Grace to you!
Yesterday, I shared how God’s grace abounds amidst evil. Today, I apply a lesson from the story of God’s Covenant with humanity expressed in the story of Noah. I look in particular at the first action of Noah after the destruction by the flood and relate it to our spiritual life.
Recently, I saw a commercial about breakfast. The ad suggests that the most important meal is breakfast. This is because it is the first meal that provides the kind of energy we may need for the day. This is not peculiar knowledge though. Many health and food experts suggest that the first food we eat in the morning has a correlation to our mood for the rest of the day.
You may also observe that when you “get up from the wrong side of the bed” as they say, it tends to affect your mood throughout the course of the day.
This human reality could point to our spiritual life also. The first thing we do in the morning could help in our order of the day. We learn from many stories of great spiritual leaders, saints, who talk about their “morning offering” to the Lord. Many get up in the morning and get on their knees. They bless their day. They bless their family and the people they are going to meet. They present everything to the Lord. They pray.
This is a holy practice. It is wonderful. Those who do this know how spiritually healthy it is. Also, it pleases the Lord. Our first thoughts and actions should be a praise unto the Lord, Our Maker.
Noah’s first action after the receding of the water of the flood was a wonderful spiritual practice. It is a good example to follow. Its relevance endures.
We read that, “Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry…. Noah went forth, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. And every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves upon the earth, went forth by families out of the ark. Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the Lordsmelled the pleasing odor, the Lordsaid in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man…While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Gn 8:13-22).
Though the story uses human qualities to describe the response of God to this prayer of Noah, to show that the God who is transcendent, it also a personal God who is close to us. We could relate to God as a person. The great lesson I draw from this is the priority of worship which Noah demonstrates.
His first act after the destruction and the redemption of the selected few was worship. To set up an altar and offer a sacrifice, as used in Old Testament, is a symbol of worship and prayer.
May I ask: What do you do first when day breaks? What are your first thoughts in the morning? What is the first thing you do each day, week, month and year?
Worship, prayer, is the best spiritual way to begin the day. Eucharistic celebration, which the Church teaches us, “is the source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen Gentium, 11; CCC, 1324), and is the highest of all praises unto the Lord. It is the most excellent way to begin your day, at least your week, your month and your year. God delights in your praise. In the worshipper too, God is well pleased. First acts of worship in the morning, unlocks divine favors for the day.
Praying for the grace to hold God first in all we do, as we rise in the morning and as we retire for the day. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Wednesday Week 6 Ordinary Time: Gn 8: 6-13, 20-22; Mk 8:22-26]
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.