Daily Scripture Reflection
You need simply watch; the punishment of the wicked you will see.
You have the Lord for your refuge; you have made the Most High your stronghold.
No evil shall befall you, no affliction come near your tent.
For God commands the angels to guard you in all your ways.
With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the asp and the viper, trample the lion and the dragon.
Whoever clings to me I will deliver; whoever knows my name I will set on high.
All who call upon me I will answer; I will be with them in distress;
I will deliver them and give them honor.
With length of days I will satisfy them and show them my saving power.
We ask you to respect those who are laboring among you and who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you, and to show esteem for them with special love on account of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
We urge you to admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good both for each other and for all. Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophetic utterances. Test everything; retain what is good. Refrain from every kind of evil.
Although if I should wish to boast, I would not be foolish, for I would be telling the truth. But I refrain, so that no one may think more of me than what he sees in me or hears from me because of the abundance of the revelations.
Therefore, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a pure heart. You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and abiding word of God, for:
“All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of the field;
the grass withers, and the flower wilts; but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
This is the word that has been proclaimed to you.
Do not complain, brothers, about one another, that you may not be judged. Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates. Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers, the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Indeed we call blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of the perseverance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, because “the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”
But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath, but let your “Yes” mean “Yes” and your “No” mean “No,” that you may not incur condemnation.
Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
Their deeds are loathsome and corrupt; not one does what is right.
The Lord looks down from heaven upon the human race,
to see if even one is wise, if even one seeks God.
All have gone astray; all alike are perverse.
Not one does what is right, not even one.
Will those evildoers never learn?
They devour my people as they devour bread;
they do not call upon the Lord.
They have good reason, then, to fear;
God is with the company of the just.
They would crush the hopes of the poor, but the poor have the Lord as their refuge.
The ocean covered the earth like a garment; above the mountains stood the waters.
At your roar they took flight; at the sound of your thunder they fled.
They rushed up the mountains, down the valleys to the place you had fixed for them.
You set a limit they cannot pass; never again will they cover the earth.
You made springs flow into channels that wind among the mountains.
They give drink to every beast of the field; here wild asses quench their thirst.
Beside them the birds of heaven nest; among the branches they sing.
Let my cry come before you, Lord; in keeping with your word give me discernment.
Let my prayer come before you; rescue me according to your promise.
May my lips pour forth your praise, because you teach me your laws.
May my tongue sing of your promise, for all your commands are just.
Keep your hand ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.
I long for your salvation, Lord; your teaching is my delight.
Let me live to praise you; may your edicts give me help.
I have wandered like a lost sheep; seek our your servant, for I do not forget your commands.
Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord
who stand in the house of the Lord through the long hours of the night.
Lift up your hands toward the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.
May the Lord who made heaven and earth bless you from Zion.
Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name give glory because of your faithfulness and love.
Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Our God is in heaven; whatever God wills is done.
Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
They have mouths but do not speak, eyes but do not see.
They have ears but do not hear, noses but do not smell.
They have hands but do not feel, feet but do not walk,
and no sound rises from their throats.
Their makers shall be like them, all who trust in them.