|The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book III Chapter VIII: ”Of the Mean Estimation of Oneself in the Eyes of God” (first entry)
Kempis once again extols the virtue of humility. It is the only appropriate disposition we are to have in relation to our Creator. Without God’s grace we can do nothing and are especially susceptible to “grave dangers” and “innumerable evils.”
|Today’s Gospel Reading: Jn 17:11b-19
Today we hear the middle section of Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer that He intones immediately before His arrest. He asks the Father to protect His apostles from Satan and enlighten them to the truth as Jesus sends them out as missionaries to the world just as the Father sent the Son into the world.
Jesus gives the apostles a mission to the world to declare the truth of God. They are to be in the world but not of the world. This is a message meant for all Christians of all times and all places. Kempis recognizes this. This fallen world is full of lies, deceit, evil, and all manner of grave moral dangers. But, like the apostles, the vast majority of Christians (aside from cloistered orders) are deputized, as it were, to engage the world, not flee from it (as tempting as that may be). The danger is that we are dragged down by it as opposed to elevating it. The world is supposed to be changed by us — not us by the world. All we need is the love of God to prevent us from falling and to assist us in our mission.
Let us pray often for the grace to convey to others the truth in love as Christ conveyed to us the truth in love.