The Gaze of Christ / La Mirada de Cristo

“Raising his eyes towards his disciples, Jesus said..”

Imagine what it would be like for Jesus Christ to look at you, to look deep into your soul, and share a message that cuts to your very core. As the Lord was coming down from the mountain, He looked in His disciples’ eyes to tell them words of truth and life. These words only made sense in light of the love that Jesus had for each person. His teachings lead us to lasting joy and the path to heaven. 

The Kingdom of God is set up much differently than the world. Wealth, beauty, power, and influence do not “buy” you a ticket to heaven. Instead, the Lord offers a challenging rebuttal to the world’s way of functioning. The road map to heaven guides us through the path of humility and self-sacrificing love, the narrow gate. When we allow Jesus to transform our hearts, we will grow in our ability to be charitable, humble, and detached from materialism. This poverty of spirit will enable us to be faithful to God, no matter what. Jesus tells us who is blessed, and it is not those that society holds in great esteem; it is those who are persecuted for their faith, the poor, forgotten, and even broken-hearted. They are blessed because “the Lord is near to those who turn to Him”. 

At times, the teachings of Jesus can make us uncomfortable and uneasy, but the truth is this is the path to true happiness, peace, and joy. How often do we slip into worldly thinking, and place ourselves at the center of the universe, place our needs above others, and forget to keep our eyes locked on Christ? Jesus tells us that He is the way, the truth, the life, and in this passage, we come to see that we will be called “Blessed” when we do the will of God. 

So the next time you need to stand with Jesus, make sure to recall this passage and allow your witness to be one rooted in humility and love. Let us remember that Jesus is offering each of us the graces we need to walk the difficult path of following His teachings. 

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“…mirando Jesús a sus discípulos, les dijo…”

Imagina cómo sería que Jesucristo te mirara en lo profundo de tu alma y compartiera un mensaje que llega hasta lo más profundo de ti. Mientras el Señor bajaba del monte, miró a los ojos de sus discípulos para decirles palabras de verdad y de vida. Estas palabras sólo tenían sentido a la luz del amor que Jesús tenía por cada persona. Sus enseñanzas nos llevan a la alegría duradera y al camino al cielo.

El Reino de Dios se establece de manera muy diferente al mundo. La riqueza, la belleza, el poder y la influencia no te “compran” un boleto al cielo. En cambio, el Señor ofrece una refutación desafiante a la forma de funcionar del mundo. El mapa del camino al cielo nos guía por el camino de la humildad y el amor abnegado, la puerta estrecha. Cuando permitimos que Jesús transforme nuestros corazones, creceremos en nuestra capacidad de ser caritativos, humildes y desprendidos del materialismo. Esta pobreza de espíritu nos permitirá ser fieles a Dios, pase lo que pase. Jesús nos dice quiénes son los bienaventurados, y no son los que la sociedad tiene en gran estima; son los perseguidos por su fe, los pobres, los olvidados y hasta los quebrantados de corazón. Son bienaventurados porque “el Señor está cerca de los que se vuelven a Él”.

A veces, las enseñanzas de Jesús pueden hacernos sentir incómodos, pero la verdad es que este es el camino hacia la verdadera felicidad, paz y alegría. ¿Con qué frecuencia nos deslizamos hacia el pensamiento mundano y nos colocamos en el centro del universo, colocamos nuestras necesidades por encima de los demás y olvidamos mantener nuestros ojos fijos en Cristo? Jesús nos dice que Él es el camino, la verdad, la vida, y en este pasaje, llegamos a ver que seremos llamados “Bienaventurados” cuando hagamos la voluntad de Dios.

Entonces, la próxima vez que necesite estar con Jesús, asegúrese de recordar este pasaje y permita que su testimonio esté arraigado en la humildad y el amor. Recordemos que Jesús nos está ofreciendo a cada uno de nosotros las gracias que necesitamos para transitar el difícil camino de seguir sus enseñanzas.

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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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Seek Christ / Buscar a Cristo

This Gospel reading is a beautiful opportunity for us to pause and reflect on our real goals in life. It is easy to get caught up in the great hamster wheel of life and forget the most important mission we are on is to be with Jesus for all of eternity.

In this Gospel passage, we are reminded that wealth and money are not a sign of being part of God’s favored people but rather a real warning that these blessings come with tremendous responsibility to others.

Our goal in life should never be to be rich but rather to live in a way that resembles Jesus. We need to be careful that we do not spend our entire life “chasing our dream of money and significant wealth” and forget the real task at hand to grow closer to Christ and live out our faith. Our jobs are a means to provide for our family and an opportunity to do good for others, but they should not distract us from our end goal, heaven.

Jesus is evident in this Scripture about the great reward waiting for us in heaven if we are willing to live out the Gospel message. Peter is much like all of us as he evaluates if it is worth giving it all up. He is even bold enough to ask the ageless question of whether it is worth following Christ and giving up everything. His straightforward manner allows us to hear this tremendous answer from Jesus,

“Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

Jesus is reminding us of the glory that awaits us in heaven, and he tells us in a straightforward way that true happiness in this life and the next comes from how we live our lives. This Gospel also reinforces how priests and religious who give up family, home, and even homeland for the sake of the Kingdom will be eternally blessed.

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Esta lectura del Evangelio es una hermosa oportunidad para pausar y reflexionar sobre cuales son nuestras metas verdaderas en esta vida. Es fácil quedar atrapado en la gran rueda de hámster de la vida y olvidar que la misión más importante que tenemos es estar con Jesús por toda la eternidad.

En este pasaje del Evangelio, se nos recuerda que la riqueza y el dinero no son una señal de ser parte del pueblo favorecido de Dios, sino una advertencia real de que estas bendiciones vienen con una tremenda responsabilidad para con los demás.

Nuestro objetivo en la vida nunca debe ser hacernos ricos, sino vivir de una manera que se asemeje a Jesús. Debemos tener cuidado de no pasar toda nuestra vida “persiguiendo nuestro sueño de dinero y una riqueza significativa” y olvidarnos de la verdadera tarea que tenemos entre las manos para acercarnos más a Cristo y vivir nuestra fe. Nuestros trabajos son un medio para mantener a nuestra familia y una oportunidad de hacer el bien a los demás, pero no deben distraernos de nuestro objetivo final, el cielo.

Jesús es claro en esta Escritura acerca de la gran recompensa que nos espera en el cielo si estamos dispuestos a vivir el mensaje del Evangelio. Pedro se parece mucho a todos nosotros cuando evalúa si vale la pena dejarlo todo. Incluso es tan audaz como para hacer la eterna pregunta de si vale la pena seguir a Cristo y renunciar a todo lo demás. Su manera directa nos permite escuchar esta tremenda respuesta de Jesús:

“Yo les aseguro que en la vida nueva, cuando el Hijo del hombre se siente en su trono de gloria, ustedes, los que me han seguido, se sentarán también en doce tronos, para juzgar a las doce tribus de Israel. Y todo aquel que por mí haya dejado casa, o hermanos o hermanas, o padre o madre, o esposa o hijos, o propiedades, recibirá cien veces más y heredará la vida eterna. Y muchos primeros serán últimos y muchos últimos, primeros.’’

Jesús nos está recordando la gloria que nos espera en el cielo, y nos dice de manera directa que la verdadera felicidad en esta vida y en la próxima viene de cómo vivimos nuestras vidas. Este Evangelio también refuerza cómo serán eternamente bendecidos los sacerdotes y religiosos que dejen la familia, el hogar e incluso la patria por causa del Reino.

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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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Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Virgin Mary / Santos Joaquín y Ana, Padres de la Virgen María

In the Gospel reading today, we are given clarity to the parable of the wheat and weeds in the field. Jesus shares that the Children of God are the good seed. The weeds are the children of the Evil One, and the Gospel goes on to say: “The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, So will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers…Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

We are asked to allow our faith to shine in the midst of the weeds and darkness of our age. Jesus came and established a heavenly Kingdom on earth. His Kingdom lasts forever, and all are invited to His kingdom. It is constantly growing, in spite of the weeds, until the end of time. 

God has chosen for us to be the light in this world, to co-exist among those who seek to spread evil, hate, and lies, the children of the evil one. Evil is a reality here on earth, but we are asked to rise above sin and seek holiness. 

The last line is essential for all of us to understand, “Whoever has ears ought to hear”. It is easy for us to drown out the Lord with the sounds of the culture. Just pause for a minute and reflect on how noisy this culture can be, luring us into sin and even attempting to dilute our faith. Rarely, are Christian values and authentic faith affirmed by this culture. Instead, more and more we are criticized for practicing our Catholic faith. But our focus needs to be on the light of Christ and showing the love of the Father through our good deeds.

Today we celebrate the feast day of Sts. Joachim and St. Anne, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They are beautiful examples of the importance of holy parents as they protected and helped to form the Blessed Mother. They are considered to be holy parents and the patron saints of all grandparents.

As parents and grandparents, our responsibility is to pass down to the younger generation our love of Christ and our Catholic beliefs. This is the most important legacy we can give them – to let our faith shine. We can not assume that our loved ones have received this great gift of faith, so do not hesitate to share the love of Christ from your heart with them. 

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En la lectura del Evangelio de hoy, se nos aclara la parábola del trigo y la cizaña en el campo. Jesús comparte que los Hijos de Dios son la buena semilla. La cizaña son los hijos del Maligno, y el Evangelio continúa diciendo: “El tiempo de la cosecha es el fin del mundo, y los segadores son los ángeles. Y así como recogen la cizaña y la queman en el fuego, así sucederá al fin del mundo: el Hijo del hombre enviará a sus ángeles para que arranquen de su Reino a todos los que inducen a otros al pecado y a todos los malvados, y los arrojen en el horno encendido. Allí será el llanto y la desesperación. Entonces los justos brillarán como el sol en el Reino de su Padre. El que tenga oídos, que oiga’’.

Se nos pide que permitamos que nuestra fe brille en medio de la maleza y la oscuridad de nuestros tiempos. Jesús vino y estableció un Reino celestial en la tierra. Su Reino dura para siempre, y todos están invitados a Su reino. Está en constante crecimiento, a pesar de las malas hierbas, hasta el final de los tiempos.

Dios nos ha elegido para que seamos la luz en este mundo, para coexistir entre los que buscan sembrar el mal, el odio y la mentira, los hijos del maligno. El mal es una realidad aquí en la tierra, pero se nos pide que nos elevemos por encima del pecado y busquemos la santidad.

La última línea es esencial para que todos la entendamos: “El que tenga oídos, que oiga”. Es fácil para nosotros ahogar al Señor con los sonidos de la cultura. Solo haga una pausa por un minuto y reflexione sobre cuán ruidosa puede ser esta cultura, atrayéndonos al pecado e incluso intentando diluir nuestra fe. Rara vez, los valores cristianos y la fe auténtica son afirmados por esta cultura. En cambio, cada vez somos más criticados por practicar nuestra fe católica. Pero nuestro enfoque debe estar en la luz de Cristo y mostrar el amor del Padre a través de nuestras buenas obras.

Hoy celebramos la fiesta de los Santos Joaquín y Santa Ana, los padres de la Santísima Virgen María. Son hermosos ejemplos de la importancia de los santos padres que protegieron y ayudaron a formar a la Santísima Madre. Se les considera padres santos y santos patronos de todos los abuelos.

Como padres y abuelos, nuestra responsabilidad es transmitir a la generación más joven nuestro amor por Cristo y nuestras creencias católicas. Este es el legado más importante que podemos darles: dejar brillar nuestra fe. No podemos tomar por hecho que nuestros seres queridos han recibido este gran don de la fe, así que no dudes en compartir con ellos el amor de Cristo desde tu corazón.

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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 Great Feast of the Sacred Heart: An invitation to Encounter the Love of Christ

Jesus’ Most Sacred Heart is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

“The designs of his heart shall endure from age to age, to rescue our souls from death and nourish us in our hunger.”- Entrance Antiphon (Ps 32: 11,19)

The Feast of the Sacred Heart is a beautiful opportunity to seek out new graces and renew our love for Christ. Jesus continuously offers us His eternal love that is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This great Feast of the Sacred Heart is celebrated the Friday after the Second Sunday of Pentecost or 19 days after Pentecost. 

This feast day is a personal favorite of mine as it is a sweet reminder of what the authentic love of Jesus looks like. We learn in Holy Scripture, the attributes of faithful love are patience, kindness, forgiveness and slowness to anger, and that “it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13). This holy love is perfectly displayed in the Heart of Jesus. For Jesus is love, and He is offering us His Heart as a reminder of this love.

The Gospels tell us that the Good Shepherd is willing to leave the fold to find the lost sheep and rejoices over finding it. We read, “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.” Let us turn to the Heart of Jesus asking for new graces so that we can return to His Most Sacred Heart and invite others to do so as well. When we encounter this loving Heart we can not help but be filled with gratitude and want to spread His Kingdom of love to others. 

One of the greatest blessings of being a Catholic is understanding that we can honor the Heart of Christ and seek out His graces to perform loving acts of reparation for those who have offended the Lord. These acts of reparation serve as a way to show Christ that we love Him through our willingness to offer our sacrifices to make up for the transgressions of others. A powerful way to do this is to say the Daily Offering. When we pray this prayer we offer up the daily “thoughts, works, joys, and sorrows” of our lives to Jesus.  

The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus reminds us of how Christ loves us, renews our love for Him and re-commits us to practicing this Devotion. 

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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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I Call You My Friends, Abide In My Love

In this Gospel passage, Jesus invites us to a personal relationship with Him by abiding in His love. And how do we abide in His love? By keeping His commandments, which, as St. John explains in his first Epistle (I John 5:3), are not burdensome.  The two commandments which should be our daily focus are to love God with our whole heart and soul, and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mat 22: 37-40). There is a great promise attached to embracing these commandments: whatever we ask the Father in His name, He will give it to us.

Jesus states, that He loves us, asks us to return that love back to Him, and wants that same love to flow out to others. The greatest love that can be shown for a friend is to lay down your life for them. Jesus demonstrated His love for us by laying down His life for us on the Cross. True love is not abstract or passive, but active in service and sacrifice for others. 

Knowing that it was the eve of His passion and death for our sins, Jesus wants to emphasize what is most important in His final words. That message was for us to “love one another as I have loved you.” We are called to love with Christ’s love, not on our own. We can never love independently, but only when we are open to being a vessel of His love. This is how we experience the true joy which Christ promised. When we place other people’s needs ahead of ours, we show that friendship isn’t just found in our words but in our actions.

When we take the next step and suffer for our friends we are following the footsteps of Christ. Self-giving and self-sacrifice are an intimate pathway to growing closer to Christ, and when we offer them up to the Lord, it is redemptive. This is how we bear fruit that will abide and is the result of the Father pruning us as a branch in the vine of Christ. 

In the work I do at WelcomeHisHeart.com I rejoice when Catholics reach out to me and share how their family encountered healing, hope, and grace through the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart. This simple self-directed ceremony is when Christ is welcomed into our life through enthroning Him on high, and we learn to live in union with His Most Sacred Heart. 

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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 Beauty of the Beatitudes

“Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.”

“Blessed are you who are poor,

for the kingdom of God is yours.

Blessed are you who are now hungry,

for you will be satisfied.

Blessed are you who are now weeping,

for you will laugh.

Blessed are you when people hate you,

and when they exclude and insult you,

and denounce your name as evil

on account of the Son of Man.

Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!

Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.”

The Beatitudes are an invitation to place Christ first in our life and follow His ways so as to better experience the joy of the Gospel and use the things of this world for His glory, such as using wealth, power, popularity, influence, or success to build up what is good, beautiful and holy. 

The Lord invites us to encounter Him and experience Heaven here on Earth. Jesus reminds us that God’s ways are not the ways of this world, so we are not called to be troubled or discouraged when others mock us or persecute us, but instead, we are invited to rejoice in our trials and difficulties, for we know God can use all things to His greater glory. When we experience difficult times, Jesus wants us to not grow hard-hearted during these trials but rather serve as a witness to Christ and love them.

“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in Heaven.”The word “blessed” means truly happy, filled with joy, and knowing God blesses you. The Sermon on the Mount is a path to not only growing closer to Christ but living out our Catholic faith and experiencing Christian joy despite what is going on around us.

The Beatitudes remind us that we live for Heaven and Heaven’s reward, not an earthly reward. In an age where we want “instant success and reward,” it is essential to cling to the Beatitudes and make sure that we seek to encounter the Lord and follow His ways.

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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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Be Set Free From Evil

As the disciples’ boat arrives at Gerasa a man with an “unclean spirit” comes from the tombs towards them. It is much like a modern-day horror film that would cause fright and fear. The man had supernatural strength and was uncontrollable. He would howl and gash himself with stones, so his appearance must have been terrifying. 

At the sight of Jesus, this man ran to Him, fell to the ground and worshiped Him, and shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” The man seemed to sense that Jesus could free him from a horrible oppression, and the evil spirits knew that Jesus had divine power over them. 

At the end of this Gospel reading, we learn that the man was freed from the demon named Legion when Jesus sent the demons into a herd of pigs. The pigs then jumped off the cliff and died. Instead of the townspeople rejoicing that this man was saved from his affliction by the demonic spirit, they were more worried about the loss of the pig herd and were afraid of our Lord. 

Not only did they not thank Jesus for freeing the community from this demonic and frightful man, they, in return, asked Jesus to leave. Just think of their missed opportunity by not inviting Jesus to heal and help their families from their sickness and afflictions. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; He sets us free from sin, and yet, we must be open to this personal transformation. We must invite the Lord into our life. 

However, all was not lost. The man set free from a life of demonic possession was now free to proclaim the Gospel. Even though the townspeople were afraid of Jesus and asked Him to depart, Christ left them a messenger of the Good News who had a powerful testimony. Jesus asked the cured demoniac to “Go home to your people and tell them all that the Lord in His mercy has done for you.” Words for all of us to reflect on. Our personal testimony is a most powerful witness for the Holy Spirit to reach other hearts through us.

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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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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. 

Contact the author

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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