Rejoice in the Lord Always
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Ambrose was the Roman governor of Liguria and Emilia before he was made Bishop of Milan by popular acclamation in 374. Trained as a rhetorician, Ambrose was a persuasive preacher who refuted most eloquently the theological propositions of the Arians and won the admiration of a young agnostic seeker from north Africa named Augustine, whom he baptized as a convert to Christianity in 387.
Dear brethren, God's love is calling us to the joys of eternal happiness for the salvation of our souls. You have just listened to the reading from the Apostle in which he says: Rejoice in the Lord always. The joys of this world lead to eternal misery, but the joys that are according to the Lord's will, bring those who persevere in them to joys that are enduring and everlasting. The Apostle therefore says: Again I say: rejoice.
He urges us to find ever increasing joy in God and in keeping his commandments. The more we try in this world to give ourselves completely to God our Lord by obeying his commands, the greater will be our happiness in the life to come, and the greater the glory that will be ours in the presence of God.
Let your moderation be known to all men. That is to say, your holiness of life must be evident, not only in the sight of God, but also in the sight of men. It must give an example of moderation and self-control to all your contemporaries on earth and serve also as a memorial of goodness before God and men.
The Lord is near; have no anxiety. The Lord is always near to all who call upon his help with sincerity, true faith, sure hope, and perfect love. He knows what you need, even before you ask him. He is always ready to come to the aid of all his faithful servants in every need. There is no reason for us to be in a state of great anxiety when evils threaten; we must remember that God is very near us as our protector. The Lord is at hand for those who are troubled in heart, and he will save those who are downcast in spirit. The tribulations of the just are many, and the Lord will rescue them from them all. If we do our best to obey and keep his commandments, he does not delay in giving us what he has promised.
But in every prayer and entreaty let your petitions be made known to God, with thanksgiving. In time of trouble we must not grumble or be downhearted; God forbid! We must rather be patient and cheerful, giving thanks to God always in everything.
Ambrose of Milan (c. 340-397)
Grant us, Lord,
not to be anxious about earthly things,
but to love things heavenly;
and even now, while we are placed
among things that are passing away,
to hold fast to those things that shall endure;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Pray with us today's prayer request:
In Valparaiso Diocese, the Anglican Church in Chile, they are allowed to meet in person for church for the first time since March 2020. It is starting slowly, and some are nervous. They need to be creative in using an in-person and online combination. Pray for the coming weeks, for renewed joy in the fellowship of Word and Spirit.
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