Gift: Understanding – With the gift of understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live.
Reading: Isaiah 58:9b-14
Thus says the LORD:
If you remove from your midst oppression,
false accusation and malicious speech;
If you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
Then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday;
Then the LORD will guide you always
and give you plenty even on the parched land.
He will renew your strength,
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring whose water never fails.
The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake,
and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up;
“Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you,
“Restorer of ruined homesteads.”
If you hold back your foot on the sabbath
from following your own pursuits on my holy day;
If you call the sabbath a delight,
and the LORD’s holy day honorable;
If you honor it by not following your ways,
seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice
Then you shall delight in the LORD,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Observation: Some mornings as I try to take one or two verses and single them out, I find that it is the whole reading that was really speaking to me. This is one such morning. This reading follows yesterday’s first reading from Mass that ended with the verse that said “Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer, you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!” It is my hope that my decisions today to follow his will, will act on my behalf to cry out to Him to say that I need to see him working in my life today.
Personification: Self-Control I believe I focus on the fruit of self-control the most in my journaling. It is because it is the fruit that I struggle with displaying the most. When you spent the first nineteen years of your life doing the things that you wanted first and those around you suffered the consequences, it has taken 20 years of effort and grace to get me to the spot where I can trust the Lord enough to give up my will in favor of his.
Prayer: Lord, give me the strength today to not only follow your will but to see your work that is being done in the people I meet today. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit. Amen.