Great faith heals sickness and expels demons…

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Jesus exorcising the Canaanite Woman's daughte...

Jesus exorcising the Canaanite Woman’s daughter from Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, 15th century. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift: Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

Reading:  And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.  (Matthew 15:22,28)

Observation:  As in the case of the Centurion’s servant who was healed because of the Centurion’s faith, so is this Canaanite woman’s daughter set free because of the woman’s faith.  I don’t know if God meant to reveal a formula for those that are outside the church to receive healing, but I can’t help but think that this Gospel reading is revealing that formula.  My focus should be on the sheep in my fold, or my immediate family, but Jesus revealed that the grace to heal my extended family is available to them, if they can have great faith and approach Jesus and ask for it.

Personification:  Love. I hope that I can start to set the world on fire with God’s love that comes as a result of following His will for me today.  I see that His grace is enough for me, but I want my other family members to see that it is enough for them too, and I think the only way to do that is to love them.

Prayer:  Lord, make me an instrument of your love.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

Abraham believed, so we could too…Are we fully convinced?

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Some sources which? claim that it was Metatron...

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Gift: Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading:  He (Abraham) did not doubt God’s promise in unbelief;* rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God and was fully convinced that what he had promised he was also able to do.  (Romans 4:20:21)

Observation:  I was listening to a song by Chris Tomlin about David, but I think it relates to this verse about Abraham’s belief that was written in the book of Romans and taken from our first reading for today’s Mass.  How much different would our lives be if we just believed that God was in charge.  I am not talking about just saying it, but think of the kind of faith it would take to be 100 years old and told that you are going to have a son, and then to take that son and offering him as a sacrifice, only to have him saved at the last-minute.  Do I have that kind of faith?  I hope so…because I want the great things that God has planned for my life to be done through me.

Personification:  Faithfulness  It is only by faith that I can be truly free of this world.  It is my hope that God will build faith in me, so I can put it on display for the world to see.  I know that I believe, but I need to have the faith that can lead to righteousness and give all the glory to God.  So that people can look at me and say that they want their heart to look like my heart, because my heart looks like Jesus.

Prayer:  Lord, create in me a new faith, a renewal of strength of will that can only come from your grace.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

If it is possible to be tormented by a demon, it is possible to be healed!

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Faith, Hope and Charity

Gift: Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

Reading: Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.   (Matthew 15:28)

Observation:  After journaling on this same Gospel reading sometime in the last two weeks, I have added a prayer to my morning prayers.  It struck me when reading this reading again this morning that if by the woman’s great faith, her daughter could be healed.  Then, by my faith in the same God and healing power that he bestows on us through his angels, I must believe that I too am healed of my affliction from the demon.

Personification:  Patience  It will be my intention to act with faithfulness, but to do so with the fruit of patience.  I am waiting on the Lord to show me how to serve him, not waiting on Him to serve me.  I hope that my faith can someday be like the woman’s in the Gospel story today.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to have faith in you alone and allow me to pass this faith to my children.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

God’s timing is perfect…

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deliver us from evil

deliver us from evil

Gift:  Wisdom- With the gift of wisdom, we see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. The matters of judgment about the truth, and being able to see the image of God.

Reading:  The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live,” and he and his whole household came to believe.   (John 4:53)

Observation:  To me, this morning’s gospel reading for Mass is saying that God’s timing is perfect.  Since, we are still looking for signs and wonders to justify our faith in a God we cannot see, I suggest that God is still revealing his perfect timing through his Word.  I have personally seen it happen more times than I can count where God reveals a truth to me through scripture at the exact time that I needed it, or that I needed to share it with someone.

Personification:  Faithfulness  Rather than say that I am going to display the fruit of faithfulness today, I am going to try to display the evidence of my faith to everyone today.  My challenge is, for anyone who is not too weak to take it, to start reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church or the Compendium with the intention of disproving it.  Once you have found something that you know to be a false teaching of the church, send it to me and I will try to explain it or accept the fact that you have disproven a certain aspect of my faith.

Prayer:  Lord, I hope that I am ready to live up to the life that you have called me to and I know that the strength that you provide for me with your grace through the sacraments is enough to sustain me.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

As a Christian, I am not known by my transgressions, but by the grace that God has given me…Thank you Jesus!

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His Only-begotten Son and the Word of God 1885...

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Scripture:  For through the law I died to the law, 19 that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.  (Galatians 2:19-21)

Observations:  It is clear to me after reading the two chapters in Galatians that I am not justified by the observance of the law, rather my observance of the law is justified by my faith in Jesus Christ.  What I mean to say is that it is not because I study the law and the prophets that justifies my faith, rather that Jesus died once, over two thousand years ago, that justifies my faith.  I attempt to follow the law that is written on my heart because of the grace that comes freely from God, not by some arbitrary observance of a law that existed only to point out man’s sinful nature. 

Application:  It is my intention today to live out the call that Jesus gave me and follow the will of God in my life.  I will open the eyes of my heart to see exactly what it is the God wills for me in all situations today, and I will never forget that I am first a sinner who is not worthy of God’s grace.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.  Amen.

Add nothing to his words, lest he reprove you…

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Gift:  Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love. 

Reading:  Add nothing to his words, lest he reprove you, and you be exposed as a deceiver.  (Proverbs 30:6) 

He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, 2 neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic.  (Luke 9:3) 

Observation:  For me, this morning the readings were speaking directly to the situation that I find myself in.  If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would think that our Pastor used the opportunity to point out that I should be comfortable with my situation and not be looking to make something more of myself than what God made me.  Of course, I am talking about money and the fact that I have the opportunity to make a lot of it with the job opportunity that is going to be offered to me from the Knights of Columbus.  However, I need to be about the work that God called me to and not to concerned about making lots of money.  

Personification:  Faith/Fidelity – The ability to stick to our work and to stay firm in our commitment to God and to God’s people with whom we are connected.  It is in the knowledge that God has called me to the work that I am doing that I will be able to display the fruit of faith or fidelity to in my life now.  As for anything else, well it is going to have to be revealed to me that it can be done in addition to the work that God has already called me to, to make me able to accept that it is coming from God. 

Prayer:  Lord, help me to discern the truth for my life and be able to see what you are calling me to do.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen. 

What soil do we provide for our children?

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Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading:  4 “This is the meaning of the parable. The seed is the word of God.  (Luke 8:11)

Observation:  You should watch the video that I found this morning in reference to this parable, because I think it does a great job explaining the parable of the sower.  The reason I found the video is because I needed something that explains this parable to the parents that I will have at a meeting tomorrow, in order to explain our responsibility as parents.  Of course, I will actually need to use another video that I found, because I wanted to use the same video for the Spanish-speaking parents, as I will for the English-speaking parents but there wasn’t a video like this one in Spanish.  So, hear is the one I found:

So, I know it isn’t as cool but I hope it makes the same point that I think God is trying to say to all of us parents.  It is up to us to decide what kind of soil our children have to have the seed of the Word of God sewn in.

Personification:  Faith/Fidelity – The ability to stick to our work and to stay firm in our commitment to God and to God’s people with whom we are connected.  I must stay committed to the work that God is doing through me in the church.  I cannot allow the devil to choke out the good work that is growing in me.  In order to display the fruit of faith, I must have faith that he will continue to provide for me and my family.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to see the Word of God growing in my children and provide for them the good soil that will allow them to yield all the fruit that God expects from them.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Here is one last video to explain this parable:

Why are you choking yourself?

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Googled, "Overcoming fear"

 Gift:  Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death. 

Reading:  Then the spirit of God possessed Zechariah, son of Jehoiada the priest. He took his stand above the people and said to them: “God says, ‘Why are you transgressing the LORD’S commands, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have abandoned the LORD, he has abandoned you.’”  (2 Chronicles 24:20)

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For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.  (Psalm 89:29a)

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Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.  (Matthew 6:34a)

Observation:  I wish my wife, mother, boys and everyone could have heard Father Mark’s homily at Saint Mary’s in Eugene, OR this morning.  He explained that the root of the word worry means to choke off.  The word anxiety has a similar root, although it comes from a different root language, it also means to choke off.  So, he expained that Jesus is telling us not to choke off the holy Spirit by worrying or having anxiety.  The reality is that the readings and homily were meant for me as well as all the others that I mentioned I wished could have heard it this morning.  The truth is that I place way too much value on money and my ability to make money, and that tends to choke the holy Spirit from being able to work in my life.  If I don’t want to end up like the King in the first reading, I better let go of this false God of money and let God’s work be done.

Personification:   Faith/Fidelity – The ability to stick to our work and to stay firm in our commitment to God and to God’s people with whom we are connected.  The fear I believe that I need to overcome is that without a lot of money in the bank, my family will not be secure.  The reality is that even with a lot of money in the bank, my family might not be secure.  Real security for my family will come from the grace and peace that is a free gift of the holy Spirit.  I hope that with the grace of God I can show the fruit of faith by believing completely that the Lord will take care of me and my family. 

Prayer:  Lord, I know that I should know this by now, but please continue to reveal to me your ways so that I can fully trust in your goodness and stop putting my faith in anything other than you.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the  Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

Superstition or Faith? Which one do I show my belief in?

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Gift:  Fortitude (Courage)

Reading:  Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. 12 For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth.’” 

The disciples were filled with joy and the holy Spirit.  (Acts 13:46-47,52)

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If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.  (John 14:14)

Observation:  This morning, I am thinking about how amazing it is to be filled with joy and the holy Spirit.  To know, without a shadow of a doubt that your creator wants nothing but the best for you.  I need only ask for anything in his name and he will do it.  Ok, here the deal, I know that there are times that I believe that if I don’t shave my team will win the game, that’s superstition.  I also know that I really don’t believe that, but I pretend like I do.  I think I let my doubts about the ridiculous superstitions creep into my faith.  I truly know that God sent his Son to save us from our sins, and to bring down the kingdom of Heaven on earth.  Still, I don’t call on him at all times because I don’t want to be seen as ridiculously superstitious.  Truth is, faith is not superstition, it is a sincere belief in a real God.

Personification:  Faith/Fidelity – The ability to stick to our work and to stay firm in our commitment to God and to God’s people with whom we are connected.  I am hearing a call today to display the fruit of faith and fidelity to the Word of God.  My work is my life and my calling is to be a real disciple of Jesus Christ, so it is about time that I started acting like I believe it again.  The ability to act in faith means that I can be confident that calling on the name of Jesus to get me through the tough times will work, not superstition, super fact.  He has gotten me this far, He will see his good work that he began in me to completion.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, lead me in your ways and help me to make all of my decisions today to glorify your name and help others have real confidence in asking for what they need in your name.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Jesus gives us the power, but does not take our free will…

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Gift:  Understanding

Reading:  Judas his betrayer also knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.  (John 18:2)

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(Lk 23:46) Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Into your hands I commend my spirit;

you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.  (Psalm 31:6)

Observation:  The first verse from the Gospel reading for today is completing the diatribe that I have been on for the past five days about Judas and his role in the salvation story and how his story relates to our story.  I believe the response in the Responsorial Psalm and the sixth verse in the 31st Psalm from today’s Mass readings is the perfect answer that Jesus gave to his passion and is also calling us to give to our own temptation to sin.  Unlike Judas who followed through with His plan to force Jesus into his plan of the salvation that he was hoping he would bring to Jerusalem, we are called to commend our spirit into the hands of the Father and trust that His will for our salvation is much better than ours could ever be.

Personification:  Faith/Fidelity  It is my intention today and for the rest of my life to display the fruit of faith and fidelity to the Word of God at all times by sticking to my work and staying committed to God and God’s people to whom I am connected.  After the readings today, I am keenly aware of the fact that God expects me to give myself fully to His will and the faith that He has built in me will allow me to do that for the rest of the time that I am left in this world, if I keep my will out of the way.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to live in the moment but always be mindful of the glorious reward that awaits us in the next world.  I do not want to wait to enjoy your glory and hope that you reveal your glory to me on earth while the world waits for you to bring your redemption and judgment at your second coming.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.