Meditation for the Day

Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time, January 19

Let Us Open Our Hearts and Allow the Spirit of God to Guide Us Into a More Profound and Personal Relationship with Our Creator, Our Redeemer and Our Sanctifier.

In our First Reading today, we hear words of encouragement, “God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.”

One of the major purposes of the Letter to the Hebrews was to bolster and encourage those who were laboring long and hard to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, for there were those who were becoming disheartened due to a general lessening of virtue and a practice of the faith. For it is only natural that, in every long term endeavor, there are times when one wonders if the efforts of one’s labor is worth all the inconveniences and suffering.

We see examples of this in medical research, in which untold hours and years of sacrifice may not always yield the results for which one hopes. Even for all those who committed themselves to help making this world a safer and better place in which to live, those in law enforcement and social work can become discouraged and hardened with the passage of time, feeling that their efforts have been in vain as they watch the crime rate continue to escalate and issues of social justice deteriorate, together with a general lessening of appreciation for the sacrifices which they and their families have made.

And for those in ministry, in almost every faith persuasion, Christian and non-Christian alike, those who commit themselves to attending weekend services are becoming fewer, especially now during this pandemic we are all facing.

For in each succeeding generation of faithful, the pew count (those attending Mass or any type of worship service) seems to be getting smaller and smaller – a sense of discouragement with priests, ministers and rabbis who have devoted their lives to preaching the message about God’s Love.

For those who do attend, there are occasions when those who are being served do not seem grateful and may even be resistant to the good being offered to them – the sermon was too long, it was too hot or too cold, the children in the church or synagogue were too noisy, and any other number of untold reasons for dissatisfaction.

When these occasions arise and complaints are filed, parish ministers can oftentimes feel discouraged and begin to wonder how they can best reach out and serve the needs of their flock.

And the author of the Letter to the Hebrews, in our First Reading today, is telling all those who serve God’s children, in whatever capacity they may hold, not to become discouraged, not to “…become sluggish, but imitators of those who, through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.” For many have gone before us who were disappointed and yet persevered. Many had felt challenged, but, “through faith and patience”, they are now enjoying their eternal reward.

And for those who serve and for those who are being served, God, in His Infinite Wisdom, knew that we would need to be nurtured and encouraged through His Word. In God’s Infinite Wisdom, He knew that we would need to be nourished and strengthened through His Sacraments which give life.

In today’s Gospel, our Lord is telling us, “The sabbath was made for man…” It is in our celebration of the Sabbath, the weekly Mass on Sunday, in which our relationship with our God becomes very real and personal. For it is through Word and Sacrament that God reaches out to each of us, inviting us to be one with His Love, inviting us into a deeper and more intimate union with Himself.

Ultimately, whether we are servants or being served, it is all about opening our hearts and allowing the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Truth and Love whom the Father and Jesus has sent and given to us – to comfort us, guiding us into a profound and personal relationship with God who is our Creator, our Redeemer and our Sanctifier, setting us on fire and enabling us to love each other selflessly as God loves us.

May our life, in whatever vocation and circumstance we find ourselves, always echo the words of today’s psalmist, “I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart in the company and assembly of the just. Great are the works of the LORD, exquisite in all their delights.”

“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

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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

  • “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.” (Hebrews 6:10)
  • “We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness for the fulfillment of hope until the end, so that you may not  become sluggish, but imitators of those who, through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.” (Hebrews 6:11-12)
  • “Then he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.’(Mark 2:27)
  • “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)
  • “Proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:2)
  • “But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” (1 Corinthians 6:17)
  • “Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy. We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. We should not stay away from our assembly, as is the custom of some, but encourage one another…” (Hebrews 10:23-25b)
  • “I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart in the company and assembly of the just. Great are the works of the LORD, to be treasured for all their delights.” (Psalm 111:1-2)
  • “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31b-32)

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Prayer for the Day

“Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit,
that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit,
that my work, too, may be holy.

“Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit,
that I may love only what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit,
that I may defend all that is holy.

“Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit,
that I always may be holy. Amen.”

Saint Augustine of Hippo

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