Sunday, July 05, 2009

What I Promised

July 6, 2009

Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

And there was the LORD standing beside him and saying: "I, the LORD, am the God of your forefather Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you are lying I will give to you and your descendants. These shall be as plentiful as the dust of the earth, and through them you shall spread out east and west, north and south. In you and your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing. Know that I am with you; I will protect you wherever you go, and bring you back to this land. I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you." Genesis 28:13-15

When Jesus arrived at the official's house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion, he said, "Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping." And they ridiculed him. When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose. Matthew 9:23-25


Whoever clings to me I will deliver; whoever knows my name I will set on high. All who call upon me I will answer; I will be with them in distress; I will deliver them and give them honor. Psalm 91:14-15


I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you.

Just eight days ago, we heard Mark’s version of today’s Gospel story in the Sunday readings. Now, we have Matthew’s version matched with the story of Jacob’s dream and the Lord’s promise (covenant) to him and his descendants.

Covenant is an interesting word that is used a lot in the Bible. Contract is a much more familiar word in our society. A contract implies a two-way mutual agreement. Covenant is much more unilateral or one-way. A covenant may imply action on another party – say Jacob, Abraham or us. However, a covenant does not require such action. As such, a covenant can only be broken by the person who makes the promise.

The Lord does not break his promises. The Lord followed through on his promise to Jacob by sending Jesus to be with us. When Jesus was with us, he followed through on his promises. Take his promise to the Roman official whose daughter was dead. It did not matter that the man was not Jewish.

Nothing would stop him from putting the Word into action. The woman hemorrhaging did not keep Jesus from pursing his goal to heal the young girl. The neighbors telling Jesus that the girl had died did not distract him.

I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you.


How are we doing on our promises to Jesus? What distractions get in the way of giving our full attention to being a follower? How can we keep our promises to troubled children today like Christ kept his promise two thousand years ago?

One of our nation’s largest homeless shelters for runaway and abandoned youth takes its name from covenant…Covenant House. Incorporated in New York City in 1972, Covenant House has facilities in 21 cities throughout the United States, Canada, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua. Food, clothing, shelter for a night: given freely, with no questions asked, no strings attached, for any hurting, homeless youth who will knock on its door tonight. "Programs" is just another way of saying that Covenant House promises to keep loving these children unconditionally, because a covenant never quits, never fails, and never stops believing in the future.

The agency is working right here in Washington, D.C. too. ( Located in the nation's capital, Covenant House Washington was established in May 1995 to address widespread problems of homelessness and poverty among teenagers and young adults. Operating with an open intake process, no youth in crisis is ever turned away. The agency offers an array of programs to ensure that youth have a reasonable chance to live a productive lifestyle.

The Covenant House NINELINE (1-800-999-9999 / received and immediately responded to more than 48,000 crisis calls from youngsters all over the United States who needed immediate help and had nowhere else to turn.

Each day, more kids need to be saved. As our economy worsens, many more kids are finding themselves on the streets and in desperate need. Now more than ever these kids are turning to Covenant House for shelter, food, clothing, counseling, and a sense of hope that we can provide. Consider making a gift or volunteering for Covenant House today.