Author Archives: Heart of the Nation

Jesus told the Disciples about His impending death. Afraid to ask for elaboration, they proceeded to argue about who among them stood as the greatest. When people brought children to the Lord or when a stranger drove out demons in Jesus’ name, the Disciples tried to interfere. The Twelve had a lot to learn! Jesus explained that no one against them could accomplish mighty works in His name. He blessed children, who easily accept God’s Kingdom. Scripture’s Letter of Saint James advises prayer for one another and helping each other to avoid

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Before Jesus’ death, He expressed His love for the Disciples and said that He wanted them to have peace, even though they would abandon Him. They had come to realize that Jesus knew everything, and His foretelling of betrayal must have stung. During Jesus’ Passion, Peter denied Him three times. When the Risen Lord gave him the healing opportunity to declare his love three times in a row, Peter pointed out on the third go-around that Jesus already knew! Later, leaders of the Church in the city of Ephesus wept in farewell to Paul, who had spe

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Jesus tried to prepare the Disciples. Soon, He said, they would not see Him for a little while, but their mourning would turn to joy. They had no idea what He meant, but Jesus knew the limits of what they could bear at the time. As events transpired, only a couple of days separated Jesus’ death and Resurrection. As promised, He returned, but only for 40 days. After the Lord’s Ascension, Disciples would testify to Him with help from the Holy Spirit. Their number would grow as others, like Saint Paul, joined in the work of building the Church

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Knowing that the Disciples would not recall everything He had taught, Jesus promised reminders and further teaching through the Holy Spirit. The Lord did provide some very memorable images, though. For example, the faithful should think of the heavenly Father as a vine grower and remain connected to Jesus, like branches on a vine. After the Ascension of the Lord, Paul and Barnabas encountered challenges as missionaries. The miraculous cure of a crippled man led to undesired treatment of the two Disciples as gods. Conversely, persecutors thrashe

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Like a shepherd whose sheep recognize and follow His voice, Jesus leads the faithful. Pharisees failed to understand. The Lord then described Himself as the sheepgate, because only through Him can a person enter into salvation. Ascending to heaven, Jesus left plenty for the Disciples to do and sent the Holy Spirit to work through them. Even people blessed with faith may find it hard to follow the advice of Saint Peter to place every worry in God’s hands. Jesus provides the way to progress from earthly dwellings to places prepared for us in he

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People who had seen the multiplication of loaves and fish found Jesus the next day. They wanted more proof before believing in Him—something like manna in the desert given to their ancestors. When the Lord promised His flesh as the Bread of eternal life, He added that no one could come to Him unless drawn by the Father. In the early Church, God worked through the Disciples as they proclaimed Christ and miracles occurred. In a blinding light, the voice of Jesus asked why a ruthless Pharisee named Saul persecuted Him. With his sight restored, S

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Impossible as it seemed, Mary believed that she would become the Mother of God. Nicodemus, a Pharisee, talked privately with Jesus and had faith, even though he did not understand all that the Lord told him. After the Ascension, a Pharisee named Gamaliel said that the Apostles’ ministry would die out if just a fad. If not, the Sanhedrin might find itself “fighting against God”! People recalled that Jesus had multiplied five loaves and two fish to provide more than enough food for thousands of people. The Gospel of John assures us that God

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