Daily Thought Monday Through Friday's Courtesy
of the Universal Life Church World Headquarters
Happiness is a mental habit, a mental attitude, and if it is not learned and practiced in the present it is never experienced.
If only I had a new bike, then I'd be happy. If only my family were more understanding, then I'd be happy. If only my hair were styled better. If only I had more friends. If only... Sometimes we begin to sound like a broken record when things go wrong, so certain that if the events and conditions of our lives were different, we'd be happy.
It's an old and unfortunate habit that we look around outside ourselves for happiness. We can never be sure of it if we count on certain conditions to guarantee it. However, we can always be sure of happiness if we carry it with us wherever we go. The happiness habit can be developed, with practice, just as surely as good piano playing or accurate pitching. We can control our own thoughts. The decision to make them happy ones is ours to make.
Am I carrying my happiness within me right now?
Daily Bible Readings From The Universal Life Church World Headquarters
Reading 1, Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24
11 The priests and prophets then said to the chief men and all the people, 'This man deserves to die, since he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.'
12 Jeremiah, however, replied to all the chief men and all the people as follows, 'Yahweh himself sent me to prophesy against this Temple and this city all the things you have heard.
13 So now amend your behaviour and actions, listen to the voice of Yahweh your God, and Yahweh will relent about the disaster that he has decreed for you.
14 For myself, I am, as you see, in your hands. Do whatever you please or think right with me.
15 But be sure of this, that if you put me to death, you will be bringing innocent blood on yourselves, on this city and on its inhabitants, since Yahweh has truly sent me to you to say all this for you to hear.'
16 The chief men and all the people then said to the priests and prophets, 'This man does not deserve to die: he has spoken to us in the name of Yahweh our God.'
24 But Jeremiah had a protector in Ahikam son of Shaphan, so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 69:15-16, 30-31, 33-34
15 Let not the waves wash over me, nor the deep swallow me up, nor the pit close its mouth on me.
16 Answer me, Yahweh, for your faithful love is generous; in your tenderness turn towards me;
30 I will praise God's name in song, I will extol him by thanksgiving,
31 for this will please Yahweh more than an ox, than a bullock horned and hoofed.
33 For God listens to the poor, he has never scorned his captive people.
34 Let heaven and earth and seas, and all that stirs in them, acclaim him!
Gospel, Matthew 14:1-12
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the reputation of Jesus
2 and said to his court, 'This is John the Baptist himself; he has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.'
3 Now it was Herod who had arrested John, chained him up and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife.
4 For John had told him, 'It is against the Law for you to have her.'
5 He had wanted to kill him but was afraid of the people, who regarded John as a prophet.
6 Then, during the celebrations for Herod's birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and so delighted Herod
7 that he promised on oath to give her anything she asked.
8 Prompted by her mother she said, 'Give me John the Baptist's head, here, on a dish.'
9 The king was distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he ordered it to be given her,
10 and sent and had John beheaded in the prison.
11 The head was brought in on a dish and given to the girl, who took it to her mother.
12 John's disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went off to tell Jesus.
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