17 Feb Gn 9:1-13 (give in to “Something Heavenly”) by Stephanie
“If anyone sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; For in the image of God man has been made.” Genesis 9:1-13 (full readings)
Stephanie’s Reflections: In today’s Gospel (Mark 8:27-35) Jesus confronts His disciples with two questions. “Who do people say that I am?” Many people do not consider Him to be anything more than a prophet, a revolutionary, a great moral teacher, a wise man. Some doubt His existence. But then comes the hard question. It’s the more direct and personal one He asked Peter. It’s one that He asks each of us every day: “Who do YOU say that I am?” Our answer determines the foundation of our whole world view (our values and lifestyle) and ultimately our eternal destiny. It isn’t enough to just believe certain facts about Him, to know what other people say or think. Even the devil and his demons believe in Jesus, the one true God, but they don’t love and obey Him. To be a Christian in Name Only doesn’t cut it. It is not enough, and it never has been. Jesus doesn’t want our mere superficial allegiance. Jesus is King of Kings and Lord God of heaven and earth for all eternity. He wants to reign in our hearts, each and every one. We were created by Him and made for fellowship with Him. We need to encounter Him personally and respond in obedience with open, contrite hearts, letting go of the things that separate us from His love. It is only then that we are ready to really listen to His Word and respond in love. Jesus goes on to tell the Apostles that He will be rejected by those who know Him. He will suffer greatly before He dies and is raised again in glory. We will also have to suffer as we follow Jesus. Following Him requires being counter-cultural as He was. When we find the strength to rejoice in belonging to Jesus, we will boldly bear witness to Him in our words and deeds. We will have the courage to truly live the Gospel and speak up in defense of the Sanctity of Life, despite the rejection we will most certainly face from family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. What if, like freedom-loving people in Egypt, we all took to the streets/sidewalks to stand up for the very lives of His precious unborn children? Let the Holy Spirit work in you and through you…give in to Something Heavenly (awesome song/images). Let 2011 be the year you save lives!
Faith Challenge: Make a commitment now to be a LIFE Sidewalker and prayerfully witness at least once a month in front of an abortion chamber. I often hear, “I’m pro-life, but that sidewalk stuff is just not for me.” If we, who know God’s truth, won’t publicly defend life, we share some blame for the unfathomable 53 million babies sacrificed privately/painfully to the god of choice. (Lord, we beg you to forgive us for what we have done and “failed to do.”) Just being on the sidewalk praying in front of an abortion chamber can turn the hearts of confused/desperate mothers back to God.
Counter-Culture News: LSN, Vatican, AFA, Priests for Life, Live Action
* The Lenten 40 Days for Life Campaign begins March 9th in cities all across the country. Be an ambassador for life. Plan to participate with your local pro-life community. Your Lenten preparation for the great Paschal Mystery of our faith will never be the same.
Our Prayers: Prayer to end abortion, Spiritual Adoption, Alpha Center, Peters family (JP). Add Prayers on our website. Pray with meals, bedtime, wake up, running, etc. Consider mid-week Family Rosary (17 min). Let’s pray now.
* Pray to enter into God’s will. Pray for courage to stand up in defense of parents and their innocent ‘little ones’ whose lives are threatened because they are deemed worthless or inconvenient. Each precious baby is God’s baby first. We have inestimable value in His eyes because we belong to Him.
Feast Day: The Seven Founders of the Order of Servites. Today the liturgy honors seven noble Florentines who in the thirteenth century, when Florence and all Italy was torn by civil strife, banded together to found the Order of Servites of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They were especially dedicated to penance and meditation on the sorrows of our Lady in the passion of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Let us all in the pro-life community across the United States, band together in unity with fasting and prayer to end the scourge of abortion in our beloved country. If we, as the body of Christ, unite to end abortion…the killing of innocents would be no more.
Faith Quote: “You can shut Him up as a fool, you can spit on Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about Him being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” ~ C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
Through Christ Our Lord,
* Pray/Fast: Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, changing us & helping others. Fast from things that take your eyes off Jesus. Those who pray together stay together, and close to God!
* Save Unborn (& family): Abortion reality (images)…#1 death cause (23% pregnancies). Prov 24:11 & Jer 1:5. “A great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish.” Mother Teresa
* Evangelize:Make room for unbelievers & re-evangelization of self, by way of prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of love (service/sacrifice/mercy). Matt 28:19.