John 12:8 (God is the root of our service)

29 Mar John 12:8 (God is the root of our service)

Let’s welcome God today with this Living In Faith Exchange (LIFE) Group devotion (archive, Facebook), based on Living Faith. Prove yourselves doers of the Word, and not merely hearers. James 1:22

You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me. John 12:8 (full readings)

Living Faith snippets: “[Jesus] was not saying that there is no use in helping the poor and feeding the hungry, but that using money for seemingly ‘useless’ purposes is valid too. Expanding on Jesus’ meaning, we may say that while the poor and the hungry deserve our assistance, it’s good also to help build a beautiful new church, support a music program, erect a monument to a good person or help construct bicycle paths as a way to cultivate a healthy, natural environment. Jesus’ point may be that there are values of a spiritual or personal nature that are just as real as those of a physical and material nature, and they all deserve our support.” by Mitch Finley

Rich’s comments: Today’s Gospel reading from John could be confusing, since Christ has always stressed to His disciples the importance of helping the poor. I don’t believe that Jesus meant His words to be an acknowlegment of the futility of helping the poor. Jesus possibly rebukes his disciples, because of their overzealousness in the matter of giving to the poor. While giving to the poor is good, forcing someone else to give what they do not desire to give is hardly justified. Also, even though there are poor people out there, that does not prevent one from giving material gifts to people who aren’t poor (especially if that person is God). There is an obligation to help the poor, but that is derived from—and in no way superior to—our obligations to God. The duty of tending to the poor is not supposed to be all consuming that we lose sight of God, or the reasons we are to help the poor. Our duty first and foremost is to love and serve our God, and this love then extends to our fellow man.

Faith Challenges: Let’s generously share the LIFE Group by forwarding devotions or using the Facebook “invite people” link.
* NEW: What are the reasons that you give to the poor? Please consider sharing your devotion thoughts on the Facebook page, to be appreciated by many.

Counter-Culture News: 40 Days for Life, LifeSiteNews, Vatican, American Family Association, Priests for Life
* Let’s never forget the horrific reality of abortion (images), #1 cause of death in America (23% of pregnancies). Let’s courageously share ProLife Truth to expose abortion’s unjust peace, rebuilding a Culture of Life for setting the unborn (and parents) free!
* NEW: Large Majority of French Women Agree that Abortion Has Detrimental Psychological Effects

Our Prayers: Those who pray together stay together, and close to God (footnotes). Peters family (JP), Prayer to end abortion, Stephanie Kemp (special intention), Pat Castle (Uncle Jim Castle with blood clots).

Faith Quote: “The needy will never be lacking in the land; that is why I command you to open your hand to your poor and needy kinsman in your country.” (Deut 15:11)

Through Christ our Lord,
James 1:22

* Prayer: Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, changing us & helping others. ‘If you pray that God will move a mountain and He doesn’t, assume Christ wants you to climb it instead.
* Fasting: Let’s fast from things that take our eyes off Jesus (selfishness, pornography, bitterness, criticalness, impatience, gossip, excessive video games, etc) and take on things that fix our eyes on Jesus (selflessness, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, patience, understanding, caring, helping, listening).
* Defend the unborn: ‘Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don’t stand back and let them die’ (Prov 24:11). ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you’ (Jer 1:5). ‘It is a great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish’ (Blessed Mother Teresa).
* Evangelization: Let’s make room for unbelievers (be a friend, make a friend, lead a friend to Christ) and perpetual re-evangelization of self and those near us, by way of daily prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of selfless love, mercy, and service (Matt 28:19).

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