This week, as in the last couple of weeks, I continued to read and enjoy Matthew. It seems that I should be reading this during the Christmas season, but at any time of year, it is a good read. This week I stopped at Matthew 10: 19-20; the works there spoke strongly to me for they reflected something I have personally experienced. They are part of Matthew's description of what Jesus told His disciples when he sent them out to witness to the Gentiles:
19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say,Reading: Matthew 10: 19-20
20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Meditation: While I have never been arrested (thank God), I have been in situations in which people have come to me for guidance of some sort -- at work, in our prayer group, etc., -- for which I have been quite unqualified to give advice. On many occasions, however, I found myself saying things I had never thought about before. These thoughts were not mine, yet they rang true for the person I was talking to. It has happened now many times when people have been seriously in need of help, or, in some cases, when people have begun to slip into unbelief or anger toward God. I don't have ANY answers. For heaven's sake, I am a recent convert. Who am I to teach anyone anything, let alone provide guidance. Yet, God has nearly always given me the words, words that surprise even me. Perhaps God does that because I ask every morning to be His instrument in helping all who come across my path in need of help. Perhaps God does that simply because He wants to or because He will use anyone he can to help anyone who needs His help.
Contemplation: That is far as I can go with you this Monday morning. I now retire to private prayer to praise God for the remarkable ways in which He can use nearly anyone, qualified or not, experienced or not, sometimes even willing or not. I will ask God to continue to give me the right words, and I will repent for each time I have thought I was capable of advising anyone on my own and, instead of using God's right words, have used my wrong ones. As always, I will thank God for loving us so much that He will find any way possible to help us, sometimes highly unimaginable ways.
I will leave you now to your prayer and contemplation. First, though, I would like to bring to your attention a Monday morning prayer post that you might enjoy:
Fr. Austin Fleming, priest of the Archdiocese of Boston and pastor in Concord, Massachusetts, posts a prayer each Monday morning that he calls "Monday Morning Offering." I enjoy his prayers very much. I think you also will find them inspirational. He has graciously given me permission to include a link to his blog on my Monday Morning Meditation posts. (During the week, he also posts great homilies and other thoughtful discussions. I enjoy reading those, too, as do readers of this blog who have taken the stroll over to his blog.)
For additional inspiration throughout the week, I would point out two sets of blogs: (1) the list of devotional blogs on my sidebar and (2) my blogroll, where I am following a number of inspirational priests and writers about spiritual matters. I learn so very much from all these people. I highly recommend them to you.