I will offer to God today the sacrifice necessary to change something in my behavior that might be an obstacle for someone else coming to know Christ better
: Lord, I believe that you are present here as
I turn to you in prayer. I trust and have confidence in your desire to give me every grace I need to
receive today. Thank you for your love, thank you for your immense generosity toward me. I give you
my life and my love in return.
Petition: Lord Jesus Christ, help me to follow your example and set a good
example for others. you have invited me to live in your love and bring others to do the same. I ask
you for the grace to respond fully today, despite whatever obstacles may arise.
1. History Will Teach Us Something: Throughout the Old
Testament, the history of the people of Israel is the drama of God, a profound gesture of his love
and protection, as he reveals himself to his chosen people in ever-greater ways. Israel’s response
to God’s love, as seen in the Old Testament, that love is pocked and pitted with infidelity, abuse,
and ingratitude. At times the people outright reject God and whomever he sends to guide them back to
his loving care. These falls from God’s grace are instructive for us today. We see the grandeur of
what God did for the people of Israel and marvel at it. We should be aghast at how a people who
received so much could respond so little. But more than this, we need to use this history of Israel
as a mirror in which to regard our own lives: to recognize the same patterns of failure and lack of
fidelity in our own lives and use this self-reflection to inspire us to return to the Lord. If we
fail to admit our weaknesses and failures, however, we will be like the Pharisees to whom Christ
spoke, who brought the blood of the prophets upon their own heads because of their stubbornness and
hardness of heart.
2. History Repeats Itself: In the parable of the vineyard owner who leased
out his vineyard (cf. Luke 20:9-16), Christ explains that the owner sent servant after servant to
collect from the tenants what was his due, but each was mistreated, beaten or even killed. The
situation comes to a head when the owner sends his own son, who is killed. On oneanother occasion
Christ warns the disciples that if this is the way he is treated, they should expect no less
themselves (cf. John 15:20). Do we honestly expect not to have to face some difficulty as disciples
of the Lord? Of course not. But what if that difficulty comes from within? This is from where the
most serious menaces to our discipleship come. Our pride, our vanity, our love of comfort: these are
the battlegrounds and the martyrs’ fields where first and foremost we need to suffer for being a
disciple of the Lord. The prophets and martyrs who suffered for their zeal for the Lord did so even
up to the cost of their lives. He might not need us to lay our lives on the line in quite the same
way, but an interior sacrifice is what Christ does ask of everyone whom he calls.
Time: One of the key moments in Edith Stein’s conversion happened when from Judaism to
Catholicism occurred on a mid-week afternoon. Sshe went into a Catholic Church to see what it was
like, and as she sat there in silence, an older woman came in to spend a few moments with Christ in
the Eucharist. She had groceries in her hand and was obviously on her way home to prepare dinner.
For young Edith, still struggling with belief in God, it was an example of just how grounded in
day-to-day reality the Catholic faith is. The woman’s example helped to open Edith’s heart and mind
to receive the gift of faith. There is little chance that woman ever knew the importance her example
played in helping form this future saint and patronness of Europe, but the woman’s authentic faith
was just what Edith needed to see. Our living witness is critical for those around us, whether or
not we ever see or hear of the consequence. We can serve as an occasion of grace, or we can be a
stumbling block on the path that delays someone from arriving at the place God wants to lead
Conversation with Christ: Lord,
I know that I am an integral part in your plan to save souls. You have the confidence to use me as a
channel of your grace for those around me, particularly those closest to me. I offer you my life
today. Use me as a channel of grace and a testimony to your love.
Resolution: I will offer to God
today the sacrifice necessary to change something in my behavior that might be an obstacle for
someone else coming to know Christ better.