One Bread, One Body - Reflection for August 4, 2022


"Jesus turned on Peter and said, 'Get out of My sight, you satan! You are trying to make Me trip and fall. You are not judging by God's standards but by man's.' " –Matthew 16:23

By the grace of the heavenly Father, Simon Peter made a great act of faith by professing Jesus as the Messiah, "the Son of the living God!" (Mt 16:16) In a short time, however, by denying the cross and "not judging by God's standards but by man's" (Mt 16:23), Peter showed that he did not understand what he had professed. This shows the astounding proclivity of the human person to self-deception.

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?" (Jer 17:9, RSV-CE) We can deceive ourselves especially about our faith, conversions to the Lord, and relationships with Him. The classical doctors of mystical theology, particularly St. John of the Cross, are preoccupied with this proclivity to spiritual self-deception.

The Lord has resolved this extremely dangerous situation by giving us a new nature at Baptism (see Rm 6:4). Nonetheless, we must live our Baptisms by yielding to the Holy Spirit, Who will lead us into the Church, into submission to her authority, and to the foot of the cross. The Church will challenge our self-deception if we are obedient to her. The cross will purify our motives and reveal anything which is not authentic in our faith. So let us live our Baptisms by the power of the Holy Spirit and thereby love the Lord in truth.

PRAYER: Father, probe my mind and test my heart (Jer 17:10).
PROMISE: "I will place My law within them, and write it upon their hearts." –Jer 31:33
PRAISE: Many Catholic priests ask for the intercession of St. John Mary Vianney. He is the patron of parish priests and his life exemplified fortitude and humility.

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Reprinted with permission from Presentation Ministries, a lay association of the Catholic Church that focuses on evangelization and discipleship through Bible teaching, daily Mass, the charisms of the Holy Spirit, and Small Christian Community. Their ministries include:

· One Bread, One Body
· Daily Bread Radio Program
· Annual Bible Institute
· Discipleship Retreats
· Guadalupe Bible College