going home for the first time
“Whoever, therefore, among you belongs to any part of His people, let him go up, and may his God be with him!” —Ezra 1:3
The return of the Jews from exile in Babylon is considered a work of God on par with the miracle of the Exodus of the Israelites from brutal slavery in Egypt (see Jer 16:14-15; 23:7-8). Yet this freedom from exile did not mean instant bliss. The Israelites had to learn how to live in God’s freedom. They faced hardships, labor, and suffering in their new homeland, along with much risk and ever-present danger.
Yet it is more risky to hide in a false security. As Jesus proclaims in today’s Gospel passage, by not stepping out in faith, we might lose even the little we think we are holding onto (Lk 8:18). The dangers of moving into the Kingdom-lifestyle are far outweighed by the grace poured out by God on those who obey Him; those who step out will be given more (Lk 8:18).
We are called to freedom (Gal 5:1). We are also called to trust God. “Fear is useless; what is needed is trust” (Mk 5:36). Be courageous and follow the Lord wherever He leads you. “Do not, then, surrender your confidence; it will have great reward” (Heb 10:35).
Prayer: Father, wherever You lead me, I will be at rest, for You are my eternal home.
Promise: “The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad indeed.” —Ps 126:3
Praise: The Korean martyrs included priests, bishops, nearly a hundred lay people, single and married men, women and children.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for the publication One Bread, One Body covering the time period from August 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Vicar General, Chancellor, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio January 12, 2021"
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.