This month, I continuously got an assignment to read the Bible in a church. I will be in charge of reading the Bible in the daily Mass on the 21st of February. Catholics call this role (those who proclaim God’s word in the liturgy) as Ministers of the Word or Lectors.
I very rarely share this experience, because it was already familiar to me. Something that I have done repeatedly since childhood, since I was a primary school student, many years ago in my hometown on the island of Flores.
Yet, the story is different at this time. When I practiced reading the passage which I’m going to read at Mass later, I felt profoundly touched, as if God is speaking specifically to me through the Scripture.
The reading is taken from the Book of Sirach, chapter 2, verses 1 to 11.
Sirach 2: 1 – 11
|1||My son, if you come forward to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for temptation.|
|2||Set your heart right and be steadfast, and do not be hasty in time of calamity.|
|3||Cleave to him and do not depart, that you may be honored at the end of your life.|
|4||Accept whatever is brought upon you, and in changes that humble you be patient.|
|5||For gold is tested in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.|
|6||Trust in him, and he will help you; make your ways straight, and hope in him.|
|7||You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; and turn not aside, lest you fall.|
|8||You who fear the Lord, trust in him, and your reward will not fail;|
|9||you who fear the Lord, hope for good things, for everlasting joy and mercy.|
|10||Consider the ancient generations and see: who ever trusted in the Lord and was put to shame? Or who ever persevered in the fear of the Lord and was forsaken? Or who ever called upon him and was overlooked?|
|11||For the Lord is compassionate and merciful; he forgives sins and saves in time of affliction.|
Dear friends, as you read through this passage, I pray these Bible verses fill your heart with hope and strengthen you. It is so refreshing to know that we can rest in the strength and comfort that God will provide when facing troubles of many kinds. Remember if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!