Readings for Tuesday April 19, 2011

Tuesday of Holy Week

First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-6
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 71
Gospel: John 13:21-33, 36-38

Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, Yet my reward is with the Lord, my recompense is with my God. For now the Lord has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, That Jacob may be brought back to him and Israel gathered to him; And I am made glorious in the sight of the Lord, and my God is now my strength! It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth. (Is 49:4-6)

The prophet Isaiah today talks about some of the themes of work, reward, and purpose. He says, "though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing." Don't we all feel like this at times, especially in our faith lives? Why do I go to mass on Sundays? Why am I spending time in prayer? Why serve others, or try to help the poor? I think that we all hit lows at times where we for whatever reason we are just not on fire. But what we must remember, is that not matter how we may "feel", the reason why we do all of these things for the Lord is because of love and the great reward awaiting us. We live a life of faith because there is no better way of living. A life surrendered to Him, is a life that is found. And what is our reward for "toiling", an eternal life in heaven with our Father. No more pain, no more suffering, no more crying, no more sin; only joy and happiness. Now isn't that worth the "toiling."

Serving the Lord is not toiling, it is our purpose. What may seem burdensome does not have to be, instead it can be looked at as a time of growth. The Lord has formed each of as a "servant in the womb." We were each meant for a specific purpose in this life, and it should be our goal to find out what this purpose is. We find this out by asking God, by asking the Creator of the heavens and the earth who formed us, and knows exactly what we are meant to do. It is only by finding our purpose that we can be happy, and to be the "light to the nations" that we are called to be.

God wants to use each and every one of us, for our sake and for His glory. Are you willing to say yes?

Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, we thank you and praise you for the great gifts that you bring into our life. Lord, help us to discover our purpose and to do your will in this life. Lord, help us to love others as you call us to, and to persevere to the end so that one day we might receive the reward of eternal life. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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