Why are you choking yourself?
Gift: Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.
Reading: Then the spirit of God possessed Zechariah, son of Jehoiada the priest. He took his stand above the people and said to them: “God says, ‘Why are you transgressing the LORD’S commands, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have abandoned the LORD, he has abandoned you.’” (2 Chronicles 24:20)
For ever I will maintain my love for my servant. (Psalm 89:29a)
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. (Matthew 6:34a)
Observation: I wish my wife, mother, boys and everyone could have heard Father Mark’s homily at Saint Mary’s in Eugene, OR this morning. He explained that the root of the word worry means to choke off. The word anxiety has a similar root, although it comes from a different root language, it also means to choke off. So, he expained that Jesus is telling us not to choke off the holy Spirit by worrying or having anxiety. The reality is that the readings and homily were meant for me as well as all the others that I mentioned I wished could have heard it this morning. The truth is that I place way too much value on money and my ability to make money, and that tends to choke the holy Spirit from being able to work in my life. If I don’t want to end up like the King in the first reading, I better let go of this false God of money and let God’s work be done.
Personification: Faith/Fidelity – The ability to stick to our work and to stay firm in our commitment to God and to God’s people with whom we are connected. The fear I believe that I need to overcome is that without a lot of money in the bank, my family will not be secure. The reality is that even with a lot of money in the bank, my family might not be secure. Real security for my family will come from the grace and peace that is a free gift of the holy Spirit. I hope that with the grace of God I can show the fruit of faith by believing completely that the Lord will take care of me and my family.
Prayer: Lord, I know that I should know this by now, but please continue to reveal to me your ways so that I can fully trust in your goodness and stop putting my faith in anything other than you. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit. Amen.