32nd Week in Ordinary Time
When the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared . . . (Titus 3:4)
Often, a proofreader will read a text backwards. This forces the eyes to slow down and notice each word individually. If we modify it just a bit, this technique can help us read and ponder the Scriptures more carefully and prayerfully.
Take today’s first reading, for example. There is so much here that explains God’s eternal love and his plan for us that we might miss if we read it too quickly. So let’s try reading it “backwards.”
The last line of the text talks about our becoming “heirs in hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7). This is the foundation of everything God has done for us! He created us to be with him forever and to inherit all of his spiritual riches. This intention of his has never changed. Even in our darkest sins, he still longs for us to be with him.
With this truth in our hearts, we find it easier to embrace the line just before it: “That we might be justified by his grace” (Titus 3:7). If you want to be with God forever, you need to embrace his salvation. You need his grace to set you free from sin. You don’t have to be afraid of your past, for there is no condemnation, only hope.
Continuing back, we read these words: “. . . through Jesus Christ our savior” (Titus 3:6). Everything points to Jesus. If we fix our eyes on him, we can’t help but come to love him. Seeing his perfection and his glory, we will want to surrender our lives to him and receive his healing, his freedom, and his Spirit.
Speaking of the Spirit, the next line tells us that God has “richly poured” him out on us (Titus 3:6). Our generous Father is always offering us a share in his life. He wants nothing more than to fill us with his divine life, which only his Spirit can provide.
Now, as you read back through this passage in its original order, ask the Spirit to move these truths from your head to your heart. Remember, his word is not just letters on paper. It’s living and active!
“Holy Spirit, I want to know Jesus more. Help me to receive the abundant life you have for me in your word. Open my heart and fill me.”
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