< <  

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

  > >
Jeremiah 18:18-20
Psalm 31:5-6, 14-16
Matthew 20:17-28

View Readings
Similar Reflections

"the greatest treason"?

"Let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah. It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests, nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets." —Jeremiah 18:18

Those who persecuted Jeremiah were very "religious." They were concerned about teachings from the priests, counsel from the wise, and messages from the prophets. James and John were also very "religious." Motivated by their mother, they were not seeking big salaries or many possessions. They just wanted to work for the Church by being Jesus' right-hand and left-hand men (Mt 20:21).

T. S. Eliot wrote in Murder in the Cathedral: "The greatest treason is to do the right thing for the wrong reason." Christians probably do more right things than any other group in the world. However, we are constantly tempted to do the right things with mixed motives. We love God, but not with our whole hearts (see Mt 22:37). We love the Church, the poor, and the sick, but our selfishness still influences us. We often control the sinful desires of the flesh, but we stop short of crucifying our "flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24). We aspire to humility, but are proud of such an aspiration.

Next Sunday throughout the world, we pray the "First Scrutiny" for the catechumens. Let us ask the Father to scrutinize and purify our hearts.

Prayer:  Father, make me single-hearted (Mt 5:8).

Promise:  "Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest, and whoever wants to rank first among you must serve the needs of all." —Mt 20:26-27

Praise:  David gave up trying to "sit on the fence" and gave God top priority.

Reference:  (For a related teaching on Accepting Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God, order, view or download our leaflet or order, listen to, or download our CD 43-1 or DVD 43 on our website or order our tape on audio AV 43-1 or video V 43.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 2016

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.