Readings for Wednesday September 22, 2010
First Reading: Proverbs 30:5-9
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 119
Gospel: Luke 9:1-6
Every word of God is tested; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Add nothing to his words, lest he reprove you, and you will be exposed as a deceiver.
Two things I ask of you, deny them not to me before I die: Put falsehood and lying far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; provide me only with the food I need; Lest, being full, I deny you, saying, "Who is the LORD?" Or, being in want, I steal, and profane the name of my God. (Prov. 30:5-9)
I remember when I was a young boy and I started playing football. I remember how cool I thought all my pads and my helmet were. When I first suited up, I felt like a knight gearing up for battle. But then I remembered the part about how football involved a lot of hitting. I immediately went from knight in shining armor to safety inspector. Were these enough to protect me? I mean, some of those kids were pretty big (or at least they looked like it with their pads on). I came to quickly realize that the pads were more than adequate. My helmet and my pads protected me from every hit and shock that I came up against. That is not to say that it didn't hurt at times or that I didn't feel the effect of a hit, but my body was protected overall. Everything else that I felt helped to build my toughness and durability. I quickly came to trust in "my shields."
Today in the book of proverbs we are told that the Lord is a shield for all who take refuge in Him. The same mentality that I took with my pads is the same mentality that we need to take with "our shield". It takes us some time to trust in Him. But when we do, we realize that He will protect us, and that there is nothing to fear. Not to say that we will not feel pain or the after effects of some of the things that we go through, but all of these other things are just meant to build up our faith. We must always trust that the Lord will give us what we need in every situation, not what we want, but what we need. In the gospel today, Jesus sends out his disciples to the towns to preach the good news and to heal the people, but He tells them to take nothing with with. No food, money, extra clothes...nothing! Can you imagine the trust that this must have taken? I pray for that kind of faith in my life; to go out into the world, just me, and know that God will provide. Now that is faith!
The Lord is our shield. He will take care us of, and He will always give us the things that we need. But if we do not trust in Him at these times and cooperate with His grace, then we risk not seeing and experiencing the blessings that He has for us. The Lord will lead us to places that we would not usually venture and against things that we would not normally choose to face, but He calls us for a reason. It is during the times when we do not fully understand "why", that we just need to put our trust in "our shield." When we feel God is calling us to something in our lives, we only have to ask ourselves one question...Got trust?
Father above, we trust in you and your plan for our lives. Increase our faith so that we might not hold back in serving you. Help us to give ourselves totally to you Lord. Lord, help us to let go of the things that are holding us back and tying us down to this world. We pray for your guidance in our lives, and for your will to be done. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.