Thursday, 17 March – Too Great A Promise?

17 March – Memorial for St. Patrick, bishop, missionary

St. Patrick (387-390 – 461-464) was kidnapped from the British mainland when he was about 16, and shipped to Ireland as a slave. He was sent to the mountains as a shepherd, and spent his time in prayer. After six years of this life, he had a dream in which he was commanded to return to Britain. Seeing it as a sign, he escaped.

He studied in several monasteries in Europe. He was a priest, then a bishop. He was sent by Pope St. Celestine to evangelize England, then Ireland, during which his chariot driver was St. Odran, and St. Jarlath was one of his spiritual students.

In 33 years, he effectively converted Ireland. In the Middle Ages, Ireland become known as the “Land of Saints”, and during the Dark Ages, its monasteries were the great repositories of learning in Europe, all a consequence of Patrick’s ministry.

Christ shield me this day:
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every person who thinks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me
– Saint Patrick, from his breastplate

-Patron Saint Index

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Genesis 17:3-9

Abram bowed to the ground and God said this to him, ‘Here now is my covenant with you: you shall become the father of a multitude of nations. You shall no longer be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I make you father of a multitude of nations. I will make you most fruitful. I will make you into nations, and your issue shall be kings. I will establish my Covenant between myself and you, and your descendants after you, generation after generation, a Covenant in perpetuity, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land you are living in, the whole land of Canaan, to own in perpetuity, and I will be your God.’

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John 8:51-59

Jesus said to the Jews:

‘I tell you most solemnly,
whoever keeps my word
will never see death.’

The Jews said, ‘Now we know for certain that you are possessed. Abraham is dead, and the prophets are dead, and yet you say, “Whoever keeps my word will never know the taste of death.” Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? The prophets are dead too. Who are you claiming to be?’ Jesus answered:

‘If I were to seek my own glory
that would be no glory at all;
my glory is conferred by the Father,
by the one of whom you say, “He is our God”
although you do not know him.
But I know him,
and if I were to say: I do not know him,
I should be a liar, as you are liars yourselves.
But I do know him, and I faithfully keep his word.
Your father Abraham rejoiced
to think that he would see my Day;
he saw it and was glad.’

The Jews then said, ‘You are not fifty yet, and you have seen Abraham!’ Jesus replied:

‘I tell you most solemnly,
before Abraham ever was,
I Am.’

At this they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself and left the Temple.

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I tell you solemnly, whoever keeps my word will never see death.

If you’ve been constantly talking and listening to God, you would know by now that He promises you more than the world. He is the only person I know who will make great, seemingly impossible promises and actually keep them. God, in Genesis, promised Abraham many descendants. The promise was made to an old couple and even Sarah could not believe it would come true. In the Gospel of John, Jesus promises eternal life –life which no one had seen before during that time.

Yes, God makes impossible promises by human standards. But I know he keeps thems. He promised me that I would work in a certain MNC. During my interview, one of my interviewers pointed out a typo error in my résumé. I thought I lost the job. Who gets a job after giving a résumé with errors? But I got it in the end. Looking back, I needed that error pointed out to remind me that it was God leading and He was fulfilling His promise.

What about you? Have you heard God making an impossible personal promise? Be glad. Let’s not just believe but let’s start giving thanks for that promise is being fulfilled at this very moment.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)

Prayer: Help me trust you, dear Lord, even with the seemingly impossible promises You are making to me. And please remind me of the times you’ve showed Your faithfulness to me so that I have something to hold on to.

Thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, for being faithful to me and keeping your word. And thank you for showing me how much you love me through your faithfulness.

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