Day 63 – March 4

Today’s Readings:

Numbers 21-22
Mark 9:1-29
Psalm 63

“Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.” Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”” – Mark 9:23-24

The father of the boy had come to Jesus seeking healing for his son. He then watched helplessly the failed attempts by the apostles to heal him. His faith was shaken, and the best he could say to Jesus was, “If you can…”

What do we let shake our faith? Perhaps someone who works in the church does something that seems to contradict what they should be about. Maybe we, or someone close to us, has experienced loss of a loved one for whom we have been praying for. Or, because of a poor example, we’ve heard people say: “If this is what it means to be a Christian, it’s not for me.”

Human beings will disappoint. Rather than giving up, let us be like the father in this gospel passage, and bring our situation to Jesus, doubts and all, and ask God to strengthen our moment of weakness and turn it into a moment of grace and healing.

“I do believe, help my unbelief!”

It is a good prayer for us all.

May God Bless you.

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Day 58 – February 27

Today’s Readings:

Numbers 11-12
Mark 6:1-29
Psalm 58

“The Lord answered Moses: Is this beyond the Lord’s reach?”   – Numbers 11:23

It must have been an overwhelming situation for Moses. To have the grumbling of a massive amount of people craving what they left behind in Egypt, surround you and demand food. He could not begin to conceive in his mind how such a great mass of people – the army alone had 600 thousand soldiers! – would begin to be fed.

The Lord answers, “Is this beyond the Lord’s reach?”

What is going on in your life today? Are there moments where you forget to breathe, afraid that the reality you see is not enough to take care of what needs to be done?

Let the Lord say to you too, “Is this beyond the Lord’s reach?”

Lord, we thank you for being our everything. Sometimes life can get the best of us and we forget who You are. Nothing is beyond Your reach. Enter into our lives to day, and open our hearts to grow in trust of Your divine power.

Nothing is beyond the Lord’s reach. I believe. Amen.

May God bless you!

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Day 163 – June 12

Today’s Readings:

1 Chronicles 3-4
John 20
Job 7

“Will You never turn Your gaze away from me,
Nor let me alone until I swallow my spittle?
“Have I sinned? What have I done to You,
O watcher of men? – Job 7:19-20

“Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.”  –  John 20:18

In both Job and the Gospel, we see the anguish of man’s heart. Job describes his suffering, and wonders why God doesn’t end his misery. He does not understand why this is happening to him, not finding any guilt on his part. And so he has no choice but to wait in his suffering. In the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene is unconsolable as she weeps at the tomb of Jesus. The last thirty-six hours were unimaginable, the anguish of watch Him whom she loved endure humiliation, suffering, and a cruel death. Unlike Job, she finds relieve from her pain in the announcement of the angels, and ultimately, in seeing the Risen Lord.

We do not know why God allows suffering, apart from reflecting on the Cross of Christ. When we take time in meditating on the Cross, and become intimate in Jesus’ suffering, we find ourselves more able to endure the disappointments and sorrows of our life. We can choose to unite our suffering with that of Christ, and in doing so we grow more into the image and likeness of Christ, a sign for the modern world which chooses to deflect its pain and trouble.

Today, let us place whatever it is we are struggling through at the foot of the Cross, and bear our burden in the light of the Resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit, who came to be our consolation, and strengthening, until we too come face to face with the Risen Lord.

May God bless you.

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Day 162 – June 11

Today’s Readings:

1 Chronicles 1-2
John 19:23-42
Job 6

Today, as we begin the Books of the Chronicles, we return to the beginning, with Adam and Eve, with the Chronicles serving as a review of what we have read to date, from Creation to the Babylonian Exile and the return of the exiles to Judah. Genealogies are an important part of that story, so today let us listen to those from Adam to Abraham, to Jacob, to David, and the Kings that followed.

In Job, we hear his first words since his discourse with his wife (Job 2:2-10):

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?”

It is easy to imagine the helplessness his wife felt, being afflicted by the calamity of losing her children and livelihood, and now watching her husband waste away. Are there any words for such a time? And then Job’s friends come to console Job, and again, what words can be spoken?

Yet, when his friends begin to speak, they call to question Job’s righteousness. It was common of that time that such devastating consequences would never fall upon a righteous person, but only to one who gravely offended God. Job was fully aware of this perspective and searching for the meaning of his current plight.

It is a metaphor for our lives, when we do not have understanding to the happenings around us, we are called to have an attitude of Job, trusting, accepting both good and evil that comes. Let us take stock today as we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, to lay the truth of our situation before God, and like Job wait, and trust.

May God bless you.

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Day 150 – May 30

Today’s Readings:

2 Kings 1-2
John 11:30-57
Psalm 144

Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” – John 11:43-44

Today we read the conclusion of the narrative of Lazarus, now lying in the tomb for four days, being raised to life by Jesus. At the command of Jesus, Lazarus leaves the tomb and stumbles into the daylight.

We can use this story as an analogy for the parts of our lives that are dead because of sin. They lie in the tomb, keeping us split, with a part of us missing. Yet, at the word of Jesus, in his promise of forgiveness and mercy, we need only turn to him in his word, trust, and ask forgiveness with a true regret and contrition. Then, behold the miracle of transformation that occurs. We can reclaim the parts of our mind, spirit, body and soul that were thrust into darkness by sin, be brought forth again into the light of Christ and be restored to health.

Let us pause today, and hear the voice of Jesus calling us by name out of the tomb, saying, “Come forth!”, and let him remove the bandages that bind us, that we may go forth free to live in him.

May God bless you.

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