Scripture Reading: Psalms 109:4 – 5
Our scriptural reference today says, “In return for my love they accuse me, even while I make prayer for them. So they reward me evil for good, and hatred for my love.” Lying tongues were busy against the reputation of David, but he did not defend himself, rather he reported the case to a higher court and pleaded for intervention before the great King Himself. Some weeks ago, a widow called to say that “She had not had rest since the death of her husband. She was accused by her husband’s family as being responsible for her husband’s death. As a result, she was required to undergo some traditional fetish rituals to prove her innocence. According to her, life had suddenly become unbearable for her and her children. She asked, “What shall I gain killing a very loving husband, with whom I have four children, and struggled together to bring them up in the way of the Lord? Brother, what is my benefit killing a man with whom I built a house and who loved me so much? The world is wicked.” This experience is not peculiar to this widow. Many others, Christians and non-Christians alike, are facing the same terrible and hateful experiences. In situations of this nature, the only option open to the Christian is to PRAY. Prayer is the safest method of replying to words or actions of hatred. Observe that the Psalmist in our reference today did not pray in a cold-hearted manner; rather he threw his whole soul and heart into it; straining every sinew and muscle as Jacob did when he wrestled with the Angel. This is the only way we can speed to the throne of grace. Beloved, take note of this, “As a shadow has no power because there is no substance in it, even so the supplication in which a man’s proper self is not thoroughly present in agonizing earnestness and vehemently desired is utterly ineffective, for it lacks that which will give it force.” Fervent prayer in situations of this nature is like a cannon planted at the gate of heaven, making it fly open.
As we walk along our path of life as Christians, we come across many persons; some good while some are bad. Some bless, while others curse and constitute themselves into obstacles to our wellbeing. However, the Holy Spirit reminds you today, that these are common features in our journey of life. For the scriptures says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all.” (Psa. 34:19) The Holy Spirit says to you, “Do not allow any form of distraction, rather present the situation as it is to the court of heaven in fervent prayers. Do not allow your thoughts go roving here and there, just call on God in faith.” Like mercury, our minds cannot be held together because they roll this way and that way. How great is this evil?! It injures us and most still, insults God. St. Bernard concludes our reflection in this way, “A person who prays carelessly, and yet expects his prayers to be heard, is like a man who pours bad grains into a mill, but expects to receive good flour in return.” To be continued tomorrow!
MASS: VIOLET 2 Sam 7: 4-5a. 12-14a. 16; Ps 89: 2-3. 4-5. 27 and 29; Rom 4: 13. 16-18. 22; Mt 1: 16. 18-21. 24a or Lk 2: 41-51a JOSEPH, HUSBAND OF MARY S
Take a worship song as you are led.
Take these Prayers seriously:
O Lord my God, be thou not far from me; O God, make haste to help me, because evil thoughts constantly rise up against me.
Let them be put to shame and dishonour who seek after my life; and let them be turned back and confounded who device evil against me. Father may they be like chaff before the wind, for I have done no harm against them
Father, they fight me and say all manner of evil comments against me; so Lord declare me innocent in the name of Jesus Christ.
Lord I desire total communion with You anytime I kneel down to pray. Release Your Spirit on me O Lord my God.
Pray for all who are oppressed, especially the Widows.
Exercise: Encourage someone with this reflection today.
Memory Verse: Psalms 34:17