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I Chose You Just For This

First Reading: 1 Kings 17:7-16

The brook near where Elijah was hiding ran dry,
because no rain had fallen in the land.
So the LORD said to Elijah:
“Move on to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there.
I have designated a widow there to provide for you.”
He left and went to Zarephath.
As he arrived at the entrance of the city,
a widow was gathering sticks there; he called out to her,
“Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink.”
She left to get it, and he called out after her,
“Please bring along a bit of bread.”
She answered, “As the LORD, your God, lives,
I have nothing baked;
there is only a handful of flour in my jar
and a little oil in my jug.
Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks,
to go in and prepare something for myself and my son;
when we have eaten it, we shall die.”
Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid.
Go and do as you propose.
But first make me a little cake and bring it to me.
Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son.
For the LORD, the God of Israel, says,
‘The jar of flour shall not go empty,
nor the jug of oil run dry,
until the day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.’”
She left and did as Elijah had said.
She was able to eat for a year, and Elijah and her son as well;
the jar of flour did not go empty,
nor the jug of oil run dry,
as the LORD had foretold through Elijah.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 4:2-3, 4-5, 7B-8

R. (7a) Lord, let your face shine on us.
When I call, answer me, O my just God,
you who relieve me when I am in distress;
Have pity on me, and hear my prayer!
Men of rank, how long will you be dull of heart?
Why do you love what is vain and seek after falsehood?
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
Know that the LORD does wonders for his faithful one;
the LORD will hear me when I call upon him.
Tremble, and sin not;
reflect, upon your beds, in silence.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
O LORD, let the light of your countenance shine upon us!
You put gladness into my heart,
more than when grain and wine abound.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.

Gospel: Matthew 5:13-16

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”

NAB

DEV_J7

“I have designated a widow there to provide for you.”

Designate . . . to appoint to a specified position.

God shows us early on in Scripture that He designates women to do very important work. Elijah needed sustenance; the Lord chose this woman to be the one to provide it for Him.

You have breath in your lungs and blood in your veins—and He has designated you for something. You would not exist if He had not. We’re all here to build upon the cornerstone here on Earth. For many of us, we are in the thick of that work—for many of us, we have not yet discovered what that work is.

As I walked out of one Mass in college, there was a table full of free books. I picked up the one with Muleiris Dignitatem written across the cover. I had no idea what those Latin words meant.

This book was not just a book but an encyclical, On the Dignity and Vocation of Women, by Pope Saint John Paul II. It was when I read it that I knew the work which God had designated me for—I knew what bricks He had chosen for me to lay in the architecture of the Kingdom. It changed the entire trajectory of my life, as God’s plans, when realized, often do. God does not try to hide our designations—they often meet us right where we are. When Moses asked the Lord what he was supposed to do, the Lord asked Him one simple question . . . “What’s in your hand?” (Exodus 4:2.)

God designated this woman to make food for Elijah. Her divine appointment stemmed from her possessions. She may not have seen it as much—but we see how incredibly crucial this was for God’s plan. No task is too small. No designation unimportant.

Our individually crafted designations stretch us and our faith—the widow fears she will go hungry and she is asked to trust. Trust God in the work you know He has chosen you for. If you are not sure what that is yet—pay attention to what unexpectedly comes to meet you where you are and what you already possess. And if you have experienced that moment where you heard God speak, “Yes, I chose you just for this”—do that work with passion and zeal today.

Reflect today—do you know what God has designated you for in the building of His Kingdom? If yes, are you seizing that role with great fervor and passion, or are there ways you can improve? If no, spend some time in prayer asking the Lord to open your heart to see the work He has chosen you to do.

Emily Wilson planned her whole life to become a sports reporter but turned out to be a Catholic musician and speaker at the hand of God. She lives out of her suitcase and travels across the world speaking to people of all ages. The heart of her ministry is offering encouragement to teen girls in search of their true identity, and she loves ever second of it. You can find out more about her here.

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