Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Reflection for the 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Part 2

Thursday – Here Am I, Lord

Here am I, Lord; show me Your will, and I will do it.
Here am I, Lord; teach me Your law, and I will obey it.
Here am I, Lord; set me on Your path, and I will walk it.
Here am I, Lord; give me Your words, and I will speak them.
Here am I, Lord; fill me with Your grace, and I will praise You.
Here am I, Lord; grant me Your salvation, and I will happily rejoice with You forever.

Friday – The Twelve

No one could accuse them of being the best and brightest. They weren't wealthy. They weren't well educated. They weren't high class. They didn't hold any political power. No. These twelve fellows were simple, working class men. They were just everyday people, doing their best to live their lives exactly where they were.

But then these twelve men met Jesus, and their lives changed forever. He called them to something more. He chose them for a special role, and He gave them everything they needed to fulfill it. He sent them into the world, but He didn't let them go by themselves. He was with them every moment, guiding them, protecting them, and providing grace at every step.

And these twelve, or at least eleven of them, did amazing things. They spread the Gospel throughout the world. They performed miracles by the power of God. They suffered and died willingly for Jesus. On their own, they would never have been able to do any of this, but they weren't on their own.

We aren't on our own either. When our Lord calls us to a particular task or vocation, He gives us everything we need to answer His call and fulfill our mission. We just need to open our hearts to accept it. Then we, too, will do great things, for we will be allowing God to do great things in us...just like the Twelve did.

Saturday – Into the Holy of Holies

At the very heart of the Tabernacle and the Temple lay the Holy of Holies. It was set aside as God's dwelling place on earth, the special location to which the people of Israel looked when they turned to God.

But the Holy of Holies was restricted. Only one man, the high priest, could enter it to offer sacrifice, and he could do so only one day out of the year, on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The penalty for violating this rule was death.

The Holy of Holies may have been a special place on earth, but it pointed to something higher. It was a sign of Heaven, where God dwelt in His eternal perfection. Of course, in the days of the Israelites, Heaven, too, was closed because of human sin.

Jesus changed all of that. When He died, the curtain closing off the Holy of Holies tore in half from top to bottom. Even more important, the ultimate Holy of Holies was also opened. The gates of Heaven swung apart to admit those who could now partake of God's saving grace. Jesus entered in, and we can follow Him, right into the Holy of Holies of Heaven, right into the presence of God, Who stands with open arms to welcome us home.

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