The reading from the Second Letter to Timothy offers the exhortation to “stir into flame the gift of God” and live with conviction and courage. This gift is our Christian faith; and just as a tiny spark can produce a bonfire, so too, our faith can provide the spiritual spark that ignites our lives for service in the world as we draw near to the Lord and one another.
Jesus speaks with power and authority in the Gospel today, revealing that these gifts come from God and require us to use them wisely and well. May we both receive from the Lord what we need and then share our blessings with others to the best of our ability.
Jesus calls the Twelve disciples by name and empowers them for ministry. The Lord does the same for us! May we say yes and allow God’s grace to work through our imperfections so that we may serve others with the love of Christ.
As Simeon held the Christ Child in his arms praising God, he recalls the fulfillment of the Lord’s promises and points to the redemption of humanity. May we look back and see how God has touched our lives and embrace each day as a new opportunity to the serve the Lord with full hearts!
Simeon’s Song of Praise, Aert de Gelder, 1700-1710.
“God is with us!” The name Emmanuel signifies to Joseph that the child of Mary will bring the fulfillment of God’s plan of salvation. We are not alone…God is with us.
How do we live that great message? Does it shape our lives? Redefine our words and actions? Fill us with hope, life, peace, and joy? Does it inspire us to love one another, forgive one another, and dedicate our lives to healing the woundedness and division that are present in our world?
God is with us. Rejoice! God is with us. Repent! God is with us. Live each day as the precious and sacred gift that it is – given to us by God.
Joseph took the words of the angel to heart and cooperated with God’s plan of grace. May we live this day, aware of what God has done for us, and ready to make the most of this wondrous gift of life.