I want to be among the 144,000 to be able to learn the new hymn…

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The Ox

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Gift:  Knowledge – With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God’s Revelation, especially as expressed in the life and words of Jesus Christ. A person with knowledge is always learning more about the scriptures and Tradition.

Reading:  They were singing (what seemed to be) a new hymn before the throne, before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn this hymn except the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been ransomed from the earth.  These are they who were not defiled with women; they are virgins 3 and these are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been ransomed as the firstfruits of the human race for God and the Lamb.  (Revelation 14:3-4)

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1 When he looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.  He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”  (Luke 21:1-4)

Observation:  It occurred to me this morning as I was reading the first reading from the book of Revelation that I have never really sought to define in my mind, who the 144,000 were, and whether I would like to be among them.  I don’t believe this number equates to the number of people who would be saved in the last judgement.  I do believe God was revealing to John that there will be a special gift given to those who follow his will for them more completely in the lives on earth.  For me, I went to the page that contain the verses from the first reading and saw that the church had not used the beginning of the 4th verse in its reading this morning.  I believe that omission actually had a special meaning for me this morning.  Also, the gospel reading that I included in my journal post for today shows what a person with complete surrender looks like.  I want to be like that widow who is willing to give her whole livelihood, so I can be detached from material possessions and dependent on God, which would lead to my blessedness.  I stole that from the footnote of the NAB version online that you can see by clicking the  1, here or above in the gospel reading.

Personification:  Generosity  I struggle some times with how to give of myself in the way of monetary contribution to the church, because I don’t have much to give.  However, it is in the example of the widow that I will more faithfully give from the first fruits of what I have been given and not look for ways in which I have given of myself to the work that I am called to do.  In order to show this fruit of generosity today, I will be willing to give what I do have, whenever it is asked of me.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to find new ways to be generous with the money and possessions that I have to be more like the widow, who is completely detached from her material possessions.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

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