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Guide Me in Your Truth and Teach Me

First Reading: 2 Timothy 2:8-15

Beloved:
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David:
such is my Gospel, for which I am suffering,
even to the point of chains, like a criminal.
But the word of God is not chained.
Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen,
so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus,
together with eternal glory.
This saying is trustworthy:

If we have died with him
we shall also live with him;
if we persevere
we shall also reign with him.
But if we deny him
he will deny us.
If we are unfaithful
he remains faithful,
for he cannot deny himself.

Remind people of these things
and charge them before God to stop disputing about words.
This serves no useful purpose since it harms those who listen.
Be eager to present yourself as acceptable to God,
a workman who causes no disgrace,
imparting the word of truth without deviation.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 25:4-5AB, 8-9, 10 AND 14

R. (4) Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
All the paths of the LORD are kindness and constancy
toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
The friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him,
and his covenant, for their instruction.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.

Gospel: Mark 12:28-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

NAB

DEV_J2

Lord, sometimes I blunder about without a clue. I’m feeling pushed around by life, with no control or sense of where to go or what to do. Life is happening around me and to me and some days, I haven’t a clue what I should do, because all the pressures and demands of life are overwhelming.

Guide me, Jesus! Make your ways known to me! (And just drag or carry me, OK, because I’m flat out exhausted.)

Life feels hard. And we’re supposed to be faithful and seek God’s will on top of the daily here-and-now pressures—it can all certainly be overwhelming.

Yet, “he teaches the humble his way . . . . All the paths of the Lord are kindness and constancy[.]”

The way Jesus teaches is kindness—true kindness, summed up in the first and greatest commandments: love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself.

I’m reminded of “The Little Way,” doing many small things with great love, taught to us by Saint Therese along with the teachings of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, who also emphasized showing love in small acts.  She taught, “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”

When I was in high school, the above quote was the first (and only) I memorized because I was moved by it, and found it simple. Kindness in my eyes and smile? Not a problem. I wasn’t a particularly cranky or angsty teen, so I thought I had this all figured out.

Then came college. Jobs. Relationships that lasted longer than four weeks. I’m also a wife and mother, so let me tell you, these words from Blessed Teresa and the Psalmist, giving us a clue as to how to live the greatest commandments? Ladies, they are hard. I think the more adult I become, the harder it is to be kind! If I’m not careful, sooner than later I could become a cranky old lady with a constant scowl.

That’s not the way of the Lord, though. Even—and especially—on the hardest days, the days that seem like nothing goes right and I haven’t a clue in the universe what God’s plan is, He still wants my kindness. My love in action. This is His will, that we love and live with kindness in every action, to show Him to the world.

Where can you practice great acts of kindness in your life?

photo credit

Gina Fensterer is a wife, daughter, mother, friend, homeschooling mama, and Colorado native. You can find out more about her here.

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