Monday, March 17, 2014

Morning Psalms: 56, 57, 58 | Evening Psalms: 64, 65
Genesis 41:46-57 | 1 Corinthians 4:8-21 | Mark 3:7-19a
 
All of today’s Daily Office texts have a common thread: adversity. In the Psalms, David cries out to God for deliverance from the threats of evil men; In Genesis, Joseph rises from slavery and prepares Egypt for a seven-year famine. Our Epistle reading finds Paul pushing back against internal criticism and reminding his hearers of the severe difficulties borne in apostolic ministry. In our Gospel reading, we find Jesus at a seeming high point of His ministry, healing many and appointing His twelve apostles. Yet, we need not look far to find adversity even here: the crowds are so great that Jesus needs a boat to avoid being crushed. The two verses after the reading ends reveal that the pressure of the crowd is so relentless that simple tasks like eating prove difficult. Jesus’ own family fears for His sanity.
 
Today also happens to be St. Patrick’s Day. Patrick was a man intimate with adversity. A Briton taken into slavery by the Irish, he managed to escape a brutal existence, only to hear the call of God and return to preach Christ to those whom he once called “master.” St. Patrick’s Breastplate depicts some of the daily battles he was fighting, “…against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul, against incantations of false prophets, against black laws of pagandom, against false laws of heretics, against craft of idolatry, against spells of witches and smiths and wizards...”
 
And so it goes. As the Patriarchs, the Apostles, the Saints, and the Lord Himself battled adversity, so we must confront the same troubles. The other common thread in all of these accounts is that the strength of God sustained, His steadfast love gave hope, and, in the end, granted victory. Put your trust in Almighty God!
 
“I arise today; through God’s strength to pilot me: God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to save me, from snares of devils, from temptations of vices, from everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and anear, alone and in multitude.” St. Patrick’s Breastplate
 
Joshua M. Reinders
MDiv Student
Rockford, IL

    

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