Psalms 96:1-2, 11
O sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it.
Every day, from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020, I have written a homily on a part of the daily mass readings that I connected to.
The homily was either delivered as a prayer, a song, or as a reflection to unravel my understanding.
It started here.
The journey has been liberating, and it has shaped many of my choices.
Today is the last day of this chapter, as I believe it is time to explore another path.
I will keep reading scripture daily, but my meditations will now be around daily gratitude.
Thank you for walking this path with me. I hope you fall in love with my next chapter.
1 John 2:15-17
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever.
Love is enduring.
When you apply the enduring to the ephemeral, the inevitable loss becomes enduring.
It is within your power to choose the object or subject of your love, because it is premised on the choice of where you pay attention.
Love the enduring. Use the ephemeral.
1 John 2:9-11
He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness still. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and in it there is no cause for stumbling. But he who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Your example is your faith.
Your habits are your beliefs.
You cannot say you walk in the light, while still carrying darkness within. The light must come from within, or else it will burn out and leave you stranded in the dark.
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.” Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more.”
There is a time to flee, and a time to stand up to threats.
I pray for God’s wisdom to help me know when to do each.
Sirach 3:2-7, 12-14
For the Lord honored the father above the children, and he confirmed the right of the mother over her sons. Whoever honors his father atones for sins, and whoever glorifies his mother is like one who lays up treasure. Whoever honors his father will be gladdened by his own children, and when he prays he will be heard. Whoever glorifies his father will have long life, and whoever obeys the Lord will refresh his mother; he will serve his parents as his masters. O son, help your father in his old age, and do not grieve him as long as he lives; even if he is lacking in understanding, show forbearance; in all your strength do not despise him. For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, and against your sins it will be credited to you.
Honor your parents while they are alive.
As you grow and begin to see their human failings, engage them with compassion.
Carry them along on your losses, and your victories.
Trust them to help, and come to their aid without delay.
Do not wait until they have passed before you honour them. Of what use is that to them?
It might not seem so, but as the days go, the years go.
Pray for them, bless them, visit them.
Take pictures, make memories.
You are a blessing to them. Live it.
Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Those on the side of truth have always and will always face persecution. Thankfully, the burden of truth grows lighter with time, but the burden of lies, no matter how light at the start, grows heavier with time.
A truthful person has more memory space than a liar. Naturally, their brains are faster, because they do not have to continually sift through heavy past tales. That memory space is available for prompt feedback upon interrogation.
Preparation for any interrogation is usually preparation to lie. If you hold the truth, you are always ready.
John 1:1, 14 & 17
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Today is symbolic. Symbols matter.
It has been quite a year, yet, today I celebrate a beginning. A beginning that opened a world without end.
I will sing of thy steadfast love, O LORD, for ever; with my mouth I will proclaim thy faithfulness to all generations.
All that I am is by His grace.
I will sing of Your love forever.
Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechari’ah after his father, but his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.” And they said to her, “None of your kindred is called by this name.” And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called. And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all marveled. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.
Every name a child is given holds a promise that connects the past to the future.
A name is both a journey and a destination.
What story does your name tell?
1 Samuel 1:24-28
And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine; and she brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh; and the child was young. Then they slew the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the LORD. For this child I prayed; and the LORD has granted me my petition which I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD.” And they worshiped the LORD there.
The Lord keeps His promises.
We forget our promises.
The word of the Lord is the Lord.
Our word is wayward.
The Lord needs no reminders on His promises.
Do you remember your promises?
The Lord blesses those who are like Him.
Those who keep their word are ever beside Him.