Daily Scripture Reflection
Wait eagerly for the Lord, and keep to the way;
God will raise you to possess the land; you will gloat when the wicked are cut off.
I have seen ruthless scoundrels, strong as flourishing cedars.
When I passed by again, they were gone; though I searched, they could not be found.
Observe the honest, mark the upright; those at peace with God have a future.
But all sinners will be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be cut off.
The salvation of the just is from the Lord, their refuge in time of distress.
The Lord helps and rescues them,
rescues and saves them from the wicked, because in God they take refuge.
Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities and powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.
Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
I want you to know that my situation has turned out rather well to advance the gospel, so that my imprisonment has become well known in Christ throughout the whole praetorium and to all the rest, and so that the majority of the brothers, having taken encouragement in the Lord from my imprisonment, dare more than ever to proclaim the word fearlessly.
Of course, some preach Christ from envy and rivalry, others from good will. The latter act out of love, aware that I am here for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not from pure motives, thinking that they will cause me trouble in my imprisonment. What difference does it make, as long as in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is being proclaimed? And in that I rejoice.
Oppose, Lord, those who oppose me; war upon those who make war upon me.
Take up the shield and buckler; rise up in my defense.
Brandish lance and battle-ax against my pursuers.
Say to my heart, “I am your salvation.”
Let those who seek my life be put to shame and disgrace.
Let those who plot against me be turned back and confounded.
Make them like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them on.
Make their way slippery and dark, with the angel of the Lord pursing them.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praise to your name, Most High,
To proclaim your love in the morning, your faithfulness in the night,
with the ten-stringed harp, with melody upon the lyre.
For you make me jubilant, Lord, by your deed; at the works of your hands I shout for joy.
How great are your works, Lord! How profound your purpose!
For you were called for freedom. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love. For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you go on biting and devouring one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another. I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh.
Al the nations surrounded me; in the Lord’s name I crushed them.
They surrounded me on every side; in the Lord’s name I crushed them.
They surrounded me like bees; they blazed like fire among thorns;
in the Lord’s name I crushed them.
I was hard pressed and falling, but the Lord came to my help.
The Lord, my strength and might, came to me as savior.
I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have the strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
I will bless the Lord at all times; praise shall be always in my mouth.
My soul will glory in the Lord that the poor may hear and be glad.
Magnify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, who answered me, delivered me from all my fears.
Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build.
Unless the Lord guard the city, in vain does the guard keep watch.
It is vain for you to rise early and put off your rest at night,
to eat bread earned by hard toil – all this God gives to his beloved in sleep.
Children too are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one’s youth.
Blessed are they whose quivers are full.
They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate.