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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

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St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe

Ezekiel 2:8—3:4
Psalm 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131
Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

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"I gasp with open mouth in my yearning for Your commands." —Psalm 119:131

I recall an occasion years ago when my young son was on one side of a street and I was on the other. I had been gradually teaching my son the skills needed to cross a street without clinging to me for blind guidance. Although there was little danger in the situation when viewed through an adult's eyes, I could easily sense the fear in his eyes. He focused intently on my every word: "First, look to the left...then to the right. Are any cars coming? Good, now run straight to me." My little son obeyed each command exactly, just as if his life depended on it. He yearned for my commands (Ps 119:131) because he knew his father's word meant safety and success.

Surely this is what Jesus has in mind when He says: "Unless you change and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of God" (Mt 18:3). If we don't follow God's commands, it would be as if my young son suddenly decided he could cross the street without his daddy's help, thank you. Not heeding God's commands exposes us to grave dangers. The Lord's commands are meant for our welfare, not for our harm (see Mt 18:14; Jer 29:11). God tells us, as He told the prophet Ezekiel: "Obey Me when I speak to you" (Ez 2:8).

Prayer:  Father, "Your decrees are my delight; they are my counselors" (Ps 119:24). Thank You, my God, for Your guidance and love.

Promise:  "Whoever makes himself lowly, becoming like this child, is of greatest importance in that heavenly reign." —Mt 18:4

Praise:  Suffering a near-fatal illness only deepened St. Maximilian's efforts in spreading God's truth and defending the faith.

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, March 30, 2012

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