Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

2019 Devotions Daily Devotions January

Heb 10:1-10; Ps 40:2-11; Mk 3:31-35:  Those who wait and wait for the LORD are satisfied only when He stoops down and listens intently. Blessed, indeed, are those who know that the LORD is trustworthy.  They have nothing to do with idols; they do not get lost in the power, pleasure and prestige of this world.  They do not buy into the self-deceptions of the status quo.  When they seek the will of God, when they ask the LORD to direct them, they find out the truth that The LORD wants us to have ears open to obedience. Such an ability to hear and respond to the Word of God is itself a gift.  It is a gift called faith.  A gift we ponder all throughout this Year of Faith.  Growth in this gift demands nothing less than total self surrender. We must cry out freely and generously, “Behold I come.”  Only when we have prayed in this manner will we be able to rejoice with Psalm 40, “In the written scroll it is prescribed for me.  To do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!”  Such total self-surrender cannot be held back, and with unrestrained lips it must be announced to the vast assembly.  This kind of openheartedness demanded of all who participate in the offering of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  The Lord Jesus preached, healed and cast out demons to establish his credibility.  How do contemporary disciples of the Lord Jesus become credible?

There’s a difference between the shadow and the image.  Indeed, the Old Testament is fulfilled in the New Testament.  We need to read and pray over both documents of our faith, the inspired Word of God, if we intent to witness to the joy of our salvation and live the abundant life Christ came to bring us.  The sacrifice of bulls and goats is only a shadow sacrifice.  It is the Blood of Christ that is the image that reveals the true nature of God—to be divine is to freely give one’s self away in love, without hesitation, cost, or merit.  God’s self-donation in the sacrifice of Christ reveals to the whole human family that the Father Loves us as his very own and cannot hold back this love. It is faith in Christ who loves us so deeply and wonderfully that enables us to live in the freedom of the Sons of God.  In this freedom we no longer have to agonize about meriting our dignity or proving our importance.  We are precious in his sight before we even begin to ask what is my worth or significance in live?  The LORD gives us love before we ever deserve it.  We cannot merit or earn his love and approval, yet we are unconditionally loved and affirmed which enables us to build our lives on the foundation of God’s love from the first moment of our awareness and maturity.  We have nothing to fear; we are loved.

The procession of his relatives stopped at the door of the house in which the Lord Jesus was speaking to those seated in the circle.  Like Saul’s daughter, Michal, they may have thought that they had exclusive claim upon the Divine Teacher.  Perhaps they wanted to remove the Lord Jesus from his admirers and help him come to his senses.  Their concern may have been with the word spreading around that he was not in his right mind.  However, the Lord Jesus did not jump up and make room for those at the door.  Rather he used this teachable moment to reveal the limitations of blood relationships and the demands of faith relationships. Anyone who claims to be brother, sister, friend, mother, partner, follower, or disciple of the Lord Jesus must do the will of God with out hesitation and with complete abandonment.  Certainly, his mother Mary, the blessed and glorious Theotokos, was filled with the glory of obedient love.  What about us who so readily welcome the king of glory into our assembly?  Are we related to the Lord Jesus?  Do we constantly seek to do the will of God?