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: If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. (John 15:19)
Observation: As I sat down this morning reading the responsorial Psalm and the gospel reading with my daughter, who is 6 weeks old on my lap, I realized how difficult it is to hear the good news sometimes. As I looked into her eyes and said that it was a reading from the Gospel according to John, I found myself having to say that it means “Good News”. I know she can’t understand, but I can. I know that the world is not making it easier to live out your life as a disciple of Jesus Christ, and it won’t be easy for her to grow up in this world. It must be helpful to realize that the world hates you, or Jesus wouldn’t have said it, but it still doesn’t make it easy to hear.
Personification: Joy The fruit that I chose to display comes from the responsorial Psalm for today’s Mass readings. It says, “Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.” It will be my focus for today and hopefully for the rest of my life to cry out with joy to God.
Prayer: Lord, let me see your face in the people who you would have me speak to today about your goodness. Please help me to be joyful in your presence at all times today. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit. Amen.