25 June, Thursday – Great Privilege, Great Responsibility

Thursday of Week 12 in Ordinary Time

2 Kgs 24:8-17
Mt 7:21-29

He did what is displeasing to the Lord, just as his father had done.”

The phrase, “With power comes great responsibility”, was popularized in the Spiderman comic series. However, I dare say this line was probably pilfered from God 😊!

In Genesis 12:1-3, God told Abraham “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse”.

Similarly, in Deuteronomy 11: 26-28, Moses cautioned the Israelites “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments… and curse, if you do not obey…but turn aside from the way…to go after other gods…”!

Well, God certainly set the bar pretty high for the privileged ones!

The Israelites were the chosen people of God, and to have received this knowledge and understanding; this privilege and blessing, but squander it away, is like King Jehoiachin, who continued in the pagan practices of his father and, instead of leading his people back into the true worship of God, he chose to continue leading them in the wrong direction. These poor choices led the Israelites and the kingdom of Judah into exile and they were cursed.

As Catholics, we are chosen by God to be his children — He has made himself known to us and given us the good news, Jesus Christ! We cannot unlearn what has been revealed to us; nor can we be ‘un-blessed’! Hence, we have a greater responsibility to do the will of God and obey his commandments, to be a blessing to others and to bring others to Him!

However, because of our poor choices, we put ourselves in darkness. Guilt and shame consume us when we sin, cutting ourselves from our Father and exiling ourselves from Him. Just as Adam and Eve did after they took the forbidden fruit, they “hid themselves from the presence of God.” Genesis 3:8. We are cursed because of the poor choices we make.

I am only just beginning to sense the immensity of this responsibility and am shaken by the consequences of not living up to this privilege!

I am not sure if I can do it. The fear of God is there, for I do not wish to be cursed, to be exiled from Him. Perhaps, this fear is enough to keep me on the straight and narrow path? No, I need help, a lot of help! From the Holy Spirit, to constantly remind me of the choices I am making, to have the wisdom to discern my ways and the fortitude to turn back to God whenever I wander off. From the community around me, and through the sacraments of the church! Whatever it may be, I know I cannot do this alone and, in his infinite mercy, God has once again blessed me with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to guide me on this journey. And just for good measure, He has given us his beloved mother, who not only intercedes for us, but showed us what being a disciple of Christ truly means!

(Today’s Oxygen by Lorraine Wong)

Prayer: Almighty Father, in your infinite mercy, you show us time and time again, how much you love us and desire for us to be in union with you. I may and I will falter, for I am weak and sinful, but Father please look upon the little efforts I take to obey your commandments and have mercy on me!

Thanksgiving: Holy Spirit, Spirit of the fear of the Lord, thank you for anointing us with the wisdom and understanding of God’s infinite power and greatness.

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