Grace to you!
Today, I reflect on the need to keep an eye on divine promises and never to grow spiritually weary. We continue to draw from The Letter to the Hebrews.
The Letter to the Hebrews 3: 7-11, takes from the story of the Book of Psalms 95:8-11 (or Ps 94 in the Septuagint). The text (Ps 95:8-11) recites in prayerful style the event recorded in Exodus 17, where the people of Israel of the time complained to Moses and quarreled against God because they had no water to drink in the wilderness. Moses called the place Massah (which literarily means test or temptation) and Meribah (which means quarrel) (Ex 17:7).
The people doubted God who was leading them through Moses. Though they were in the desert and the circumstances in which they found themselves weren’t pleasant, they doubted the promises of God to see them through it all. Rather than look up to the one who promised them safety and security, they relied on the negative news reports they saw and heard. Their hearts became dull and faint. They were discouraged.
The consequence, as we learn from that story, is that those who lost hope and rebelled, weren’t to “enter God’s rest” (Ps 95:11, Heb 3:11). Why? Because of their sinful rebellion. We learn from the Fathers of the Church that “the place of rest” is a figurative way of speaking of eternal life, the eternal sabbath. Sabbath is rest.
The Letter to the Hebrews uses this story to remind Christians of the time not to grow weary and loose heart because of the temptations they face in their everyday life. The admonition is relevant to us today as well.
What news do you believe? What report do you hold on to? Do you believe in God’s promises in your life even when the going gets tough? When your basic needs are not met or when trials come your way, do you still trust in divine promises, providence and security? Do you look unto the Lord, the author and perfecter of your faith (Heb 12:2)?
Or do you allow doubt to creep in and weaken your troubled heart even more? For one to be constant in faith and not backslide and sin, one has to trust in the Lord amidst the difficulties one faces.
Get this clear. Sin is creepy. Sinful doubt is creepy too. If we are not watchful, it creeps in little by little. It weakens our heart and our spirit. Before long, we find ourselves in a terrible situation, worse than we ever imagined.
We got to be smart, empowered by the grace of God and ever watchful not to lose sight of the promise. See your spiritual life as a soldier on the battlefront. You’ve got to “be wise as serpent and innocent as a dove” (Mt 10:16).
Praying that God will give us the grace of spiritual vigilance. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Thursday Week 1 Ordinary Time: Heb 3:7-14; Mk 1:40-45]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.