Tuesday, January 1
Nm 6: 22-27
Ps 67: 2-3, 5; 68: 2
Gal 4: 4-
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. So, they shall put my name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them. Nm 6:24- 27
Besides being long used by the church and Jewish communities to conclude services of worship, this familiar benediction stands at both the beginning and end of our life with God and in the world. It is a blessing for a journey. This journey includes setting ourselves free in two ways among others: 1) free from fear that has been distorted by sin and 2) free from clutter which can be a chore, but a transformational experience.
Fear is good when it functions according to its intended purpose. Fear is designed to keep us away from dangerous things. When fear moves us to avoid things that are truly dangerous, we experience just how merciful a gift it can be. God created fear to help keep us free. Frequently, fear does not function the way God designed, as when we feel too much fear of things that are relatively small threats and too little fear over things that can cause us far greater harm.
We also free ourselves by approaching clutter cleaning as a creative, soul-enriching endeavor; by identifying what we truly want in our life; and by overcoming the physical obstacles that get in the way of achieving our goals. Matt Redman, a Christian songwriter who blends praise and worship with contemporary pop, sings that Jesus brought us a blessing and “the blessing was You…there was a treasure, and the treasure was You.”
Loving Creator, whatever it takes, set us free from unbelieving fear by opening our eyes to reality. The freest people in the world are those who trust you most. Bless us that we may glorify you and praise your name among all peoples. May your blessing and our praising You lead us and all peoples to gladness and joy!
Set myself free by doing away with piles of paper, donating clothes I never wear, distinguishing memorabilia from useless junk, and creating a space where I can relax in prayer.
Sister Antonella Bayer, CSJ