For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful in my ministry. I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will pay him back for his deeds. You also must beware of him, for he strongly opposed our message.
At my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
It is not hard to relate to the frustration of Paul in today’s first reading. He has been deserted. He is frazzled. In his travels, he has forgotten things, yet Paul still recognizes the Lord as being present, standing by him, and giving him strength. Can you say the same today? Is it just as easy today to relate to the frustration of Paul as it is the conviction that Christ is at your side? Which would Christ rather have you feel today, frustration at “the present world” or conviction of His presence? Do you allow yourself to feel both, alongside one another, or must your frustration be too great and prevent you from also feeling the Lord’s presence?
What can you do today to channel your frustration and give thanks for the Lord’s companionship? Who is in need of your companionship today? Could it be Christ in another person?
“I will be with you!” That is my promise.
“I will be with you for evermore.”
Trust in my love. Bring me all your cares,
For I will be with you for evermore.
—James E. Moore, Jr. “I Will Be With You” © 1983, GIA Publications, Inc.
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