March 22 Devotional

Opening Prayer: Late have I loved you, O Beauty, so ancient and so new, late have I loved you! And behold, you were within me and I was outside, and there I sought for you, and in my deformity I rushed headlong into the well-formed things that you have made. You were with me, and I was not with you. - St. Augustine

Scripture Reading for the Day: Mark 12:28-31

Journal: How do you love God with all of your heart? With all of your soul? With all of your mind? With all of your strength? Which one is most difficult for you? Why?

Reflection: Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.” Mark 12:28-30 (The Message)

Before anything, love Me. Just love Me. It’s as simple as that. In fact, that is the one thing I really want from you, your love. And I want all of it. I want you to love me with everything you’ve got; all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Every bit of you. And I want you to love me for Me, not for the sake of anyone, or anything else. I must be the end, and not just a means to some other end. So love me because that’s what I made you to do. And when you do what I have made you to do, you will know joy and fullness like you have never known it before. Then, and only then, will you be able to truly love others; for then you will be free from needing them to come through for you in some strangely dependent way. This freedom from needing them will allow you to truly love them, rather than to try and manipulate love out of them. For this second love can only be a reflection of the first.

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Hugo and Jackie are from South Africa and have two children, Marlena and John. Hugo has been the leader of a media ministry and has also been providing oversight to the PALM ministry (Preparing Arab World Leaders for Ministry) for the last few years. Their mission is to engage young people of the Arab world through new media to facilitate church planting movements in partnership with local churches. Pray today for lasting fruit in the lives of Saudi and other Gulf Arabs searching for truth in these days.

The Hope Center was established in 1996 to address the unmet needs of patients infected with HIV in Knox and surrounding 20 counties. In December of 2014, the Center moved from its location at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center to a new home, operating under the auspices of Covenant HomeCare. Pray today for these patients and their families.

Closing Prayer: I feel your love as you hold me to your sacred heart, my beloved Jesus, my God, my Master, but I feel, too, the need I have of your tenderness, and your caress because of my infinite weakness. - Charles de Foucauld