So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Friday, March 27, 2015

Somebody or Nobody?

In the eyes of God and the Church, each and every person is a somebody. Each person is a child of God. A child in need of redemption, but a child of God nonetheless. How many times a day do we make ourselves into nobodies by engaging in behaviour beneath our God-given human dignity? How many times a day do we offer thanks to God for His gift of salvation?
St. Matthew 23:11-12
He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
In the eyes of the conceited or the violent, the worldly rich and powerful, those who do not achieve worldly success are nobodies.
Are you a somebody
If you are faithful to Jesus Christ and His Church, if you humble yourself before God...
—a good way to do that is to make an examination of conscience before retiring each night and to go to confession (Sacrament of Penance) on a regular basis—
... if you strive after the truth and make charity your daily exercise, if you pray with utter sincerity and docility to the Holy Spirit, if you show mercy according to the mind of Christ and you do not make a show of being a somebody, then there's a strong possibility that you are a somebody in the eyes of God.
If you think yourself so much better than the beggar in the street, better than the young couple who can barely scrape together a mortgage payment, or the working poor who can barely afford the monthly rent, or think yourself better than someone with a psychological illness or physical disability, or you think yourself so much better than the poor ignorant masses because you're so progressive by upholding the politically correct status quo... you might want to revisit your definition of somebody. Failing a redefinition, you might just be a self righteous sinner. If that be the case, and you want to reform, you will be in good company if you choose to turn away from the path of sin. The Church, a home for sinners wanting to become saints, is for you.

Pope Saint John Paul II reminds us that God has a particular view about who constitutes a somebody in His eyes.
(Pope Saint) John Paul II
General Audience Wednesday 23 May 2001
5. There is a second term which we use to define those who pray in the Psalm: they are the anawim, "the poor and lowly ones" (v. 4). The expression turns up often in the Psalter. It indicates not just the oppressed, the miserable, the persecuted for justice, but also those who, with fidelity to the moral teaching of the Alliance with God, are marginalized by those who prefer to use violence, riches and power. In this light one understands that the category of the "poor" is not just a social category but a spiritual choice. It is what the famous first Beatitude means: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven" (Mt 5:3). The prophet Zephaniah spoke to the anawim as special persons: "Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his commands; seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of wrath of the Lord" (Zep 2:3). 
6. The "day of the Lord's wrath" is really the day described in the second part of the Psalm when the "poor" are lined up on the side of God to fight against evil. By themselves they do not have sufficient strength or the arms or the necessary strategies to oppose the onslaught of evil. Yet the Psalmist does not admit hesitation: "The Lord loves his people, he adorns the lowly (anawim) with victory" (v. 4). What St Paul says to the Corinthians completes the picture: "God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are" (1 Cor 1:28).
With such confidence the "sons of Zion" (v. 2), the hasidim and anawim, the faithful and the poor, go on to live their witness in the world and in history. Mary's canticle in the Gospel of Luke, the Magnificat, is the echo of the best sentiments of the "sons of Zion": glorious praise of God her Saviour, thanksgiving for the great things done by the Mighty One, the battle against the forces of evil, solidarity with the poor and fidelity to the God of the Covenant (cf Lk 1:46-55).
Who is our model of humility? Mary, who proclaimed
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.—St. Luke 1:46-55

Pray. Be holy!

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"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.

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