Day 176 – June 25

Today’s Readings:

2 Chronicles 1-2
Acts 7:44-60
Job 20

When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. – Acts 7:58

Today we witness the first recorded martyrdom in the Church, and the reality of the life of the Christian faithful. Stephen is brought to trial because he makes the Jews uncomfortable in their living the Law. Stephen’s authentic living of faith and his bold proclamation of Jesus is too much for them, and they find reason to kill him. Here, at Stephen’s death, another man enters the picture. Saul, a zealous Jew, is to rise to be one of the great persecutors of the Christians, until He is confronted with Jesus.

Stephen’s death was senseless, and so seems to suffering of Job. Again we see God working his tapestry from the underside, the picture of His masterpiece hidden in the confusion of our daily life. Let us offer our lives like Stephen, trusting that God will use our small sacrifice to the benefit of His masterwork.

May God bless you.

Day 128 – May 8

Today’s Readings:

(Corrected: Psalm 122 of the day, and corrupted audio fixed)

2 Samuel 3-4
Luke 24:36-53
Psalm 122

When they had buried Abner in Hebron, the king wept aloud at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept. – 2 Samuel 3:32

We have insight into the character of David today. He had promised King Saul to preserve his house, and he shows earnest distress at the death of Saul’s sons. At this point in his life, He is not attached to power, and does not put the Kingdom before what is right, but honors the memory of Saul and his sons.

How confusing this must have seemed to those who served him, to see David mourn for his enemy. It shows great character and clarity through David’s desire to follow God’s law, and how he valued it over military conquest.

Sometimes we find things going our way at another’s expense. A mistake by the cashier; someone overlooked losing their turn in a game; a promotion that someone else was more deserving. Not all these things are we able to step in and intervene, but they are moments we must weigh the justice of the event, and to seek to make it right however we can.

The Lord chose David as a man after his own heart. We will watch and see what alters that relationship as we read on in the coming days. Today, let us place our hearts before God, and seek after His heart. May we be found righteous and virtuous before Him alone.

May God bless you.

cb365

Day 126 – May 6

Today’s Readings:

1 Samuel 29-31
Luke 23:26-56
Psalm 120

“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”, and when he had said this he breathed his last. – Luke 23:46

Today we read of two deaths. King Saul dies by his own sword in first Samuel, his body strung up by his enemies. And Jesus dies by the hands of those he came to save, hung upon a cross. One king was self-serving, even in his dying. The other King thought of others, even in the affliction suffered by those he forgave.

It leaves a sobering thought, that these two scenes read together, paint a picture of our own folly. It gives us a humbling insight into the heart of God. Unlike Saul, who took his own life, Jesus, who came into His own creation emptied himself of his kingship by taking the form of a slave and be buried like all men, he gave his life for the very ones who tortured him, and for us.

Let us take time today to meditate on the suffering servant who gives his life that we might live abundantly.

May God bless you.

cb365

Day 118 – April 28

Today’s Readings:

1 Samuel 13-14
Luke 20:1-26
Psalm 118

The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief corner stone. Psalm 118:22

Jesus quotes a proverb from Psalm 118:22 in his speaking the parable of the vineyard owner, and the rejection of the son. It gives insight to one facet of God, how His ways are not the ways of man. He chooses in ways that seem insignificant to humanity. The Pharisees could not see God unfolding His plan in Jesus, who came humble, poor and insignificant. Despite all of their study and waiting for the Messiah, their preconceived notions cloud their vision to where they are missing the opportunity.

Today, let us turn to God and be mindful that indeed, His ways are not our ways. Let us abandon ourselves into His divine wisdom, and ask that the Holy Spirit will help us to trust what we don’t understand with our intellect, and turn to the Scriptures, the Sacraments and God’s grace to embrace the divine reality hidden in our hearts.

May God bless you.

cb365

Day 116 – April 26

Today’s Readings:

1 Samuel 9-10
Luke 19:1-27
Psalm 116

‘I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.’ Luke 19:26

In both our reading from First Samuel and in Luke, we have references to kings. In Samuel, we have the young Saul, chosen by God to be the first king of Israel. He is just in his beginnings, and not yet with the burden of his leadership fully set on his shoulders. In Luke, Jesus tells a parable of a king who goes on a journey and leaves his servants responsible for some of his holdings, and the consequences of how they responded to the king’s mandate. The first was quite productive, earning his master ten times the amount he started with. Similarly, the second did well, producing five times over what he was given to work with. The third, unfortunately, allowed fear to keep him from fulfilling his responsibility to the king; the servant wasted his talent.

On the surface, this parable shows us what happens when one exercises his gifts, the result being a cultivation of other gifts. The one who chooses not to exercise his gifts will lose what he has.

Jesus is the King of kings who has left us, His servants, to manage the gifts He has bestowed upon us, for the building up of His kingdom. All of us have been given gifts – charisms if you will – by which we are to glorify God and bring others into His kingdom. Which of the servants’ examples are you following? Are you faithful to use your gifts for God’s benefit? Or, like many others, are they used for your own glory? To put forth our gifts for others is so counter to the culture of self-aggrandizement, a culture that acts in self-promotion to fulfill its desire of obtaining power or importance.

Yet, the King we serve will has not come to be served, nor to acquire power. He came emptying Himself for others’ sake. He placed all he had (his gifts) out there, with only the will of the Father in mind. The abundance of what he was given, was poured out in self-emptying. Should we do no less?

May God bless you.

cb365