Monday, September 04, 2017

“Live Together with Him” by Melanie Rigney (@melanierigney)

For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. When people are saying, "Peace and security," then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober. For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him.(1 Thessalonians 5:2-6,9-10)

I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)

Photo credit is: Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!" Jesus rebuked him and said, "Be quiet! Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm. (Luke 4: 33-35)

Lord, help me to keep my focus on You and how to serve You and Your people now. Help me to let go of regrets about what happened yesterday and fear about what may happen tomorrow.

Worrying is dangerous.

Many of our first-world worries of the day—will Metro be a mess yet again, will the store have canned lentils, will the repair person come on time—are, in the scheme of things, minor. They suck up time and space in our heads and souls, even though we have no real control over them.

Worries of the past take up room too: Did we respect our parents, long buried, as we should have? Was it the right thing to go to that college twenty years ago? What about that incident ten years ago that cost us pride, a fine, and maybe a night in jail?

Worrying about the future may be similarly futile. Regardless of what Jesus says in the Gospels, can any of us actually know what judgment day or purgatory or heaven or hell will look like? Can we truly understand the pain of permanent separation from God… or the joy of eternity with Him?

Worry accomplishes nothing and saps us of the time and energy we need today to do His work. For if we do that to the best of our ability and sometimes beyond, we can believe that like the man with the demonic spirit, we will be purified without harm coming to us. We can believe that, as Paul says in today’s first reading, we are not destined for wrath… but for salvation.

Catch yourself today when you start to worry over things large or small. Instead, do something—say a prayer, laugh with a friend, call a family member. See the good things of the Lord.

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