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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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St. Romuald

2 Kings 2:1, 6-14
Psalm 31:20-21, 24
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

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an audience of one

“When you give alms, for example, do not blow a horn before you in synagogues and streets like hypocrites looking for applause.” —Matthew 6:2

Jesus commands us not to display our good works (Mt 6:2ff). If the Lord wants others to know our good deeds, He will let them be “proclaimed from the rooftops” (Lk 12:3). However, we must not praise ourselves. “Let another praise you — not your own mouth; someone else — not your own lips” (Prv 27:2). We live for an audience of One, Almighty God.

Jesus preached the Good News to the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem. Some were swayed by the authority and power of His words as well as the mighty signs He worked (see Mk 1:27; Jn 7:46). “There were many, even among the Sanhedrin, who believed in Him; but they refused to admit it because of the Pharisees, for fear that they might be ejected from the synagogue. They preferred the praise of men to the glory of God” (Jn 12:42-43).

Jesus once said to the Jews: “How can people like you believe, when you accept praise from one another yet do not seek the glory that comes from the One [God]?” (Jn 5:44) “As the crucible tests silver and the furnace gold, so a man is tested by the praise he receives” (Prv 27:21). In addition, a man is likewise tested by the praise he desires. Let us pray that God would change our desires, that we desire that God be praised rather than ourselves.

Prayer:  “From the desire of being praised, deliver me, Jesus” (from the Litany of Humility prayer).

Promise:  “The Lord keeps those who are constant, but more than requites those who act proudly.” —Ps 31:24

Praise:  St. Romuald would frequently be reduced to tears by the “boiling, indescribable heat of divine Love.”

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

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