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Leave the Struggles Behind

dec 30th

First Reading: 1 John 2:12-17

I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 96:7-10

Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! Worship the LORD in holy array; tremble before him, all the earth! Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns! Yea, the world is established, it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.”

Gospel: Luke 2:36-40

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan’u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

ESV

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The Word of God is like a love letter to humanity. However, it is unlike any letter between a man and woman in love. God’s love letter is more personal, unique, passionate, and intense than any words to be captured in the English language. All throughout Scripture, is the unending story of God passionately seeking and calling after His little, lost lambs. Really, what could be more beautiful than that?

The First Reading illustrates so well how the Word of God is a love letter to every human on this earth. Saint John challenges us, Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever. We are reminded yet again, that nothing in this broken world will satisfy the human heart. These powerful, yet simple words in many ways sum up our story woven in Scripture: the struggle to live in the world and not of it, to know our home lies in Heaven, and understand how passionately we are loved.  How is that going for you?

Dear sisters, we are right on the cusp of the New Year. How are you ending 2014? Where have you struggled? Where have you grown? Before the world rings in the New Year of 2015, I encourage you all to spend time in God’s love letter to humanity. Allow Jesus to remind you of your dignity, worth, purpose, and mission. Ask Jesus to for the courage and strength to not focus on or love the things of this world, but the things of eternity.

May we all strive to be women of great faith and constant prayer, like Anna the prophetess!

 DEC30

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Patty Hubbard is a new-ish wife finishing grad school, working in youth ministry, and learning to cook more than your average Lean Cuisine. You can find out more about her here.

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