Overcoming Despair

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have and save Israel from the power of Midian. It is I who send you.” But Gideon answered him, “Please, my lord, how can I save Israel? My family is the lowliest in Manasseh, and I am the most insignificant in my father’s[read more]

Faith and Encounter

Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith!  Let it be done for you as you wish.”  And her daughter was healed from that hour. Matthew 15: 28 In today’s gospel of the encounter of Jesus with the Canaanite woman, we have described the “Culture of Encounter” that Christians, according[read more]

Putting Into Practice

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like wise persons who built their houses on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But all[read more]

Shame and Prayer

In countless commentaries on the encounter in Mark’s gospel between Jesus and the Syrophoenician woman, much is made of her faith and her perseverance. And so should it be. Even as Jesus at first seems to rebuff her, her faith, hope, and love for and of her daughter lead her to continue to plead with Jesus until he relents and, because of her perseverance, heals her daughter. The very brief story, however, also gives us insight into what in the woman’s character allows for such persevering prayer and so can teach us a foundational disposition for our own practice of[read more]

Acting On The Word

Trust in the Lord forever! / For the Lord is an eternal Rock. / He humbles those in high places, / and the lofty city he brings down;/ He tumbles it to the ground, / levels it with the dust. / It is trampled underfoot by the needy, / by the footsteps of the poor.[read more]

Encountering Jesus

Jesus said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.” Matthew 16:13-16  Today’s gospel[read more]

Tell The People About This Life

But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison, led them out, and said, “Go and take your place in the temple area, and tell the people everything about this life.” Acts 5:20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light,[read more]

They Had Everything In Common

The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common.  With great power the Apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all.  There was no needy person among[read more]