Build Up Strength Within Me

In today’s Gospel, Jesus warns his disciples that He will soon be leaving this world. He tells them something that must have been so hard for their hearts to hear: “It is better for you that I go.” I can only imagine each of them shaking their heads in disbelief and grief. “Why? Why? Why?! There’s no way it could be better for us to be left alone…” and then they would hear the rest of His words about sending an Advocate, and their hope would be somewhat restored.

I think this could be similar to losing a loved one. People are trying to tell you that they are in a better place, that they are no longer suffering, but all you want to do is shake your head and say, “No! No! No! I can’t live without this person! What am I going to do!?” Perhaps as time passes and your head clears, you can admit to yourself how amazing it is to have an intercessor in heaven praying for you, someone you can now talk to anytime you want, but you still miss that person terribly.

We can probably all relate to the 1st Reading as well, although in a more figurative way. Paul and Silas were stripped, beaten with rods, inflicted with many blows, and thrown into prison. I have read many social media posts where people feel stripped down to their very core; they are worn down and beaten. They may even feel like they have spent so much time in their own home that it now feels like a prison. We are tired, defeated, and desolate.

Yet just as God sent an earthquake to free these two apostles from their chains, He also wants to shake up our souls. In times of crisis, we turn our hearts more fully to Him. Have we done that yet? Does God see a marked change in us? Or have we continued on as always and just changed a few external routines?

Perhaps God is giving us an opportunity to continue learning and growing, and at the appropriate time, he will fling those prison doors wide open. Just as the jailer saw the power of God and converted, so can we. We, too can be recipients of His promise: “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.”

As I write, we are in the midst of a Global Day of Prayer and Action for Humanity. We are once again joining together as fellow earthlings to pray for God’s mercy and to show His mercy to others to the best of our ability. Last week we had Giving Tuesday to support organizations that are helping others. Maybe it sounds cliche by now, but we are truly all in this together, much in the same way that each and every one of us are a beloved child of God.

Some suggest praying as if what you ask for has already been granted, so that is what I choose to do today. Join me in praying this Psalm:

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth [].
Because of your kindness and your truth,
you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.

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Tami grew up in Western Michigan, a middle child in a large Catholic family. She spent early young adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, studying theology and philosophy, then worked and traveled extensively before finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Western Kentucky. She loves tackling home improvement projects, finding fun ways to keep her four boys occupied, quiet conversation with the hubby and finding unique ways to love. She works at Diocesan, is a guest blogger on and, runs her own blog at and has been doing Spanish translations on the side for almost 20 years.