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Daily Thought and Prayer For 8.07.14 From The Universal Life Church

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Daily Thought & Daily Bible Readings Courtesy
of the Universal Life Church World Headquarters

Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.
—Rainer Maria Rilke

For a relationship to be healthy and fulfilling, each of us must respect the other. "Two solitudes" is exactly what we are, and we will never be one, no matter how close we become. It may feel like that at times, but we always remain separate persons with our own thoughts, feelings, dreams, and interests.

When we love one another, we allow each other to be who we are, to have our own lives, for it is out of those separate lives that we bring strength and energy and life into our relationships.

We are meant to honor the differences between us. Often these differences lead to squabbles, but when we recognize that each of us is necessary to the union we have created, we create a better one, far superior to the sum of its parts.

What differences between us make our lives together better?

Daily Bible Readings From The Universal Life Church World Headquarters

Reading 1, Jeremiah 31:31-34

31 'Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall make a new covenant with the House of Israel (and the House of Judah),

32 but not like the covenant I made with their ancestors the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of Egypt, a covenant which they broke, even though I was their Master, Yahweh declares.

33 No, this is the covenant I shall make with the House of Israel when those days have come, Yahweh declares. Within them I shall plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I shall be their God and they will be my people.

34 There will be no further need for everyone to teach neighbour or brother, saying, "Learn to know Yahweh!" No, they will all know me, from the least to the greatest, Yahweh declares, since I shall forgive their guilt and never more call their sin to mind.'

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19

12 Give me back the joy of your salvation, sustain in me a generous spirit.

13 I shall teach the wicked your paths, and sinners will return to you.

14 Deliver me from bloodshed, God, God of my salvation, and my tongue will acclaim your saving justice.

15 Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will speak out your praise.

18 In your graciousness do good to Zion, rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then you will delight in upright sacrifices,-burnt offerings and whole oblations -- and young bulls will be offered on your altar.

Gospel, Matthew 16:13-23

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, 'Who do people say the Son of man is?'

14 And they said, 'Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.'

15 'But you,' he said, 'who do you say I am?'

16 Then Simon Peter spoke up and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'

17 Jesus replied, 'Simon son of Jonah, you are a blessed man! Because it was no human agency that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven.

18 So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my community. And the gates of the underworld can never overpower it.

19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.'

20 Then he gave the disciples strict orders not to say to anyone that he was the Christ.

21 From then onwards Jesus began to make it clear to his disciples that he was destined to go to Jerusalem and suffer grievously at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death and to be raised up on the third day.

22 Then, taking him aside, Peter started to rebuke him. 'Heaven preserve you, Lord,' he said, 'this must not happen to you.'

23 But he turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my path, because you are thinking not as God thinks but as human beings do.'
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