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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Exodus 2:1-15
Psalm 69:3, 14, 30-31, 33-34
Matthew 11:20-24

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useless civil disobedience?

"Now a certain man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, who conceived and bore a son. Seeing that he was a goodly child, she hid him for three months." —Exodus 2:1-2

Moses' mother disobeyed the law. She refused to throw her baby boy into the river to be drowned, as prescribed by Pharaoh's decree (Ex 1:22). This act of civil disobedience seemed totally useless. She hid the baby for three months and then put him in a basket to float on the water rather than directly throw him into the water (Ex 2:2-3). The baby Moses was miraculously saved. Eighty years later, the Lord used Moses to set the entire Israelite nation free from slavery. The Lord used the seemingly useless civil disobedience of Moses' mother, which was actually divine obedience, in an amazing way.

The Lord is calling you to do something that seems useless. If you do the Lord's will, you will seem to be only delaying the inevitable. Nevertheless, you are being called to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). You will feel that you have "toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent" your strength (Is 49:4). However, the Lord is calling you to obey Him not because you understand His command, but because you have accepted Jesus as Lord and have become His disciple.

In the end, doing seemingly useless things in God's will is usually the most useful of all. Even when they aren't, we should still do them because of love for God. The Lord is not primarily calling us to be successful but to be faithful. We should ask others to help us discern God's will and then do it.

Prayer:  Father, may I not lean on my own understanding (Prv 3:5).

Promise:  "See, you lowly ones, and be glad; you who seek God, may your hearts be merry! For the Lord hears the poor." —Ps 69:33-34

Praise:  According to tradition, the Carmelite orders are all based on a crusader's vision of Elijah on Mount Carmel. Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 18, 2013

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