While hiking in the forest, I was startled by the cracking sound of a large tree as it began crashing toward the ground. I started to run out of its way, but stopped as it was caught mid-fall by another tree with strong limbs. The strength of that tree, standing upright in the strong wind and holding the tree that crashed, amazed me. Strength is a beautiful thing.
Our worldly concept of strength focuses on overpowering or being stronger than our competitors. We imagine strength as large muscles, political victory, or armed might. This is not the strength the Spirit of God gives us.
God is love, we often say, and God gives us strength through the power of love. Love’s power comes from deep respect and compassion for each and every person. Love’s power stems from our profound awareness of God’s presence in and around us at all times. It is our ability to know where and how to express compassion—putting others first and listening with true interest and respect. Such strength involves vulnerability and does not overpower. In the eyes of the world, then, such love is timid, weak.
Yet, like that tree in the wilderness, our power has tremendously strong roots and trunk, for it is open to the loving energy of God flowing through us. Such strength does not defeat but joins, does not overpower but unites, does not hate but loves. It is the strength of the One who created all things. That is real power!
Loving and powerful God, you have given us divine strength. May we trust it, live in it, and share it with all. Amen.
Lamentations opens with a description of the plight of the people of Judah, the Southern Kingdom. The people have been taken into exile as part of God’s judgment for their idolatry. The psalmist struggles to sing the songs of the Lord. In fact, those who overthrew Jerusalem have forced them to sing for their amusement, so the joy is gone. The psalmist prays that one day God will repay the invaders. In Second Timothy Paul praises God for Timothy’s faith and for the legacy of faith that comes through his family. He charges him to preach boldly and without hesitation the gospel of Christ. In the Gospel reading, Jesus challenges the disciples to show greater faith and to understand that we are all servants in God’s kingdom.
Read Lamentations 1:1-6. How do you allow your imperfections and failings to transform you?
Read Psalm 137. How do you remember your spiritual traditions and sacred places without clinging to them in the rapid changes of our world? How do you look for God’s work in change?
Read 2 Timothy 1:1-14. What spiritual practices help you to “guard the good treasure entrusted to you”?
Read Luke 17:5-10. How might a posture of cyclical servanthood to and with all creation transform or increase your faith?
Responda publicando una oración.