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Monday, March 15, 2010

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Isaiah 65:17-21
Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13
John 4:43-54

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"making a believer out of you"

"He and his whole household thereupon became believers." —John 4:53

"All depends on faith, everything is grace" (Rm 4:16). Therefore, Easter depends on faith. Our resurrection from the dead depends on faith. Eternal life depends on faith. Thus, we need a strong, ever-growing faith in the person of Jesus. We believe, but we keep asking God to help our lack of faith (Mk 9:24).

In today's Gospel reading, John may be making a distinction between believing and being a believer. He writes that the royal official believed Jesus' promise that his son would be healed and live (Jn 4:50). Yet, after hearing of his son's healing the next day, this believing official became a believer (Jn 4:53). How could he have become a believer when he already believed unless believing and being a believer are not the same thing?

Everyone believes in certain aspects of Christianity. Even most atheists believe in the humanitarian work of Christianity. Most people believe in many Christian doctrines. They may even believe in the power of prayer. Yet all this believing does not make these people "believers." Believers don't just believe. They "walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor 5:7). They no longer live their own life but "a life of faith in the Son of God" (Gal 2:20). For believers, faith is not an occasional experience but a way of life. Don't just believe. Be a believer.

Prayer:  Father, this Lent give me confident assurance about invisible things (see Heb 11:1).

Promise:  "Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth." —Is 65:17

Praise:  When falsely convicted, Angela learned her need to forgive was greater than even her desire for "justice."

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Developing A Deep Personal Relationship with Jesus on audio AV 52-1 or video V-52.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 26, 2009

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