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Tuesday, June 8, 2004

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1 Kings 17:7-16
Psalm 4
Matthew 5:13-16

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for god's sake!

"Know that the Lord does wonders for His faithful one." —Psalm 4:4

Do you want to see the wonders of God? Then forget about them! The more we concentrate on being faithful servants of God — serving Him purely out of obedient love with no interest in being rewarded — the more He does wonders for His faithful ones (Ps 4:4). If we serve God motivated by an interest in receiving His wonders, He may still move wonderfully on our behalf, because He cannot be unfaithful (2 Tm 2:13). In this case, we are the ultimate losers. We limit God to being only as faithful to us as we have been faithful to Him, because the limited measure we give to God will in turn be given back to us (see Mt 7:2).

Rather than focusing on the wonders of God, focus only on the God of the wonders. Focus on His faithfulness, on His heart, and on the ways that He is calling you to live your specific vocation in building up His kingdom. That's why Jesus taught us to pray to desire God's kingdom to come before we begin to focus on our own needs (Mt 6:10). This is what the widow of Zarephath did. Though impoverished, she put a higher priority on God's kingdom than on her own needs (1 Kgs 17:15). Then God blessed her self-forgetful faithfulness with far more wonders than she could have ever imagined (Eph 3:20): a year of miraculous food (1 Kgs 17:16) and the raising of her son from the dead by Elijah (1 Kgs 17:22; Sir 48:5). "Go and do the same" (Lk 10:37).

Prayer:  Father, I will serve You with gladness (Ps 100:2). "You put gladness into my heart, more than when grain and wine abound" (Ps 4:8).

Promise:  "Your light must shine before men so that they may see goodness in your acts and give praise to your heavenly Father." —Mt 5:16

Praise:  Fr. Mike's wholehearted focus on the things of God (Col 3:2) led countless others to embrace the values of God's kingdom.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, December 13, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 2003