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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Today's First Reading

In the Old Testament, the idea of rebellion encompasses several aspects.

In some translations of other texts, rebellion indicates a need for healing.  But in today's reading, rebellion is clearly seen as having three other facets.

In the first instance, rebellion does not listen. Rebellion reveals an unteachable heart, a stubbornness about the truth. Sometimes in the Church this means not heeding authority or guidance, as well as defying Church teaching.

In the second aspect, rebellion is connected with a lack of discipline, either external or internal discipline. This lack of discipline could entail not studying the Faith, not going to frequent confession, compromising or never fasting, or not mortifying one's self in any way.

In the third description, rebellion is seen as a lack of trusting in Divine Providence, a serious sin of self-reliance, and perhaps even an ignoring of God's will and plan for one's life. If one insists on one's own way, this attitude indicates a rebellious spirit. There can be an arrogance about being rebellious.

In the last reference, the soul which is rebellious, or in this case, the entire city, refuses to come to God, refuses to pray and observe the liturgical rites of the Old Law, from the heart. How many Catholics have I met who do not think that missing Sunday Mass is a serious sin? They are not giving God what is due to Him as God, honor and worship.

Sadly, Western society romanticizes rebellion with the adulation of the anti-hero as well as the belief that men have a right, even a need to rebel.

A truly spiritually rebellious person exhibits a hardness of heart, a stubbornness no to listen, learn, pray, repent. An over-emphasis on being unique spiritually is a bad sign. See my posts on Benedictine spirituality and the need to move away from singularity. That Gnosticism is rife in the Church today indicates that many people have fallen into rebellion through the desire and pursuit of "secret" or "special" knowledge.

Today, the prophet calls us all to repentance, and meekness, as humility is a sign of compliance with God's will.

Zephaniah 3:1-2Douay-Rheims 

Woe to the provoking, and redeemed city, the dove.
2 She hath not hearkened to the voice, neither hath she received discipline: she hath not trusted in the Lord, she drew not near to her God.