven.” The problem of life is all about holiness and about removing the chief obstacle to holiness: sin. Deep down, the only things that can hurt us are the obstacles of sin and an egoistic lifestyle.
  3. Awaiting God’s Replies: The pause between “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven you” and the cure of the paralysis initially may have caused disappointment in those unfamiliar with Christ’s way of working. In that wait our response to God comes, and our part in the plan of salvation is played out. Instant gratification of a child’s wants spoils the meaning of his parents’ gift of loving support. To arrive to Christian maturity, we must form the virtues of faith and trust. Seeking cures must be sought more as part of God’s will than as our own self-centered relief effort. This takes time. Yet even in that pause, in the dark night of faith, something is happening. While miracles are on the way, we are being changed. The command to rise seems only to confirm or make visible something that has already occurred in the paralytic’s soul: through faith and trust, Christ reigns over his soul.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I know that in you alone I shall rise, because only you can conquer sin in me. For my part, like St. Paul, I have sought to fight the good fight, strengthened by your grace and mercy. Help me to accept every difficulty as a new chance to purify my heart and sanctify my soul.

Resolution: Today I will remember to avoid rash and judgmental thoughts of others. As I do so I will keep in my heart the merciful dispositions of Christ’s heart.


July 3, 2020 – Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle

“My Lord and My God!”

 

Father Robert DeCesare, LC

Matthew 8:1-4

When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you and in your love. I trust in you as the way for me to live. I hope in the power of your cross to free me from all that is not you. I love you and want my love to be more real so that I may imitate your pure and total love.

Petition: Lord, help me to turn from my sins.

  1. Lord, If You Wish, You Can Make Me Clean: Whenever we come to the sacrament of confession, we want the words of this humble leper to be on our lips: “Jesus, you can heal me from that which ails me, from my sin.” This leper’s act of faith is comparable to the Good Thief’s faith. While nailed to the cross next to Our Lord he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” In each case they see with eyes of faith beyond what the eyes of their body tell them. When we come to confess our sins with eyes of faith, we want to look beyond the priest to Jesus, the one who not only forgives our sins but heals our souls.
  2. He Stretched Out His Hand, and Touched Him: The Pharisees once asked the disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (Matthew 9:11). Jesus is not afraid of my leprosy; he is not afraid of my sin. His love is simply more powerful than any person’s sin, no matter how grave. He is not afraid to be associated with sinners or to touch lepers. It was this same love that moved the Word to become “flesh and dwell among us” (John 1:14). By taking our human nature to himself he “stretched out his hand and touched us.” When we give Jesus our sins he nails them to the cross — and it is precisely at the cross that we discover two things: the true nature of our sin and the infinite love the prompts Jesus to touch us.
  3. I Do Will It. Be Made Clean: Jesus wants the leper to be healed; he likewise wants you and me to be healed, clean, whole. Through the hands of the priest, Jesus stretches out his own hand and bids us to be clean so that we may not remain in our sins. Sin knocks at the door of our lives, but thanks to Jesus we do not have to continue in it. When Jesus heals us, he also gives us the strength (grace) to stay healthy. He heals us so that we may freely walk with him and imitate him in our lives. But do I want to leave aside all my sin? What former leper would ever wish to return to his leprosy? Ultimately it is the heart that must be made clean by way of constant prayer, the sacraments and a genuine effort to do what we know is pleasing to God.

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, you know when I sit and when I stand. Before a word is on my lips you know the whole of it; with all my ways you are familiar (cf. Psalm 139). Help me to live in the light, correspond to your grace, and experience the healing joy that comes from friendship with you.

Resolution: This week I will go to confession, taking time to prepare myself well.


 

July 4, 2020 – Saturday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Fasting and Feasting

 

Matthew 9:14-17

The disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, for the patch pulls away from the cloak, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come to you in this meditation ready to do whatever it is you ask. Left to myself, I often take the easy and convenient path; yet I know the way of a Christian is through the narrow gate. In you I find the reason to abandon the easy path for a more perfect mission of love. I’m ready to learn the meaning of your command: “Follow me.”

Petition: Lord, help me to value the place of fasting in my life.

  1. Creating Hunger for God: Fasting has its place in the life of holiness. Like the precept of poverty, fasting is the purposeful privation of a natural good to make the soul more sensitive to the supernatural goods of the Spirit. It is the silencing of the flesh in order to feel more intensely a spiritual hunger for God. Just as the Israelites had to grow hungry in the desert before they could worthily receive the bread from heaven in the gift of manna, so in our life there is place to put aside the distractions of what is good for that which is holy. In the practice of self-denial, we will find the spiritual receptivity of a new wineskin that will not burst when, through prayer, God pours in the new wine of the Kingdom.
  2. Respecting the End: The practice of piety is not an end in itself. Rather, it is oriented to the ultimate end of the spiritual life: union with Christ. Christ must unweave  John’s disciples from an excessive rigor in their spiritual life, one that has lost God as its proper object. Spiritual pride can grow subtly in persons who take upon themselves forms of devotion or asceticism for their own sakes. In all things, even in the spiritual, we have to look at the end. If some spiritual practice does not lead us to live God’s will and his presence in a more loving manner, then it is of no use to us.
  3. Fasting and the Passion Lead to Spiritual Feasting: The moment of the Passion will come; the days of mourning will arrive. The fasting that the disciples lived and that the Church lives is one of uniting ourselves to the suffering Christ. Self-denial in order to do God’s will becomes a participation in Christ’s Redemption. Christ’s closest friends will want to share his sorrow, suffer his privations and make his holocaust visible to others through their sacrificial way of life. May I be ready to live union with Christ, embracing periodic acts of self-denial and the ongoing crosses of my duty for love of souls and his Kingdom.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, help me practice true devotion and sacrifice. Renew in me a holy desire to seek you above all things, so that all I possess in my life is ordered to serving you better and glorifying your name.

Resolution: I will make a special sacrifice to fulfill a duty of my state in life, uniting myself more to the suffering Christ.

  


July 5, 2020  – Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Otherwordly Wisdom

 

Matthew 11:25-30

At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Introductory Prayer: Thank you again, Lord, for this opportunity to spend time with you. I believe in you and your love for me, and I look forward to that day when we can embrace in heaven. Till then, I want to show my love for you in words and deeds.

Petition: Jesus, grant me a meek and humble heart like yours.

  1. Counter Intelligence: Jesus thanks his heavenly Father for hiding the divine truths from “the wise and the intelligent” and revealing them to the little ones. Understanding the ways of God requires a simple, pure heart. What we might think of as “intelligence” can sometimes be little more than just a talent for manipulating things or ideas or people for our own ends. Someone, for instance, might be clever at making and managing money, but ends up being a poor steward by spending it on the wrong things. Then there is a prideful intelligence that seems blind to common sense. On the other side of the spectrum are children, simple and trusting. They can accept the things of God more easily. Trust in God’s word requires trust in his love and mercy. It also requires a profound sense of our own littleness compared to his greatness. Do I have such an attitude when approaching him?
  2. Like Father, Like Son: Jesus alone in the world knew God the Father. Jesus came, in part, to reveal his Abba. Not everyone understood this. Even the Apostle Philip missed this part of Christ’s message. “Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9). Awareness that Jesus reflects the image of his Father should help us in prayer; it puts a human face on the Father, so to speak. We might pray to Jesus’ mother, Mary, with ease. Why not to his Father, too?
  3. Model Meekness: It’s significant that Jesus points to his meekness and humility when holding himself up as a model for us. Notice that Our Lord doesn’t point to his miracles, or his talent for catchy one-liners, or even his devotion to his Mother. Rather, he highlights his own meekness and humility. Jesus even shows these qualities from the moment of his birth. “God is so powerful,” said Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI in his Christmas midnight Mass homily in 2005, “that he can make himself vulnerable and come to us as a defenseless child, so that we can love him.” In turn, Jesus invites us to make ourselves vulnerable, to open our hearts to others even at the risk of being rejected. To incur such a risk is to understand better what Christ did for us. Is Jesus asking me to be more humble with someone?

Conversation with Christ: Lord, you know that humility costs me a lot. It forces me to give up my way of seeing things, of wanting to be appreciated, of wanting always to be in control of everything. Let me be humbler like you. If following you means embracing humility, so be it. Give me the strength to accept that.

Resolution: I will let others have the last word in conversation today.

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