“Blessed is the man who is always reverent, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.” Proverbs 28:14
Reverence is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
Let us begin this reflection with a short reverent prayer to God:
Holy God you are a God that rejoices in the repentance of your children. We come to you with broken, contrite hearts. We come to you with Faith, with Trust and with Hope. Open our hearts and our minds and help us to reflect on what it means to be reverent. Give us the ability to understand Your Holy Will and embrace all that You desire. Let us be instruments of Your peace and love in the world. In Your Holy Name Jesus we pray…Amen!
So let’s begin our reflection now by considering what is reverence.
To be reverent is to be always seeking to respect and honour God and give Him glory.
Reverence is also referred to as ‘fear of the Lord’. To be reverent is to fear offending God as He is deserving of the highest form of respect and love.
“Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways!” Psalm 128:1
“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.” Proverbs 8:13
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!” Psalm 111:10
Let’s consider some of the important ways we can live a reverent life.
A REVERENT LIFE BEGINS WITH HUMILITY AND REPENTANCE
“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs 28:13
“I am the high and holy God, who lives forever. I live in a high and holy place, but I also live with people who are humble and repentant, so that I can restore their confidence and hope.” Isaiah 57:15
How awesome, how amazing to consider God’s willingness to live intimately with us. What we need to do is repent of our sins, confess them and acknowledge our infinite need for God’s mercy and grace in our life.
A REVERENT LIFE IS A GOD-FEARING LIFE WHERE WE EXIST TO SERVE AND HONOUR HIM
To truly love God is to always acknowledge Him in His many manifestations and creative expressions. God is the creator of all things and all people. God is present in nature, in the animal kingdom and in human beings and being reverent to God requires that we protect and respect all His creation and creatures.
“Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” 1 Peter 2:17
“Serve the LORD with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling.” Psalm 2:11
Jesus says, “Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.” John 12:26
“Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.” Proverbs 28:27
Jesus is God-in-flesh or God incarnate. Jesus wants us to follow Him and trust that He will help us with whatever challenges us and concerns us. Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
A REVERENT LIFE IS A LIFE FULL OF GRATITUDE AND PRAISE
When we acknowledge God’s providence and give thanks to Him and praise Him, we prove our love to Him.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
“Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.” 1 Samuel 12:24
“Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29
God’s Kingdom on earth begins when our soul is reconciled to God and purified of sin through the mercy of Our Saviour Jesus Christ. Jesus declared “the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21
When we receive Jesus into our hearts and give Him the trust and honour He deserves, His ‘kingdom’ is born within us and His ‘reign’ over our lives begins.
A REVERENT LIFE IS A LIFE OF PRAYER AND CONTEMPLATION OF GOD’S WORD
To be truly reverent is to listen carefully to the person we deeply respect. In the case of God that means reading and studying His Holy Word as spoken in the Bible and considering what it means in our day-to-day life.
Jesus says, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven…” Matthew 5:44-45
These words have given rise to me praying for violent criminals, pedophiles, rapists, terrorists, murders etc. Why? Because God asks us to pray for the enemies in our world so that His grace may change their hearts and stop violence before it occurs. But for prayer to be truly effective, we must learn to pray with all our hearts. The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” Isaiah 29:13 God wants our hearts to be close to Him. Prayer need not be about anything more than our hearts resting in His Sacred Heart as we speak to Him about all our needs, hopes and dreams and listen to His inspiration through the power of the Holy Spirit.
A REVERENT LIFE IS A LIFE OF FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE
Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:1-3
Jesus asks us to believe in Him, for He is the gate to eternal life. His death opens the gates of Paradise to us and prepares a place for us to dwell forever. This truth fills us with hope and love for Our Saviour Jesus Christ who gave His life so that we could become people of love, reverent and obedient to His commandments.
The proof of our love and of our reverence to God is FIDELITY to His Commandments.
Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:14
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Galatians 5:6
On the night before Jesus died He made a special request of us,
“He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19
Let us go to Mass and honour the request Jesus made of us to receive His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist with joy and as a sign of our fidelity to do this in remembrance of Him.
A REVERENT LIFE GIVES AND RECEIVES MERCY
God is ready to show us mercy if we confess our sins. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”1 John 1:9
“But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:15
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7
A REVERENT LIFE EMBRACES GOD’S WILL NO MATTER THE PRICE
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” Hebrews 5:7
This passage refers to the prayers of Jesus on the night before He died. Jesus prayed: “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:39
Jesus teaches us how to pray and how to offer our life up to fulfill the will of God no matter what the cost is. The humanity of Jesus cried out for His suffering to pass, but the divinity of Jesus prayed for the fulfillment of the divine will. In a similar way our flesh will always desire comfort and pleasure, but the Holy Spirit within us enables us to deny ourselves as we strive to fulfill God’s holy will.
A REVERENT LIFE LIVES IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD, WORSHIPS HIM AND NEVER FORGETS THE PRICE OF OUR SALVATION
To be truly reverent, seeking persistently to give God glory and honour, we must always be mindful that we stand in God’s holy presence, moment-by-moment, day-by-day. When we are continuously aware that we stand in the holy presence of God, our attitude and our behaviour changes as we become deeply respectful and reverent of God. The Divine King, Jesus Christ, wills to live with us; let us give Him the honour and love He so deserves and let us never forget how much He suffered to save us.
When we receive the Eucharist let us recall the words of St. Paul so that we may approach the Lord’s Table with reverence and awe: “So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-29
In this quote, St. Francis of Assisi calls us to NEVER FORGET THE SACRIFICE OF OUR LORD JESUS.
St. Francis explains in this passage why he is crying:
St. Francis says, “I am weeping over the pains and insults of my Divine Master, but what grieves me most is that men for whom He suffered so much never think of the torments He endured.” From the Book “The Twelve Steps to Holiness and Salvation” by St. Alphonsus Liguori
How often do you think about the crucifixion of Our Lord Jesus Christ?
My commitment to God is to never let a day go by without remembering the crucifixion of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, One with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
I invite you to join Christians all over the world that are stopping in a moment of great reverence to Jesus (daily at the Time He died for us, 3pm), to remember Him dying for us and to pray for Jesus to send us His Holy Spirit so we can become reverent and holy. Learn more about A Peaceful Revolution in the Name of Jesus Christ here.