Author Archives: Heart of the Nation

In his hometown, people just about ran Jesus off of a cliff for putting gentiles on equal footing with the “chosen people.” People of Capernaum, however, didn’t want Jesus to leave. On the shore of Lake Gennesaret (the Sea of Galilee), a crowd pressed toward Jesus until He got into Peter’s boat to preach. Afterward, when the Lord advised heading out to deep water for a catch, Peter knew that the best time for fishing had come and gone. Fish filled the nets, and Peter acknowledged his sinfulness in doubting. Pharisees stuck with the tact

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Jesus told the scribes and Pharisees exactly what He thought of them. They kept others out of the Kingdom of God with their focus on ritual, instead of righteousness. In biblical times, a bride and her bridesmaids didn’t know the date or time that the groom’s party would arrive to escort them to the wedding celebration. For us, waiting for the Lord can mean joyful anticipation or getting startled awake. It depends on how we use what God has entrusted to us. When we stop listening attentively because we have heard the Word of God before or s

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Saint Peter wanted to know the perks for giving up everything to follow Jesus. In a parable, vineyard workers groused about getting the same pay for a whole day as others received after working for just an hour. A young man who obeyed the Commandments went away sad because Jesus expected more of him. Things didn’t seem fair! After Philip made the introductions, Jesus said that He already knew Nathaniel as “a true child of Israel” and a person of integrity. Do we give more priority to meeting challenges or facing them with integrity, no ma

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The Lord let Peter off the hook for prematurely telling a tax collector that Jesus paid the temple tax, miraculously providing two coins in the mouth of a fish to pay up. After Jesus affirmed the sanctity of marriage, Pharisees pointed out that Moses had allowed divorce. Our Lord didn’t take the bait, explaining that some marriages lacked validity in the first place. The Disciples wanted to know who ranked highest in the Kingdom of heaven, and Jesus advised them to become like children. Little ones bring their needs to those who love and care

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After the Disciples told Jesus about the death of John the Baptist, the Lord withdrew by Himself in a boat. Jesus knew the sadness of mourning in His humanity. He later took Peter, James, and John up a mountain, where they witnessed the Lord in His heavenly glory. A Canaanite woman saw Jesus as the One who could heal her daughter. She didn’t want to take the spiritual food He offered away from any of God’s children but begged for just a table scrap of His mercy. Not everyone recognized Jesus as the Christ. Peter did, and the Lord gave him t

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Martha wished that Jesus had come in time to save her brother. Herod feared that John the Baptist had come back to life as Jesus. The Lord saw people caught up in limited notions of His reign. Using down-to-earth examples, He compared the world to a field sown with good and bad seed. Children of the Kingdom inhabit the Earth here and now! He also compared the Kingdom to treasure buried in a field, giving the field great value. Why do we fail to give our all, even knowing that life in the Kingdom—now and forever—is worth it?

Even if Jesus’ followers didn’t understand a parable at first, maybe they would remember the story and think about it—like the story of seed falling on hard, rocky, weed-choked, and good ground. When faith takes root in us, we live fruitful lives. The Lord treats people of good will (the Father’s will) as family. Jesus gladly fields questions, even if people don’t fully realize what they’re asking. When our prayers seem to go unanswered, have we asked to be served, instead of how we might serve?