Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of the 3rd Week of Easter: Year 2
Morning, Psalm 38; Evening, Psalm 119:25 to 48;
Exodus 19:16 to 25; Colossians 1:15 to 23; Matthew 3:13 to 17:
“O Lord, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God.” Psalm 38
The whole of Psalm 38 is but doom and gloom. But near the end the speaker makes his request to God; to not be forsaken, and to be near him. The Psalmist speaks of enemies and his own body loosing its strength. He speaks of his enemies tormenting him. But even in the midst of all this, he hopes in the Lord. He says, “for in you, O Lord, have I fixed my hope; you will answer me, O Lord my God.”
It is amazing how God will soothe us in times of stress when we call on God. Often, God acts by changing our attitudes about how we interpret our experiences. The same horror can happen to two different people but one seems to adjust with the help of the Lord while the other may drift into a state of irreversible anguish and distress. In life, or even in death, we must never, never, never give up on God helping us. We count on God, in this life and in the next.
Today we remember Monica, mother of Augustine of Hippo.
I have read where It was Monica’s main goal in life to get her son Augustine baptized. It seems that after he finally consented, she got sick and shortly thereafter, died. Her date in May is always in the expectation of Mother’s Day. When I can, I like remembering her in my sermons on Mother’s day. What more could a Christian mother want for her child, male or female?
We get a good lesson from Monica from what I found on the web:
“After his baptism, Augustine and a younger brother Navigius and Monnica planned to return to Africa together, but in Ostia, the port city of Rome, Monnica fell ill and said, “You will bury your mother here. All I ask of you is that, wherever you may be, you should remember me at the altar of the Lord. Do not fret because I am buried far from our home in Africa. Nothing is far from God, and I have no fear that he will not know where to find me, when he comes to raise me to life at the end of the world.” ( Monnica (satucket.com) )
Just as the Psalmist who faces overwhelming agony and suffering; and as Monica never gives up on her son being Christian, so too we must not give up on God’s presence in Ukraine. I believe God has a plan for the people of Ukraine. And that plan includes all of us outside of Ukraine, including the people of Russia and the United States. God acts in amazing ways.
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