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Chris (email link at the bottom of each page)

Conversion of Paul's jailer

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Acts 16:22–34
 
 
God will literally move heaven and earth to save us; God did so to lead the jailer and his family to conversion.  The fruits of that conversion were immediate: deep joy, service of others and a profound conviction in the gospel message.
 
The call to conversion is one that occurs throughout our lives.  We are called to lead others but also to be converted ourselves, and to this task we give ourselves.  But why does God seek our conversion?  What is it about the human condition that makes it so necessary?  The Church recognises that the human heart is heavy and hardened by sin and by selfishness.  It is because of this that we need a new heart.
 
Conversion is first and foremost a work of God, a movement of his grace within us.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “God give us the strength to begin anew.  It is in discovering the greatness of God’s love that our heart is shaken by the horror and weight of sin and begins to fear offending God by sin and being separated from him.  The human heart is converted by looking upon him whom our sins have pierced.” (para. 1432).
 
It is through the continuing process of conversion that we come to know God’s love; and we come to know God’s love by gazing upon the One we have pierced.
 
This is the path that the Holy Spirit invites us to walk.  We are converted in the first instance by love, and it is by love that we will continue to be converted.
 
Father, teach me that thre is no other path but through the burning love of the crucified, a love which transformed Paul when he was carried up to the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2) that he could say: “with Christ I am nailed to the cross.  I live , not not I but Christ liveth in me.” (Gal. 2:20 Rheims New Testament).
 
Chris
 
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Jesus heals the official's child

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John 4:43–54
 
In today’s Gospel passage the child of a Gentile officer in Herod’s court is ill and dying.  But his encounter with Jesus is very brief.
 
“Sir, come down before my child dies.” (v.49)
 
 “Go, your son will live."
 
The fever left the child and he was restored to health.
 
The key to this healing was the official’s faith.  “The man took Jesus at his word and departed.” (v.50).  By this John provides us with a great definition of faith: taking God at his word.
 
It’s like saying simply to God, “If you say it is so, then it is so, and I can put my hope and trust in you.”  Faith, we know, is being sure of what we can hope for and certain of what we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1).
 
Faith is really no more than taking God at his word.  As St Augustine said, “For what is faith unless it is to believe what you do not see?"
 
Take heart and encouragement from our official in today’s Gospel, for he took Jesus at his word and was mightily blessed.  If we take Jesus at his word we too will be mightily blessed.
 
"The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:17
 
Chris
 
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Heal our Blindness

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Mark 8:22–26
 
 
The account of the healing of the blind man has great significance in Mark’s Gospel.  It comes just after a period when the disciples seem unable to understand who Jesus is, despite the miracles that they have seen, and just before the revelation given to Peter and his proclamation that Jesus is the Messiah.
 
A unique aspect of this miracle is that Jesus heals the blind man in stages; his love and patience are shown in that he does not leave him until his vision is completely restored.
 
If we have questions or doubts we can trust that Jesus wants to give us the same clarity as he gave the blind man.  If we ask him in our prayer and seek him in Scripture reading, he will reveal himself and teach us just as he taught his disciples.
 
Lord Jesus, thank you for the light that you have given me.  I know that there are many things that I do not see clearly yet; please touch my eyes every day, so that I may see more of your glory and lead others to your light.
 
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