Daily Reflection – May 26, 2016
Thursday 26 May 2016
1 Peter 2:2-5, 9-12
Come with joy into the presence of the Lord
Gospel Reading: Mark 10:46-52
Today’s Saint: St Philip Neri, Priest
As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out and say,
“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.
But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called the blind man, saying to him,
“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”
Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.”
Immediately he received his sight
and followed him on the way.
Come before him with joyful song. Know that the LORD is God. (Psalm 100:2-3)
Would it surprise you to hear that as a child of God, you are meant to be joyful all the time? No, you won’t always be happy or cheerful. The circumstances of life sometimes call for sadness or regret. Still, today’s Responsorial Psalm summons us to joy, just as St Paul urges us to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). How can we do this?
The psalmist tells us why “joyful song” is fitting: because “the Lord is God” (Psalm 100:2-3). He is a good God who rules the world with kindness. He has made us his children, “the flock he tends,” and he watches over us with enduring kindness. Whether or not we feel his presence at this moment, we can trust his promise never to abandon us. And because his sole desire is our good, he is able to use everything that comes our way to bless us and the people around us.
This is why it’s important, as you approach God in prayer, to take time to praise him. Do it before you try to learn something from Scripture. Do it before you bring up your needs and intercessions. Do it before you get involved in anything else. Just praise him.
If you’re not sure how to start, recall what you know about God. He is powerful, merciful, good, and faithful. He is Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer, and Friend. He is a loving Father, a shepherd, a vine grower, the bread and water of life. Focus on whatever aspect stirs you at that moment, and praise and thank him for it.
When you run out of words, psalms like today’s can provide many phrases you can borrow. There are also wonderful canticles spread throughout the Bible; the songs of Moses and Miriam (Exodus 15), Judith (16), Zechariah (Luke 1:68-79), Mary (Luke 1:46-55), Paul (Colossians 1: 15-20), and the heavenly host (Revelation 5:12-13; 15:3-4; 19:6-8). Let their words inspire your words – and your heart.
Practice this prayer of praise, and you’ll find yourself becoming more joyful throughout your day – not just happy, but deep-down joyful.
“I give you thanks, O Lord. I bless your name. You are good, and your mercy endures forever. Your faithfulness lasts through every generation.”