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Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin

Scriptural Readings: Wisdom 1:1-7; Psalm 139:1b-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-10; Luke 17:7-10

My dear encountered couples:

Our news deals largely with people in power. Those who run countries and make decisions are usually made the center of attention. We are shown democratically elected officials, we are told about dictators who gain power by overthrowing others. Some leaders are good, some very cruel. Some seem to work for the benefit of the people, at least at first, others are obviously only interested in their own personal benefit.

Our reading from the Book of Wisdom deals with these people today. Basically, it tells all those in power that they had better not misuse it. God is watching. “For perverse counsels separate a man from God,” we are told, “and his power, put to the proof, rebukes the foolhardy; Because into a soul that plots evil, wisdom enters not, nor dwells she in a body under debt of sin. For the holy Spirit of discipline flees deceit.”

There are many temptations for those in power to make for themselves a very comfortable living, to insure for themselves a future well-padded with wealth. There are reasons why God shares with human beings some of his power. One reason is because he chooses not to be visibly with us to lead and guide our states and countries, but to do it in and through people chosen from among us. Power is given by God; those who usurp it, steal it, are in big trouble.

To those who purposely misuse it, or through laziness and carelessness make a mockery of it, the Book of Wisdom says this: “For wisdom is a kindly spirit, yet she acquits not the blasphemer of his guilty lips; Because God is the witness of his inmost self and the sure observer of his heart and the listener to his tongue.

Do you have any power over anyone? Do I? How well are we using it?


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