The first reading describes the wrestle between Jacob and the angel of God, where God had to get Jacob alone before he dealt with him. Once he was alone, God demanded his attention and he sent his angel to contend with Jacob. Jacob did not wrestle with the man. Instead, a man wrestled with him. Jacob did not start out wanting anything from God; God want- ed something from him. God wanted all of Jacob’s proud self-reliance and fleshly scheming, and God came to take it, by force if necessary. Before Jacob could be delivered from the hand of his brother, he had to be de- livered from his own self-will and self-reliance. Jacob was reduced to the place where all he could do was to hold on to the Lord with everything he had. This is an invaluable place for us to come to: where God conquers us. Even in our lives, the Lord intervenes to conquer us, because we serve a God who is greater than us, and we cannot conquer much of anything until he conquers us.
Prayer: Abba Father, may I hold on to you like Jacob. Conquer my old nature to bring a new level of trust in you. Amen.