Tuesday October 20, 2020
Begin this new day by praying this prayer out loud. As you are able, consider kneeling as a physical expression of your commitment to Jesus as Lord of your life and the one you desire to lead you this day. Alternatively, you might consider placing a hand over your heart as you pray this prayer.
Lord, grant that I may always allow myself to be guided by You,
always follow Your plans,
and perfectly accomplish Your Holy Will.
Grant that in all things, great and small,
today and all the days of my life,
I may do whatever You require of me.
Help me respond to the slightest prompting of Your Grace,
so that I may be Your trustworthy instrument for Your honor.
May Your Will be done in time and in eternity by me,
in me, and through me. Amen.
— (St. Teresa of Avila, 16th century Carmelite nun)
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
Even before the fall, we were made to work. There is something sacred about honest work. Using the gifts God has given us to provide for our own needs and to care for and bless others is a shared responsibility we are given from our Heavenly Father. In an ancient context, this work almost always meant farming of some kind. The act of stealing is forsaking our God-given responsibility to work. It not only betrays the responsibility we’ve been given, but it betrays the relationship from whom we are stealing. Moreover, stealing prevents us from being generous to those in need. Stealing is wrong to do, and it’s wrong because of what it prevents us from doing.
When we steal, we’ve made nothing of God’s gifts to meet our needs, which is always abundantly more than we need, and so we don’t have anything to give our neighbor in need. To steal then is to reject the greatest commandment we’ve been given: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40).
What is your work today? How can it bless others?
When you are finished with your time of reflection, close out this time with this prayer.
Oh God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servants. For Your sake, O Lord, look with favor on this dry and thirsty land. Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of Your great mercy. O Lord, listen! Oh Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For Your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your name. (Daniel 9:17-19)
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