Mon, 16 November 2020
O charitable soul
who gave all you owned
for the sake of the Gospel,
though endowed with great riches
you embraced lady poverty
that you might serve the Lord
with a heart beating for the poor.
With your own hands
you tended the sickest;
into your own home
you welcomed the most destitute –
pray that in our small way
we too may follow
in the footsteps of Christ
and give our lives
to the poor whom He loves
and to prayer in His presence.
Pray our hearts, too,
may know His tender care for souls
and our own souls
meditate upon Him night and day;
pray we too shall give up all
to find His holy kingdom.
Mon, 16 November 2020
(Rv.3:1-6,14-22; Ps.15:2-5,Rv.3:21; Lk.19:1-10)
“Today salvation has come to this house.”
To two of His houses, two of His seven churches, does the Lord speak today, calling them both to repentance, that they might know the salvation Zacchaeus has found.
In no uncertain terms does the Lord call the churches in Sardis and Laodicea, chastising both dearly, telling the first: “I know the reputation you have of being alive, when in fact you are dead!” and the second (who think themselves “so rich and secure that [they] want for nothing”): “How wretched you are, how pitiable and poor, how blind and naked!” In Sardis there are only “a few persons who have not soiled their garments”; and the Laodiceans, who are “neither hot nor cold,” are promised by the Lord, “I will spew you out of my mouth!”
All the unfaithful, all those who have lost their fervor and who pride themselves on their own works shall be spewed from the Lord’s mouth, shall be cast from His presence. All He calls to “wake-up,” to “repent,” to “buy white garments in which to be clothed, if the shame of [their] nakedness is to be covered.” All He summons to rouse themselves in sharpest and truest of words, for “whoever is dear to [Him] [He] reprove[s] and chastise[s]” – for He knows that only by the jettisoning of our sin will we find the salvation He so dearly desires for each of our lives.
Brothers and sisters, the Lord “stand[s] knocking at the door. If anyone hears [Him] calling and opens the door, [He] will enter his house.” And He will sup with him, and He will sit him on His own throne. Listen to the promise our Lord makes: “The victor shall go clothed in light. I will never erase his name from the book of the living, but will acknowledge him in the presence of my Father and His angels.” And see how the promise is fulfilled in Zacchaeus, who in his great fervor “climbed a sycamore tree which was along Jesus’ route, in order to see Him”; who in his great generosity promised “to give half of [his] belongings” to the poor – and who has had the Lord in to sup in his home and has heard the blessed words spoken over him: “Today salvation has come to this house.”
And so, strive with all you have to be as “he who walks blamelessly and does justice, who thinks the truth in his heart and slanders not with his tongue.” Let His chastisement bear blessed fruit in your life; turn from your sin… and you too will know the victory the Lord Himself has won for all faithful souls.
O LORD, save us from our sin
by your chastising Word,
that we might walk in white before you.
YHWH, let us hear and heed your Word: let us repent of all our sin that we might enter in and sup with your Son.
Do we not have ears, O LORD, and should we not have hearts set on you and the doing of your will? And yet, are we not lacking in zeal, are we not pitiable and poor in accomplishing your work? Are we not dead? Have we not soiled our garments instead of purifying our souls to receive your blessings? O how shall we turn from our sin to your Son’s presence among us?
Save us, O LORD, from the thought that we are safe and secure, from putting our faith in the riches we amass in this world. Let us know and remember the only true riches are of the Spirit and come to us only by your grace. And only by your grace do they remain.
Make our hearts blameless, dear LORD; cover over our nakedness with your white garments, and we shall rejoice in your glory.