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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

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Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
Matthew 23:1-12

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the "exsultet"

"Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, but whoever humbles himself shall be exalted." —Matthew 23:12

God "is stern with the arrogant but to the humble He shows kindness" (1 Pt 5:5; Prv 3:34). God the Father loves us so much that He gave His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross and give us the opportunity for a new life (see Jn 3:16). The Lord wants to overwhelm us with His love and blessings (Dt 28:2). However, if we are arrogant, we will not rightly understand or use God's gifts. We will use them to exalt ourselves rather than the Lord. This will be harmful to us. Therefore, the Lord in His love is stern with the arrogant and humbles them for their own good.

The Lord wants to surround and fill us with His love, but does not want to "spoil us rotten" in our arrogance. It's up to us to humble ourselves and let the Lord exalt us in His love. Otherwise, the Lord will do the humbling. Therefore, let us humble ourselves by repenting, forgiving, confessing, apologizing, sacrificing, serving, admitting our mistakes, choosing a simple lifestyle, exposing ourselves to persecution, loving our enemies, obeying those in authority, suffering redemptively, giving up our plans, giving all to the Lord, etc. Let us humble ourselves to the point that we can say: "I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own" (Gal 2:19-20). Then He will exalt us.

Prayer:  Father, when I hear the "Exsultet" sung at Easter Vigil this year, may it mean something special to me because I have humbled myself.

Promise:  "Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord: though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow." —Is 1:18

Praise:  Practicing with and singing in the Easter choir strengthens Belinda's faith.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Arrogance on audio AV 52-1 or video V-52.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, September 13, 2012

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