Daily Office Readings for Thursday of the 4th Week of Epiphany: Year 2
Morning, Psalm 71; Evening, Psalm 74;
Genesis 23:1 to 20; Hebrews 11:32 to 12:2; John 6:60 to 71:
“It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John 6:63)
We have the Spirit of God in us. And our Lord Jesus says it is this God-given spirit that gives us life. We are more than blood-pumping hearts and lungs that exchange air. As the saying goes, we are so much more than the sum of our parts. I know and have had experience with medical doctors who place their faith well ahead of their practice.
The Spirit speaks to us. The spirit in us serves as a communicator that connects us with the will of God. To realize what God is saying all we have to do is be still and quiet. Sure, our minds will wonder. But as we regularly practice contemplative exercises by keeping times of sitting quietly we will get better at receiving God’s guidance. As we learn from the lost son in Chapter 15 verse 7 of Luke’s Gospel, we will get better at coming to our senses, or to ourselves (depending on which translation you read). Times of meditation will reorient us into being who God intends for us to be.
From Blaise Pascal we learn that “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Down time, specifically quiet time, is the medicine of the soul. It is during such quiet times that God visits us. This lesson runs throughout the Bible: we learn this from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Samuel, Hagar, Elijah, Mary, Joseph and our Lord Jesus, all of whom were setting the example for us to follow. Therefore:
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John