18 Feb Mark 8:36 (Lens)
“What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” Mark 8:36 (full readings)
Steve’s Reflections: Just yesterday I read about a home-schooled wrestler, Joel Northrup, who faced a difficult decision (see Counter Cultural News). Entering as a favorite to win the state tournament in Iowa, he was face to face with modern high school sports history. His opponent was one of two girls to ever qualify for the state tournament. As many rejoiced at the accomplishments of these two young girls, this young man agonized over whether it was right for him to wrestle a girl. Joel Northrup defaulted his match, and his dream of winning the state title. He issued this statement, “As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner.” Wow. In a world where feminism has stolen a women’s femininity, this young man honored the sacred state of this young girls nature as a daughter of Christ. He did this in spite of personal sacrifice and the risk of being labeled a chauvinist or a prude. He stood up for what his faith tells him is true; men and women are different and those differences are a celebration of the beauty of each gender. Today’s Gospel speaks precisely of these difficult decisions when our faith runs contrary to the world. The father who takes his teenage daughter to get an abortion because it will “stop her from having a normal life”, or the single mother who feels she just can’t afford another child are all too common examples of the short sighted vision of the world. Ultimately, Jesus speaks clearly in our Gospel that those who deny Christ in this life will be denied in the next. To follow our faith we must always see through a lens bent toward our salvation and our ultimate goal, heaven; the prize for which we all run the race of life. Dear Lord, give me the grace to always keep my eyes fixed on you and the prize of heaven.
Faith Challenge: What lens are you filtering the world through? When pressured or confused by the world, filter your problems through the lens of faith given to us at our Baptism. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and courage to stand up for your faith.
Sr. Francelle’s Devotion: Blessed Charles de Foucauld “The life of Brother Charles illustrates the great lengths, both spiritual and physical, that a man must sometimes travel to follow Christ.”
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.
Feast Day: Blessed John of Fiesole
Faith Quote: “I sought you out and now you come to me. Thank you.” The last audible words of Pope John Paul II, on hearing tens of thousands of young people singing in St. Peter’s Square as he lay on his deathbed (Friday, April 1, 2005).
* 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.