Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2 Samuel 18, and Mark 5: The death of his son Absalom brought the mighty king David to bitter tears, and with him all of the city Jerusalem wept. In the same way, the death of the daughter of a synagogue official brought an entire household to tears and weeping. But Jesus, doing what David could not do, walked into the weeping to bring new life to that girl and that house. Look closely at the scene, because there’s a hint of what’s about to happen in Mark’s gospel text. We’re told that Jesus stayed close to the sea. In the gospels, when Jesus crosses the sea or stays close to the sea, it hearkens back to the dawn of creation, where chaos was represented by a great untamed sea. The Spirit of God breathed on the waters, we’re told in Genesis, and from that chaotic sea came creation itself at the word of God. When Jesus is near the water in the gospels, it’s because He is about to enact a new creation. Water in a gospel text is like a neon billboard saying, “Pay attention: something wonderful is about to happen.” Walking right through the tearful commotion, Jesus takes the dead girl by the hand he invites her back to life: “Little girl, arise.” Will you allow Jesus to walk into your hurt and heal it? Will you allow Him to enter into your tears and re-create your heart? Will you allow Him to walk into the midst of your most painful memories, take them in His hands, and create your heart anew?
Msgr. William J. King

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mark 1: Jesus approached a man possessed by a demon. The demon cried out, "I know who you are: the Holy One of God!" In Mark's Gospel, a demon is the first to give testimony to Jesus as the Messiah! It isn't enough for a Believer to say, "I know Jesus." Even the demons know Jesus. More is demanded of one who dares to claim the name Christian.

Jesus asks only one thing of us: to give our entire lives into His hands. Our destiny, our hopes, our dreams, our fears, our memories, our hurts, our joys... All I am and will be is yours, Jesus; be the Lord of my life. Saint Ignatius of Loyola perhaps said it best in his great "suscipiat" prayer, a prayer of radical surrender to God:

Take, Lord, and receive my entire liberty,
my memory, my understanding and my whole will.
All that I am and all that I have You have given me.
I surrender it all to You; use it wholly according to Your will.
Give me only Your love and Your grace;
this is sufficient for me.
Msgr. William J. King

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Last week was a week of vacation in the sun, sand, and warm water. Yesterday, I returned to 5 inches of snow on the ground. God has a plan.

39 years ago today, the Supreme Court of the United States of America stripped the states of the right to criminalize abortion on demand. The hundreds of thousands of pre-born children who have been aborted since then will never see a sunset, or (look to the right in the photo) a storm squall on the ocean, or towering cumulonimbus clouds pouring forth their rain. Those children will never sit and watch billowy white clouds form the shapes of animals in the sky, or feel the strain of the tide pulling sand between their toes at the beach, or feel the warmth of the sun across their cheeks and forehead. Nor will they ever wonder at the beauty of newfallen white snow, or feel the cool brisk winter wind on their forehead, or look up at the icy clouds that hang high in the winter sky.

Abortion has stolen the beauty and wonder of life on Earth from them.

In my years as a priest I have listened to, and held, couples as they cried and told me how long they've been waiting to adopt a child. I've known many a couple who have spent their life savings to travel around the world to adopt a child. At the same time, I have held women who trembled and wept as they recounted their stories of abortions from years ago, now wondering what their children would look like and sound like, and missing the opportunity to answer the inevitable questions: "Why is the sky blue?" or "What are clouds made of?" or "How big is the ocean?"

Can't we see that God has a plan, and it is for life?

Not everyone can provide a loving home for a child, but for all who are pregnant and unable to care for that child, there is a couple waiting to adopt.

If ever you hear of a woman who is considering abortion, do all in your power to talk her out of it and to give her child to the Church. We will find a loving home for that child, and provide a future for both the child and the mother.

The child will giggle at the clouds and the seashore, marvel at the ocean and the sky, and learn to fall on her or his knees to worship the God of life, depending on His grace and providence every day. The mother will never wonder if she made a mistake. Let the Church be Church and enable God’s plan for life.
Msgr. William J. King
I Samuel: "Appoint a king for us, the people said; we want to be just like every other nation!" Be careful what you ask for. They forgot that, as a people chosen and gifted, they were very much unlike every other nation. That 's what made them special. Lord, help me to recall that when I compare myself to others I may lose sight of my own uniqueness, my own giftedness, and my own unique relationship with You, the Lord of my life. Rather, Lord, may my prayer be, "Lead me to be the best version of me that I can be, with the gifts you gave me and the Grace that nourishes me."
Msgr. William J. King
We apparently still have the rule of law in our nation, and the Constitution stands. Okay, that was a fairly bold statement. In a country where governmental regulatory mandates increasingly compel faith-based social service, health care, and educational providers to offer services contrary to their religious convictions and moral conscience or else shutter their doors, the US Supreme Court recently affirmed that religious liberty remains intact in at least one narrow area of the law: the ministerial exception in federal employment discrimination legislation.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court. “The interest of society in the enforcement of employment discrimination statutes is undoubtedly important, but so too is the interest of religious groups in choosing who will preach their beliefs, teach their faith, and carry out their mission.” When those principles are in conflict, Roberts said, “the First Amendment has struck the balance for us.”

It has been said by keener minds than mine that the governmental attitude toward religious liberty in the United States is tending toward the notion that religious liberty means that anyone can attend a church of their own choosing if they wish, but must keep the practice of faith and its moral application inside the walls of that church. Contrast that with the Great Commission of Jesus to go into all the world, preach and teach, and baptize.

Neither the message of the Gospel nor its moral application in public life remained confined to the four walls of the Upper Room. Similiarly, religious conviction and its moral application were not kept distant from the development of public policy over the centuries -- in any part of the globe, and no matter the religious belief.

The First Amendment to the US Constitution does not provide for or mandate separation of Church and State. It protects the State from an establishment of religion, and it protects religion from restriction of the free exercise thereof by the State. It protects liberty for both Church and State.
Msgr. William J. King
I Samuel: faced with the fearsome army of the Philistines, and having suffered an agonizing defeat, the army of Israel sends for the Ark of the Covenant. When it arrives in their camp, they cheer, because God will surely vanquish their enemies now. That night, forty thousand of their soldiers lay dead and they were defeated. Far better if they had fallen down in silent awe and reverence before the Ark of the Covenent, rather than cheer for certain victory. There is no magic to the relationship with God -- it arises from God's approach to us, takes root in our soul, and penetrates every part of our lives (usually gently; sometimes violently – however God needs to work in our lives).

The Israelite army thought that the presence of the Ark of the Covenant would guarantee that God's will would be accomplished. They were right, but what they hadn't bargained for was that God's will was not the same as theirs. They turned the presence of God into an act of willful self-determination -– "God will do what we want" -- instead of an opportunity to rejoice in His presence and celebrate their relationship with Him. Faith and religion are not based on what God can do for us, but on a friendship, a deep relationship of the whole of life, with Him. God is not a tool to help us accomplish our will and achieve our wants -- it's just the opposite. As Francis of Assisi prayed, "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace."
Msgr. William J. King
I Samuel: the young Samuel sleeps in the presence of the Ark of the Covenant, waking when God calls but not understanding that it is God who is calling him. Golly, I wonder if we ever do the same: spiritually asleep though surrounded and infused by Grace, lulled to spiritual sleep by the many voices that confront us throughout the day, might we miss God's voice in our spiritual slumber? Lord, help me to keep my soul attune to your voice at every moment, expectant in hope and eager to hear You, and when You call, may I respond as Samuel finally did, "Here I am Lord, ready to serve."
Msgr. William J. King
I spent the evening with saints. They came in three waves. This is the third: our youth ministry core team. Giving up their evening to continue preparations for a weekend retreat for our teens, they spent time in prayer and time at work, time laughing and time discussing, not for themselves but so that our teens might experience the stirring awareness of God's grace in their lives – an awareness to lead them along The Way with Christ by their side. These leaders have opened their hearts to Christ and provide solid examples of Chistian dicipleship for the teens.
Msgr. William J. King
I spent the evening with saints. They came in three waves. This is the second: seekers and inquirers in our parish RCIA (Rite of Christian Intitation of Adults). These wonderful persons have percevied the tug of God's good grace in their lives, leading them toward conversion and discipleship. They are learning about the Catholic Church and discerning whether the Lord is inviting them into the communion of this church to experience His love and our fellowship. In only a few months, I have seen these saints open their souls and lives to faith and to hope. Pray for them, that their joy may be complete.
Msgr. William J. King
I spent the evening with saints. They came in 3 waves. This is the first: the parish prayer shawl ministry, evening edition. They have handmade and given out over 600 prayer shawls. This wonderful group of saints, along with the daytime group, prays before beginning, prays as they work, and prays over the finished product -- not that the shawl is a talisman, mind you, but that the person to whom it is given might know that he or she is enfolded in the love of God. Sick, alone, afraid, grieving? Let the prayer shawl ministry know and their eager souls and talented hands will work to help you understand that God's love enfolds you.
Msgr. William J. King

Light and joy. These are the twin hallmarks of today's Feast of the Epiphany of our Lord. We know the characters of the story: young newlyweds with an infant child, three men who have journeyed on an arcane quest to find the new king, and the worldly king Herod. The newborn child gives each of these characters new purpose, new meaning, new hope, new joy, a new destiny in life. Except one. Herod clings to his own self-will, and his self-absorption turns to dread fear that he will lose what he perceives as his place of privilege and honor. Fear turns to desparate rage as he lashes out against the threat.

Lord Jesus, may I never be so caught up in myself that I cling to anything or anyone but you. May my only purpose be you, and in you may I find my light and joy, my future and destiny, my today and my tomorrows.

Blessed Epiphany.
Msgr. William J. King
When God places a mission in one's heart, God also gives every grace or gift necessary to bring it about. We typically don't recognize that truth until after the fact, when we look back to recognize how the Lord was there to help, to push, to clear the way, to show the path. A truly committed Believer can change the world, not by one's own doing, but because God will level the mountains and make t...See More
Disability Nation Foundation is a nonprofit organization established on January 6, 2012. It was started to better the lives of individuals with disabilities. Whether that be to provide financial assistance for a piece of equipment or service not covered by health insurance, such as a diagnostic driving test, or to be an informational resource for individuals with Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, and Autism. Please visit our website for more information and to see what we can do for you!

Msgr. William J. King

whatchristianswanttoknow.com via Zite iPad App
Faith is usually a word we use in association with God; however, even those that have no faith in God still have faith in something. 21 faith sayings
Msgr. William J. King
Two quotations, though very different from one another and from diverse authors, remind me of the teaching of Jesus -- not the teachings of Jesus, but His teaching, his pedagogy. Leonardo DaVinci is said to have written, "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you once were and there you long to return." Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of "The Little Prince," wrote, "If you want to build a ship, don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."

Jesus taught people to yearn for the Kingdom of Heaven, to long for Grace, to look wistfully at the hours ahead and seek to discover the wonder of God in all of them. What greater motivation to pray can there be, but to have experienced the grandeur of God and to long, yearn, lovingly though restlessly pine to taste the presence of God again and again.

O the wonder of the Incarnation: God become human. Humanity can never be the same when once its Creator and Redeemer has walked in flesh on this earth.
Msgr. William J. King
Keeping Christ in Christmas means more than sending cards with sacred art (instead of snowmen) and sneering "Merry Christmas" when a store clerk says "happy holidays." Doesn't it also mean keeping Christ in the entire season of Christmas? While the Church realizes that the Incarnation is too big a reality to take it all in at once -- reminding us that the 12 days of Christmas are just a beginning -- the secular world wants to deprive us of this truth. After December 25 the lights come down, trees go on the curb, and life goes back to normal. Really? We can choose to remain immersed in the reality of Christmas, at least for the 12 days of the season, bathing in God's Grace. Why not go in the office tomorrow and smile as you say, "Merry Christmas." If you think it's over, you've been duped by the secular world. Christmas is a spiritual reality, so continue to celebrate the wonderful truth of God's great love. God so loved the world that He sent His only-begotten Son... and didn't take the lights down after one day! Don't let secularism deprive you of the fullness of this great season. Keep the lights on.
Msgr. William J. King
You can look now: it's a New Year. The LORD bless you and keep you! The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace! May the new year be filled with the awareness of God's presence.
Msgr. William J. King

Although the comments of some in this video are comical when they learn that a man went through 2011 without sex ("Uh, congratulations?" once person says awkwardly; another: "He actually did that?") there is a more profound lesson for those of us who are part of a church. The DJ says that his resolution became "real" when he realized that, through his website, people were watching him and supporting him (with over 630,000 views). Gosh, do you think maybe that's one reason Jesus gave us a Church? Drawn together by Christ's love, in love we are bound. Fed by Christ's Grace, we support and nurture one another. We encourage each other when we're down and struggling, we celebrate with each other when we're on top of our game. Through what the saints have described as spiritual consolation and spiritual desolation, we stand by each other in faith, in hope, and in charity. Why else it is important for us all to stand after we hear God's Word at Mass and proclaim out loud, "I believe..." We do it for the one nearby who is struggling with faith and life, and who needs to hear that she's not alone or that he walks on a path with others. One of my New Year's resolutions is to help us all be Church for one another. After all, it's the original world-wide web!!

Msgr. William J. King
It was a cold and rainy day in Rome when I got into a Taxi near the Lateran basilica in Rome when I was a doctoral student there. It was Lent. The taxi driver had a small pad of paper attached to the dashboard with a suction cup, and on a sheet of paper he had sketched – in ink – a beautiful and moving depiction of the crucifixion of Jesus. He could see from my collar and black suit that I was a priest. I asked him about the drawing. He told me that he didn’t go to church every week, but during Lent his prayer was to sketch the 14 Stations of the Cross while he waited in his taxi for the next fare. He told me that was how he prayed every day, throughout the day.

It’s not Lent, so why do I mention that?

In mid-December, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released their latest report on the world’s Christian population. It is entitled, “Global Christianity.” In the days prior to Christmas this was not covered much in the news, but where it was it was reported with astonishing incorrectness. The statistic that garnered the most attention was the following, taken from the report’s executive summary: “In 1910, about two-thirds of the world’s Christians lived in Europe, where the bulk of Christians had been for a millennium, according to historical estimates by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity. Today, only about a quarter of all Christians live in Europe (26%).”

So, in the past century, Europe’s share of the world’s Christians has declined from about 44% to about 26%. What does that mean? Not what you might think at first glance. It does not mean, for instance, that the Church in Europe is declining. One religion reporter got it right. From the Los Angeles Times: “In 1910, about two-thirds of Christians lived in Europe, where the majority had resided for a millennium. But as Christianity has grown in other parts of the world, the population has seen a shift.” Are there fewer Christians in Europe? No.

In fact, according to the Pew study and confirmed by other studies, there are more Christians (and Catholics) in Europe now than at any time in history. However, you won’t see that reported very much. Europe is seeing a large influx of non-Christian immigrants, and many of those populations have a higher birth rate than Christians (including Catholics). These trends combine to lower the percentage of Christians in the population, but not the number of Christians. The number of Christians has grown significantly.

Vatican statistics have also documented this. In 1900, 68% of the world’s Catholics resided in Europe. In 2009, this had fallen to just 24%. Again, what does this mean? Not what you might think! There are vastly more Catholics in the world today than there were in 1900, and Europe’s portion is proportionately smaller. Africa and South America contain the largest and fastest-growing numbers of Catholics today. However, there are still many more Catholics in Europe now than a century ago. According to Vatican statistics, Europe’s Catholic population has grown by 57% since 1900. 180 million Catholics then has become 284 million today.

Now, back to the Taxi in Rome. To be sure, fewer Catholics in Europe attend Mass regularly today than in decades past, and perhaps more Catholics consider themselves “culturally” Catholic but lack what we might perceive as a zealous faith. Don’t mis-read this as a lack of faith. Spend some time in a Roman Taxi and see someone with a lively spiritual life, even if he doesn’t show up in a study of regular church-goers.
Msgr. William J. King
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Let's see: a teenage girl with a fantastic story about how she became pregnant; a family who has to flee the country soon after their son's birth; a precocious runaway son who stayed in the Temple when his family traveled home. No one said it was the Feast of the Perfect Family, but that of the Holy Family! Every family has its issues to face. It's how they face those issues that makes them a holy family.
Msgr. William J. King
Today the Church celebrates the memory of the slaughter of the Holy Innocents, those children killed in a torrent of rage unleashed by the jealousy and insecurity of a proud king. Comedians and sit-coms poke fun at the fact that most adults, even the most macho or emotionally cool, take on a different persona in the presence of a baby. Wide eyes, funny faces, and even funnier noises and exaggerated words - few can resist acting differently when confronted by the innocence of a baby.

Who would want to harm a baby? Modern-day Herods exist. A regulatory mandate from the nation's capitol led to the slaughter of the Innocents two millennia ago. Do we live in more enlightened, more tolerant, times? Look at the regulatory mandates coming from our nation's capitol and judge for yourself. Tying foreign aid to mandatory abortion services and mandatory contraception? Universal health care with no protection of conscience for employers or health care providers who object to mandated abortion services or abortifacient birth control? The pre-born Innocents suffer by decree of the ruler.

God have mercy on the nation that kills its own pre-born children, and pays other nations to do so as condition for humanitarian aid.
Msgr. William J. King
One of the quiet tragedies of our era is the continuing martyrdom of many of our fellow Christians throughout the world. Persecution continues, almost unnoticed and certainly under-reported. On Christmas day this year, bombings killed Catholics at 2 churches in Nigeria, but much more persecution went on. Christmas Eve Mass was canceled at most Catholic churches in Iraq, out of fear of attracting violence. Martyrdom for our faith is not something from the history books. The once-strong Chaldean Catholic church, with it's Patriarchate in Baghdad, has been decimated, by violence and bloodshed as well as by flight from Iraq to seek refuge and safety from persecution.
(Peo­ple stand in front of the par­tial­ly destroyed St. There­sa Catholic Church after a bomb blast in the Madala Zuba dis­trict of Nige­ria's cap­i­tal, Abuja, on Dec. 25.)
Msgr. William J. King
In the genre of "Things that make you go hmmmmmm..."
christianpost.com via Zite iPad App
A recently published study headed by Norwegian researchers found that there is a correlation between religious practice and lower blood pressure.
Msgr. William J. King
It's always startling that the Church places the Feast of Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr, the very day after Christmas. On the other hand, isn't it true to our experience of life: that laughing and weeping are often side by side? Isn't it also a potent reminder to us all: the Christian life is not all about warm fireplaces and cheery carols - following Christ out of the crib and into adult life means facing the world's contempt for the Gospel message. It was true for Jesus, for Saint Stephen, and for us. It was Jesus, after all – not the twinkly-eyed child in swaddling clothes, but the fiery itinerant rabbi – who said, "Woe to you when all speak well of you." And wasn't it C.S. Lewis who quipped, "There's a world of difference between being a nice guy and being a new man in Christ." If everyone thinks you're a nice guy, what are you doing wrong? The secular newspaper comic strips today have "funny" lines about Christmas being over so soon. Really? Forget the 12 Days of Christmas from now until Epiphany -- what about life? Every day we awaken to God's Grace is a new Christmas day for the Believer. Each moment we praise God's goodness and providence is another birth of saving Grace for the Believer. And, "Whatever you do for these least ones..." is a new birth of hope. Merry Christmas --- the second day of Christmas.
Msgr. William J. King
Merry Christmas! The profundity of Christmas – that Divinity impacted Earth and creation itself rejoices in the echoes of Grace – masks a simple truth. We do not have to undertake elaborate rituals and incantations to approach God or to attract His attention. We need do nothing but open our eyes, our ears, our souls, our lives: God comes to us. He is here.
Msgr. William J. King
In a few moments we will begin hearing confessions in celebration of the sacrament of Penance. As the magi did, each penitent comes filled with hope before the Word Incarnate, but in this sacrament the penitent is the gift: nothing thrills Christ more than a repentant heart, filled with faith and empty of self.
Msgr. William J. King
A seminary professor once spoke of removing the veils from the Tabernacle so that there might be no obstacles to God's approach to us. A Messiah College student recently posted a poem that made me think of this. Crassly said, we all need a little spiritual turpentine from time to time, allowing the Grace of God and the brightness of Christ's Incarnation, to strip away all that keeps us from accepting God's embrace. Come, Lord Jesus, come!
Msgr. William J. King
Mary's song of praise – "what wonders You have worked in every generation" – wasn't the spontaneous utterance of her first time at prayer. When all was well in her life, as when things were dark and gloomy, Mary spent time with God and with the Scriptures. She knew God's blessings in times of dancing and times of weeping.
Msgr. William J. King
Joy! Every Bible reading, every prayer, every hymn at Mass this week is overflowing, bubbling over, effervescent with joy! Lord, save me from all that would distract me from knowing anything but the fullness of joy, pure joy, in these last days of Advent, that I may celebrate your birth and look forward to you return with simple joy and only joy.
Msgr. William J. King
We probably can’t imagine the emotions in the heart of Joseph, or how his mind was racing, when he heard of the pregnancy of his fiancée Mary. We’re told simply near the beginning of Matthew’s gospel that Joseph was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose Mary to the law, and so he decided to divorce her quietly. A dream changed all of that. Joseph grew beyond the common understanding of “righteousness” to accept an invitation (and the Grace) from God to do higher things. Later in the same gospel of Matthew, Jesus will repeatedly urge His followers to do the same: He says candidly, “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Then He goes on to give example after example: “You have heard it said…, but what I say to you is…” Was it Jesus who spiritually reached from His mother’s womb to invite Joseph to a higher righteousness – a foreshadowing of the surpassing righteousness He will speak of in from the Sermon on the Mount – or maybe, just maybe, did Jesus learn about a higher righteousness as a child watching Joseph? Children learn so much from their parents just by watching. If Joseph provided Jesus a model of living in holiness beyond the dictates of the law – a righteousness surpassing that of the
Scribes and Pharisees – it was a gift from Jesus’ true and heavenly Father, the gift of family life and a model for us all.
Msgr. William J. King
One of the most famous Christmas crèche scenes in Italy is in the Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian, just footsteps from the entrance to the ancient forum. In fact, this crèche (presepe in Italian) is on display for prayer year-round. It is probably unlike any Christmas crèche scene you have ever seen. It was built in Naples between the years 1780 and 1820. What makes it unusual is that, although the manger is at the center of the scene, the very large setting shows a bustling city setting, not a simple manger. Unlike in the crèche in your home, not every one of the characters in this presepe — in fact, very few of them — are focused on the tiny infant in the crib. Life is going on at a normal pace all around the infant Jesus and His parents. One of the characters is carrying a salami down the street; another is carrying a set of tools to a worksite. People are shopping, talking, working, going places. But in the center of all the activity is a simple scene set in stark contrast to all the busy-ness of the city. A young mother holds her infant son, and a protecting father looks lovingly at both of them.

This week, we will all be pulled in many directions. Life goes on for us all. No matter how busy we become, let’s never forget the small, quiet scene at the center of our busy lives: Jesus gently awaits our passing notice at the heart of all our activities. Year-round, pilgrims see the famous presepe near the Imperial Forum in Rome. They look at each of the industrious and harried characters depicted in a bustling town square, but their gaze always comes back to the quiet scene in the center, so filled with peace no matter how busy the surrounding scene. May your soul and mine be the same way this busy week: in all the ways that we are pulled here and there in the days before Christmas, never forget the peaceful gift that rests in our hearts. May the child born of Mary console you and give you peace throughout this week.
Msgr. William J. King
The wars had raged and the battles had been won. Jerusalem was at peace, and was beginning its climb to some influence and prestige among capitol cities. David the King told the prophet Nathan with some pride that he was going to build a house for God. The next day, when the prophet had prayed about this, he came back to David to tell him that he got it wrong: his thinking was completely backwards. It was not David who would build a house for God, it was God who would build a house for David. [Side thought: isn’t it interesting that Mary married a carpenter? God was indeed building the house of David!]

Most of us are pretty good when it comes to meaning the words of the Lord’s Prayer, but sometimes, like David, we might get things a little backwards. Our Father, who art in Heaven – okay, we don’t argue about that. Hallowed be Thy name – got it. Thy Kingdom come – yes, we all want that. It’s what comes next that we often get backwards. Most of us say the words right, but inside we really mean, “MY will be done.” As David did, we announce to God what our plans are, and ask God only to put all the pieces in place so that our plans happen. Instead, we should have started out by asking God what He wants us to do, not telling God what we want.

Lord, today give me humility, and the Grace to step aside from my own plans and goals. Let me recognize that You, not I, are the center of the Universe. Open my eyes, open my soul, to the opportunities You place before me today to love and be loved. Never let me start my plans before asking You to show me Your loving will instead. Instead, Lord, use me today as an instrument of Your Grace and healing for others.