How’s Your Faith?

August 4, 2017 – Friday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint John Vianney, Priest

 Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

 Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

 A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (13:54-58)

Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue.
They were astonished and said,
“Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?

Is he not the carpenter’s son?
Is not his mother named Mary
and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?
Are not his sisters all with us?
Where did this man get all this?”
And they took offense at him.

But Jesus said to them,
A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and in his own house.”
And he did not work many mighty deeds there
because of their lack of faith.

 

Reflect: And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith. The people in Jesus’ native place thought that they knew him. They had him pinned perfectly; after all, they knew his parents and his relatives, they watched him grow up. What they thought he was and what they thought they knew was just a tiny slice of the real Jesus. They were amazed at him not because of his revelation of the Kingdom of God, but because they couldn’t imagine him acting and speaking in the way he did. As a result, they judged him harshly and closed their hearts to Jesus’ might works. The gospel begs the question: Do we limit Jesus because of our ideas about him? Jesus wants to do mighty deeds in our lives and in our world, but do we accept him? Do we limit Jesus action in our lives because we want to keep him in a neat box and believe that he must conform to our concept of who he is? Let’s welcome Jesus and not limit the Savior of the world. Our God is awesome and is capable of much more than we can ever expect or imagine.

Questions: Am I willing to let Jesus lead me to a deeper faith and relationship with him? Can I welcome Jesus to act in my life and in my world beyond anything that I could ask or imagine? How might Jesus be asking me today to surrender myself to him and trust – trust him like never before?

Pray: Loving God, send out your Holy Spirit into my life. Renew my heart and mind to welcome you and receive you without limits. Give me a hopeful, expectant faith that trusts you unconditionally.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Saint John Vianney: Pray for us!

John desired to be a priest from a very young age. After years of struggling with his seminary studies, he was ordained and assigned to a parish in Ars, near Lyons, France. He brought Christ to his parishioners through fervent celebration of the Eucharist, assistance to the poor, and, above all, the Sacrament of Penance. He was gifted with the ability to read souls, and he spent between eleven to sixteen hours every day reconciling sinners to God. People traveled to avail themselves to his priestly ministry. The Curé of Ars, as he is known, was still hearing confessions from his bed just a few days before his death on August 4, 1859. He is the patron of priests and parish clergy.

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