WITH OR WITHOUT?

” ‘I shall be with you,’ the Lord said.” –Judges 6:16

Mass Readings: August 22
First: Isaiah 9:1-6; Resp: Psalm 113:1-8; Gospel: Luke 1:26-38

Listen to the Mass Readings

Gideon asked: “If the Lord is with us, why has all this” misfortune “happened to us?” (Jgs 6:13) God simply answered: “I shall be with you” (Jgs 6:16). Jesus’ disciples “were completely overwhelmed” (Mt 19:25) at His “impossible” demands (Mt 19:26). Jesus’ answer was: “I am with you always” (Mt 28:20).

Humanity is in a rough spot. We have a fallen nature, a twisted heart (Jer 17:9), and are prone to self-deception. God doesn’t throw money at our problem, enroll us in self-help classes, or simply eliminate our problems. God’s answer is to send us Jesus, ” ‘Emmanuel,’ a name which means ‘God is with us’ ” (Mt 1:23).

We need relief from suffering; Jesus is with us in our suffering to strengthen us and guide us safely through our crosses. We need money; Jesus is with us as our Wealth (Phil 3:8). We are victims; Jesus is with us as a fellow Victim, our “Vindicator” (Jb 19:25) and “our Justice” (1 Cor 1:30). The Lord is with us as our Love (1 Jn 4:8), Peace (Eph 2:14), Strength (Phil 4:13), Counselor (Jn 14:26), Wisdom (1 Cor 1:30), Life (Jn 11:25), and our All.

Would you rather have good health, or the God of health? Would you rather have a life with no problems, or God with you amid your problems? Would you rather have the supplies you need, or the God Who can supply all things? (Phil 4:19) To prefer the loot instead of the Lord is to live a preview of hell, that is, a life without God (see Catechism, 1035). The great reward of heaven is not riches, but being with the Lord forever. Choose Him now.

PRAYER: Prayer: Lord, when I have You with me, I have all I need.
PROMISE: Promise: “It is I Who send you.” –Jgs 6:14
PRAISE: Praise: The Lord raised Mary from lowly teenager to reign with Him as Queen of heaven and earth (Lk 1:52).

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