WEDNESDAY HOMILY: The Antichrist of Self Idolatry
A self-absorbed Catholic can become an antichrist - he who opposes Christ.
Narcissus in love with his own reflection.
P style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0px 0px 20px; FONT-FAMILY: Georgia; COLOR: #323333">HYTHE, KENT, UK (Catholic Online) - "I am not God." This is a saying that people nowadays need to say out loud to themselves.
In the Gospel for today, when St John the Baptist was asked who he was, aware that those asking might think him the Messiah, replied, "I am not the Christ."
We cannot make the sunrise, or the rain fall, or ultimately control everything around us, even though the ego culture of our day would like to make us think that we have supreme power for self fulfillment. The result is that many of us are self-absorbed.
A self-absorbed Catholic can become an antichrist - he who opposes Christ. A little extreme? No.
Saint Augustine said you either hate self and love God or hate God and love self. You will either be someone who brings people to Jesus Christ in the Eucharist or is an obstacle for souls.
The first reading says that anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ is the antichrist. It is so subtle to dethrone Jesus and place yourself as Lord and Master of your own life. It happens for many people simply because they don't purify themselves of the egoism of our culture.
What is needed is the grace of the Christmas season to reveal to us our littleness. We see this when we spiritually visit again, day after day, the infant Jesus, held in his mother's arms, who reveals the humility of God, his profound innocence, and his desire to enter into our lives.
We just finished the Christmas octave - eight days where the Church basks in the glow of this newborn infant. This week we will see a shift in the liturgy to ask the question, "What Child is this?" We will see the epiphany, or manifestation, of this child.
The manifestation of Jesus that we are shown today is his littleness, his humility. This helps us see the ways in which we might attempt to enthrone ourselves kings, sometimes through a negligence of ridding ourselves of the egoism of our age.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2728) says, "We must battle to gain humility" and this battle is fought primarily through prayer, frequent and intense reception of the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Penance, and with wholehearted service to those around us, especially those who need it more. This is why Christmastide should always be marked by silence and service.
May Our Lady, the humble virgin Mother of God, who offers us spiritually to hold her newborn baby, obtain for us the grace of humble, silent, service to God and man, and may she be always our model of humility and prayer.
Father Samuel Medley, SOLT, is a priest of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, and is currently based in Hythe, Kent, United Kingdom. He is a speaks to groups around the world on Blessed Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body. Visit his homily blog http://medleyminute.blogspot.com or his blog on sexual ethics http://loveandresponsibility.org
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