Regnum Christi | Legionaries of Christ

Weekly Digest of the Regnum Christi Daily Meditations: November 14-21, 2021

Sunday, November 14, 2021 – Towards Heaven

Monday, November 15, 2021 – Seeing with Faith

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 – Jesus Is My Guest

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 – Kings and Gold Coins

Thursday, November 18, 2021 – Build Your Life on the Rock that is Christ

Friday, November 19, 2021 – God’s House is Holy

Saturday, November 20, 2021 – Christ is the Answer

Sunday, November 21, 2021 – A Question of Kingdoms

 


November 14, 2021 – Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Towards Heaven

Mark 13:24-32

Jesus said to his disciples: “In those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky. Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I turn to you today with faith, knowing that you are the Lord of life and history. Aware of my weaknesses and failures, I set my hopes in you, for you always fulfill your promises. As I contemplate your love that becomes fidelity, I, too, desire to repay you with my fidelity. I am here before you to listen and, in listening, discover your will for me today.

Petition: Lord, may my intelligence be enlightened with the theological virtue of hope.

  1. Promise Keeper: Christ promised and delivered. His words brought about a change of spirit: the way we understand the world around us, the way we desire, and the way we choose. All that he did had results, positive results. Many times throughout his preaching he promised us heaven, and through his death he made everlasting life possible for us, even though the price was his own life. When we promise someone something, do we keep that promise, no matter what the personal cost?
  2. Solid Ground: Fear stalks us daily. The world in which we live can undermine our trust in God. It is easy to become attached to things of this world, even though they give us only a fleeting pleasure or a temporary security before they pass away, disappear, or vanish. Since our heart is made for God, for the infinite, when we become attached to something not of God, the result is fear. This is a fear of the future and a fear of the unknown. But with God, we know the ending, and we know what awaits us. Listen to those words: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” All that we see and enjoy around us will pass away, but not Christ’s promises, namely the promises of eternal life—of paradise. Be not afraid to hope in God.
  3. Learn a Lesson from the Fig Tree: The grace of God ripens us. The moment we are baptized, we are made ready to see God. But there is a lesson, and it might be a bit scary. When Jesus spoke about the fig tree in today’s Gospel, he may have thought of another fig tree—the one that bore no fruit, withered, dried up and died. Christ shocked them that time. We don’t know when Christ will pass by the fig tree of our life, looking to pick the fruit of our virtues. However, we can be assured of this: The time will come. Our baptism has made our lifetime a time of harvest. You have all eternity to rest in the house of the Father. The lesson: Bear fruit now; live virtue now. Christ came to give life and give it abundantly (cf. John 10:10).

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, may I live a life of virtue knowing that my life moves forward towards eternity. Help me to overcome my fears by placing all of them in your hands, knowing that you hold the solution. Help me to live my baptism faithfully and place all of my hope in your promises.

Resolution: I will live this day with special intensity, offering all for the conversion of souls.


November 15, 2021 – Monday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

Seeing with Faith

 

Father John Doyle, LC

Luke 18:35-43

As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!” Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He replied, “Lord, please let me see.” Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.” He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God. When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the Alpha and the Omega. You have given me life and offer me eternal life with you. You deserve my honor, gratitude and love, and yet you never impose yourself upon me. Thank you for respecting my freedom so that I can offer myself to you. All that I have is yours; I return it to you.

Petition: Lord, grant me greater faith in your constant and continual presence in my life.

  1. Begging by the Roadside: How many times in life have we felt like this blind beggar sitting by the roadside, down-and-out and hard on luck—physically, spiritually or emotionally? Witnessing our distress, some people simply walked by without a care. Maybe they tossed us a coin, though they didn’t really help us out of our discouragement or difficulty. Others might have jeered at us or not dared to look at us. Some may even have scolded us, like the people in the Gospel telling the beggar “to be silent.” Just as the blind beggar of today’s Gospel could not give himself what he most desired—sight—, we are unable to give ourselves what we most need—faith. Do I regularly ask for an increase of faith? Am I aware of how much I need a strong faith?
  2. Jesus Is Passing By: The book of Job tells us that “human beings have a hard service on earth” (Job 7:1). It shouldn’t be surprising, then, when in our lives as Christians we take some real blows and even some falls. God doesn’t want us to become discouraged. He wants us to see these as opportunities to turn to him, the source of the strength and help we need. Other voices will tell us to be quiet and not bother the Master: “After all, you just need to work things out”, “With so much going on, how can you find time to pray?” Jesus constantly passes by. He is the only one who can bring me the peace my heart desires and longs for. “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”
  3. Lord, Please Let Me See: Jesus promises us that he will listen to our request, just as he did to the blind man. But what should our request be? To have a more comfortable stool so as to sit by the road and beg with ease? To have a beautiful silver cup to collect coins in? Or to see? Often what we really need is not what we ask for in prayer. We need the vision that only the supernatural virtue of faith can give. We need the ability to see everything from God’s vantage point and to see how the difficulties and trials we experience are part of a bigger picture. We need to have the firm assurance of the final victory of the Lamb, Jesus, and the strength to persevere in fidelity. Lord, please let me see… Please increase my faith.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, allow me to praise and glorify you for your constant companionship and for never leaving me alone in my struggles and trials. Increase my faith so that I will be able to experience your love even amidst difficulty and trials.

Resolution: I will pray three “Our Fathers” for an increase of faith among my family members.

 


November 16, 2021 – Tuesday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time 

Jesus Is My Guest

Father John Doyle, LC

Luke 19:1-10

At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the Alpha and the Omega. You have given me life and offer me eternal life with you. You deserve my honor, gratitude and love, and yet you never impose yourself upon me. Thank you for respecting my freedom so that I can offer myself to you. All that I have is yours; I return it to you.

Petition: Lord, increase my faith.

  1. Zacchaeus up a Tree: Yesterday and today’s Gospel passages speak eloquently of the need to encounter Christ at all costs. The blind man we read about yesterday would not stop shouting until he was brought to the Lord. Today a short and very unpopular man named Zacchaeus runs back and forth among the crowd until finally, in his determination to encounter Christ, he breaks all protocol and scrambles up a tree. Jesus wastes no time in entering this tax collector’s life decisively and transforming it. This resembles our own encounter with Christ. At times different obstacles stand in our way and prevent us from seeing Our Lord and his action in our lives. Above all we lack determination. How easy it is to craft excuses: “I am just too short,” “Maybe Jesus is too busy,” “I am just a sinner.” If we really want Our Lord to stay at our house, he will, but there may be trees that we need to climb first.
  2. Welcoming Jesus: Few people ever welcomed Jesus with the joy and exuberance as did this little man. He came down from the tree, gave half of his wealth to the poor, and promised to restore any fraudulent transactions four times over. Zacchaeus has truly been like that merchant in search of fine pearls (see Matthew 13:45-46). He is willing to sell all he has to buy the pearl of great price: friendship and intimacy with the Lord. How many times has Jesus looked up at us and asked us to remain with him? How many times have we had the immense grace of receiving the King of kings into our hearts in the Blessed Eucharist? Do we offer merely a corner of our hearts for him, or do we reserve the presidential suite? How pure do we maintain our souls for our Guest?
  3. Of Sinners and Saints: What makes someone a saint and someone else a sinner? Certainly, it is not the grumbling of the jealous crowd who are unwilling to climb up the tree to see Jesus yet are quick to criticize anyone who does. In fact, everyone is a sinner. St. Paul writes, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost” (1 Timothy 1:15). Yet St. Paul, Zacchaeus, you and I all go from being sinners to saints when we encounter Christ and are faithful to his friendship. Salvation came to Zacchaeus’ house when Jesus entered it, and salvation comes to us through the graces received at baptism, renewed in the Sacrament of Penance, and nurtured in the Eucharist.

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, help me to be willing to do whatever it takes to grow in a deeper friendship with you. Don’t allow me to worry about the murmurings of the crowd, but only to listen to your voice and respond to it with generosity.

Resolution: I will make a point to go to confession at the next possible opportunity, asking Jesus to forgive me my sins and to help me to turn from being a sinner into being a saint. I will make it a real encounter with Jesus.


November 17, 2021  – Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious

Kings and Gold Coins

 

Father John Doyle, LC

Luke 19:11-28

While people were listening to Jesus speak, he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the Kingdom of God would appear there immediately. So he said, “A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’ His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’ But when he returned after obtaining the kingship, he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what they had gained by trading. The first came forward and said, ‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’ He replied, ‘Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities.’ Then the second came and reported, ‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’ And to this servant too he said, ‘You, take charge of five cities.’ Then the other servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief, for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.’ He said to him, ‘With your own words I shall condemn you, you wicked servant. You knew I was a demanding man, taking up what I did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant; why did you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’ And to those standing by he said, ‘Take the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.’ But they said to him, ‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’ He replied, ‘I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.’” After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the Alpha and the Omega. You have given me life and offer me eternal life with you. You deserve my honor, gratitude and love, and yet you never impose yourself upon me. Thank you for respecting my freedom so that I can offer myself to you. All that I have is yours; I return it to you.

Petition: Lord Jesus, teach me to be patient and persevering in using my talents to serve you and my neighbor.

  1. Jesus, the King of Kings: Nowdays there is renewed interest in the imminence of the Lord’s return in glory. Every Sunday when we recite the Creed, we attest to our faith that Christ “will come again to judge the living and the dead.” But we also know that we do not know when it will be, as Our Lord clearly states: “But about that day and hour no one knows” (Matthew 24:36). So, what should we do in the meantime? The answer is very simple: Live faithful to the values of Christ’s Kingdom and show that he is our King right now. Are there any areas in my life where Christ is not ruler? Am I faithful to my Christian commitments? Do I use my time well?
  2. Earning One Gold Coin at a Time: In today’s parable each servant receives only one gold coin, but some invest it better than others. There are some gifts that God has given all of us in equal measure and some that we each receive in varying degrees. At baptism we receive the gifts of faith, hope and love in seed form, so to speak, and it is up to us to make sure they are cultivated, irrigated and exposed to enough light so that they will grow and bear fruit. These gifts of faith, hope and love are not given to us just for rainy days or moments of trial, but rather to keep us focused on who we are as children of God and heirs to the kingdom of heaven. Exercising these virtues is like earning gold, one coin at a time. How often have I thanked God for his gifts of faith, hope and love? Do I strive to grow in these virtues by keeping my heart set on the things of heaven and through charity towards my neighbor?
  3. God’s Generosity: St. John reminds us that “God is love” (1 John 4:8). God’s essence is self-giving. The man who hid his coin could not discover or fathom this reality, but the man who “spent” his gold coin found this out as he was able to earn many more. Jesus tells us that “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain” (John 12:24). Later, however, a metamorphosis occurs which brings many new grains of wheat into being. Jesus’ death on the cross is the perfect example of the transformation of sacrifice and self-giving into fruitfulness. We can’t have Jesus as our king unless we are willing to follow him on his journey to Jerusalem and impending death. We have much to give up, but we have so much more to gain by using our talents for the Kingdom.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I am sometimes afraid of what it means to die to myself. Help me to use all of my talents for your kingdom. Help me to realize that I have nothing to lose and everything to gain and to take steps courageously to love you.

Resolution: As a way of showing my love for Jesus, today I will practice patience with someone who annoys me.


 

November 18, 2021 – Build Your Life on the Rock That Is Christ

Thursday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

 

Luke 19:41-44

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, many times I have overlooked your love in the circumstances of my life. I know you are always present, even if I don’t feel your love. This time of prayer is an opportunity to show you my love, and I truly desire to bring you consolation as you so often bring consolation to me.

Petition: Heavenly Father, help me to stand firm amidst the vicissitudes of life.

  1. “As for Me and My Household, We Will Serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15): The beauty of this life is that it offers us so many options. We have all been given the grace of free will, and we can choose to do many things. We can choose where we would like to work, where we want to vacation, who our friends are, and what we are going to do this very moment. But the most important choice we make in life is to decide whether to love and serve God or to deny him. God’s greatest natural gift to us is free will, and with it we direct our own destiny. What a truly beautiful soul who chooses to spend his life serving God! Clearly opting for God and his ways gives direction to a person’s life and provides clarity in moments of darkness and trial.
  2. The Time to Prepare for a Storm Is Now: The worst time to clean out the gutters is in the middle of a thunderstorm. And that roof would have worked a lot better had it been fixed before a week of rain. The concept of being prepared is so hard for us human beings. Christ told his disciples, “Watch and pray, that you may not undergo the test” (Matthew 26:41). He was saying, “Be prepared. You never know when temptations or tough times are going to strike.”
  3. Holding the Fort: The spiritual life is a lot like a castle. A castle has its strong points and its not-so-strong points. It has a moat, high stone walls and turrets, but it also has a gate made only of wood. Each of us has one or two things that can be likened to that wooden gate. We all have our weaknesses, but do we know what those weaknesses are? One of the keys to being able to resist sin is self-knowledge. If we know ourselves, we can avoid putting ourselves in compromising situations. We can use our strong points to fight the enemy and fortify those areas that are the weakest. In the end, the strongest weapon we have both to resist and to fight is our dependence on the Lord—our prayer and fidelity to his will!

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, I don’t want to base my life just on feelings and on what makes me happy. I want to live for you, to take a risk for you.

Resolution: I will start a constant prayer life by praying the Rosary every day this week.


November 19, 2021 – Friday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

God’s House Is Holy

Father John Doyle, LC

Luke 19:45-48

Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, “It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.’” And every day he was teaching in the temple area. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death, but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words.

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the Alpha and the Omega. You have given me life and offer me eternal life with you. You deserve my honor, gratitude and love, and yet you never impose yourself upon me. Thank you for respecting my freedom so that I can offer myself to you. All that I have is yours; I return it to you.

Petition: Lord God, teach me greater reverence for your house.

  1. Zeal for the Father’s House: Jesus was not an enemy of commerce. In fact, many times the Gospel makes references to buying and selling without any negative connotations at all. However, in today’s Gospel passage we find Our Lord irate for two principal reasons. First, business activity was taking place within the Temple area. This was, in a sense, a “profanation” of God’s house. The Temple of Jerusalem contained, veiled behind a massive curtain, the Holy of Holies, where God’s mysterious presence dwelled. Yet, paradoxically, Temple worshipers had first to cross what had the appearance of a marketplace to be able to worship before the Lord. Second, Jesus was indignant due to the fact that the temple merchants were dishonest. Am I always honest in my business dealings? Do I always respect God’s name and the things of God?
  2. Return to Reverence: Jesus was on fire with zeal for the house of his Father and determined that it be respected as a house of prayer. Silence, worship and prayer are elements that should be an essential part of every visit to a church, especially for Sunday Mass. In the tabernacle of every Catholic Church, Our Lord is present in the Eucharist as a prisoner of love waiting to enter into dialogue with us. We are never closer to heaven than when we are before Our Eucharistic Lord. Yet we can forget this truth. Our postures, chatter, and dress might contribute to a general “profanation” of God’s house. Do I try to remember every time I enter a church that I am standing before my Lord who made heaven and earth? Can others see that I believe Jesus is really present in the Eucharist? Is he the center of my attention? Can I put aside all distractions?
  3. Hanging on Jesus’ Words: The crowds are described as “hanging” on Jesus’ every word. Jesus showed a reverence for his Father’s house far greater than any external piety the Pharisees demonstrated. He spoke the truth and was never afraid to stand up for it, even when it was less than convenient to do so. He was unafraid of those who “were seeking to put him to death.” Jesus’ uprightness was the key to his effectiveness and the attractive power of his words. As Christians we are called by vocation to imitate the uprightness of Our Lord in our words and actions.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, many times I have entered Church distractedly and forgotten that you were present. I beg your forgiveness. I ask to be a zealous witness of your love, and I promise to show you greater reverence in the Blessed Sacrament.

Resolution: I will live the Mass this Sunday, either in person or virtually, with a special reverence.


 

 

November 20, 2021 – Saturday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

Christ Is the Answer

 

Luke 20:27-40

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, ‘If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless. Then the second and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her.” Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called  ‘Lord’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” Some of the scribes said in reply, “Teacher, you have answered well.” And they no longer dared to ask him anything.

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the Alpha and the Omega. You have given me life and offer me eternal life with you. You deserve my honor, gratitude and love, and yet you never impose yourself upon me. Thank you for respecting my freedom so that I can offer myself to you. All that I have is yours; I return it to you.

Petition: Lord Jesus, help me to be a child of God, a child of the resurrection.

  1. Simple and Constant Conversation: Today we see some Sadducees asking Christ an important question about heaven. Christ teaches us that once we are in heaven, things will be considerably different than they are here on earth. This is a beautiful example how we can converse with Christ. We simply need to ask him questions: questions about our faith, about difficulties we may be having with certain relationships, about career changes, etc. The answers we receive may not be what we were expecting or hoping for, but what is important is that we engage Christ in conversation every day and that we seek to please him in everything we do. This open, warm contact with Our Lord is already a little taste of heaven.
  2. Union with Christ: Christ reminds us that he and the Father are the God of the living. He gave us our life; we lost it. He became man, suffered, died and rose on the third day that we might have a new life—a life in and with God, now and for all eternity. Our ultimate marriage will be in heaven, as we will be one with God as Jesus is.
  3. Participation in the Life of God: When God reveals his mysteries to us, we participate in his life. God has made us so we would pursue him, so we would listen to him, so we would understand him, so we would crave the things of God. Is that not a mystery unto itself? We have a God who wants to speak with us constantly about the things of heaven! This reality, this inestimable gift, should move us to share with others the Good News.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, through your death and resurrection and my baptism, you have made me a child of God. Help me to appreciate more fully this day and what it means to be a child of God. Grant me the grace to live in accord with this gift of gifts.

Resolution: Today I will look on all things as if God were speaking to me in every moment.


 

November 21, 2021 – Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

A Question of Kingdoms

 

Father Edward Hopkins, LC

John 18:33b-37

Pilate said to Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?” Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.” So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

Introductory Prayer: Dear Jesus, I believe that you are truth itself; that you are the foundation of all moral judgments. I trust that you really care for me and give me the light to see the needs of others. I love you, Lord, and show it now with my desire to pray.

Petition: Make your truth my life, Lord!

  1. Asking My Own Questions: Every day we form countless judgments. Often, they seem based more on what others have said, than on what we know. We are often told what to think by the media, government and even coworkers. Pilate was one of those whose judgment was based on what others had said. His question to Jesus was that of a functionary; not of someone sincerely seeking the truth. Jesus sensed this weakness and confronted him. Pilate’s excuse was that he was not Jewish, so how could he hope to understand? I will be judged one day on how I judged. How fair, how sincere and really how interested am I in others? Do I treat those in my life as though I really cared?
  2. Jesus Stands Above This World: Pilate’s verbalized thoughts and the accusations of the Sanhedrin against Jesus come from this world. It is a world where people, once accused, are already judged; where most judgments remain hidden but still assassinate the person through actions and omissions; where “what others think of you” seems to matter most. Jesus does not belong to the ways of human respect. Nor can human respect even begin to judge him. He answers to God alone, just as he lives only to please his Father. Do I belong to this world? What kind of grip does this world have on me? How do its judgments affect my behavior?
  3. Belonging to the Kingdom of Truth: What is relative can never judge what is absolute, just as changing seasons do not define human nature. Only a judgment from what is absolute can determine real values for all. Just before being elected Pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger exposed the world’s imposition of subjective personal values, calling it a “a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires” (Homily, April 18, 2005). In the same homily he juxtaposed this relativistic “truth” to friendship with Christ. Real friendship with Christ is our single guiding light, and it requires that we subject to him all other guides: our ego, our own feelings and our selfish desires. His ways, love and truth replace self-seeking. In which kingdom do I live?

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, you are my king and your kingdom is truth. Form my mind to know all things in relation to you. Form my heart to judge all people in relation to your love. Free me from the deceptions of pride, human respect and self-love. May only your love reign in my heart!

Resolution: This week I will reject all internal judgments of others that are based on hearsay. I will replace them with prayers for those persons, giving them the benefit of the doubt and entrusting them to the care of the King.

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