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Showing posts with the label faith

'In giving us faith, the Lord has given us what is most precious in life.' Sunday Reflections, 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

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Syro-Malabar Catholic Wedding [Wikipedia]

Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
GospelLuke 13:22-30 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition, Canada)
Jesus[ went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, ‘Lord, will only a few be saved?’ He said to them, ‘Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, “Lord, open to us”, then in reply he will say to you, “I do not know where you come from.” Then you will begin to say, “We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.” But he will say, “I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!” There will be weeping and…

The Rich Young Man - A Story About Trust

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In today’s Gospel from Matthew, we hear the story about the rich young man. It starts with the rich young man asking Jesus, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” (Matt 19:16) Jesus quips in reply, “Why do you ask me about the good?” (Matt 19:17) What are we to make of this quip of Jesus? Especially when Jesus follows up with, “There is only One who is good.” (Matt 19: 17). It’s almost as if Jesus is telling the rich young man, “Don’t ask me, because only God is good.” Is Jesus saying that only the Father is good, and that He is not? On the contrary! This is a glint of insight into the mystery of the Trinity, where One God consists of Three Persons. It is true that only God is all good. For the rest of us, we all have flaws, except for Jesus. He is perfect in both His Divine and human natures. Jesus is good, because Jesus is God. The Rich Young Man Just Doesn’t Get It So, what does it take to be good? Jesus tells us to follow the Ten Commandments, and beyond that to surr…

Feast of Saint Martha

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Today is the Feast of Saint Martha, sister of Lazarus and Mary, and friend of Jesus. Martha always gets compared to her sister, Mary, for Martha was the diligent sister who attended to the household chores. Mary, on the other hand, cast those chores aside to sit at the feet of Jesus, whenever He spoke. From today’s passage, however, both women cast aside their chores to grieve the death of their brother, Lazarus. When Jesus arrives to visit with Martha and Mary, Jesus conducts an interchange with Martha that should enlighten the faith within us all. Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:23-26). Saint Martha and the Testimony of Faith On the heels of this major declaration, Jesus asks this piercing question: “Do you believe this?” (John…

Feast of Saint Thomas, the Apostle

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With today being the Feast of Saint Thomas, the Apostle, we read from the Gospel of John, regarding Jesus’ appearance to the Apostles, post His resurrection. It is Easter Sunday evening, and the Apostles tell Thomas, (who had not been present) that Jesus appeared to them. Thomas tells them in oh, so many words, “you’re nuts.” He refuses to believe their audacious comment. Fast forward one week later, when all the Apostles were present behind locked doors, and Jesus appears to them. Revelation I find this Gospel passage quite revealing of God’s omnipresence. One week earlier, when Saint Thomas heard the audacious comments from his fellow Apostles, he responded to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25). When Saint Thomas made this comment, Jesus was not physically present. There had been no interaction between the Apostles and Jesus since Easter Sunday night, for any of the other Apostles to inform Jesus o…

Feeling Lost? Find Faith!

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As a Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) Coordinator, I work with people who search for a deeper relationship with Christ.  Some come from other faiths, and others come to my program having never been baptized. When I hear their stories, I hear a common theme; a search for truth. Those that come from the Protestant denominations, come with questions that their former pastors/preachers cannot answer. The unbaptized appear like a clean slate; open to learning how to develop a relationship with Jesus. What is everyone’s goal? To find faith! If you are feeling lost, then look for the gift of faith in your own heart. God infused within you, at birth, the capability to believe in Him, along with a desire to know and love Him.  He also gifted you with reason and an intellect that He expects you to use to come to know the Truth. Where can you find the Truth? You will find it in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Faith in Sacred Scripture Sacred Scripture is the inspired Word of…

Jesus Asks: Do You Believe Me Now?

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In today’s Gospel, from John 16:29-33, we witness Jesus having a discussion with His Apostles. I love this passage because of the Apostle’s presumption of understanding. They think that they know all there is to know. What they do know is that Jesus came from God, and they think that is all there is to know. Yet, Jesus tries to tell them otherwise, by first asking a question: Do you believe me now? (John 16:31). For it is through faith, that we find full understanding of God. Oh, how I can relate to the Apostles! I can’t tell you the number of times that I think I have it all figured out, only to learn later that God thinks otherwise. As with the Apostles in their day, we, too, need to come to grips with the fact that we don’t know everything. Only God is omniscient. Only God can see the future. Yet, even with the Apostle’s inadequate, or incomplete understanding, Jesus is patient.  He enlightens the Apostles by ... Read more...

Trusting in God Can Be a Challenge

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Trusting in God can be a challenge. I know, I’m living proof! I’ve been struggling with living up to a vow that I made to God to allow Him to do with me as He pleases. As I retired from a career in banking, back in 2011, to pursue education and work related to evangelization, I gave my life to God. Yet, the bills need to be paid. So how does one ascertain how to live up to the vow and pay the bills? During Lent, I sought solace to this conundrum in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. For my penance, the priest asked me to read anything from the Gospel of Luke. Since we were near Holy Week, I thought I would read the Passion Narrative. My Challenge to Trusting in God Before I started to read, I chatted with God, letting Him know that I was having difficulty ascertaining His will for me. How am I supposed to know for certain that I am pursuing my career path in accordance with His will? I struggle in knowing that what I do each day is what He wants from me, given the challenges that come …

Waiting for a Miracle - Book Review

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Waiting for a Miracle, by Cyndi Peterson, M.D. is a story of faith, conversion of heart and a mother’s love, all wrapped up in one page-turning true story. Cyndi Peterson is a dermatologist, married to a pediatrician. She is a lukewarm Catholic, going through the motions. Too busy with the demands of the world, Cyndi paid little attention to faith and a relationship with Jesus. That is, until one day when that nagging emptiness became a bit much to take. To squelch the nagging feeling, Cyndi begins to sneak around trying to learn more about Jesus. She attends events at her Church, reads books and does some soul-searching. As Cyndi’s faith begins to blossom, we see a conversion of heart. She begins to place more trust in Jesus. Cyndi learns that she is pregnant and looks forward to the birth of her fourth child. However, when her little girl Kelly is born, we learn of Kelly’s debilitating situation that would break any mother’s heart. Yet, Cyndi finds hope and trust as a result of a tr…

Jesus Didn’t Stay Dead

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We relive events from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday in close to real time.

Our Lord was arrested Thursday night. The Sanhedrin, Pilate and Herod had questioned Jesus by Friday morning....

...By Friday evening, Jesus was dead....

(More at A Catholic Citizen in America)
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Lent starts March 6 this year. It's a time for abstinence, prayer and penance, among other things, which is why we've got rules about Fridays and fish.

Following "fish" rules to the letter, I could splurge on lobster thermidor each Friday. I won't. The household can't afford it, for one thing. For another, gourmet dining isn't what Lent is about.

I'll talk about fish, fasting and my goals for Lent. Briefly.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Jesus Asks: What are You Thinking in Your Hearts?

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In Luke 5:22, Jesus asks the Pharisees, “What are you thinking in your hearts?” It is a rhetorical question, as Jesus knew quite well what the Pharisees were thinking; what the Pharisees believed. It is here, in the Gospel of Luke where we read of the historical event of Jesus physically healing the paralytic, and spiritually healing his friends. The room, in which Jesus was teaching, was so crowded that the paralytic’s friends could not get him inside. Yet, they knew that if they could somehow get their paralytic friend in front of Jesus that Jesus would heal him. Their faith in Jesus was great. So, the friends dropped the man into the room from the roof! “When He saw their faith, He said, ‘As for you, your sins are forgiven’”(Luke 5:20). Jesus knew that the Pharisees did not recognize Jesus as God, and that they believed only God can forgive sins. But, for the friends and the paralytic, they knew otherwise... Read more...

What Do You Want Jesus to Do For You?

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In today’s Gospel, we hear from the blind beggar, who begs Jesus to hear his plea. Jesus asks in response: What do you want me to do for you? (Luke 18:41) The beggar asks Jesus to cure him of his blindness. Jesus responds, “have sight; your faith has saved you” (Luke 18:42). So, the blind man now sees, and he sees through the eyes of faith. It is because of the man’s faith that he not only sees physically, but he also comes to understand spiritually that Jesus is Our Savior and Redeemer. Jesus Asks You This Question, Too! This is a hefty question to consider. If Jesus sat across from you today, and asked you the same question, how would you respond? Would you ask for money, power and/or fame? Would you want Him to solve your transient problems of the day? Perhaps you would ask for a physical cure of your own illness. Or maybe you would seek understanding, wisdom and knowledge of God. Whatever your need, God is ready to listen. However, I think... read more...

All Things Worked for the Good

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We all know the quote from St. Paul which assures us that everything works out for the good for those who trust in God. We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) Well, our family has seen this truth dramatized over and over again.
My sixth child discovered she had gestational diabetes. (This disappears immediately after you give birth.) After living on a strict cleansing diet for six months to try to cure her migraines before pregnancy, she was devastated but resigned to another two months of eliminating anything that tastes good from her diet, constantly eating small measured meals, and jabbing herself with a needle twice a day to test her blood sugar.
Gestational Diabetes Worked Out for the Goodcontinue reading

Keiko Uemura, a spring flower in the desert. Sunday Reflections, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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Keiko Uemura on her First Communion Day, December 1971 Keiko died 27 April 1972, aged 14
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
GospelMark 6:1-6 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
Jesus left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offence at him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’ And he could do no deed of power there, except…

The Beatitudes: Jesus' Way Requires Virtue

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In today’s Gospel reading from Matt 5:1-12, we hear Jesus teach about the Beatitudes. I am quite partial to the Beatitudes, as they embody virtue. As you all know, virtue is my “thing.” When we look at each one of the Beatitudes, we see that they are actually God’s gift of grace. That is because, to master the Beatitudes, we must embrace virtue. To embrace virtue, we need God’s grace. The Beatitudes – Jesus’ Way!To be poor in spirit, one must embrace and exemplifyhumilityIf you are one who mourns, you arecompassionateMeekness is obvious. Yet to bemeek, one requires great strength (fortitude).If you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you embodyjusticeMerciful is obvious, like meekness. However, to bemerciful,to the extent necessary, one must be ready to alsoforgive... Read more...