Jews and Gentiles converting to Judaism came to John the Baptist for ritual washing as a sign of repentance. Christian Baptism differs from John’s because it cleanses the baptized from original sin. Repentance as life goes on still matters, and it encompasses both sorrow and the desire to change. To become a fruitful disciple of the Lord requires listening to the Word of the Lord and acting upon it—a way of life as wise as building a house with a rock-solid foundation. Peter became the rock upon which the Lord determined to build the Church

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Storing up some earthly wealth seems prudent, and forgiving is hard enough without trying to love our enemies besides. We fret and fume at the expense of making the most of the moment at hand. If we need to adjust our priorities to put the will of God first, St. Paul advised that “now is a very acceptable time.” Jesus had recommended looking at a field arrayed with the beauty of wild flowers. God’s splendor surpasses anything humans can fashion. We don’t have to waste time getting wordy in prayer, because the heavenly Father knows what

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Some people like to see things through to the finish. Jesus, for example, came to fulfill Mosaic law and the Ten Commandments that were just the beginning. On the other hand, He showed a different sort of wisdom by affirming that He came as light for the world but then passed the torch to the Disciples. In our lives, we can feel perplexed, suffer affliction, and get knocked down. Still, faith gives us the sureness that we can never go wrong by seeking reconciliation with others and with God. When we hesitate to do a good deed, does an all-or-no

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Jesus knowingly told the Disciples that they would abandon Him but also said that He wanted them to have peace in Him. The Lord still wanted them to carry on His life’s work. After the Resurrection, Jesus gave Peter the opportunity to affirm his love as many times as he had denied knowing the Lord. With things mercifully squared away after Peter responded—yes, yes, YES!—that he loved Jesus, our forgiving Lord said, “Follow me.” When we fail to follow straightaway in His love, how many times does the Lord have to ask before we accept t

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Jesus had much that He wanted to tell the Twelve before the Crucifixion, but He didn’t want to overwhelm them. He saw his friends already grieving as they realized that Jesus would soon depart. Looking on the bright side, the Lord said that they would see Him again soon and, not only that, but receive the Holy Spirit to guide them. Testifying to Him would put their lives at risk, but the heavenly Father would give them whatever they needed. Like the Virgin Mary, we are blessed because we believe. When experiencing losses in our lives, what do

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Rather than quizzing the Disciples on all that He had taught, Jesus gave them the easy-to-remember Commandment to love one another. The Holy Spirit would come to guide them and remind them of His lessons, all of which stem from love. Like branches on a vine, we must remain attached to the Lord if we want to live fruitful lives. When we find our faith starting to wither, we depend on God to help cut back what gets in the way of new growth in the acceptance and sharing of His love. While we sometimes experience great joy in this world, we also ex

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Jesus chose the Disciples to become followers and, more importantly, friends. Even though He would depart from them, the Lord said to remain in His love and to love one another. Anyone who believes in Him can do great things and ask with confidence for anything needed to give God glory. Despite the Lord’s assurances, we still feel troubled at times as we try to find our way in life. Nothing alleviates the fear of a lost child like the sound of a familiar voice calling his name. Even sheep respond to the voice of their shepherd. When doors ope

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