Lenten Reflection Day 42 Holy Week: Isaiah 49:6

Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: https://anchor.fm/simplediakonia/episodes/Lenten-Reflection-Day-42-Holy-Week-Isaiah-496-ets74t

“I will make you a light to the nations,

that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6)

Reflection

We hear it over and over again, yet sometimes we do not get it. Jesus’ servant mission was universal. He is the shepherd of every child. Despite what we may imagine, Jesus is the savior for all. Holy Week is the light that shines on that truth.

Today’s Intention

Jesus, help us to become a light of salvation this Holy Week and beyond.

Peace and Goodness

Lenten Reflection Day #15: John 8:12

Listen here: https://anchor.fm/simplediakonia/episodes/Lenten-Reflection-Day-15-John-812-ergrbc

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Reflection:

All of us experience darkness. If you are there right now, you are in my prayers.

Pray this Lenten season for God to reveal the light of life through the Holy Spirit, our Advocate. Walk not alone in the darkness—instead, seek divine intervention and almsgiving from others.

Today’s Intention

Lord, bring joy this day to those in darkness, and may the Holy Spirit shows us how to assist them. May they embrace the light of life upon them.

Peace and Goodness

One-Minute Reflection: Ephesians 5:11 (30 Days of Prayer for Unity #12)

Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: One-Day Minute Reflection: Ephesians 5:11 (Days of Prayer for Unity #12) https://anchor.fm/simplediakonia/episodes/One-Minute-Reflection-Ephesians-511-Days-of-Prayer-for-Unity-12-epp8q7

“Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them.”

Reflection:

Evil grows more potent in darkness. The fruits of darkness include hatred, rivalry, and disagreement (see Galatians 5). These poisonous fruits aim to destroy unity. The children of darkness live by evil.

The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is the advocate of unity. The Spirit calls out evil and spotlights God’s goodness working through us. The children of the Spirit live by the Works of Mercy. They correct the sinner, instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, comfort the sorrowful, bear wrong patiently, forgive all injuries, and pray for the living and the dead.

Today’s Intention: Lord, give us the fortitude to expose the works of darkness and the courage to seek unity through Works of Mercy.

Peace and Goodness

Do not Worry! Riiiiiiiight…

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” (Matthew 6:34)

Do not worry about tomorrow!? Wow! That’s a juicy one for me; easier said than done. Worry has been a constant companion of mine. Sometimes, her presence is more present than others, but she is never too far away. Sometime I overcome my worries and sometimes they overcome me. So many things to worry about: What do people think about me?  How do I look? Do I have enough money, power, prestige? Am I making the right decisions? How is my English or my writing? Would I be able to support my family emotionally and financially? Am I Christian enough? Am I a good co-worker, father, or husband? How do I get what I need or want? Why are my wife and children this and that? The list goes on…

What leads to worry? Fear! When we are afraid we worry. Father Anthony De Mello, in his best-selling book Awareness, beautifully wrote the following about fear “It’s not that we fear the unknown. You cannot fear something that you don’t know. Nobody is afraid of the unknown. What you really fear is the loss of the known. That’s what you fear. Fear to lose something.” What are we afraid of losing – our pride, vanity, honor, power, wealth, reassure, affection, safety, loved ones, friendships, employment, etc.?

Worries in themselves are not terrible; they are part of our self-defense and survival kit; they can be a source of strength when facing uncertainty or difficult situations. However, when we let them control us or when they are misdirected, they could lead us to suffering; they become heavy emotional loads that hold us in bondage and harm others.

Fortunately for us, we have God by our side. God does not promise a worry-free existence. Life is full of misfortunes, successes, opportunities, and challenges; worries are part of being in this world. However, if we ask, God can give us strength, perseverance, consolation, and joy to live a life filled with light instead of fear.

When we surrender to God’s will, he shines his light on our darkness; If we do not surrender, “the path of the just is like shining light, that grows in brilliance till perfect day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know on what they stumble.” (Proverbs 4:18:19). Moreover, when we walk in the light, we become God’s light to the world: “You are the light of the world…your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father…you are a guide for the blind and a light for those in darkness” (Matthew 5:14, 16; Romans 2:19).  When we offer up our worries to him and go about our life without grumbling or questioning, we are like “blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom  you shine as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:15)

Worries have always been a “thorn on my side.” Like Paul, I have asked the Lord to remove it. Conversely, I have been just as unsuccessful. However, I hope like Paul did that the Lord’s “grace is sufficient” for me “for power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12: 8-9).

The next time I am worried, I will make an effort to become aware of her power and the opportunity for spirituality. I will face my fear with courage even if I fail trying. I will pray “teach me, Lord, your way that I may walk in your truth.” (Psalm 86:11). I will remember Christ’s words “Do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil. ” (Matthew 6:31-34)

Acceptance of Divine Will Prayer

May the most just, most lovable, and the most high will of God be done, be fulfilled, be praised and exalted in all things forever.

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