And many of the Jews had come to
Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother. When
Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet
him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus,
"Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not
have died. But even now I know that whatever you
ask of God, God will give you." Jesus said to
her, "Your brother will rise." Martha said to him, "I
know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last
day." Jesus told her, "I am the resurrection and the
life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will
live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will
never die. Do you believe this?" She said to him,
"Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are
the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is
coming into the world."
Heavenly Father, once again I renew my faith in your
plan for my life. I trust in your loving providence,
and I know that no one can snatch me from
your hands. You know well that I love you. I
wish to be more open and docile to your plan
and action in my life. Take this time that I
now set aside for prayer. Take my mind, will and
heart; take my gifts and talents. I lay them at
your feet through this prayer. Do with me today according
to your holy and loving plan. Amen.
Petition: Lord Jesus, deepen my faith in your resurrection.
1. Do You Believe This?
This is the fundamental question in our life of faith:
do we, in fact, believe it all? Do we really
believe that the human race was mysteriously subjected to the
catastrophic consequences of our first parents’ disobedience to the divine
will? Do we really believe what we say in the
Creed every Sunday? Do we believe that Jesus of Nazareth
died and rose from the dead to conquer sin, and
now lives to draw all people to himself as their
savior? The great challenge for the Christian in our thoroughly
post-modern, post-Christian, technical age is to unabashedly say “Yes!”
2. Keeping Faith Simple: One of the
greatest challenges in the Christian life is to keep our
faith simple. Our tendency is toward sophistication and complication. While
certainly the ability to think and reason well is a
gift and has its place in the Christian life, we
must be equally aware that the in-born tendency to rationalism
can be a non-starter for a genuine life of faith.
We cannot afford to fall into today’s error of trying
to size God down according to our meager perceptions and
self-centered attitudes. Christ is much more; God ways are far
more sublime than what our limited vision can create. A
simple faith is so pleasing to God because then he
has leeway for his supernatural action. Then he can do
something within us and through us.
3. Keeping Faith Robust: This simple faith can and must
launch us upward and outward in the task of bringing
Christ’s love to every soul. Our simple faith can rapidly
ignite and convert us into relentless apostles of the Kingdom,
like St. Paul. We need to make his words our
own: “What will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness,
or peril, or the sword? (…) No, in all these
things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For
I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels,
nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers,
nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be
able to separate us from the love of God in
Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, give me strength to bear
the burden of drawing others closer to you. Let me
feel, with St. Paul, the sting of “Woe to me
if I do not preach the Gospel!” And when I
do set out to give others reasons for my faith,
accompany me with your Holy Spirit to give success to
my poor efforts.
love of Jesus, I will renew, refresh and invigorate the
act of faith with which I begin every day in
my morning offering.