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Monday, February 17, 2014

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Founders of the
Order of Servites

James 1:1-11
Psalm 119:67-68, 71-72, 75-76
Mark 8:11-13

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divine mercy in divine frustration

"With a sigh from the depths of His spirit He said, 'Why does this age seek a sign?' " —Mark 8:12

Jesus drove out demons, cured the leprous; healed the paralyzed, handicapped, hemorrhaging, and deaf; raised the dead, calmed a storm, walked on the water, and multiplied loaves and fish, among other miracles, signs, and wonders. Then "the Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Him. They were looking for some heavenly sign from Him as a test" (Mk 8:11). Jesus sighed from the depths of His spirit (Mk 8:12) and was understandably frustrated.

Likewise, the apostles did not grasp the meaning of Jesus' miracles, including the double multiplication of the loaves. Jesus expressed His frustration with a barrage of questions: "Do you still not see or comprehend? Are your minds completely blinded? Have you eyes but no sight? Ears but no hearing?" (Mk 8:17-18) "Do you still not understand?" (Mk 8:21)

Despite His frustration, Jesus worked another sign by healing a blind man at Bethsaida (Mk 8:22-25). Jesus met the unreasonable demands of the Pharisees and also continued to work with the apostles who He knew would eventually abandon Him.

Jesus is merciful. He doesn't give up on us, no matter how sinful or shameful our behavior. No matter if everyone else gives up on us, Jesus keeps loving us and trying to transform us (see Is 49:15). Jesus always forgives us and will in no way reject us (Jn 6:37). Jesus is so merciful that He died on the cross in our place. Lord Jesus, mercy.

Prayer:  "Lord Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me, a sinner" (the Jesus Prayer).

Promise:  "Count it pure joy when you are involved in every sort of trial." —Jas 1:2

Praise:  The Servites serve their Lady and their Lord by serving their brothers and sisters. Their seven founders lived lives of gospel poverty and shared Christian community.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 8, 2013

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