Daily Gospel

SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 MONDAY

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble — Psalm 46:1

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Many people are struggling right now. We are in a new and unfamiliar place. Chances are what we struggle with is not really new. They are old companions, different names, with a stronger and more tangible presence – fear, change, disruption, uncertainty, isolation. Our country’s divisions and the rhetoric of leaders doesn’t help.

The experience of isolation is nothing new. It often sits in the background, waiting. The older we get, the more aware we become. Familiarity with it does not ease the pain. We realize it ever follows us.

Maybe rather than trying to cope better, make some needed changes in our lives, we need to try something different. The Psalmist points us to God – our refuge and strength. We know this verse – memorized it long ago. Often it pops into our minds. But does it reach your heart? Do you take time to savor the enormity of this declaration? Rather than mouth the words, let them penetrate into your heart. “Humility and surrender to God” come to mind. You and I feel alone sometimes. It’s hard to admit to ourselves, let alone others. Deep down, it awakens a sense of belonging. When we touch that longing, we may realize it’s God’s place we have been trying to fill — seeking refuge and strength in what we think are adequate, but turn up – empty – ways.

Carry the verse above with you today. Realize God is Emmanuel — an image of presence, with us, always, and not just when we stop and think about it. When we stop our thoughts, turn toward God again, and not just remember – but experience the One to whom you belong. Maybe the Psalmist’s reminder will be more than a coping mechanism – a quick slogan passing through the mind, that misses the heart. Always – even when feeling overwhelmed, lonely, alone, discouraged, afraid — God is our refuge and strength, a present help waiting for you to ask. Pray that – ask that — through your day today, and notice the change in your spirit. Our help is in the name of the Lord – maker of heaven and earth.

Blessings, and God’s love holding us, Fr. Steve
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