The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, you mighty warrior.’ Gideon answered him, ‘But sir, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our ancestors recounted to us, saying, “Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?” But now the Lord has cast us off, and given us into the hand of Midian.’ Then the Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in this might of yours and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian; I hereby commission you.’ He responded, ‘But sir, how can I deliver Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.’ TheLord said to him, ‘But I will be with you, and you shall strike down the Midianites, every one of them.’ Then he said to him, ‘If now I have found favour with you, then show me a sign that it is you who speak with me. Do not depart from here until I come to you, and bring out my present, and set it before you.’ And he said, ‘I will stay until you return.’
Today is Tuesday, 20 August, in the Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time.
One Hope Project sing, ‘My Soul Rests’... Entering into prayer today, I begin by recognising that I am in the presence of God – not a God to be scared of, but a God of compassion and love, in whose presence I am safe, in whose presence I do not have to defend myself, in whose presence I can be still. I place myself, my worries and my hopes, my whole life, in the hands of my loving God.
Today’s reading is from the Book of Judges.
Today we meet Gideon, who is going to be a great liberator of Israel against their enemies, the Midianites. In this reading, he is being given his “vocation” or “calling”. As you listened, do you think that Gideon was enthusiastic about the job that he is invited to perform? Did he believe that the Lord would be with him?
Can you identify with the reaction of Gideon? How do you feel when God asks you to do something? Do you think that God might be commissioning you to deliver your people from what oppresses them? How would you know? What would your reaction be to God’s invitation? Would you be like Gideon and demand a sign? Would you make God wait, as Gideon did?
Now listen again to the reading. Pay particular attention to the feelings that stir in you as you hear about Gideon’s vocation.
Now try and put into words the prayer that you feel drawn to make. Is there something that God might be asking of you today? If so, how are you going to answer God’s call? Express it in your own words.