Mary believed the angel Gabriel’s message that she would give birth to the Son of God. On the other hand, Pharisees and scribes denied that Jesus could forgive sins when rewarding the faith of a small group who lowered a paralyzed man through the roof to ask for healing. Jesus then instructed the man to walk home with his stretcher, showing the power of His words. Like children who played flutes and expected people to dance to their tunes, people criticized both John the Baptist and Jesus. Advent invites the faithful to repent while looking f

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Walking along the Sea of Galilee, Jesus invited Peter, Andrew, James, and John to become Apostles. The Lord later reminded the Disciples of the blessed privilege of perceiving things hidden from educated people, kings, and even prophets. Admittedly unworthy to have Jesus under his roof, a centurion (Roman military officer) asked the Lord to just say the word to cure a paralyzed servant from a distance. Jesus taught His followers to act on His words, like building a house on a solid foundation. After giving the Twelve authority to cure sickness

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Jesus saw that a poor widow’s two small coins placed into the Temple treasury amounted to a huge sacrifice. While people admired the richly adorned Temple, the Lord foretold that it would become rubble. (In 70 A.D., Romans destroyed Jerusalem, including the Temple.) Jesus did not reveal when He will come again and warned against looking for signs. People should stay ready at all times to appear before the Lord. Calamities continue to occur, but daily anxieties can wear us down, too. How often do we drowsily miss the Holy Spirit’s wake-up ca

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Filled with symbolism, the Book of Revelation admonishes lukewarm Christians to do good works fired by love. People in a crowd told a blind, roadside beggar to stop shouting for Jesus, but the Lord saw the man’s faith and cured him. A wealthy tax collector named Zacchaeus climbed a tree to get a look at Jesus, who called him down from his perch and told the disgruntled crowd that He came to seek the lost. In a parable, Jesus described servants either using or merely storing wealth entrusted to them in a nobleman’s absence. Feeling less than

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In a rare display of fury, Jesus made a whip, slashed it around, and overturned tables to drive merchants out of the Temple area. People challenged Him to provide a sign that He had the right! Jesus answered that they could destroy the Temple, but He would raise it up in three days. They thought He meant the building. He meant His Body. When Pharisees asked when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus said it existed in their midst. To the Disciples, He explained that on a seemingly unremarkable day, the Son of Man would be revealed. Unlike servan

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Jesus advised a Pharisee to invite dinner guests who could not possibly reciprocate. On another occasion, the Lord told the parable of a dishonest property manager about to get fired. By quickly reducing the amounts that debtors owed his boss, the manager ingratiated himself to people who could give him a place to stay. The tactic of using dishonest wealth to make friends contrasts sharply with serving God, no matter what the cost. With infinite love, the Lord wants people to come to Him but seeks the lost, too. When we pray for what we desire,

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Jesus saw a crippled woman in the synagogue, called her over, and cured her on the Sabbath. God does not always wait for us to ask before rendering His help. At the home of a Pharisee, Jesus noticed people seating themselves in places of honor for dinner and said that self-esteem would sink to embarrassment if the host asked someone to change places in favor of a more important guest. After a night in prayer, the Lord chose the Twelve Apostles. Like a tiny mustard seed that grows into a huge bush, that small group of a dozen grew into a huge Ch

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