“Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly” Roman 12:6
Be true to who you are. God created you with certain gifts and they are given to be used. Pray to know, pray to see and then pray for courage to step out and into the world, gift in hand, ready to serve. Pray as scripture says to use your gifts accordingly. And when you do, you will be showing others the glory of God in action. You are blessed, we are blessed, and so we pray: Lord please help me to use my gifts today. Help me not to be discouraged if I find myself doubtful that I am on the right path. Please help me to remember that I am perfect just the way you made me. Give me comfort in knowing I am loved by you no matter what! Amen
Gospel - January 14, 2015
It comes as no surprise that once Simon’s mother-in-law was cured, she rose and started serving those around her. Mothers often feel like their task lists are endless. I admit that often I view my life’s work as a series of ongoing checklists. Did Jesus feel the same way as the whole city gathered around the door? Preach to thousands in Galilee; heal the sick; cast out demons. Was he overwhelmed by the tasks he “came out to do”?
Today’s Gospel describes how Jesus rises early the next morning, takes himself away from everyone, and prays. When Jesus’ companions find him, he gets up and they move on. He had tasks to do and he does them.
We are called to be like Jesus and care for others. It is easy to keep ourselves busy and serve in our homes, our churches, and our communities. We are also called to be like Jesus in our prayer lives. It is hard to take ourselves away from our lists and make time for prayer, but doesn’t this rejuvenation enable us to better tackle the tasks placed before us?
Though we may not be able to go off to a deserted place in the wee hours of the morning to pray, we must remember to set ourselves apart from our distractions, even if for a moment. As Pope Francis says, prayer is “opening the door to the Lord so that he will come.” Let Jesus come into our hearts today and be with us in our daily tasks.
Caroline (Giannuzzi) Connor ‘94
Lord, in healing Simon’s mother-in-law you restored his family. We need you to restore health to us, and to our family and friends. Please guide us to do all we can to bring healing and comfort to our minds and bodies and to those we love. Remove our anxiety and give us that peace and hope that surpasses human understanding. Amen.
Father Herbert Yost, C.S.C.
Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13
By: Charlie Wester
Today’s reading from Zephaniah reminds us that no matter how highly we think of ourselves, there is something greater in the universe than humanity. I fear that we, like the inhabitants of the city in Zephaniah’s reading, seem to have lost our way and displaced God with our own version of divinity. We worship athletes, singers, actors, politicians, and business people like gods. We spend so much of our time consumed with ourselves – our appearance, our personal “brand,” our careers, etc. – it’s an easy, endless slide toward the narcissism and rebellion the Lord condemns in Zephaniah today. How can we break free from the tempting pitfall of self-obsession?
I am reminded of the Latin dictum “Ad majorem dei gloriam,” for the Greater Glory of God, adopted by the Jesuits as their guiding principle. We find the letters AMDG inscribed on the cornerstones of Jesuit churches and university buildings as a reminder that the work the Society of Jesus does is not for the glorification of themselves or some human institution, but to acknowledge that God is at the center of all they do. This motto might serve as an easy way to re-conceptualize what we are doing here on Earth and what should be at the center of our lives. Let’s see what happens when we kick out the “self” and replace it with God.
I am inspired by Zephaniah to put the spirit of AMDG at the center of my life this Advent season. When I succeed in earthly endeavors, I will remember that I am the product of a loving God and trying to do my best is simply fulfilling my part of the relationship. In my shortcomings I will turn to God and wait patiently for the coming of the baby Jesus at Christmas so that I may find strength in Christ.
Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins.
Be hospitable to one another without complaining.
As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
Whoever preaches, let it be with the words of God; whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Let us all remember to use our gifts this Christmas Season to help serve others!
My Utmost for His Highest
Daily devotionals by Oswald Chambers
. . . I am with you to deliver you,’ says the Lord --Jeremiah 1:8
God promised Jeremiah that He would deliver him personally— “. . . your life shall be as a prize to you . . .” (Jeremiah 39:18). That is all God promises His children. Wherever God sends us, He will guard our lives. Our personal property and possessions are to be a matter of indifference to us, and our hold on these things should be very loose. If this is not the case, we will have panic, heartache, and distress. Having the proper outlook is evidence of the deeply rooted belief in the overshadowing of God’s personal deliverance.
The Sermon on the Mount indicates that when we are on a mission for Jesus Christ, there is no time to stand up for ourselves. Jesus says, in effect, “Don’t worry about whether or not you are being treated justly.” Looking for justice is actually a sign that we have been diverted from our devotion to Him. Never look for justice in this world, but never cease to give it. If we look for justice, we will only begin to complain and to indulge ourselves in the discontent of self-pity, as if to say, “Why should I be treated like this?” If we are devoted to Jesus Christ, we have nothing to do with what we encounter, whether it is just or unjust. In essence, Jesus says, “Continue steadily on with what I have told you to do, and I will guard your life. If you try to guard it yourself, you remove yourself from My deliverance.” Even the most devout among us become atheistic in this regard— we do not believe Him. We put our common sense on the throne and then attach God’s name to it. We do lean to our own understanding, instead of trusting God with all our hearts (see Proverbs 3:5-6).
Prayerful Path/Mary Maddox