Friday, June 28, 2013

Walk in My Presence and Be Blameless

Walk in My Presence and BeBlameless

Memorial of Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr

By Melanie Rigney

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said: “I am the God the Almighty. Walk in my presence and be blameless.” (Genesis 17:1)
Blessed are you who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways! For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored.  (Psalms 128:1-2)
And then a leper approached, did (Jesus) homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately. (Matthew 8:1-3)

Jesus, hold my hand and steady my steps as I move closer and closer.

It’s just a walk, after all. Or at least, it often starts that way.

God asks us to walk with him, to spend time with him. He asked Abraham to do that… and then explained that he was sending Sarah and Abraham a son, to be named Isaac. As he prostrated himself, Abraham laughed at the ridiculousness of the idea… but he got up and walked and believed.

Psalm 128 is among the Songs of Ascents, the fifteen psalms that were sung by those on pilgrimage to Jerusalem to attend a major Jewish festival (Pesach/Passover, Shavuot or Sukkot). It calls up blessings of a wonderful life, brimming with prosperity and a loving family. But it begins with a walk with the Lord.

Imagine the leper waking up that day and thinking, “This is the day I approach him.” It also proved to be the day that he was cured. But it began with the courage to take that first step of a walk.

It’s just a walk, after all, that God requests. But that walk can change the world—and the way we look at it, and ourselves.

We’re halfway through the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishop’s “Fortnight for Freedom,” two weeks of prayer and action to counter challenges to religious liberty. Check out the bishops’ Web site ( or Facebook page (!/events/112770708922317/?fref=ts) for ideas on how you can participate.

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