Author Archives: Heart of the Nation

Zechariah didn’t take the angel’s word for it that he and his wife, Elizabeth, would have a son in their old age. As a result, he lost the ability to speak until he announced the name of the child who would become John the Baptist. Reassured by the angel Gabriel, Mary accepted the message that she would give birth to the Son of God. Chief priests and elders later asked Jesus where He got His authority. The Lord refused to answer unless they gave an opinion on the origin (human or divine) of John’s baptism. The questions hung in the air, u

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Jesus wanted people to understand things in terms of fulfillment. Isaiah prophesied about a voice in the desert, and John the Baptist later came on the scene. We, too, can proclaim the Lord’s straightforward way of love. Mary was conceived without original sin, but that was just the beginning. The angel Gabriel explained that she would conceive and give birth to the Son of the Most High. Anything we can conceive—and more!—the Lord can do. Jesus described Himself as “meek and humble of heart.” Meekness means patiently enduring what, in

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When asking Jesus to cure his paralyzed servant, a centurion (Roman military officer) had faith. He also admitted his unworthiness to have the Lord under his roof. No problem! Our Lord worked the miracle from a distance. Word spread about Him, and crowds gathered, like sheep in need of a shepherd. Blessed with the power to heal and given the directive to proclaim the Kingdom of heaven at hand while they were at it, the Twelve went forth. Jesus wants all of His followers to act upon the rock-solid foundation of His Word. With scientists and rese

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A poor widow donated all that she had to the temple treasury. Peter and Andrew earned their livelihood as fishermen, but Jesus called them to become “fishers of men.” As if the need to put food on the table weren’t worrisome enough, the Lord later spoke of calamities ranging from war and weather to persecutions and plagues. In scary times, people fear the end. The faithful can accept “not yet.” Do we have faith enough to get past our fears and find comfort in Jesus’ comparison of the Kingdom at hand to a fig tree blossoming with sum

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Two servants entrusted with gold from a nobleman wisely used it to earn much more and received handsome rewards in Jesus’ parable. Using God’s gifts wisely, especially the gift of faith, leads to heavenly reward. When the Lord saw the temple area turned into a marketplace that stole glory from God, He drove the thieving sellers away. A blind man shouted for Jesus from the roadside, and Zacchaeus climbed a tree so that he could see the Lord from above the crowd. Jesus noticed, giving sight to the man who longed to see and the assurance of sa

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Pharisees asked when the Kingdom of God would come. Jesus said to look around. The Lord would suffer, though, and come back. Our readiness requires more than obeying Commandments. Gratitude matters! Jesus cured ten lepers, but only one returned to give thanks. Gratitude shows! Recalling the parable of a widow who persisted until the judge made a decision, we should pray and forgive unrelentingly. Will we meet the Lord with no desire to look back?

Talk about a snub. A man invited people to a huge dinner, and everyone begged off with one excuse after another. The host filled the dining room with impoverished, handicapped, and other guests invited off the street. At the home of a Pharisee, the Lord advised inviting people in the future who couldn’t reciprocate. God does that with us. Jesus welcomed his listeners to count the cost before deciding to follow Him. If anyone in His flock strayed, the Lord would seek the lost sheep and rejoice over having the whole flock together again. When b

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