Devotional thought for 2020
19 “Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. 20 Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. 21 It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
Matthew 6:19-21 (MSG)
O my beloved Jesus, since Thou wilt feed me this morning with Thine own blood in the Holy Communion, it is but reasonable that I should willingly renounce all the delights and pleasures which the world might give me. Yes, I give them all up; I protest that I choose rather to suffer all evils united to Thee, than to enjoy all the goods of the world away from Thee. It is sufficient happiness for me to please Thee, who art worthy of all that we can do to please Thee. I will say, then, with St. Ignatius of Loyola, give me, I pray Thee, but Thy love and Thy grace; that is sufficient for me, and I am contented.
As Jesus was filled with joy in the Holy Spirit, may our joy by the power
of the same Spirit make us set our sight on the things of God’s kingdom.
If the world’s foundations crumble we still have God, and in Him we have everything essential to our ransomed beings forever.
We [also] have Christ, who … died for us and who now sits at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens making constant and effective intercession for us.
We have the Scriptures, which can never fail.
We have the Holy Spirit to interpret the Scriptures to our inner lives and to be to us a Guide and a Comforter.
We have prayer and we have faith, and these bring heaven to earth and turn even bitter Marah sweet.
And if worse comes to worst here below, we have our Father’s house and our Father’s welcome.
One of my favorite slogans addresses the picture that accompanies this blog, “do your job/” A slogan of the New England Patriots for a season, I think it it a key to life.
Do what you are called to do… and leave the rest to God.
Not the job you get pay from, nor your job as father, mother, child. NOr any other vocation, but the vocation that enables them all, being a child of God. For on God, for Tozer seems prophetic in his statement about the world’s foundations crumbling. Yet God is still there..
We have the assurance that the absolute worst thing that could happen in the world’s eyes, is that which will see us receive the most tremendous of welcomes. The welcome into our Father’s house.
Thinking like that is why deLigouri could pray (and recount the prayer ) the way he does, a prayer that I long to be able to honestly pray, if I could but give up everything that has occured in 2020, the horrible, the bad, that which grieves me to the deepest point, and those things that bring equally incredible joy.
We need to rely on the Spirit’s ministry to us, and through us. That is our greatest job… this dance with God. This is our greatest treasure, this is our reason for existence. This is our vocation…to partner and work in fellowship with God.
That is what 2020 freed us to do in 2021… to dance with God, as we have realized the vanity of anything else….
Heavenly Father, You and our Lord Jesus have sent us the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, to free us from the cares of this world, to help us dance with You… Help us to do this in 2021, more than we ever have in our lives. AMEN!
Alphonsus de Liguori, The Holy Eucharist, ed. Eugene Grimm, The Complete Works of Saint Alphonsus de Liguori (New York; London; Dublin; Cincinnati; St. Louis: Benziger Brothers; R. Washbourne; M. H. Gill & Son, 1887), 88.
Pope Francis, A Year with Pope Francis: Daily Reflections from His Writings, ed. Alberto Rossa (New York; Mahwah, NJ; Toronto, ON: Paulist Press; Novalis, 2013), 406.
A. W. Tozer and Marilynne E. Foster, Tozer on the Holy Spirit: A 366-Day Devotional (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 2007).
Discussion/Devotional quote of the day…
“As soon as you truly abandon yourself in the Lord, you will know how to be content with whatever happens. You will not lose your peace if your undertakings do not turn out the way you hoped, even if you have put everything into them, and used all the means necessary. For they will have “turned out” the way God wants them to.” Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow
It is difficult to do that which is encouraged here, what is encouraged. Completely entrusting oneself to Jesus, allowing Him to not only judge if an “undertaking” is a success, but allowing Him to determine how it is to “turn out”.
This is one thing to say we trust in, as we gather in worship – as the sermon and music and liturgy all call to us to trust, to realize we are entrusted to the one who is more than capable of creation, of re-creation. It is another thing to see that faith build, the commitment grow stronger, as we weigh important decisions in our lives, as we suffer pain and anxiety in a hospital bed, as we mourn a friend, as we get home after a long day, and find demands on our time and attention – even there.
Think again on the passion of Christ, the feast of His Body and Blood of Christ, the promises again of our baptism, the faith that shines from a child… who simply asks… don’t they know God’s love… It is there in realizing the depth, the breadth, the height and the width of God’s love for you, revealed in Christ’s work, known in the comfort, the consolation, the encouragement of the Holy Spirit.
It is there we find our purpose, our love, our life… there in His arms… there as He comforts, strengthens, guards,….. loves us. It is there we find contentment – whether dwelling on mountain tops, or in the blazing hot desert.. or in the urban jungle. As yesterday’s epistle reading and sermon focused on… we can open our hearts wide.. and let our God fill them…and He does, as He promises… and proves that love.
Rejoice, my friend this day, this Monday, for the Lord is with you… and you can abandon yourself… knowing you are entrusted into His care…