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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

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St. Monica

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Psalm 139:1-6
Matthew 23:23-26

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"Fresh from the humiliation we had suffered at Philippi — about which you know — we drew courage from our God to preach His good tidings to you in the face of great opposition." —1 Thessalonians 2:2

When we've just been humiliated, we tend to focus on ourselves, be unforgiving and resentful, lick our wounds, and/or have a pity party. However, such a time of humiliation can be just the right time to proclaim the Gospel. The humiliation we suffered may have been a defensive maneuver by the devil to try to stop us from receiving an exceptional outpouring of God's grace. When humiliated, we shouldn't draw back but charge forward.

For example, when Paul was humiliated, beaten, dragged from Lystra, and left for dead, he "got up and went back into the town" (Acts 14:19-20). When Paul and Silas were arrested, stripped, flogged, and had their feet chained to a stake, they did not shut up or shut down but prayed and sang to the Lord (Acts 16:19-25). Before long an earthquake rocked the prison, and Paul and Silas converted the jailer and his family to the Lord (Acts 16:33). After Jesus' ultimate humiliation on Calvary, He had the ultimate victory of Resurrection from the dead.

Humiliation isn't always a bad sign. It often precedes the greatest works of God in our lives, if we would only respond to God and not the momentary experience of humiliation.

Prayer:  Father, by faith may I let You turn my humiliation to the good (Rm 8:28).

Promise:  "First cleanse the inside of the cup so that its outside may be clean." —Mt 23:26

Praise:  Though St. Monica's prayers seemed for years to have been in vain, her husband, son and grandson were eventually brought to the Faith.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 15, 2019

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