Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Reflections for the 4th Week in Ordinary Time, Part 2

Thursday – Praise and Worship

Do you ever tell God how wonderful He is? Do you ever stop to reflect on His almighty power and amazing love? Do you ever praise and worship Him simply because He is God?

Today's psalm invites us to do just that. “Blessed may You be, O Lord,” the Psalmist exclaims as He reflects on God's eternal Fatherhood. 

“Yours, O Lord, are grandeur and power, majesty, splendor, and glory.” God is sovereign. He reigns supreme. He is exalted over all. Everything belongs to Him. He shines with an unimaginable light, and He holds power and might in His hands. He is transcendent, so far above us that we can't grasp Him with our limited human minds. We are left in awe at His magnificence.

But as transcendent as God is, He is also immanent. He is closer to us than we are to ourselves, and He showers us in His loving care. The Psalmist declares, “ is Yours to give grandeur and strength to all.” God is more than willing to share His gifts and His grace with us. After all, He made us in His own image and likeness. In fact, He gives us Himself, His very indwelling presence in our souls. 

Now that is indeed cause for praise and worship!

Friday – Relecture

Today's first reading from Sirach is a prime example of the Biblical practice of relecture. Relecture essentially means “re-reading,” but it has deeper connotations of reflection, interpretation, and application. The Israelites were constantly re-reading and reflecting on salvation history. They interpreted it in new ways and applied it to their own times and circumstances. They understood that God always had a message for them in His Word. 

Today's first reading, then, is a relecture of the life of King David. Sirach holds him up as a model of courage, prayer, worship, and repentance, and he invites his readers to reflect on their own lives to determine if they, like David, live in a constant, loving relationship with God. 

We can and should experience this kind of interaction with God's Word each day. After all, the Bible is God's love letter to His children, to us. He wrote it through His human instruments that He might communicate with us in a way we can understand. He wants us to read it, study it, meditate on it, and pray it constantly. So take Him up on His offer. You won't regret it.

Saturday – Come Away

“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” Jesus invited His disciples to rest in His presence. He calls us to do the same. 

Sometimes it's necessary to recharge our spiritual batteries, and we can do so best by immersing ourselves in God's loving presence, away from distractions and the cares of the world. 

Jesus longs to be alone with us. He wants us to rest in His arms and allow Him to comfort and strengthen us. He desires to shower us with love and to help us grow in intimacy with Him.

So let us accept His invitation for at least a few minutes every day: “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”

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