The word of God is living and effective…

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Gift:  Knowledge – With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God’s Revelation, especially as expressed in the life and words of Jesus Christ. A person with knowledge is always learning more about the scriptures and Tradition.

Reading:  Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.  (Hebrews 4:12)

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Jesus heard this and said to them (that), “Those who are well do not need a physician, 11 but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”  (Mark 2:17)

Observation:  I see today that it is only by the recognition that I am nothing more than a sinner, that I can be sure of the fact that Jesus will hang out with me.  If I walk around as some righteous person who is not in need of a Savior, Jesus would not see a need to be around me and I could be in danger of falling into the hands of the enemy.  However, if I am able to constantly remind myself of my need of a Savior, in my recognition of my being a sinner, I can be sure that Jesus will always be with me to protect me from all evil.

Personification:  Peace  I would hope that the simple fact of recognizing that I am a sinner would be enough to allow me to display the fruit of peace in my life.  It is only in the knowledge that comes from the Word of God that allows me to be aware of the grace that flows from true repentance for my past sins.  Of course, I don’t only mean that sins that I committed a long time ago, but rather the ones that I have committed today.

Prayer:  Lord, allow me to always remember my own sinfulness, so you can keep me away from real evil in this world.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

Encourage yourselves daily…

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A penitent confessing his sins in the former L...

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Gift:  Knowledge – With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God’s Revelation, especially as expressed in the life and words of Jesus Christ. A person with knowledge is always learning more about the scriptures and Tradition.

Reading:  Encourage yourselves daily while it is still “today,” so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin.  We have become partners of Christ if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end.  (Hebrews 3:13-14)

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Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”  (Mark 1:44)

Observation:  When I was selecting the verses to journal on this morning, I realized that I missed this admonition from the letter of Hebrews the first time I read through the readings.  Once I realized how impactful this admonition could be for others as well as me, I made the beginning of it the title for today’s post.  Also, the gospel reading was a reminder to me that the outward signs of the church, such as confession, are ways that the holy Spirit was leading the church to reach out to more people.  Even though, Jesus knew that this man would go and tell everyone about his healing, he mentions the ritual to make sure we know that we have a greater responsibility to our community as well as our own salvation.

Personification:  Love  It is a sign of our willingness to give up our selfish tendencies to go to the church to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation or our reception of any of the sacraments for that matter.  I hope that I can show the fruit of love for other people by being more faithful to the reception of the sacraments, whether I feel like I need to receive them or not.  (especially Confession

Prayer:  Lord, help me to stay faithful to your Word and bring more people to the church by more faithful reception of the sacraments.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

Let all his angels worship him. (Psalm 97:7b)

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Children at a Gospel presentation in Eau Clair...

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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: 

And again, when he leads 3 the first-born into the world, he says: “Let all the angels of God worship him.”  (Hebrews 1:6)

Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  (Mark 1:17)

Observation:  It was my intent to journal about how God was saying that worship of his Son was something of an honor, because he said of his angels that they would worship him.  However, after reading the context and the footnotes for first reading, I realized that in the book of Hebrews, the author was retelling this verse from the Psalms to a greater purpose.  This purpose was to show us that he intended the angels to be the cheerleaders and his ministers to be the ones who carry the flame.  As in the next verse, “Of the angels he says: ‘He makes his angels winds and his ministers a fiery flame'”  (Hebrews 1:7)  Therefore, when I went back to read the gospel again, I was left with a completely different understanding of Jesus calling Peter and Andrew.  He was not just calling them, but he was calling all of his disciples to be “fishers of men”.

Personification:  Patience  I know that it is only by the grace of God that I have been able to display the fruit of patience in the past with my immediate family and with my extended family, as well.  However, it will take an even greater amount of grace to be able to display the fruit of patience in ministry as I make some pretty tough decisions for the direction our program will go in the future.  I have been faithful to focus on the day’s evil in the past, because it has been sufficient of an evil to take much of my concentration, but I feel that the youth ministry needs a focus and direction for the future.  We don’t have forever to make a lasting impact of the hope that can be found in the Word of God and in our church, on our young people.

Prayer:  Lord, please give me the grace necessary to be patient with your ministry and allow your work to be done through me and keep me from imposing my will on your work.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.