Author Archives: Heart of the Nation

Jesus saved a condemned woman by challenging anyone without sin to hurl the first stone at her. When He told Jews in the Temple area that they didn't know God, people picked up rocks to throw at Him. After the Lord raised Lazarus from the dead, chief priests and Pharisees plotted in fear that everyone would come to believe in Him. The Lord and His Disciples withdrew, leaving people to wonder whether the coming Passover feast would draw Jesus back out into the public. If we get angry with God, do we ask what truth we have missed that can set us

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Frustrated with people refusing to believe without seeing a miracle, Jesus cured an official's son from a distance, sight unseen. At the pool of Bethesda, Jesus healed a man and then slipped away to avoid accusations of violating the Sabbath. Chief priests and Pharisees looked for ways to stop Him, while others looked to Jesus with hope. When disappointed in prayer, do we take a dim view of the Lord or ask Him to shed more light on what we truly need?

Jesus wore out His welcome in Nazareth by pointing out that God didn't limit miracles to the Israelites. When Peter asked if he had to forgive someone as many as seven times, Jesus said seventy-seven. In a parable of two people praying, the Pharisee thought highly of himself, while a tax collector with downcast eyes prayed for mercy. When counting our blessings, how do they stack up against our sins?

Children learn from "show and tell." Jesus told His followers not to follow the Pharisees' show of hypocrisy. For their part, Pharisees took offense at parables that clearly applied to them. The Lord challenged His disciples to give as much mercy and forgiveness as they wanted to receive from God. Jesus modeled humility. Still, when He told the Twelve of His looming Crucifixion, the mother of James and John asked the Lord to promise her sons places of honor in the Kingdom. When push comes to shove, would we rather take a shortcut or follow in t

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Love of neighbor means treating people the way we want others to treat us or doing for others what we would do directly for Jesus. Instead, we sometimes turn away from the poor, ignore the sick, dehumanize prisoners, or exclude newcomers. Our Lord readily opens the drawbridge to help us pass over sin’s moat and come to Him. Jesus taught us to pray for anything we desire. When prayers seem to go unanswered, do we consider that God always knows the perfect gift and never gives half-heartedly?

After a man asked how to gain eternal life, the Lord said to sell all that he had, give to the poor, and catch up with Him. Peter pointed out to Jesus that the Disciples had already given up everything to follow Him, and the Lord promised that they would receive a hundred times more, plus persecution and eternal life. In any event, they shouldn’t grandstand when fasting, praying, or doing good deeds. Through the yoke of Lenten practices, what do we expect to harness?

When a father asks Jesus to cure his son, if He can, Jesus heals the son’s convulsions while helping the parent come to greater faith. After Peter calls Jesus the Christ, the Lord gives him the keys of heaven—the ability to pardon and bring sinners into reconciliation with God and Church. The Disciples wanted to stop others from healing in Jesus’ name, but the Lord approved of anyone sharing in His ministry. If someone has strayed from faith, do we keep our distance or look for a way to invite the person back?