Friends are people who help you be more yourself, more the person you are intended to be.
Sometimes a teacher, sometimes a neighbor, almost always our moms and dads encourage us to try new activities or to improve our schoolwork, sports, drawing, or gardening. Because they are our friends, they want us to be the best we can be.
Not everyone knows how to be a friend. Some people only criticize and never praise. People who never encourage or praise us are usually unhappy with their own achievements. They don't mean us harm. Perhaps they just need a friend, too. Not only do we each need friends to help us grow, we need to be friends to others. To encourage and praise those who need it will help us in return.
Whose friend can I be today?
Daily Bible Readings From The Universal Life Church World Headquarters
Reading 1, Ezekiel 1:2-5, 24-28
2 On the fifth of the month -- it was the fifth year of exile for King Jehoiachin-
3 the word of Yahweh was addressed to the priest Ezekiel son of Buzi, in Chaldaea by the River Chebar. There the hand of Yahweh came on him.
4 I looked; a stormy wind blew from the north, a great cloud with flashing fire and brilliant light round it, and in the middle, in the heart of the fire, a brilliance like that of amber,
5 and in the middle what seemed to be four living creatures. They looked like this: They were of human form.
24 I also heard the noise of their wings; when they moved, it was like the noise of flood-waters, like the voice of Shaddai, like the noise of a storm, like the noise of an armed camp; and when they halted, they lowered their wings;
25 there was a noise too.
26 Beyond the solid surface above their heads, there was what seemed like a sapphire, in the form of a throne. High above on the form of a throne was a form with the appearance of a human being.
27 I saw a brilliance like amber, like fire, radiating from what appeared to be the waist upwards; and from what appeared to be the waist downwards, I saw what looked like fire, giving a brilliant light all round.
28 The radiance of the encircling light was like the radiance of the bow in the clouds on rainy days. The sight was like the glory of Yahweh. I looked and fell to the ground, and I heard the voice of someone speaking to me.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 148:1-2, 11-12, 12-14, 14
1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh from the heavens, praise him in the heights.
2 Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!
11 kings of the earth and all nations, princes and all judges on earth,
12 young men and girls, old people and children together.
13 Let them praise the name of Yahweh, for his name alone is sublime, his splendour transcends earth and heaven.
14 For he heightens the strength of his people, to the praise of all his faithful, the children of Israel, the people close to him.
Gospel, Matthew 17:22-27
22 When they were together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, 'The Son of man is going to be delivered into the power of men;
23 they will put him to death, and on the third day he will be raised up again.' And a great sadness came over them.
24 When they reached Capernaum, the collectors of the half-shekel came to Peter and said, 'Does your master not pay the half-shekel?'
25 'Yes,' he replied, and went into the house. But before he could speak, Jesus said, 'Simon, what is your opinion? From whom do earthly kings take toll or tribute? From their sons or from foreigners?'
26 And when he replied, 'From foreigners,' Jesus said, 'Well then, the sons are exempt.
27 However, so that we shall not be the downfall of others, go to the lake and cast a hook; take the first fish that rises, open its mouth and there you will find a shekel; take it and give it to them for me and for yourself.'
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"The Universal Life Church World Headquarters defends the unborn, feeds the hungry, shelters the homeless, educates the young, welcomes refugees, and cares for the sick, both at home and abroad. They believe the Bible is the verbally inspired, inerrant Word of God."
A vocation is a fruit that ripens in a well cultivated field of mutual love that becomes mutual service, in the context of an authentic ecclesial life. No vocation is born of itself or lives for itself. A vocation flows from the heart of God and blossoms in the good soil of faithful people, in the experience of fraternal love. We are designed with a dreaming brain and a hopeful spirit; it is our nature to envision the life of our dreams. And while dreaming comes easy to us, we must never forget that it takes strength, dedication, and courageous action to bring that dream to life.
Do you wish to pursue a vocation in ministry - become a minister, get ordained or serve as a wedding officiant? We provide ordination to men and women enabling work in all facets of Christian Ministry with ministers in the USA, Canada, UK, Africa, South America, Germany, India, France, Switzerland, Thailand, Japan, Australia, China, Mexico and many other countries throughout the world.
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