Meditation for the Day

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 19

In Our Walk of Faith, We Are Called to Live Each Day in Harmony with God’s Will, Never Turning Aside from Him for Our Own Sake.

In our Responsorial Psalm today, we hear the words, “To do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!”

As we reflect upon our other Readings today, Isaiah the prophet, the Apostle Paul, John the Baptist and our Lord – all willingly embraced God’s will; all willingly surrendered themselves to fulfill all that God was asking of them.

And the Bible is filled with many such people – from Abraham in the Book of Genesis, through the prophets, the Apostles, and ending with Saint John in the Book of Revelation – all chose to empty from themselves their own self-will, their own propensity for self-importance, so that God’s will might be fulfilled through their faithfulness.

Today is no different. As people of faith, you and I are called to live each day as God would have us live it, to live each day in harmony with God’s will. In essence, the expression from the psalm “to do your will, O my God” means that we must surrender our own ego, our own pride, and realize that we are not the master of our own destiny.

For if we wish to embrace the gift of eternal life, then we must set aside all those distractions of the flesh – greed, envy, pride, gluttony, sloth, unjust anger, immoral conduct – all which can separate us from God’s Love, for such distractions are truly lacking in holiness and humility.

There is a very old folk proverb which even I have used from time to time, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans for the day!” In essence, what our desires may be – and what God’s plans for us truly are – could be two entirely different paths for us to follow!

And setting aside our own willful desires and conforming our way of thinking to God’s way is not always easy, for the weakness of the flesh can truly become overwhelming at times. But we do have examples of people in our Scriptures who truly felt what we feel, and who truly experienced what we experience.

Abraham was tested, the prophets were ridiculed and persecuted, both John the Baptist and the Apostle Paul were imprisoned and beheaded, most of the Apostles where martyred for their beliefs, Mary the Mother of Jesus suffered profound sorrows, and Jesus Himself, the Eternal Word made flesh, through whom all creation was made, was spat upon, scourged and crucified, ultimately dying a painful death!

Yet, all remained faithful to the will of God; all were found righteous in the eyes of the Almighty. And all become the example for each and every one of us in our journey through this life, in our own walk of faith as you and I experience what it truly means to be a faithful Christian people – embracing the heart, mind and will of our Heavenly Father, so that we may become images of His Son, so that we may truly become disciples of our Lord in all that we think, in all that we say and do.

Then, the words which we hear in our First Reading today can truly take root in each one of us, “I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” Our Lord calls each of us to be that light to enable others to see and understand. He calls us to become the extension of Himself in a world which seems to have closed itself off to a life of holiness, for many wander in the darkness where there is no light to guide them.

John the Baptist declared in today’s Gospel, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” He carried the Spirit of God within himself, illuminating the hearts of his followers with God’s Truth – a Truth which speaks to us of Jesus Christ as our only True Hope, our nourishment and our eternal salvation.

And in such an illuminating Truth, you and I are each called to know our Lord on a much deeper and a much more profound level of understanding. We are each called to develop within ourselves a more personal relationship with this Jesus, who came to us as an innocent Lamb, and who allowed Himself to be led to the slaughter for our sake.

It is through our walk of faith, it is through our joyfully embracing God’s will, inviting the Spirit of God to dwell within each one of us, that we become more than what we are. For we become the extension of Jesus Himself; we become the light which illumines the darkness surrounding each of us, so that we too may joyfully proclaim with all our hearts, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” for others to understand and believe – most importantly through the witness we give and the example we live for others to see and follow.

The words of our psalmist seem to echo the hearts and minds of all who choose to live our faith to its fullest, never shying away because of ridicule from others, always remembering the faithfulness of those spoken of in Scripture and tradition – those holy people who have gone before us, and who are now reaping their heavenly reward:

“I have waited, waited for the LORD, and he stooped toward me and heard my cry. And he put a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God.”

May our hymn to God always be one of faithfulness to His will, never turning aside from Him for our own sake, but freely choosing to embrace all that He asks of us, so that we, too, as His faithful children, may one day reap the heavenly reward which awaits each of us.

And may you and I one day hear those words which will fill our hearts and souls with the joy and peace for which we so deeply yearn, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you.

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “I delight to do your will, my God; your law is in my inner being!” (Psalm 40:9)
  • “I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6b)
  • “Surely I wait for the LORD; who bends down to me and hears my cry…And he puts a new song in my mouth, a hymn to our God.” (Psalm 40:2, 4a)
  • “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
  • The next day [John] saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.’” (John 1:29)
  • “We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if any one is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.” (John 9:31)
  • “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! May your kind spirit guide me on ground that is level.” (Psalm 143:10)
  • “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34bc)

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Prayer for the Day

“Lord Jesus, Almighty God,

we commit to You our lives;

do with us as You will,

and make our lives useful to Your service.

“Lord Jesus, Son of God,

the only ambition we have is to humbly

and honestly serve Your holy will.

We want to lift up Your Name, Jesus, not ours,

And we wish to make known the power

of Your Most Holy Spirit.

“Lord Jesus, our Savior,

we want You to claim us for Yourself,

and use us according to Your Divine purpose.

And no matter the task You assign to us,

we will be content and full of joy

to fulfill Your holy will.

“Lord Jesus, our Redeemer,

let Your Holy Spirit live in us forever,

and give us purpose and hope, peace and joy.

And may we be blessed with eternal life;

for, without You, our hearts will perish.

We ask all this for the glory of Your Heavenly Father. Amen.”

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