Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Reflections for the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time, Part 2

Thursday – A Lamp to My Feet

“A lamp to my feet is Your word, a light to my path.”

Lord, may Your word always guide my thoughts, my words, and my actions. 

May I dig deeply into the Scriptures and recognize Your voice. 

May I perceive You speaking through Your Church, both in Tradition and the Magisterium. 

Open my ears to hear You, my mind to understand You, and my heart to love You. 

Shine Your light into me and through me so that I can see where I'm going and others can see You in me. 

May Your word always be a lamp to my feet and a light to my path, guiding me all the way home to Heaven. 


Friday – Plant Little Seeds

In today's Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the mustard seed. It's a very, very tiny little seed, but it grows into a huge plant with branches large enough to support a multitude of birds. Such, Jesus says, is the Kingdom of God.

This parable can also apply to our daily lives. Sometimes we think we need to do big things for God, mission trips perhaps or major service projects. While those are wonderful and important, so are the little seeds of love that we plant day in, day out, everywhere we are. A simple smile, a friendly word, a warm hello, a helpful gesture, or a listening ear may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but they can make a huge difference in someone's life. 

So plant little seeds every day. You may not see them grow, but God does. 

Saturday – True Repentance

“I have sinned against the Lord.” King David knew that he had done something horribly wrong. He had let his lust overwhelm his reason and his greed overwhelm his moral standards. He had taken Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, as his own and killed her husband to get him out of the way. 

Now that the prophet Nathan had passed along God's severe rebuke, David saw his sin clearly, and he was horrified at his actions and at himself. He also realized the consequences of his sin. His heart broke within him as he repented sincerely before God.

God, seeing David's contrition, forgave him and remitted part of his punishment immediately. David would, however, still have to suffer because of his sin: the child Bathsheba carried would die. David prayed and fasted intensely for the child's life, hoping that perhaps God would somehow change His mind yet understanding well that God had His reasons for whatever happened. 

The child did indeed die, and the moment David heard, he got up, washed, changed his cloths, and ate a meal. His servants were shocked, for they had thought that David would be in bad shape after hearing that his son was dead. David, however, replied, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me, and the child may live.' But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”

David, with his repentant heart, knew that his son's death was the result of his own sin, but he also recognized God's loving hand. He perceived that one day he would see his child again. He had learned a difficult lesson about sin and consequences, but he came out a better man because he was humble enough to embrace true repentance and real trust in his Lord.

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