Life's Instruction Manual

First Reading: Micah 6:1-4,6-8
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 50
Gospel: Matthew 12:38-42

May the peace and joy of the Lord be with you always!

Have you ever tried to put together something like a book shelf or a desk without the instruction manual? I have attempted this a few times; you know the scenario, thinking that since I know what the finished product looks like then I can easily assemble this piece of furniture. Only problem is that putting together a desk or book shelf is not like a puzzle where only look at the picture helps. Each time I have tried to put together something without the instruction manual I usually end up turning back to the manual. It is just too difficult otherwise, so many pieces look the same or which screw goes with which part, it can get pretty confusing. That is why we are given this instruction manual, to help clarify things for us. It is so great to have step by step instructions and pictures of what our product should look like. I find that in moments where I use the manual I am trusting the person who designed this piece of furniture and relying on their wisdom and not my own.

A lot of times there are things in life that are not always clear and there are circumstances that we do not know how to handle. We know what we would like the end result to be, but we have no clue how to go about this. Well, let me tell you there is good news because there is an instruction manual for life! It is the bible, God's word for us! It is full of advice, guidance, secrets, tips and everything that we need to get through some of life's most difficult situations. And the great thing about this manual unlike any other is that you can actually speak directly to the author, God himself! Sorry there is not a 1-800 number that goes along with this, but through prayer we can ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and open our hearts and minds to the sacred scriptures.

In the first reading today we are given instructions on how we are to live for the Lord. The prophet Micah proclaims; "Only to do the right and to love goodness,and to walk humbly with your God." I think in our lives we tend to complicate things a lot and make solutions to problems much harder than they have to be. In this reading we are given very simple but also very difficult instructions on how to live. Among these instructions I know probably the most difficult for many of us (especially myself) is to walk humbly with God. Unfortunately many of us are built with an abundance of pride and most of the time our pride gets in the way of allowing us to walk humbly with God. But if we can just push that pride away and completely surrender it to God, then we will have no problems. Remember, these simple solutions are every difficult, so as you are working on these things in your life please do not get discouraged, call on the Holy Spirit, he will give you the strength and courage that you need.

What is great about the Catholic faith is that we not only have an "instruction manual" but we also have the wisdom of the church that has been around for over 2000 years! God does not simply just give us the supplies to go about building our lives around Him, he gives us the tools, instructions, and people to help! I do not believe that God ever sets us up for failure, that does not mean that we are never challenged, in fact we will always be challenged, but as St. Paul says in the book of Romans "Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer." (Rom12:12) No matter what we go through in life, God is there to get us through, all we have to do is ask.

Father in heaven, we ask for your grace to persevere in this life, to do what is right, and to serve you always. We ask this all through your name. Amen.

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