The message: To say that « God makes a covenant of blessing » with His people means that He gives a guarantee of the fulfilment of His purpose of blessing to them. With this, He makes His blessing last forever for the benefit of all the generations that will follow, according to the word that He gave to Abraham: « I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you » Gen 17:7. And, since to make a covenant means to share a cause, to establish a reciprocal bond, even to put in communion of life the contracting parties, God gives to His people what He has of most value, namely His very person, by means of His Holy Spirit and His word, which led Him to declare: « And as for me, this is my covenant with them, says the Lord: my spirit that is upon you and my words that I have put in your mouth shall not depart out of your mouth or out of the mouths of your children or out of the
mouths of your children’s children, says the Lord, from now on and forever » Isa 59:21. In order to strengthen His covenant for blessing, He establishes and sanctifies His dwelling in the midst of His chosen people, declaring: « I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them, and I will bless them and multiply them and will set my sanctuary among them forevermore. My dwelling place shall be over them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people » Ezek 37:26-27. For where God dwells, there is also blessing, namely eternal happiness. The psalmist described it in these terms: « Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We shall be
satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple » Ps 65:4. This constitutes a communion of life which guarantees the blessing, which Jesus reiterates by saying: « If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you » Jn 15:7.
Monday, 27th: God makes a covenant with the one who obeys Him.
« You will be a source of blessing » Gen 12:2c.
Reading 1: Isa 65:8-16. Reading 2: Gen 12:1-3. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Gen 12:2.
Introduction: When men recognize God, God recognizes men as His people, and it is there that He treats a covenant with them, saying: « I will take you as my people, and I will be your God » Exo 6:7a,b. Since He is a jealous God, He demands total obedience from His people. Jesus affirms: « And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my name’s sake will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life » Mt 19:29.
Tuesday, 28th: God fulfils His promise of blessing.
« The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah […] » Jer 33:14.
Reading 1: Lk 1:30-38. Reading 2: Jer 33:14-17. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jer 33:14.
Introduction: The greatest promise that God has made lies in the gift of His only Son, Jesus Christ, « so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life » Jn 3:16b. Jesus, the Root of David, is a Great King and Saviour, who brings eternal blessing to all who believe in Him. He says: « I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty » Jn 6:35.
Wednesday, 29th: God fulfils the promise of blessing for the one who believes in Him.
« Go; let it be done for you according to your faith » Mt 8:13a.
Reading 1: Deut 28:1-12. Reading 2: Mt 8:1-13. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt 8:13.
Introduction: The justice of God remains in the fact that He fulfils His promise towards the one who believes in Him and trusts His word (Lk 1:37). Indeed, it is by faith – that is to say trust and obedience – that His word is received. This is how He is honoured and how He fulfils His promise. Jesus said to the Canaanite woman: « Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish » Mt 15:28.
Thursday, 30th: He who keeps the promise gets the blessing.
« And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord » Lk 1:45.
Reading 1: Gen 18:6-15. Reading 2: Lk 1:34-45. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Lk 1:45.
Introduction: It is very important to God that we keep the covenant, so that He can bless those who trust Him, those who keep their faith, by which He justifies them and sets them apart. This is His declaration: « Then once more you shall see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him » Mal 3:18, and likewise: « But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall » Mal 4:2a.
Friday, 31st: Jesus Christ, Guardian of the covenant of blessing for all men.
« From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace » Jn 1:16.
Reading 1: Isa 9:5-6. Reading 2: Jn 1:14-18. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn 1:16.
Introduction: The psalmist’s prophecy about the Messiah is as follows: « You bestow on him blessings forever » Ps 21:6a. Similarly, Isaiah predicted about Jesus: « The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor » Lk 4:18-19. It is true that « He has done everything well » Mar 7:37a.
Saturday, 1st: Eternal blessing is the heritage of faithful descendants.
« Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life » Ps 23:6a.
Reading 1: Gen 17:15-19. Reading 2: Ps 23:1-6. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Ps 23:6.
Introduction: From the beginning, God had the intention to bless the posterity of His servants. In this way, Abraham trusted in God; this was imputed to him for justice and became a blessing for his descendants (Rom 4:21-22). Thus God declares: « I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant […] » Gen 17:7. The descendants who keep the covenant are the pledge of an eternal blessing!
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