Today is the day we can discover a new way of living, a way that is truly fulfilling and empowering. We need only answer Jesus’ call and take our first steps on this adventure which, if we are faithful to it, will lead us to everlasting life in heaven.
What do you suppose drove Zacchaeus to go out and look for Jesus?
As the chief tax collector, Zacchaeus was a wealthy man and very busy. He was hated by the people who considered him a traitor and a crook. Zacchaeus had every reason to avoid the crowds that gathered to see Jesus and every reason to think that, as a sinner, he had no right to even lay his eyes on such a holy man.READ MORE
St. Dorotheus of Gaza said, “In some kinds of trees, no fruit is produced as long as the branches grow upwards; but if somebody takes a stone and binds it to a branch and pulls it down, then the branch will bear fruit. It is similar with a soul; when it humbles itself, it bears fruit, and the more fruit it bears, the humbler the soul becomes. The more the saints approach God, the more they see themselves as sinners.”READ MORE
…Pray always, without becoming weary. — Luke 18:1
For the first nine months of my daughter’s life, she didn’t “sleep” so much as she succumbed to 45-to-90-minute power naps against which she struggled viciously, like a fugitive resisting capture.
In those blurry, melatonin-deficient days of early parenthood, I don’t think I once said a nighttime prayer that lasted more than five seconds. As soon as my daughter had finally passed out for the first “nap” of the night, I hastened to make the most of my window of opportunity and tried to get to sleep as quickly as possible. Prayer was a mumbled half-thought, half-groan that went something like, “I’m so sorry, God, I’m just so tired, but I love you” as I was borne away on the irresistible current of a REM cycle.READ MORE
Naaman was cured of leprosy by dipping seven times in the Jordan according to the prophet Elisha’s instructions. Recognizing the miraculous movement of God at that moment, he returned to Elisha, proclaiming, “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel.” Naaman experienced a profound conversion as the power of God transformed him from the outside — in. He knew this was not a magical cure and from where the healing came, vowing to offer worship to no other god than the one true God.READ MORE
After hearing Jesus teach about what the future inevitability will bring and the need to offer unconditional forgiveness regardless of circumstances, the apostles ask him to increase their faith. They may have had difficulty understanding the rationale behind his teachings or found them lacking practical sense. What they are hearing is something new. After all, people had settled into what were considered acceptable protocols for dealing with sinners, prostitutes, adulterers, those who hurt you, the poor, the physically challenged, adversaries, and law breakers. Now they are presented with a teaching that turns all of this upside down and conveys God’s nonviolent vision of how human nature and the world are intended to operate. It is very possible that these early hearers of the Word found themselves ill equipped to do as Jesus taught. While truth resonated through Jesus’s words and actions, they were asking to have what Jesus had so that they could more adequately do it. They knew they needed more.READ MORE