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Take Refuge

First Reading: Jeremiah 11:18-20

I knew their plot because the LORD informed me;
at that time you, O LORD, showed me their doings.

Yet I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter,
had not realized that they were hatching plots against me:
“Let us destroy the tree in its vigor;
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will be spoken no more.”

But, you, O LORD of hosts, O just Judge,
searcher of mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause!

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 7:2-3, 9BC-10, 11-12

R. (2a) O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
O LORD, my God, in you I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers and rescue me,
Lest I become like the lion’s prey,
to be torn to pieces, with no one to rescue me.
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
Do me justice, O LORD, because I am just,
and because of the innocence that is mine.
Let the malice of the wicked come to an end,
but sustain the just,
O searcher of heart and soul, O just God.
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
A shield before me is God,
who saves the upright of heart;
A just judge is God,
a God who punishes day by day.
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.

Gospel: John 7:40-53

Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
“This is truly the Prophet.”
Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him.

So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees,
who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?”
The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.”
So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,
“Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?”
They answered and said to him,
“You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

Then each went to his own house.

NAB

mar 12

I have spent much of my life feeling lonely, especially in regards to social situations. It is probably rooted in the first-grade social drama when the “leader of the pack” friend would turn her back on me on a whim and all the other little girls would follow her lead, leaving me miserable and lonely.

This did two things to me. First, it left me often wondering most of my life about if people really do like me or if I am some sort of outcast on the edge of every social circle I have been apart of. It does not help that I have had to start fresh every four years or so since I started high school (college, husband’s graduate school in one city, husband’s new job in another).

The other thing my first-grade drama did for me was that it taught me to bring my loneliness to the Lord.

In high school, whenever my loneliness really set in, I learned to turn to the Psalms, and just delve in.  O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge. There are so many good Psalms for abandoning oneself and one’s problems to the Lord.

While loneliness has little to do with actual physical enemies attacking you, as today’s Psalm implies, it is often caused by spiritual enemies. And those are the kind of enemies I think of when I read today’s readings. Because Satan wants so much to cut us off from the Lord. When we feel the attacks, we must turn to Him in Jesus’ name.

When I place myself in the presence of the Lord, and seek His comfort in my times of loneliness, I find that He is the one to fulfill me no matter how many close friends I have. I also realize that He has blessed me with amazing, holy friends seeking to live a life in love of Him wherever I have lived. And I know that it often takes many years to really know a good friend, and those whom you can pray with are more often than not the kindred spirits.

Whether your attacks are of loneliness or something else, try to remember to turn to the Lord, who is your refuge. He protects you and saves you from your enemies. He gives you true fulfillment and true life.

photo by Little Flower Studios

Susanna Spencer once studied theology and philosophy, but now happily cares for her three adorable little girls, new baby boy, and her dear husband in Saint Paul. She loves beautiful liturgies, cooking delicious meals, baking amazing sweets, reading good books, raising her children, casually following baseball, and talking to her philosopher husband. You can find out more about her here.

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