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Are God’s PEACE and Sense of Well-Being Possible in This Season?


O God, your never-failing providence sets in order all things both in heaven and on earth: Put away from us all hurtful things, and give us those things that are profitable for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

READINGS: Isaiah 2:10-17, Psalm 89:1-18, Romans 6:1-11, Matthew 10:34-42

CHALLENGE QUESTION: Are we willing to courageously ask God to take away all hurtful things from within us that keep us from being part of God’s divine peace and order, everyday on earth as it is in Heaven?


Jesus said, 34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace to the earth. I didn’t come to bring peace. I came to bring a sword. 35 I have come to turn

“ ‘sons against their fathers. Daughters will refuse to obey their mothers. Daughters-in-law will be against their mothers-in-law. 36 A man’s enemies will be the members of his own family.’ (Micah 7:6)

37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. Anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not pick up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it. Whoever loses their life because of me will find it.

40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me. And anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Suppose someone welcomes a prophet as a prophet. They will receive a prophet’s reward. And suppose someone welcomes a godly person as a godly person. They will receive a godly person’s reward. 42 Suppose someone gives even a cup of cold water to a little one who follows me. What I’m about to tell you is true. That person will certainly be rewarded.”

REFLECTION on the GOSPEL: Matthew 10:34-42 by Deacon Sue Bentley

If God’s mission is to unite us as His family on earth, why would Jesus deliberately want to cause division in family relationships? Why can’t we all just be nice to each other and try to get along the best we can? Why can’t we just look past our “weaknesses” that keep us from fully attending to God’s voice of wisdom?

In another part of the Gospel, Jesus says: 17 “Do not think I have come to get rid of what is written in the Law or in the Prophets. I have not come to do this. Instead, I have come to fulfill what is written. (Matthew 5:17)

God the Father loved us so much that He sent His only Son to conquer sin and death. The resurrected Jesus now opens a way for all of us on earth to regain an eternal, right relationship with God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

In that right relationship, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we experience a supernatural PEACE, a sense of wholeness and well-being[1]. In this state of unity with God, we can LOVE God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and love ALL others the same way.

Jesus wants us to choose our loving God as the #1 priority in our lives, over ALL other things and relationships, every moment, every day, through the power of the Holy Spirit in us. We certainly can’t do this on our own. But the Holy Spirit in our hearts can give us the wisdom and power we need! When we seek first His Kingdom and a right relationship with Him, our lives seem to have a spontaneous order and flow in the midst of even our current season of uncertainty and sheltering.

(e.g. Our team successfully delivered 35 backpacks filled with summer resources for our Catechesis Families. Our children were very excited to receive their Bibles, BLESSED curriculum, and prayer journals. They started their 6 week summer adventure this week to complete their full year of Catechesis in 2019-2020 online with us since we have been unable to meet face to face since the end of March.)

Jesus encourages us to continuously ask God to take away anything that keeps us from perfectly loving Him. There will then be much more room for the Holy Spirit to help us share God’s loving kindness from our own hearts with our family, friends, and those God brings to mind throughout the day.

The mission of our North County Outreach Initiative (NCOI) is based on God’s universal principles for individual and community wholeness and health, including Empowering Leadership and Family Groups.

We intentionally focus on addressing the MINIMUM FACTOR or barrier that keeps children, families, leaders and communities from becoming healthy and whole through the transforming LOVE of God, one child, one family, one leader, one community at a time.

God is blessing us. We have experienced remarkable results in reduction of food insecurity, significant progress in reading levels, and a deeper love for God and commitment to continuous character and faith formation among those we serve in community.

We welcome volunteers of all ages with a passion to help children and families live into fullness of life.

[1] The Hebrew word for this PEACE from God is SHALOM

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