Daily Light on the Daily Path

September 12

MORNING

I have seen his ways, and will heal him. Isa. 57:18

I am the LORD that healeth thee. Exo. 15:26

O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. Psa. 139:1-3

Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. Psa. 90:8

All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Heb. 4:13

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isa. 1:18

He is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. Job 33:24

He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isa. 53:5

He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted. Isa. 61:1

Thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. Mark 5:34

EVENING

The Lord taketh my part. Psa. 118:7

The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion. We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright. Psa. 20:12578

When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. Isa. 59:19

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. I Cor. 10:13

If God be for us, who can be against us? Rom. 8:31

The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. Psa. 118:6

Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us, and he will deliver us. Dan. 3:17

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A Rock Foundation

September 12, 2020
Saturday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
Readings for Today

Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary—Optional Memorial

“I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built.”  Luke 6:47-48

What does your foundation look like?  Is it solid rock?  Or is it sand?  This Gospel passage reveals the importance of a solid foundation for life.

A foundation is not often thought about or worried about unless it gives way.  This is important to reflect upon.  When a foundation is solid it often goes unnoticed and there is little concern during storms at any time.

The same is true of our spiritual foundation.  The spiritual foundation we are called to have is one of deep faith grounded in prayer.  Our foundation is our daily communication with Christ.  In that prayer Jesus Himself becomes the foundation for our life.  And when He is the foundation of our life, nothing can harm us and nothing can keep us from fulfilling our mission in life.

Contrast this with a weak foundation.  A weak foundation is one that relies upon oneself as the source of stability and strength in times of hardship.  But the truth is that none of us are strong enough to be our own foundation.  Those who attempt this approach are fools who learn the hard way that they cannot endure any storm life throws at them.

Reflect, today, upon how well the foundation of your life has been built.  When it’s strong, you can give your attention to many other aspects of your life.  When it’s weak, you will continually be doing damage control as you seek to keep your life from falling apart.  Recommit yourself to a life of deep prayer so that Christ Jesus will be the solid rock foundation of your life.

Lord, You are my rock and my strength.  You alone support me through all things in life.  Help me to rely upon You even more, so that I may daily accomplish all that You call me to do.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

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A Life Built on a Solid Foundation

GOSPEL READING: Luke 6:43-49

43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. 46 “Why do you call me `Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Every one who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep, and laid the foundation upon rock; and when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But he who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation; against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

Meditation: Why does Jesus set figs and grapes over against thorns and brambles? The fig tree was the favorite of all trees for the people of Palestine. It symbolized fertility, peace, and prosperity. Grapes, likewise, produced wine, the symbol of joy. Thorns and brambles were only good for burning as fuel for the fire. There’s a proverbial saying that you know a tree by its fruit. Likewise a person will produce good or bad fruit depending on what is sown in the heart. Charles Read said: “Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.” Character, like fruit, doesn’t grow overnight. It takes a lifetime.

A healthy and sound mind produces good fruit
Jesus connects soundness with good fruit. Something is sound when it is free from defect, decay, or disease and is healthy. Good fruit is the result of sound living – living according to moral truth and upright character. The prophet Isaiah warned against the dangers of falsehood: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness (Isaiah 5:20). The fruits of falsehood produce an easy religion which takes the iron out of religion, the cross out of Christianity, and any teaching which eliminates the hard sayings of Jesus, and which push the judgments of God into the background and makes us think lightly of sin.

How do we avoid falsehood and bad fruit in our lives? By being true – true to God, his word, and the grace and help he gives us so we can turn away from evil and wrongdoing. And that takes character! Those who are true to God know that their strength lies not in themselves but in God who supplies everything we need to live as his disciples. The Lord strengthens us with the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit – with faith, hope and love, justice, prudence, fortitude and temperance. And we grow in godly character through exercising the gifts and strength which God supplies. Do you want to bear good fruit in your daily life? Allow the Holy Spirit to train you in godliness and the wisdom to distinguish good fruit from bad fruit (1 Timothy 4:7-8, Hebrews 5:14).

What kind of foundation are you building your life?
Jesus told another story about the importance of building on the right foundation to reinforce his lesson about sound living. When Jesus told the story of the builders he likely had the following proverb in mind: When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm for ever (Proverbs 10:25). What’s the significance of the story for us? The kind of foundation we build our lives upon will determine whether we can survive the storms that are sure to come. Builders usually lay their foundations when the weather and soil conditions are at their best. It takes foresight to know how a foundation will stand up against adverse conditions. Building a house on a flood plain, such as a dry river-bed, is a sure bet for disaster!

Our character is revealed in the choices we make
Jesus prefaced his story with a warning: We may fool other people with our speech and gestures, but God cannot be deceived. He sees the heart as it truly is – with its motives, intentions, desires, and choices (Psalm 139:2). There is only one way in which a person’s sincerity can be proved, and that is by one’s practice. Fine words can never replace good deeds. Our character is revealed in the choices we make, especially when we are tested. Do you cheat on an exam or on your income taxes, especially when it will cost you? Do you lie, or cover-up, when disclosing the truth will cause you injury or embarrassment? A true person is honest and reliable before God, themselves, and their neighbor. Their word can be counted on. What foundation is your life built upon?

Lord Jesus, you are the sure foundation and source of life and strength for us. Give me wisdom and strength to live according to your truth and to reject every false way. May I be a doer of your word and not a hearer only.

Psalm 113

1 Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD!
2 Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore!
3 From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the LORD is to be praised!
4 The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens!
5 Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high,
6 who looks far down upon the heavens and the earth?
7 He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
8 to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people.
9 He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!

Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers: Scripture is the field where we build our house, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.

“In a certain place in the Gospel, the Lord says that the wise hearer of his word ought to be like a man who, wishing to build, digs rather deeply until he comes to bedrock. There without anxiety he establishes what he builds against the onrush of a flood, so that when it comes, rather it may be pushed back by the solidity of the building than that house collapse by the impact. Let us consider the Scripture of God as being a field where we want to build something. Let us not be lazy or content with the surface. Let us dig more deeply until we come to rock: ‘Now the rock was Christ’ (1 Corinthians 10:4).” (excerpt from TRACTATES ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 23.1)

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