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Saturday, January 27, 2007

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St. Angela Merici

Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19
Luke 1:69-75
Mark 4:35-41

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crisis of faith

"That day as evening drew on He said to them, 'Let us cross over to the farther shore.' " —Mark 4:35

We the Church are trying to "cross over to the farther shore"; we seek God's kingdom on earth and in heaven. However, a squall is impeding our progress. Waves are breaking over the Church, and we're beginning to ship water badly (Mk 4:37). We have prayed but things have only gotten worse. Jesus seems to be asleep. Doesn't it matter to Him that we are about to drown? (Mk 4:38) Yet Jesus died for us, loves us unconditionally, and promised never to leave us orphaned (Jn 14:18).

What do we believe: the circumstances we see or the word we have heard? Do we walk and pray by sight or by faith? (2 Cor 5:7) "Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see" (Heb 11:1). Will we walk on the water or drown in it? "Because of faith the men of old were approved by God" (Heb 11:2). Will we be justified by faith? Or will Jesus have to reprimand us: "Why are you so terrified? Why are you lacking in faith?" (Mk 4:40)

"Who, then, is conqueror of the world? The one who believes" (1 Jn 5:5). "Without faith, it is impossible to please" God (Heb 11:6). "When the Son of Man comes, will He find any faith on the earth?" (Lk 18:8)

Prayer:  Lord, increase my faith daily (Lk 17:5) by my hearing Your word (Rm 10:17).

Promise:  "They were searching for a better, a heavenly home. Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them." —Heb 11:16

Praise:  St. Angela was a pioneer in activating lay people to serve Jesus while living in the world. She taught, "Disorder in society is the result of disorder in the family."

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Hold Fast to the Faith on audio AV 71-1 or video V-71.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2006

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