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: More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it? I, the LORD, alone probe the mind and test the heart, To reward everyone according to his ways, according to the merit of his deeds. (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 40:5a)
Observation: I am going to assume that some of my deeds have been good lately. At least some for the last couple of years since I have been working for the church. I started out to journal about the fact that we should guard our heart with the help of the holy Spirit, but now I see that God requires much more of me. As the 9th verse of the 17th chapter of Jeremiah says, my heart is beyond remedy. Therefore, as I read further through the Responsorial Psalm that said we would be happy if we hope in the Lord, I started to realize that nothing I could do could guard my heart, it was broken from the inside. So, I am left with the understanding that I should see myself as the rich man who is dressed in purple and dining sumptuously each day and seek out those that are less fortunate than me to minister to with whatever I have to give.
Personification: Gentleness It seems that every time I choose to focus on displaying the fruit of gentleness, I am overcome with the fact that I cannot possibly display it on my own. If I learned anything from my journaling exercise today, it is that I can do nothing worthwhile on my own, but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. It will be the body and blood of Christ that I receive this morning that is giving me the strength to display the fruit of gentleness in my life today.
Prayer: Lord, help me to not rely on my own strength today and everyday. Please show me the way to understanding that even for me, the rich man in a purple garment, “With God all things are possible.” I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit. Amen.
(Special thanks to a Twitter friend for reminding me of the end of the verse above to use in my prayer today. It is Matthew 19:26c, and I hope it makes sense in the context that I used it. If you find it difficult to see, you may want to go back and read the story of the rich man in the 19th chapter of Matthew’s gospel.)