Author Archives: Heart of the Nation

Jesus warned about “the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod”—people focused on raising their own level of authority. Rejecting the challenge of religious leaders to give them a sign by doing something flashy, Jesus took a blind man aside to cure him without fanfare. High on a mountain, the Transfigured Lord appeared in glory, but only to Peter, James, and John. Afterward, Peter really did not want to hear about Jesus’ impending suffering and death. He wanted the Messiah to carry a scepter, not a Cross! The Letter of Saint James reminds us

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After coming back with empty nets after a night out fishing, Peter made his skepticism plain when Jesus suggested going back out for a catch. The haul of fish filled Peter’s boat and another one. When a Greek woman asked the Lord to cure her daughter, she couldn’t claim ancestry among the “chosen people.” Things didn’t look good when the Lord compared helping her to giving food meant for children to the dogs. When she answered that even dogs get table scraps, Jesus did as she asked. A crowd had followed Jesus for days, and He did not

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In Gentile territory, Jesus freed a man by sending all that tormented him into thousands of pigs which then drowned themselves in the Sea of Galilee—a scene so scary that people (except for the healed man) wanted Jesus to leave. A synagogue official needlessly feared that he had come to the Lord too late to cure his daughter. A woman suffering from hemorrhaging fearfully admitted that she had touched Jesus’ cloak and experienced healing through Him without asking. The Twelve had to trust Jesus when He sent them in pairs as missionaries and

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It took some doing to convert Saint Paul from a feared persecutor of Christians to a faithful apostle of Christ. The voice of Jesus asked why Paul persecuted Him. Blinded by a bright light, Paul then lost his sight for three days, until at last he stood ready for Baptism. The Lord has planted the seeds of His Word within us to take root and grow strong enough to weather any storm. Somehow, Jesus slept on a boat through a gale and crashing waves. The Disciples woke Him, afraid of perishing at sea and—worse yet—afraid that the Lord didn’t c

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Some Pharisees objected when Jesus allowed His Disciples to pick and eat heads of grain as they walked along on a Sabbath day. He cured a man’s withered hand right in the synagogue, too, after Pharisees declined to answer whether rules about keeping the Sabbath prevented doing something good when the opportunity arose. Jesus’ conduct on a day of rest never went against the grain of God’s purpose. He and the Twelve sometimes got too busy in their ministry to eat at all, and He didn’t enforce fasting rules for the time being. Like new clo

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Jesus invited Peter, Andrew, James, and John away from their fishing boats and nets to follow Him. After likewise calling the customs collector Matthew (Levi) away from his post, Jesus gladly ate at his house among tax collectors and sinners. Desperate to get close to Jesus, four men lowered a paralytic through the roof. Scribes regarded His forgiveness of the paralytic’s sins as blasphemy but could not dispute the Lord’s authority when He enabled the man to pick up his mat and walk. Teaching with incomparable wisdom, banishing an unclean s

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When Jesus blessed and multiplied five loaves and two fish to feed a crowd of thousands, even the Twelve didn’t grasp that He came to satisfy a deeper hunger. Jesus walked over water to join the Disciples in a boat as they struggled to row against the wind. They thought a ghost had appeared, but Jesus calmed their fears and the wind. After reading from the prophet Isaiah about One anointed to bring good news to the poor, the blind, and those longing for freedom, Jesus told people in Nazareth’s synagogue that they had just heard the fulfillm

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