1 I said, “I will watch my ways
and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
while in the presence of the wicked.”
2 So I remained utterly silent,
not even saying anything good.
But my anguish increased;
3 my heart grew hot within me.
While I meditated, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:
4 “Show me, LORD, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
even those who seem secure.
6 “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
without knowing whose it will finally be.
Bezalel and Oholiab
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— 4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 5 to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. 6 Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you: 7 the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law with the atonement cover on it, and all the other furnishings of the tent— 8 the table and its articles, the pure gold lampstand and all its accessories, the altar of incense, 9 the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, the basin with its stand— 10 and also the woven garments, both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests, 11 and the anointing oil and fragrant incense for the Holy Place. They are to make them just as I commanded you.”
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” 33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” 34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” 35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.
Reflections: Our passages today reflect the sovereign nature of God and how little is really in our control. The psalmist sees the evil around him and wants to change it but remembers that his days are numbered and but a breath of Lord. One day he realizes that even the riches the wicked have stored up will be gone in a heartbeat.
Then after all the stipulations the Lord has laid out for the building of the tabernacle, the Lord show them that he has set apart people to build all of this and abilities for design and craftsmanship. What God has commanded them to do He has enabled them to do by the gifts He has given to His people.
Finally, in our gospel, we see that God is even knowledgeable about our denial of him. Though he had spent three years invest in and teaching his disciples he knew that on the last night they would all betray him. Even his most loyal follower Peter, despite his promise to never deny him, denied him three times. Jesus knew that without the supernatural power and gift of the Holy Spirit that these disciples could do nothing of their own strength.
Although these are humbling truths, they also should help us to let go of trying to control everything in our own power and strength. It is comforting to know that whatever God has called us to do He has empowered us to carry out. He has even given us the faith that will help us to not deny him even in persecution because of our faith.
What challenges do you face in following Jesus today? Remember that He who called you is faithful. He has equipped you do exactly what He needs for His mission to draw all people unto Himself in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord said to Jeremiah, "Now I have put my words in your mouth." Jeremiah 1:9
Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent! Acts 18:9
We stand before you, dear Lord, and ask, "When did I see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you drink? When did I see you a stranger and welcome you, naked and clothe you, sick or in prison and visit you?" It is our sincere desire that your answer will be, "When you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me." Help us today to stand with the powerless and the marginalized. Amen.