13 Jan Mark 1:37 (“Do you love me?”)
Let’s welcome God today by reflecting on this Living In Faith Exchange (LIFE) Group devotion (website, Facebook), based on Living Faith. All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Col. 3:17
Everyone is looking for you. Mark 1:37 (full readings)
Living Faith snippets: “When we begin relationships, they are sometimes based on what an individual does for us…if the relationship stays on this level, it remains limited. Friendships deepen when we begin to appreciate individuals for themselves. So, too, our relationship with Jesus. In today’s Gospel, “everyone is looking” for Jesus because he healed people. Such miracles were exciting and a large crowd began to follow him. But eventually Jesus asks a demanding question, ‘Do you love me?'” by Msgr. Stephen J. Rosetti
Steve’s Thoughts: Pat shared a thought in last weeks devotion – “Wise men (and women) still seek him.” That is a line that has stuck with me for years after I heard a powerful sermon on the Epiphany while on retreat. The priest started his homily with those words. I believe the wise men had this figured out. They came not because of what Jesus did for them – after all he was just a baby in a manger when they found them. They had faith that he would become much more than they could see at that moment. They honored him, for him and I believe we are to follow their lead. Dear Jesus, we honor you today as our savior and king.
Faith Challenges: Let’s generously share the LIFE Group by forwarding a devotion to others or by using the Facebook Group “invite people to join” link to invite your friends. Steve, Rich, or Pat will gladly add others to the email list.
* NEW: When others quickly lament because of prayers unanswered or difficult circumstances, let us take the time to be Jesus to them with words of encouragement. Let us never miss an opportunity to be Christ to others.
Counter-Culture News: 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 create social tension for exposing abortion’s unjust peace, rebuilding a Culture of Life for setting the unborn (and parents) free!
Our Prayers: Those who pray together stay together. Fasting ideas in footnote below.
* Prayer to end abortion, abused children, chastity, peace, our enemies, our troops, depression/despair, prisoners, politicians, illnesses/injuries, jobs, natural disasters, refugees, addictions, persecuted believers, Peters family (JP, Rebekah), Shantelle Castle (special intention), Health care reform bill (protect the unborn)
* NEW: Let’s take a moment to say a prayer for all those (3 million) in Haiti who have been displaced, lost homes, work, and loved ones in this terrible disaster.
Faith quotes: “What a weakness it is to love Jesus Christ only when He caresses us, and to be cold immediately once He afflicts us. This is not true love. Those who love thus, love themselves too much to love God with all their heart.” St. Margaret Mary of Alacoque
Through Christ Our Lord,
* 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).