A tree grown in a cave does not bear fruit.
A tree planted in a cave would soon be stopped short in its growth. There would be no room for it to grow tall or blossom. It would only grow so far and then would grow no bigger.
Fear can be like a cave. We sometimes become fearful for the same reason we might enter a cave, looking for protection. But fear protects us from the new ideas and behavior we need in order to grow. Fear can keep us huddling inside it, watching life's opportunities pass by. When fear threatens to enclose us, we can take a deep breath and begin to do what we are afraid of doing. The cave will fade away as we step out into the sun, fresh air, and storms that are a part of growing.
What fear can I overcome today?
Daily Bible Readings From The Universal Life Church World Headquarters
Reading 1, Ezekiel 28:1-10
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
2 'Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, "The Lord Yahweh says this: Because your heart has grown proud, you thought: I am a god; I am divinely enthroned far out to sea. Though you are human, not divine, you have allowed yourself to think like God.
3 So, you are wiser than Danel; no sage as wise as you!
4 By your wisdom and your intelligence you have made yourself a fortune, you have put gold and silver into your treasuries.
5 Such is your skill in trading, your fortune has continued to increase, and your fortune has made your heart grow prouder.
6 "And so, the Lord Yahweh says this: Since you have allowed yourself to think like God,
7 very well, I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most barbarous of the nations. They will draw sword against your fine wisdom, they will desecrate your splendour,
8 they will throw you down into the grave and you will die a violent death far out to sea.
9 Will you still think: I am a god, when your slaughterers confront you? But you will be human, not divine, in the clutches of the ones who strike you down!
10 You will die like the uncircumcised at the hand of foreigners. "For I have spoken -- declares the Lord Yahweh." '
Responsorial Psalm, Deuteronomy 32:26-27, 27-28, 30, 35-36
26 I should crush them to dust, I said, I should wipe out all memory of them,
27 did I not fear the boasting of the enemy.' But do not let their foes be mistaken! Do not let them say, 'We have got the upper hand and Yahweh plays no part in this.'
28 What a short-sighted nation this is, how thoroughly imperceptive!
30 How else could one man rout a thousand, how could two put ten thousand to flight, were it not that their Rock has sold them, that Yahweh has delivered them up?
35 Vengeance is mine, I will pay them back, for the time when they make a false step. For the day of their ruin is close, doom is rushing towards them, for he will see to it that their power fails. that neither serf nor free man remains.
36 (For Yahweh will see his people righted, he will take pity on his servants.)
Gospel, Matthew 19:23-30
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'In truth I tell you, it is hard for someone rich to enter the kingdom of Heaven.
24 Yes, I tell you again, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for someone rich to enter the kingdom of Heaven.'
25 When the disciples heard this they were astonished. 'Who can be saved, then?' they said.
26 Jesus gazed at them. 'By human resources', he told them, 'this is impossible; for God everything is possible.'
27 Then Peter answered and said, 'Look, we have left everything and followed you. What are we to have, then?'
28 Jesus said to them, 'In truth I tell you, when everything is made new again and the Son of man is seated on his throne of glory, you yourselves will sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.
29 And everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or land for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times as much, and also inherit eternal life.
30 'Many who are first will be last, and the last, first.'
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