No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.  - Jn 15:13

Reflection.  We honor soldiers because they are ready to lay down their lives to protect us.  The same is true for law enforcement officers.

Prayer.  Jesus, help me to appreciate the sacrifices of those who defend us.

You desire sincerity of heart; and You endow my innermost being with wisdom.  - Ps 51:8

Reflection.  Soldiers are honored because they are prepared to die to save others.  Jesus does not condemn soldiers who fight in a just war.  A soldier does not hate those who oppose him in battle.  They are public enemies of his nation and must be defeated.  It is his duty to defend others.

Prayer.  Jesus, help me to love my personal enemies and to pray for them. 

Those who plan good are loyal and faithful.  Diligent labor always yields profit.  - Prov 14:22-23

Reflection.  By competing with others we become physically stronger, mentally brighter, and spiritually wiser.  Stay in the human race; excel in giving glory to God.

Prayer.  Holy Spirit, help me to stay active in working for God’s glory. 

Store up treasure for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves cannot break in and steal.  - Mt 6:20

Reflection.  Jesus taught us to find joy, not by looking for it, but by listening to His words in a spirit of humble surrender.  Enjoyment sought for its sake is a self-centered pursuit.  Joy is more a by-product of our intimacy with God.

Prayer.  Dear Jesus, purify my mind that I may seek first Your Kingdom.  I am not sure what that actually means, but I will put my trust in Your intimate presence; and You will guide me.

No matter how many years you may live, you should enjoy all of them.  - Eccl 11:8

Reflection.  Enjoy life, not as an end in itself, but as a divine gift.  Jesus said, “I have told you these things so that … your joy may be complete” (Jn 15:11).  Take Him at His word and enjoy your life.

Prayer.  Thank You, Lord, for all the love I have been privileged to receive.

Do not base your judgment on appearances; judge according to what is right.  - Jn 7:24

Reflection.  ”A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered” (Ralph Waldo Emerson).  Malicious gossip is like pulling up a rose before it blooms.  Be careful not to participate.  The person you are condemning may be a Saint in a distressing disguise.

Prayer.  Lord, teach me to keep from judging people too quickly. 

Health and fitness are better than gold, and a strong body is better than countless riches.  - Sir 30:15

Reflection.  Body, mind, and spirit all work together in harmony.  Poor eating habits can lead to poor health, obesity, and eventually to a breakdown of mind and spirit.  To stay trim, discipline yourself; good nutrition takes planning.  Take care of your health.

Prayer.  Jesus, make my mind strong enough to take care of my body. 

Defend the rights of the lowly and the poor.  Rescue the wretched and the needy.  - Ps 82:3-4

Reflection.  If you can give downhearted persons reason to hope, you can transform their sorrow into joy.  The dark cloud of fear will dissipate, and they will feel renewed.

Prayer.  Spirit of love and encouragement, empower me to build up rather than to tear down.

Be persistent … whether in season or out of season.  - 2 Tim 4:2

Reflection.  Your persistence may be all that is needed to complete some noble project.  Your efforts may be all that it takes to finish an important job that will make this a better world.

Prayer.  Lord in heaven, help me to endure and persevere in my good intentions.

Act justly and love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.  - Mic 6:8

Reflection.  ”If you think going to church makes you a Christian, you probably also think that sitting in a garage will make you a car” (Garrison Keillor).  Face the facts, it takes love and humility to keep you from becoming an egotistical bore.

Prayer.  Lord, help me to face the truth about myself. 

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