Tag Archives: waiting

7 June, Tuesday – Purpose

7 June

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1 Kings 17:7-16

The stream in the place where Elijah lay hidden dried up, for the country had no rain. And then the word of the Lord came to Elijah, ‘Up and go to Zarephath, a Sidonian town, and stay there. I have ordered a widow there to give you food.’ So he went off to Sidon. And when he reached the city gate, there was a widow gathering sticks; addressing her he said, ‘Please bring me a little water in a vessel for me to drink.’ She was setting off to bring it when he called after her. ‘Please’ he said ‘bring me a scrap of bread in your hand.’ ‘As the Lord your God lives,’ she replied ‘I have no baked bread, but only a handful of meal in a jar and a little oil in a jug; I am just gathering a stick or two to go and prepare this for myself and my son to eat, and then we shall die.’ But Elijah said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, go and do as you have said; but first make a little scone of it for me and bring it to me, and then make some for yourself and for your son. For thus the Lord speaks, the God of Israel:

“Jar of meal shall not be spent,
jug of oil shall not be emptied,
before the day when the Lord sends
rain on the face of the earth.”’

The woman went and did as Elijah told her and they ate the food, she, himself and her son. The jar of meal was not spent nor the jug of oil emptied, just as the Lord had foretold through Elijah.

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Matthew 5:13-16

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if salt becomes tasteless, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled underfoot by men.

‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine in the sight of men, so that, seeing your good works, they may give the praise to your Father in heaven.’

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Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.

I think the older we get, the more we are able to discern when the things we are doing is NOT God’s purpose for us. The hardest thing for me has been to yield to His will rather than apply my logic and common sense. Living God’s purpose is a tough walk because faith shows you only the next step. And I’m the sort that reads the spoilers before I watch a movie.

Yesterday we read that Elijah set up camp by a stream during the drought and was sustained by its fresh water and the pickings of wild ravens. Well, that spring dries up in today’s reading. Logic would have told Elijah that if no rain fell, this was a probable outcome at some point and perhaps camping out there might not have been the best idea in the first place. But God was not ready for the prophet to meet the widow in Zarephath. “To every thing there is a season, and a time and purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) And here lies the first truth in today’s readings – that God will show us our purpose at His appointed time. Our job is just to buckle down and have faith enough to trust Him with the timing of things.

The widow whom God designated to help Elijah had not the means to help even herself, but she did so anyway. Very often, we will get asked to step up to a role that we feel we are woefully ill-equipped to do. While the temptation is often to just give up because it is too hard, staying the course can yield surprising results. And that’s the second truth in today’s readings – our scarcity and weakness is an opportunity for God to show His abundant blessings. In fully trusting Him to aid our endeavors, we open ourselves to a life enriched. If she had turned Elijah away, she would never have witnessed the miracle of God’s grace. It must have occurred to her that she shouldn’t spend her last bit of flour on a wild man from the desert. But logic did not prevail and God gave her the opportunity to live out His purpose for her.

When we fail to step up to a calling – because we say we have no time for it, or are too busy, or don’t have the qualifications for the job – do we ever wonder what riches we are denying ourselves in that missed opportunity? If our light is to shine before others, are we doing enough to grasp the opportunities that He sends our way? Food for thought.

(Today’s Oxygen by Sharon Soo)

Prayer: We pray for the mindfulness and the discernment to walk away from that which does not serve us.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks for the opportunities He sends our way and the reserves of strength that He gives us to step up to our roles.

20 May, Friday – Simmering in Wait

20 May – Memorial for St. Bernadine of Siena, Priest

Bernadine (1381-1444) was a Friar Minor, a priest, an itinerant preacher, and a theological writer. His preaching skills were so great, and the conversions so numerous, that he has become associated with all areas of speaking, advertising, public relations, etc.

Bernadine’s charismatic preaching filled the piazze of Italian cities. Thousands of listeners flocked to hear him and to participate in dramatic rituals, which included collective weeping, bonfires of vanities, and exorcisms. He was a renowned peacemaker, in the Franciscan tradition, who tried to calm feuding clans and factions in the turbulent political world of the Renaissance. His preaching visits would often culminate in mass reconciliations, as listeners were persuaded to exchange the bacio di pace, or kiss of peace.

Bernadine was sensitive to the demands of secular life, and tried to negotiate between Christian ethics and a conflicting code of honour that stressed retaining face in a public world. He argued that the catalyst of civil discord in the urban setting was malicious gossip, which led to insults, and, too often, vendetta by aggressive males. His surprising allies in his peacekeeping mission were the women who comprised the majority of his audience.

-Patron Saint Index

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James 5:9-12

Do not make complaints against one another, brothers, so as not to be brought to judgement yourselves; the Judge is already to be seen waiting at the gates. For your example, brothers, in submitting with patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord; remember it is those who had endurance that we say are the blessed ones. You have heard of the patience of Job, and understood the Lord’s purpose, realising that the Lord is kind and compassionate.

Above all, my brothers, do not swear by heaven or by the earth, or use any oaths at all. If you mean ‘yes’, you must say ‘yes’; if you mean ‘no’, say ‘no.’ Otherwise you make yourselves liable to judgement.

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Mark 10:1-12

Jesus came to the district of Judaea and the far side of the Jordan. And again crowds gathered round him, and again he taught them, as his custom was. Some Pharisees approached him and asked, ‘Is it against the law for a man to divorce his wife?’ They were testing him. He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ ‘Moses allowed us’ they said ‘to draw up a writ of dismissal and so to divorce.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘It was because you were so unteachable that he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. This is why a man must leave father and mother, and the two become one body. They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united, man must not divide.’ Back in the house the disciples questioned him again about this, and he said to them, ‘The man who divorces his wife and marries another is guilty of adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another she is guilty of adultery too.’

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Remember it is those who had the endurance that we say are the blessed ones.

In our culture today, it’s very hard to learn the virtue of patience. We are bombarded with everything ‘instant’ – newer phone models always have an aspect of connection speed, we want our food fast, we try to avoid waiting in line for most services. It is as if waiting is such a detestable thing. But there are many things that we can only achieve by waiting. And because we allowed something to happen on its own ‘sweet time’, we get to enjoy more goodness from that something.

I learned a lot of patience from cooking. When I first started, I had to learn how simmering works. Simmering is when you heat up the food just below its boiling point. This prevents the meat from hardening or the fish from breaking. But simmering takes a long time. For some of the recipes, I would have to simmer the food for an hour. There were times that I tried to skip the simmering by boiling but as you would have guessed, the food didn’t taste as good.

There were times in my life that I had to wait on the Lord as He ‘simmers’ me. In one of my prayer times, I felt that He would want me to work for a certain company. So I immediately applied to an opening that I thought was appropriate for me. I didn’t get the job that year, but I got a job at the same company a year after that. I remember waiting in agony, doubting if I really heard the Lord make that promise to me. Looking back, the timing could not have been more perfect. The job was better suited for me and I met people who were instrumental for my growth. But my point of focus is not the fact that I got the job, but more the fact that the wait was agonizing. Just like the food that was simmering, I felt like I was being tested by fire until I reached my boiling point. But I grew in faith during that time. I learnt to trust God more. I learnt to keep on praying. I learnt to humble myself and ask people to pray for me. I learnt to submit myself to spiritual direction, having had to humble myself in case I was told that I might have heard God wrongly. I learnt to submit myself.

Waiting is never in vain. It is a time to grow. It is a time of preparation so that you can wonderfully live out where God is leading you to. “..it is those who had the endurance that we say are the blessed ones.” You wouldn’t want your child to be born in less than nine months even though you are so excited to see him or her, would you?

What is God asking you to wait on? Instead of being impatient, I would like to invite you, brothers and sisters, to ask God how he is calling you to grow.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa )

Prayer: Lord, we know that you also wait for us to be ready and I’m sure you can’t wait for us to be with you. But because you love us so much, you would even subject yourself to the pain of waiting patiently for us so we can be ready. Help us learn how to be patient like you.

Thanksgiving: Thank you for this agonizing time of waiting. Thank you for wanting us to grow to be ready for your plans for us. And thank you for giving us this suffering which we can offer you – our small sacrifices which are our gifts to you.