docility, not hostility
"Teacher, in speaking this way You insult us too!" —Luke 11:45
Jesus speaks strongly of lifestyle changes in today's Gospel reading. He gives the Pharisees and lawyers a direct warning of the consequences of their hypocrisy and pride (Lk 11:42ff). The lawyers disregarded Jesus' loving and expert warning and claimed He was insulting them (Lk 11:45). After Jesus concluded His diagnosis and prescription, "the scribes and Pharisees began to manifest fierce hostility to Him" (Lk 11:53). His listeners did not heed His words.
St. Paul spoke strongly of lifestyle changes in his letter to the Romans. He warned of the natural and eternal consequences of the sinful lifestyles of idolatry (Rm 1:23), homosexual activity (Rm 1:24-27), and other acts of wickedness (Rm 1:29ff). St. Paul is also giving a loving diagnosis and prescription. Try reading Romans 1:18-32 in the average college classroom, corporate workplace, or other "enlightened" setting and see whether the reaction of your hearers is docility or "fierce hostility." Many would think they were being insulted (see Lk 11:45) rather than being warned in love.
If your doctor told you to change your lifestyle or die, you would probably act with docility and not think you were being insulted. Accordingly, repent of any hostility to Doctor Jesus. Repent of not being docile to Him. He is Almighty God, the ultimate authority. Let Him tell you anything. Then "do whatever He tells you" (Jn 2:5).
Prayer: Father, help me to daily sit at Your feet (Lk 10:38-42), hear Your words, and act on them (Jas 1:22).
Promise: "Do you not know that God's kindness is an invitation to you to repent?" —Rm 2:4
Praise: Rather than attend a popular girl's party where questionable activities would ensue, Marissa called upon her Lord and refused the invitation.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Bishop-Elect, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 26, 2011 (for 10-1-2011 through 11-29-2011) and May 26, 2011 (for 11-30-2011)
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