Matt 13:14-15 (Listen Up!) by Jean Noon

21 Jul Matt 13:14-15 (Listen Up!) by Jean Noon

Welcome God now with this LIFE Group Devotion (FB), provided by LIFE Runners (FB). Upcoming Guest Authors.

“In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'” ~ Matt 13:14-15 (full readings)

Jean’s Reflections:God desires our healing through our willingness to see, hear and understand the Good News. He is with us in our blindness, poverty, captivity, and imprisonment (Lk 4:17-19), those aspects of ourselves – conscious and unconscious – which are obstacles to loving God and loving as God loves. God has designs for changing hearts and overcoming evil with good which go beyond the law and threat of punishment because anything done without love means nothing to God (1 Cor 13). In changing hearts, notice the difference between using force/control (fear of punishment) vs mercy, manipulative power vs relational power, ego vs conscience. When my conscience is formed by Jesus, I find myself influencing through trust which arises from sacrifice. Christians influence culture (it’s really God changing hearts) through moral credibility when our actions are perceived by others as sacrifice. There are 500,000 children in foster care in America and 115,000 children await adoption. In America only 2% of families have adopted. The number of Christian church congregations in America outnumbers children who are waiting to be adopted from U.S. foster care by about a 3 to 1 ratio. If each congregation adopted one child, there would be no orphans in America. Compassion requires sacrifice – sacrifice to journey with the unwanted, traumatized, and the broken – allowing God’s love to shine so that all can give thanks knowing that in God’s house there are no unwanted children.
* Jean Noon and her husband Tom have two grown sons. Jean is a spiritual director/teacher in the Arlington Diocese of Northern VA.

Faith Challenge: As a Christian community how can we demonstrate sacrifice and share in Christ’s mission to change hearts? What sacrifice might lend moral authority to pro-life efforts so that all will hear and understand the despair of the unborn child and mother in crisis?
Counter-Culture News: LSN, LifeNews, Priests for Life, AFA, Vatican, Project Rachel.
Our Prayers: Prayer to end abortion, Spiritual Adoption, Alpha Center, Peters family (JP). Add Prayers on our website. Pray with meals, bedtime, wake up, LIFE Runners, etc. Consider mid-week Family Rosary (17 min). Let’s pray now.
Feast Day: St. Lawrence of Brindisi.
Faith Quote: “Love bears all things! Let us not underestimate how hard it is to be compassionate. Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to the place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken.” ~ Henri Nouwen

Through Christ Our Lord,
James 1:27
* 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 (22% 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.

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