Every Spiritual Blessing

First Reading: Ephesians 1:1-10

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
to the holy ones who are in Ephesus
and faithful in Christ Jesus:
grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.

In Christ we have redemption by his Blood,
the forgiveness of transgressions,
in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.
In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us
the mystery of his will in accord with his favor
that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times,
to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4, 5-6

R. (2a) The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.

Gospel: Luke 11:47-54

The Lord said:
“Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets
whom your fathers killed.
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent
to the deeds of your ancestors,
for they killed them and you do the building.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said,
‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles;
some of them they will kill and persecute’
in order that this generation might be charged
with the blood of all the prophets
shed since the foundation of the world,
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah
who died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
Woe to you, scholars of the law!
You have taken away the key of knowledge.
You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.”
When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees
began to act with hostility toward him
and to interrogate him about many things,
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.



When we bought our little house, we had a toddler son and were expecting another baby. Our plan was along the lines of, “Two and we’re through.” Well, fourteen years, two conversions, and six additional kids later, there are now ten of us living in that same little 1500 square foot house. These days, rather than charming and full of character, our house feels constrictive and messy, if not disastrous.

We don’t have a garage, so our large front porch houses sports equipment, bicycles, and more shoes than the average person will own in a lifetime. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but oh, the shoes. We’ve become extremely creative when it comes to bedrooms, especially considering that technically our house only has two.

We’ve made a few offers on bigger houses over the years, but nothing has panned out. Each time I’ve had peace that we must be meant to stay put. I’m usually very good at making the best out of every situation, especially the small house situation. But recently, I’ve started hitting a wall. I can’t seem to manage our space anymore. Despite my ongoing efforts to battle clutter and unessential material things, we are exploding out of this house. My kids are growing up, my oldest three being teenage boys. There are days when I stand at the kitchen counter with tears of frustration running down my face and I beg God, “Please, save me!” I’m sure He appreciates my dramatics. Sometimes it feels like the walls are caving in as I see the mess of our family life in every direction all to the tune of my kids arguing in the next room. I worry that I can’t be the mom I want to be because I’m so distracted by the chaos of my environment.

I want the material blessings: the bigger house, one with a garage, maybe a basement for storing off-season clothing, another bedroom or two. What I truly need though, are the spiritual blessings. Thankfully, these are promised. As the First Reading tells us, He has “blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens.” He lavishes His grace upon us.  No matter our living situation, His grace will be sufficient.

Maybe we will get the house. Actually, I’m talking about a very real house (one that we just may be able to buy this time). But if it doesn’t work out, yet again? I pray that my eyes will see the abundance of His blessings, and not my lack of storage space.

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Do you find yourself turning to despair in your circumstances? Is frustration impeding your ability to spot your blessings? Re-read this epistle. Let the words sink into you. Believe them. Trust them.

Ginny Sheller lives in a little old house in Virginia with her husband and eight children. They keep bees, goats, and chickens and rarely have a clean house or a quiet moment. She knits everyday to maintain sanity. You can find out more about her here

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