Share What You Have Seen

“Go and tell John what you have seen.”

In this Gospel Reading, Jesus reveals His true identity to the two followers of John the Baptist by saying, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard.” The wonderful signs, deeds, and miracles that Jesus had performed were enough to provide the proof that Jesus was the Savior and convince John’s followers to start to follow Jesus. 

This Advent season is a perfect time for us to slow down and increase our prayer time, read the Daily Scriptures, go to Mass and focus on new ways to come to know Christ. Jesus desires to reveal Himself to us in wondrous ways and plant seeds of peace in our hearts amid difficulties. 

We need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and learn to appreciate His Ways. Jesus does not burden us but sets us free spiritually to love Him. Jesus desires nothing more than for us to follow Him and accept His gift of eternal life. 

One way to prepare our hearts this Advent for the Savior’s birth, is to focus on gratitude for the blessings that God has already given us. This opens the door for God to work even greater miracles in our lives. Imagine the amazement and gratitude John the Baptist’s disciples experienced when they witnessed the miracles performed by Jesus.

Jesus tells John the Baptist’s disciples to go and tell John what they have seen. In life, we too are called to share what we have seen regarding Christ working in our lives. When we share our testimony of Jesus Christ to others, it is a way to encourage others to experience the faith in a new way. Faith is spread by planting seeds through our conversations and interactions with others, just like John’s disciples describing what they had heard and seen Jesus do.

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Emily Jaminet is a Catholic author, speaker, radio personality, wife, and mother of seven children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mental health and human services from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  She is the co-founder of www.inspirethefaith.com and the Executive Director of The Sacred Heart Enthronement Network www.WelcomeHisHeart.com. She has co-authored several Catholic books and her next one, Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Claiming Jesus’ Twelve Promises in Your Life, comes out in Oct. 2020. Emily serves on the board of the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference, contributes to Relevant Radio and Catholic Mom.com.

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Zacchaeus, A Conversion That Impacted An Entire Community!

“The Son of Man has Come to seek and save what is lost.”

The Gospel today shares the powerful story of Zacchaeus and how Jesus touched his own heart and his whole family, as Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.”

Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector in the city of Jericho was willing to look ridiculous, to seek Christ out in a dramatic way, by climbing a tree and allowing his curiosity to get the best of him. The tax collector wanted to “see” Jesus with his own eyes, as if he was inviting Jesus to notice him. When we go out of our way to discover the Lord, Jesus notices each action; as David proclaimed in the Psalms “Lord, you have probed me, you know me: you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar” (Ps 139:1,2).

Jesus didn’t care what others said about Him or Zacchaeus. One of the amazing qualities of Jesus is that He was not influenced by popular opinion polls or the local town gossip. He can read hearts and know where to disperse and cultivate the seeds of faith.

Many in the town were upset by Jesus and grumbled about how Jesus was going to stay at the house of Zacchaeus. They thought it was scandalous based on how this wealthy man had treated the local people. Instead of Zacchaeus justifying himself in front of the community about his past behaviors, he had a change of heart. The once hard-hearted tax collector now proclaims to all, “ Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” Imagine the shock and overall joy in hearing these words! Think about how much this one conversion benefitted all the people who lived there. This one conversion of heart impacted the whole region of Jericho! Zacchaeus was willing to right his wrongs and be generous to the poor.  We too are invited to encounter Jesus, to respond to that invitation and to be generous with others. Jesus wants to come into our lives, our hearts, our home, and be present while we work. 

Do we pray for the conversion of those who make our lives difficult? Do we pray for those who persecute Christians that God will transform their hearts and receive His mercy? Do we invite Jesus into our life to set our hearts on fire with the love of Christ, and love of others?

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Emily Jaminet is a Catholic author, speaker, radio personality, wife, and mother of seven children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mental health and human services from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  She is the co-founder of www.inspirethefaith.com and the Executive Director of The Sacred Heart Enthronement Network www.WelcomeHisHeart.com. She has co-authored several Catholic books and her next one, Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Claiming Jesus’ Twelve Promises in Your Life, comes out in Oct. 2020. Emily serves on the board of the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference, contributes to Relevant Radio and Catholic Mom.com.

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Jesus, the Bread of Life

“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

Jesus is the Bread of Life as He feeds us with his body and blood through the Sacrament of Holy Communion. He provides for what we truly need, and He desires to transform us and make us holy. 

In this Gospel story, many seek Jesus for what He can give them, such as miracles, signs, wonders, and even food. Jesus says, “Amen, amen, I say to you,you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. 
Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you. For on Him the Father, God, has set his seal.” 

This aspect of the Gospel is a calling to live for the eternal, seek what is above, and seek to do the will of God in all things. Jesus offers us our daily food and what we need, but He also reminds us that we were made for so much more! St. Augustine once said, “My heart is restless until it rests in You.” Seeking the will of God is the source of our greatest fulfillment. Peace with God can be ours by cultivating a personal relationship with the Lord through prayer, living a life rooted in the Sacraments, and replacing our sins and vices with virtue. 

It is easy to get caught up in the world that surrounds us and forget that the Lord is the source of all our blessings. Even the Israelites lost sight of that face while wandering in the desert.  They gave Moses credit for the bread that came down from Heaven, while it was from God the Father, as we read below:

“Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from Heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from Heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from Heaven and gives life to the world.”

This Gospel is a beautiful reminder of how we are called to seek Christ and discover the means to follow Him. Jesus is the Bread of Life and when our eyes are set on Christ we come to know what it means to be fully alive. 

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Emily Jaminet is a Catholic author, speaker, radio personality, wife, and mother of seven children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mental health and human services from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  She is the co-founder of www.inspirethefaith.com and the Executive Director of The Sacred Heart Enthronement Network www.WelcomeHisHeart.com. She has co-authored several Catholic books and her next one, Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Claiming Jesus’ Twelve Promises in Your Life, comes out in Oct. 2020. Emily serves on the board of the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference, contributes to Relevant Radio and Catholic Mom.com.

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The Privilege of Being a Laborer for the Kingdom of God

“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”  Mt 9:32-38

My grandfather’s humble service to the Church was awe inspiring to me.  During his retirement years, he spent hours upon hours serving the Lord by promoting a devotion to the Sacred Heart through his work with the Men of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Cincinnati, OH, making rosaries, serving his family especially his wife or volunteering at his local Catholic church.  When asked why he was so dedicated to it all, he used to chuckle and say with a wink, “the pay is out of this world”.  Through his example, I learned that sowing eternal seeds is far more rewarding than earthly ones. 

When one lives a life devoted to the Lord, one can begin to identify the fellow workers in the field and appreciate the work they are inspired to do to serve the King of Kings. Some of the workers are priests and religious, while others are lay men and women seeking to do the most rewarding and meaningful work of spreading and living the faith. 

When we witness such examples of selfless service, we might be tempted to be discouraged by our own lacking or even become jealous of the work they do, the commitment they have, or the “tools” they have at their disposal.  Instead, we ought to focus on the work to which we are called, thank God for their example, and be inspired to better love God as they do. 

We are called to pray for more workers in the harvest.  The Lord wants us to ask for more holy men and women to serve the Church, and when they do appear, to have a heart full of gratitude for their “yes” to God.

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Emily Jaminet is a Catholic author, speaker, radio personality, wife, and mother of seven children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mental health and human services from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  She is the co-founder of www.inspirethefaith.com and the Executive Director of The Sacred Heart Enthronement Network www.WelcomeHisHeart.com. She has co-authored several Catholic books and her next one, Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Claiming Jesus’ Twelve Promises in Your Life, comes out in Oct. 2020. Emily serves on the board of the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference, contributes to Relevant Radio and Catholic Mom.com.

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Salt of the Earth

Jesus invites us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world to others. We can impact all aspects of society by living out our faith and sharing the Gospel message as His representatives. As faithful followers of Jesus, we can go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit to be the salt which seasons the earth with the virtues of Christ, and the light which shows God’s truth. Jesus reminds the disciples that the Kingdom of Heaven is for all walks of life and meant to be shared throughout the world. 

The light that we shine comes from the transformation which Christ has begun in our hearts and is in fact Christ Himself. As St. Paul tells us “For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure … that you may be blameless and innocent children of God … whom you shine as Lights to the world (Phil 2:13-15)”.  If we live out our faith, by both words and deeds, we will be the city on the hill whose light cannot be hidden.  Jesus invites us to live out a faith that is sincere and genuine to others. Notice this passage follows the eight beatitudes (Matt 5:1-12) where Jesus highlights the principles of living out the New Covenant He is establishing.

During the month of June, we are invited to come to know Jesus and His most Sacred Heart. This devotion deepens our intimacy with Christ by inviting the Heart of Jesus in our homes and honoring His Heart through our prayers, words, and deeds. This devotion calls us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world through living out our faith by creating a covenant of love with Him. I have witnessed firsthand how the Sacred Heart has renewed families and restored faith through this beautiful devotion. 

May we choose to be faithful followers of Christ and seek to live out the Kingdom of Heaven each day here on earth. May we accept his invitation for friendship and work to be kingdom builders here on earth. 

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Emily Jaminet is a Catholic author, speaker, radio personality, wife, and mother of seven children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mental health and human services from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  She is the co-founder of www.inspirethefaith.com and the Executive Director of The Sacred Heart Enthronement Network www.WelcomeHisHeart.com. She has co-authored several Catholic books and her next one, Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Claiming Jesus’ Twelve Promises in Your Life, comes out in Oct. 2020. Emily serves on the board of the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference, contributes to Relevant Radio and Catholic Mom.com.

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The Peace Jesus Offers

“Peace I give you.” These words are some of the most important words found in the Gospel readings from today. Jesus is offering us peace for our troubled souls. He reminds us that we are not to be afraid or troubled, for we are given the Holy Spirit to help us every day. Jesus’ peace is an internal experience. We can come to identify this peace and learn to trust that God is with us even when life is hard. 

Heavenly peace is accessed through prayer, obedience to God, and learning to trust Jesus.  We must be aware that the ruler of this world- Satan, wants to destroy our peace. The devil rules by fear and intimidation and wants us to believe that all there is to life is what we can see with our eyes. The devil lies, tricks, and is called the “prince of this world” and can offer us short-term pleasure but for an eternity of pain and suffering. Please do not run from your hardships but rather give them to Jesus and be sanctified and even transformed by your suffering. Jesus wants to help you through these difficult seasons of growth and give you the peace you need to endure. When we live in the peace of Christ, we also serve as an example to others.

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Emily Jaminet is a Catholic author, speaker, radio personality, wife, and mother of seven children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mental health and human services from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  She is the co-founder of www.inspirethefaith.com and the Executive Director of The Sacred Heart Enthronement Network www.WelcomeHisHeart.com. She has co-authored several Catholic books and her next one, Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Claiming Jesus’ Twelve Promises in Your Life, comes out in Oct. 2020. Emily serves on the board of the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference, contributes to Relevant Radio and Catholic Mom.com.

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The Joy of the Resurrection

“He saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.”

Happy Easter! What a joy it is to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord.  Although we can never fully comprehend what this means, as Christians, we know that through His pain and suffering even unto death, Jesus gave His life away to conquer death and unlock Heaven for each of us. I can still recall my four-year-old relating something she learned from her preschool teachers who are religious sisters.  Pointing to the crucifix at church, she said, “that is the key that opens the doors to Heaven.” May we come to accept Jesus into our lives and allow Him to unlock our hearts and free us from the bondage of this world.

Easter is a day of rejoicing; this is a day of hope. No matter what trials and tribulations you suffer, allow the joy of Easter to penetrate your heart. Please spend some time reflecting and pondering on what it means for us to experience freedom through Christ. He is our Redeemer, and Jesus desires a personal relationship with us.  Our Holy Days often become “Holidays” where we get lost in the party preparation, small details, and traditions that we can easily forget the real meaning. Easter celebration is an opportunity to reflect on the gift of new life offered to each of us through Jesus’ death on a cross. 

 As Peter ran to the tomb and discovered that Jesus had risen from the dead, we are invited to celebrate, participate and receive the joy of living in union with Christ on this beautiful day. 

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Emily Jaminet is a Catholic author, speaker, radio personality, wife, and mother of seven children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mental health and human services from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  She is the co-founder of www.inspirethefaith.com and the Executive Director of The Sacred Heart Enthronement Network www.WelcomeHisHeart.com. She has co-authored several Catholic books and her next one, Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Claiming Jesus’ Twelve Promises in Your Life, comes out in Oct. 2020. Emily serves on the board of the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference, contributes to Relevant Radio and Catholic Mom.com.

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The Lesson at the Gate

This Gospel story shares about Lazarus, a poor man resting at the gate of the rich man, who is longing for the scraps from the rich person’s excess. Despite his intense need, the owner of the home ignores him and fails to offer even the smallest consolation. Just a small act of kindness could have a significant impact on this poor man, yet the rich man takes no notice.

Jesus tells us that, “when the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham”, while the rich man was condemned to hell.  He makes it abundantly clear that when God gives us opportunities to help others we are expected to act.  Often, these opportunities aren’t even that difficult or challenging, as was the case of the poor man resting in the rich man’s very doorway.  He didn’t even have to leave his own house; that person in need of assistance was right in front of him, sitting on his front steps! Jesus is pointing out that often what we need to do is right in front of us; it doesn’t require a lot of thought or effort, merely a desire to serve and love others. 

Jesus goes on to recount how the rich man, who upon his death was suffering in hell, thought of his brothers and longed for the chance to warn them so they would have a chance for salvation. Often, we hope and pray for miracles or divine intervention for those we love so they might experience greater faith, but do we consider how our actions and how we treat people may be the exact witness to the Gospel they need to see in order to fully embrace it?  Jesus leaves us with the powerful words, “If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.”  May we not only seek to have faith ourselves, but put it into action in our lives each day when opportunities present themselves in order to be a witness to others.

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Emily Jaminet is a Catholic author, speaker, radio personality, wife, and mother of seven children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mental health and human services from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  She is the co-founder of www.inspirethefaith.com and the Executive Director of The Sacred Heart Enthronement Network www.WelcomeHisHeart.com. She has co-authored several Catholic books and her next one, Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Claiming Jesus’ Twelve Promises in Your Life, comes out in Oct. 2020. Emily serves on the board of the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference, contributes to Relevant Radio and Catholic Mom.com.

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Leading Others to Christ

The First Reading, a letter to Hebrews, reminds us of the importance of our Christian witness. The Holy Scripture reminds us to always welcome strangers, keep others in mind and hold up a moral code that respects our belief system, including the importance of marriage. These instructions are summed up with the powerful verse, “Remember your leaders, who preached the word of God to you, and as you reflect on the outcome of their lives, take their faith as your model. Jesus Christ is the same today as he was yesterday, and he will be forever.” (Hebrew 13:7-8). This call to rise above all immoral behavior no matter what and to be holy. 

In the Gospel Reading today, we see how vastly different King Herod compares to Jesus Christ. Herod used his power and influence to indulge in his own desires, gratification, and ultimately his choices that lead to John the Baptist’s brutal death. King Herod used his affluence and power to hold wild parties and opportunities for immoral behavior. Herodias, the wife of Herold, sadly used her daughter to not only sexually please her very own husband and the crowd, but this young girl’s reward was the head of John the Baptist on a platter! What a shocking and disgusting request. Sin leads down a path of darkness, while our faith leads us to a life rooted in Christ.

Today’s readings reveal the importance of being a leader that leads others to Christ, for our Lord is the same today, tomorrow, and forever.

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Emily Jaminet is a Catholic author, speaker, radio personality, wife, and mother of seven children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mental health and human services from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  She is the co-founder of www.inspirethefaith.com and the Executive Director of The Sacred Heart Enthronement Network www.WelcomeHisHeart.com. She has co-authored several Catholic books and her next one, Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Claiming Jesus’ Twelve Promises in Your Life, comes out in Oct. 2020. Emily serves on the board of the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference, contributes to Relevant Radio and Catholic Mom.com.

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Repentance and Trust

The arrest of St. John the Baptist marks the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. St. John the Baptist’s arrest was heartbreaking for Jesus. This was His relative and childhood friend. We can recall the powerful Gospel story when St. John leapt in the womb of Elizabeth when meeting Jesus. St. John would later grow up to become the voice crying out in the desert to prepare the way for the Messiah, and his arrest set Jesus’ public ministry into motion.

St. John the Baptist chose to live a life with few physical possessions, in the harsh desert. Jesus, on the other hand, would begin His ministry in a land full of water and beauty. In this Gospel, Jesus traveled to Capernaum to start His ministry.  Capernaum is the land where life bloomed, blossomed, and there was water! There is a vast difference between Capernaum by the sea and the lifeless desert. Jesus went to the land of water and life to begin his ministry and in many ways taught us that He is the way, the truth, and the life.

In the Gospel today, Jesus says, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And the words of Isaiah are also inserted: “The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light.” Jesus desires to free us from our darkness. Sin blocks, clouds, and distorts our perspective, and yet the darkness of the world cannot blot out the light of Christ.

How do we allow the light of Christ into our hearts? Jesus is clear in this Gospel that we need to repent of our past sins and seek the Kingdom of God. Notice that Jesus takes the initiative to allow us to trust Him. This Gospel passage states that “He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people.” We should not be discouraged from our past, but rather trust Jesus and be healed.

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Emily Jaminet is a Catholic author, speaker, radio personality, wife, and mother of seven children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mental health and human services from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  She is the co-founder of www.inspirethefaith.com and the Executive Director of The Sacred Heart Enthronement Network www.WelcomeHisHeart.com. She has co-authored several Catholic books and her next one, Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Claiming Jesus’ Twelve Promises in Your Life, comes out in Oct. 2020. Emily serves on the board of the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference, contributes to Relevant Radio and Catholic Mom.com.

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Lord, Deepen Our Faith

In what way is Jesus contrasting revealing truths to the childlike and hiding them from the wise and the learned? The truth of the Gospel, which we proclaim during Advent, is that Jesus Christ united Himself to mankind as our Redeemer. We may not fully understand the Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection of our Lord, but we believe the Gospel with a child’s faith that God would not deceive us. This does not mean that we will never question the beliefs of our faith, but our questioning is to understand not to undermine. The wise and the learned that Jesus is referring to, question out of skepticism and unbelief, the Cross to them is absurd (see I Cor. 1:18-25). They think in their worldly wisdom that the Cross and Resurrection are just unsupportable myths that the simple-minded believe in, because they are ignorant and do not know any better. Jesus is not disparaging being wise or learned, there are many wise men who do have faith in Jesus Christ – St. Thomas Aquinas to name one of many examples. Yet as St. Thomas once declared, he learned more from prayer and contemplation than he ever did from men and books. During Advent, let us renew our confidence and trust in God’s love for us, and with child-like faith believe that God is working for our good – even if the circumstances seem to indicate otherwise. As St. Paul tells us “We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purposes” (Rm. 8:28).

In the second part of this passage, Jesus states that the disciples have seen and heard what many Old Testament kings and prophets wished they had seen and heard but did not. The disciples had met the Messiah in person, the greatest gift in the history of mankind. Rather than debating which of them was the greatest, which they did on several occasions, they should be thankful for the great blessing God had bestowed on them. This is also true for us. Even though we have not seen Christ in person, Christ says we are blessed because we believe even though we have not seen (see Jn. 20:29). This blessing should remind us of how thankful we should be to God for revealing to us the truth about His Son, and to share this love and revelation with others. This Advent let us ask God to deepen our faith in His love, and in turn, to be a light to other people of God’s kingdom here on earth, in the person of Jesus Christ.

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Emily Jaminet is a Catholic author, speaker, radio personality, wife, and mother of seven children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mental health and human services from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  She is the co-founder of www.inspirethefaith.com and the Executive Director of The Sacred Heart Enthronement Network www.WelcomeHisHeart.com. She has co-authored several Catholic books and her next one, Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Claiming Jesus’ Twelve Promises in Your Life, comes out in Oct. 2020. Emily serves on the board of the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference, contributes to Relevant Radio and Catholic Mom.com.

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The Cleansing of the Ten Lepers

“Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”  (Lk 17:19)

As Jesus was traveling through Samaria and Galilee, He healed ten lepers. The miracle began with the powerful words proclaimed from afar by the sick individuals, “Jesus, Master! Have Pity on us.” Just think of them, infected with a horrible disease, seeking a relationship with Christ by asking Him to have pity on them and show compassion for their sufferings.  Yet, when Jesus answered their prayers and performed a miraculous healing of all ten, only one of them returned and gave glory to God.

This event points to the importance of following our prayers with praise and glory for all the Lord does in our life. When we thank God and glorify His name, we proclaim a truth that is powerful; Jesus is King, Lord of our Life, and Giver of all Gifts.  Doing so is not just about giving God the credit He justly deserves, but also about exercising one’s faith so it can grow stronger and ultimately lead to salvation.  In these times of turbulence and confusion, let us always remember to thank the Lord, place our trust in Him, and accept the salvation He offers us.

When is the last time you thanked the Lord for His healings, gifts, miracles, graces, and even blessings? Jesus tells the one leper who returned to give thanks, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” Jesus did not say, your faith has healed you, rather, your faith has SAVED you. Like the others, the man was already healed, but unlike the others, his recognition of God working in his life and gratitude for it earned him a reward far greater!  His faith brought about his salvation, something ever more important than the healing.

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Emily Jaminet is a Catholic author, speaker, radio personality, wife, and mother of seven children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mental health and human services from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  She is the co-founder of www.inspirethefaith.com and the Executive Director of The Sacred Heart Enthronement Network www.WelcomeHisHeart.com. She has co-authored several Catholic books and her next one, Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Claiming Jesus’ Twelve Promises in Your Life, comes out in Oct. 2020. Emily serves on the board of the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference, contributes to Relevant Radio and Catholic Mom.com.