The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
Is there anything holding you back from the joy and freedom of the Lord? God wants our hearts for him and for his kingdom of peace, joy, and righteousness (Romans 14:17). But our hearts can be weighed down by many different things. Jesus, our Lord and Master, offers us true freedom – freedom from the power of sin and wasted life, and freedom from our unruly desires and disordered passions – such as making food, drink or anything else our master rather than our servant. Jesus wants our hearts to be ruled by one thing only – his love and truth which enables us to choose whatever is good and to reject whatever is evil and harmful for us.
Be ready to meet the Lord today
Jesus also warns us of the temptation to slacken off – to become spiritually idle, lazy, indifferent, or inattentive to God’s presence and his word and guidance for our lives. We can fall asleep spiritually if we allow other things to distract us from the reality of God and his kingdom. It is very easy to get caught up in the things of the present moment or to be weighed down with anxious cares and concerns. The Lord wants us to be ready at all times to meet him – whether it be in our rising, eating, working, or taking our rest. He comes to draw us to himself – are you alert and attentive to his voice?
Speak your troubles to the Lord – he is listening
The Lord knows our struggles, weaknesses, and shortcomings. And he assures us that we do not need to carry our burdens alone nor struggle without his help. He is always very present and ready to give us whatever strength, guidance, and help we need to fight temptation and to stay the course which he has set for us. But there is one thing he doesn’t tolerate: indifference, an attitude of not caring, and doing nothing! The Lord wants us to cast our anxieties on him and to ask for his guidance and help. Do you pray for God’s strength and wisdom?
Until the Lord comes again we can expect troubles, trials, and temptations. Our adversary the devil does not rest in his attempt to lure us away from God’s will for our lives. If he cannot succeed in getting us to renounce our faith in Christ, he will try, little by little, to distract us from pursuing God, especially in prayer and listening to his word. Ask the Lord Jesus to rekindle the fire of his love in you so that you will be ready and eager to meet him when he comes again.
“Lord Jesus, rouse my spirit to the truth that this world is passing away. Give me a lively faith, a joyful hope, and a fervent love to see you face to face when you return in glory.”
“Be on the watch. Pray constantly for the strength to escape whatever is in prospect.” —Luke 21:36
On this last day of the Church’s year, we read about the last day of all years. This last day is called the “great day.” Jesus warns us: “The great day will suddenly close in on you like a trap. The day I speak of will come upon all who dwell on the face of the earth” (Lk 21:34-35). If we watch and pray constantly for strength, we will stand secure before Jesus as He returns to take us off this burning planet into the perfect happiness of heaven (Lk 21:36; see also 2 Pt 3:10).
The last day will be great for us if we are strong. We will be strong if we pray constantly. We will pray constantly if we are “on the watch.” “Therefore, let us not be asleep like the rest, but awake and sober!” (1 Thes 5:6) We must “stay sober and alert,” for “the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Pt 5:8). “Be on guard lest your spirits become bloated with indulgence and drunkenness and worldly cares” (Lk 21:34). “Stay awake, therefore! You cannot know the day your Lord is coming” (Mt 24:42). “Be on guard, and pray that you may not undergo the test” (Mt 26:41).
We must be ready for this last day of the Church’s year to be the last day of our lives or the last day of all. Watch and pray.
Prayer: Jesus, come back today or as soon as possible. Maranatha! (Come, Lord Jesus!) (see Rv 22:20) Promise: “The kingship and dominion and majesty of all the kingdoms under the heavens shall be given to the holy people of the Most High, Whose kingdom shall be everlasting.” —Dn 7:27 Praise: Regina strives to live her life by the example of St. John Bosco, who stated that if he knew the world would end that day, he would continue to do what he was doing.
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2015 through November 30, 2015.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 20, 2015.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements