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Thursday, July 15, 2004

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St. Bonaventure

Isaiah 26:7-9, 12, 16-19
Psalm 102
Matthew 11:28-30

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the day we discover our powerlessness

"We conceived and writhed in pain, giving birth to wind; salvation we have not achieved for the earth, the inhabitants of the world cannot bring it forth." —Isaiah 26:18

We not only cannot bring forth salvation; we cannot do anything of ourselves. Jesus bluntly stated: "Apart from Me you can do nothing" (Jn 15:5).

The day we discover this truth of our inability to do anything without Christ is one of the best days of our lives. At first, we are shocked. We thought for years we were doing things by our own power. Now we find out the truth. We often react with the question: "What am I going to do now that I cannot do anything?" The answer, of course, is to surrender our lives to Christ, for "in Him Who is the Source of [our] strength [we] have strength for everything" (Phil 4:13). Thereby, we can even do greater works than Jesus did (Jn 14:12).

When we discover our powerlessness, we can also discover Jesus, the all-powerful One. This is truly liberating. We no longer have to put out so much energy to keep alive the lie of our self-sufficiency. Rather, we can rest in Him (see Mt 11:28-29), live in His grace, and let the Holy Spirit carry us. We no longer have the constant pressure of doing it ourselves; we can be like Mary and let it be done to us according to God's word (see Lk 1:38).

Rest in your powerlessness and in Jesus' love.

Prayer:  Father, thank You for taking over my life.

Promise:  "For My yoke is easy and My burden light." —Mt 11:30

Praise:  St. Bonaventure's humility was so great that he chose to finish washing the dishes before he would listen to the news of his being appointed cardinal.

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.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, December 13, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 2003