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Walking by faith: Celebrating our Jewish roots
February 20, 2018

We believe that Jesus was the Messiah that God promised to the people of Israel. Coming to us in the flesh, Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promises. Jesus and Christians alike observe the commandments in a covenant with God that is based on love. The word of God in the Old Testament forms part of public worship for both Jews and Christians.

The story of creation in Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, tells us that the Spirit of God passed over the waters, and they stirred with life. In Exodus, the second book, God passed over the houses of a group of slaves and spared them from the angel of death. Then God led these people, the Israelites, out of Egypt, and they passed over into freedom. To mark the event of their passing over, God commanded the Israelite community to celebrate a sacred meal. The Jews are the descendants of the Israelites, whom God led out of Egypt. The story of the Exodus recalls what God did and continues to do for the Jewish people and all who believe, then and now. With the Jews we turn to the one and only God, who was first revealed to them. With them we love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength.

Throughout our lives the Church encourages us to prepare for the time of our death, when we will be led to new life in the Kingdom of God. The last rites are part of our preparation as we draw near to death and are about to make the final journey home to God. The Scripture readings during the Liturgy of the Word focus on God’s constant mercy and forgiveness. In the final farewell before the body is buried, the Church commends, or gives, the person who has died to God.

We are all beginners when it comes to working for the Kingdom of God now and waiting for its final coming in glory. Grace pulls us towards God’s reign, or Kingdom.

God sent a series of visions to a man named John. One was a vision of the new creation, God’s reign fulfilled. The Lord God Almighty and Jesus, the Lamb of God, had become the perfect temple. The entire city was lit by the brightness of God’s glory. Peoples from every nation would pass through the gates, bringing gifts and treasures to place before the throne of God.

What we do for the least of God’s people is important now in this life.

Our invitation to feast in God’s Kingdom began with the signs and wonders of creation. Out of love God created man and woman and gave them a garden filled with every kind of tree delightful to look at and good for food. But the first humans turned away from God, and sin and evil entered the world. God did not turn away from us, however God kept sending us signs of hope and promise, especially through the people of Israel. If they remained faithful, God promised, they would enter a land flowing with milk and honey.

We celebrate the sacraments as constant reminders that God’s reign is among us. Our hop is in God’s promise of salvation and the life of the world to come. In this world right now, while we wait, we must serve God by loving one another.

Through signs God gives us grace, shows us love, and tells us about wonders we cannot see. At the Easter vigil we give thanks and praise to God for Christ’s victory over death in the resurrection. In Christ’s dying and rising, we experience God’s love. In the Kingdom of God, present and to come, we will live in God’s love forever.

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God requires our prayers: he waits for us to come to him

Do not be afraid to asks for prayers. Do not be like the republican in the Gospel who announced what he was praying for. Instead be humble like the tax collector and surrender quietly to God. As Christians we are interdependent on each other. We are to pray for others and they are to pray for us. It is a give and receive partnership. When we pray for each other we are connected in a spiritual and caring way. We should choose carefully those with whom we share private concerns but we should never fear to ask for prayers.

Sometimes it seems like we will never get the answers to our prayers. That does not mean we are to give up. Praying to God is a limitless requirement and it is important to remember that God’s time is not the same as our time. He always has what’s best for us in his plan. That is why we are to keep praying for he listens to us and gives us the best answer, not the fastest answer.

If we have faith then we know for sure that God hears and answers our requests. Trusting in him puts us in a position to receive what he has for us. We must seek the good of others and not selfishly seek our own desires. God will only answer our prayers if they reflect his will.

We must not be partial or choosy with our prayers. We should pray at all times in both times of ease and times of trial. Some of us only cry out to God when we are hurting physically or spiritually. We cuss God and complain to him. But if we truly accept our role as Christians then we will not do this, for we know otherwise. We have hope and have patience and believe in a Father who cares. Therefore, we should turn to him no matter what we are facing, good or bad.

With the strength of God we are able to overcome the challenge of loving our enemies. It is understandable to not want to pray for someone who has inflicted pain on us. But our loving actions and prayers can be the bringer of peace in odd situations. This way strife will not last.

Being Christians who are faithful means to lift up our sufferings and the sufferings of others to God. He works in our bodies, but also in our hearts and souls. We must pray for physical health to be strengthened but also the spiritual health. Gd being the Great Physician always treats the whole person, not just part of our bodies.

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As Christians we are to love God because doing so is essential
December 20, 2017

Loving God or to love God seems to be a simple command, yet it is challenging. We try our very best to love God completely but there are moments when we fail to do so. It is only when we have God’s Spirit in our hearts working then we will become faithful to his commands. God is at work every day in us making us perfect in his love. We should never be afraid to ask him for help is to be more faithful in his love.

Our humanness causes us to look for love all over the place. This should not be as love is always close to us in the person of God himself. When we seek love elsewhere we are bound to be confused. But love in the Lord is clear and real and can be shared with everyone even our enemies. If we do not love God then we cannot truly be able to love and sacrifice for others. Love is more than a feeling, it involves actions that flows from our connection with God.

Though many say we cannot see God, as Christians we are to see God in our fellow brothers and sisters. We must embody compassion and empathy so we can connect with others in love. Many people expect Christians to perform or live grandiosely and miraculously, but miracles can be as small as kindness, compassion and forgiveness. That’s how we show love, that how we show we are sharing God’s love. This is the faithful testimony we show use to evangelize. By loving others we show that God is not dead but truly alive.

On our own we fail to love God. But accepting him as our Almighty and opening ourselves to receive his love will surely change our attitude. His word in the scripture remind us all the time that his love will never stop.

He makes sacrifice for us slowly can’t we make sacrifice for him? We need to stop thinking of sacrifice as hardship, but a delight that comes from God with the purpose to bring us closer to him in love. God calls us to receive his love so we can pass it on to others who are in need of love and understanding of the sacrifice which God makes for us.

We learn how to love from Jesus whose ministry was filled with love. The disciples witnessed Jesus’ love first hand and were given the command to pass on such teachings and actions to their followers, meaning us. Th Holy Scriptures, since the beginning of time is filled with the love of God. We then are to study and take what we have learned and turn them into action by living our God’s love in our spoken words and being good examples to each other.

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