God has had His hand on our lives from the first moment of our creation. If that is true, and it most surely is, then why do we find it so difficult to accept that He wants to and continues to play a significant role in our lives despite our propensity to ignore Him and fall into sin? God promises Jeremiah that He will always be with him, even if the times are difficult. I love to reflect upon the idea that God walks side by side with us and at times, when there is only one set of footprints in the sand, usually during trials and hardships, the reality is that God is carrying us through them! He will never abandon or forsake us. This is His promise to us for all generations.
4 The word of the LORD came to me thus: 5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you. 17 But do you gird your loins; stand up and tell them all that I command you. Be not crushed on their account, as though I would leave you crushed before them; 18 for it is I this day who have made you a fortified city, a pillar of iron, a wall of brass, against the whole land against Judah?s kings and princes, against its priests and people. 19 They will fight against you, but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.
P S A L M
Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
R: I will sing of your salvation.
1 In you, O LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. 2 In your justice rescue me, and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. (R) 3 Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are my rock and my fortress. 4 O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. (R) 5 For you are my hope, O Lord; my trust, O God, from my youth. 6 On you I depend from birth; from my mother?s womb you are my strength. (R) 15 My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. 17 O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds. (R)
1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13
There is very little to add to this reflection of Paul on the nature of love other than the encouragement to return to it regularly and see how we are going in living up to the nature of love in the things that we are doing. Love is first and foremost a decision. It can be guided by emotions and experiences but ultimately it comes down to the choices of how we live our lives. Let us pray for the grace to choose well so that we will be living examples of God?s love to the world.
31 Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way. 13: 1 If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. 2 And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, 5 it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, 6 it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. 9 For we know partially and we prophesy partially, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. 12 At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. 13 So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
G O S P E L
Jesus will always speak the truth to us even if it hurts or we do not want to hear it! Jesus challenges His listeners to think about the way they are living their lives in relation to the demands of the Law and the Prophets. He challenges them to answer some difficult questions that they would rather not face. This eventually led them to seek to rid themselves of Jesus. But Jesus knows that it is only the truth that can set us free (John 8:31-32). Sometimes we have to do the same; at other times we have to be willing to be on the receiving end of such advice. In either case it can be a difficult but necessary part of a disciple?s way of life.
21 He said to them, ?Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.? 22 And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, ?Isn?t this the son of Joseph?? 23 He said to them, ?Surely you will quote me this proverb, ?Physician, cure yourself,? and say, ?Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.?? 24 And he said, ?Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place. 25 Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land. 26 It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon. 27 Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.? 28 When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. 29 They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. 30 But he passed through the midst of them and went away.
think: God has had His hand on our lives from the first moment of our creation.
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