Difficult choices might have to be made because of Jesus. Families would find themselves divided over Him. As the Lord visited towns and worked miracles, some people gladly accepted the miraculous works but not the Lord’s message of repentance. Well-educated Pharisees plotted against Jesus, who happened to have no objection to His disciples picking heads of grain to eat on the Sabbath. The Lord had no desire to lay unnecessary burdens upon His followers. Especially in the midst of tragedy, people sometimes feel torn between belief and abandonRead More
Each person matters, and God knows us all to the last detail. He ministered to the crowds and to individuals. Approached by an official whose daughter had just died, Jesus went to his house and gave the girl new life. On the way, a woman in the crowd believed that touching the Lord’s cloak would heal her of hemorrhaging, and so it happened. In His compassion, Jesus viewed the crowds that came to Him as sheep without a shepherd. Giving the Twelve power to heal, the Lord sent them forth to help proclaim the Kingdom of heaven at hand. If a houseRead More
Our Lord can work with imperfect disciples, like the group that feared perishing in a storm at sea, even with Jesus napping right there in the boat. Jesus called Matthew away from his customs post and ate dinner at his house with many tax collectors and sinners. They needed Him! (So did the scribes and Pharisees, but they refused to admit it.) After the Resurrection, Thomas had to see the Risen Lord’s wounds before he would believe. When we let Jesus down, what keeps Him wrapped up in our lives and eager to celebrate with us?
Jews and Gentiles converting to Judaism came to John the Baptist for ritual washing as a sign of repentance. Christian Baptism differs from John’s because it cleanses the baptized from original sin. Repentance as life goes on still matters, and it encompasses both sorrow and the desire to change. To become a fruitful disciple of the Lord requires listening to the Word of the Lord and acting upon it—a way of life as wise as building a house with a rock-solid foundation. Peter became the rock upon which the Lord determined to build the ChurchRead More
Storing up some earthly wealth seems prudent, and forgiving is hard enough without trying to love our enemies besides. We fret and fume at the expense of making the most of the moment at hand. If we need to adjust our priorities to put the will of God first, St. Paul advised that “now is a very acceptable time.” Jesus had recommended looking at a field arrayed with the beauty of wild flowers. God’s splendor surpasses anything humans can fashion. We don’t have to waste time getting wordy in prayer, because the heavenly Father knows whatRead More
Some people like to see things through to the finish. Jesus, for example, came to fulfill Mosaic law and the Ten Commandments that were just the beginning. On the other hand, He showed a different sort of wisdom by affirming that He came as light for the world but then passed the torch to the Disciples. In our lives, we can feel perplexed, suffer affliction, and get knocked down. Still, faith gives us the sureness that we can never go wrong by seeking reconciliation with others and with God. When we hesitate to do a good deed, does an all-or-noRead More
Jesus knowingly told the Disciples that they would abandon Him but also said that He wanted them to have peace in Him. The Lord still wanted them to carry on His life’s work. After the Resurrection, Jesus gave Peter the opportunity to affirm his love as many times as he had denied knowing the Lord. With things mercifully squared away after Peter responded—yes, yes, YES!—that he loved Jesus, our forgiving Lord said, “Follow me.” When we fail to follow straightaway in His love, how many times does the Lord have to ask before we accept tRead More