The people we surround ourselves with shape our perspective and lifestyle the most. We’ve all had the experience of being around someone who is always negative, always expecting the worst thing to happen, always saying a critical word. Such people draw out negativity from within us, and we find ourselves becoming just as negative as they are. The same is true with people in our lives who are genuine and kind—they ignite the flame of authenticity and charity within us.

In today’s scripture, the psalmist reminds us of this very point: The people we keep “counsel” with will determine whether we have a life of blessing or a life of judgment. This wisdom may seem to be common sense, but how often do we allow people to pull us into the “way of the wicked”? How often do we allow ourselves to be influenced in a way that makes us doubt God’s faithfulness or our sense of purpose in life?

If we seek to be healthy, spiritually rooted people, then we must seek relationships that draw us toward our higher selves and create boundaries that can keep us from those who pull us in the opposite direction. This will not always be easy; but if we are to experience life that flourishes, that bears good fruit, we must be willing to trust the wisdom of God revealed through the words of the psalmist.

Take some time today to reflect on your relationships. Where should you invest more? Where could you create better boundaries? Take steps to align yourself with the ways of God’s blessing.

Creator, help me to walk with those who draw me closer to your path for my life. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 6:17-26

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Lectionary Week
February 7–13, 2022
Scripture Overview

God wants us to be rooted firmly in our faith. Jeremiah contrasts those who put their trust in themselves with those who trust in God. The latter are like healthy trees with deep roots and a constant water supply, never in danger of drying up or dying. The psalmist uses the same image to describe those who meditate on God’s teachings. Thus, as you do these daily readings and reflect on them, you are sinking deep roots into fertile soil. Agricultural imagery is continued in Paul’s letter. Paul describes Jesus Christ risen in the flesh as the first fruit, meaning that he is the first of many who will be resurrected. In Luke’s version of the Beatitudes, worldly success is not necessarily an indication of God’s blessing.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Jeremiah 17:5-10. Examine your heart. Do you place your trust in “mere mortals” or in the Lord?
Read Psalm 1. How do you seek to meditate on God’s Word day and night?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-20. How has your understanding of the resurrection of the dead changed your living?
Read Luke 6:17-26. How do you understand the paradoxes of Jesus’ blessings and woes?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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