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.

Feature Image Credit: ferchu1965, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/4391-paisaje-marino

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.

Feature Image Credit: Vanesa Guerrero, rpm, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/2177-jesus-con-brazos-abiertos

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.

Sharing Vs. Selfishness

“Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” Luke 12:15

If only we could seek to live out these very words shared to us by Jesus in today’s Gospel. We must consciously guard our hearts of all greed and envy. Jesus is warning us not to allow selfishness to taint our vision and act as if we are God.

In life, we must be careful not to allow our actions to be done out of selfishness thereby leaving little to no room for God and others.

The parable in this story points to what happens when we become consumed with “stuff” and are selfish. I could not help but picture this man’s barn full of grain that was never intended to be shared with others, even to the point of his food rotting instead of feeding those who are in need.

This is not a story of growing a business to sell the grain, expand bigger barns to store more grain for others, but instead, Jesus tells us that he desired to create larger barns to store grain so he could live a life of selfishness. This man was wealthy and never suffered from lack of food; he was already blessed, his barns worked fine as they were. The man said to himself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink and be merry.” This mantra of living doesn’t involve anyone but self and is a temptation we must all fight.

When God appeared, he said, “You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you, and the things you have prepared to whom will they belong? “

This question is a crucial one. What will your legacy be? With whom shall you share your life’s earnings? How do you spend your time, talent, and money? Our Lord is pointing out that this man created these barns for himself and not for others; it was all for his pleasure.

Jesus ends this parable with these powerful words, “Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.” Luke 12:21

Today’s saints,  Sts. John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions were missionaries in the New World and shared the Gospel message even resulting in martyrdom.

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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.

Listening and Learning

“Let everyone who has ears attend to what he has heard.”

Jesus invites everyone present in this Gospel reading to listen and learn. He desires all of us to be with him in Heaven and to share the message of the Kingdom of God throughout the entire world.

The seeds in the parable were spread on many different types of soil with a variety of results. The most fruitful result is when the seed of the word of God is received in a spirit of openness, and nurtured through perseverance.

In life, we are called to prepare our souls for these amazing graces the Lord has to offer us. He desires each soul to hear the word of God through humble prayer, scripture, and openness to His Spirit. Without God’s seed, we can fall victim to the stresses, pleasures and riches of the world which prevent us from bearing fruit and growing closer to Christ.

Jesus can bring us peace through all our trials and stressful circumstances. He wants us to allow the tense moments of this world to be opportunities to bring us back to our faith. Nothing should hold us back from the love of God. In good times, we praise the Lord, we thank the Lord, we honor the Lord. In times of great trials, we offer this back to Christ so that we can carry our cross and be more like Him.

We are called to live in the world, but not of it; not attached to the stresses, anxieties, worries, and pleasures of this world, but seeking to bring greater Glory to the Lord.

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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.

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”- John 3:16

This is one of the most famous Gospel passages due to its proliferation on signs during sporting events, billboards, and even t-shirts. But recognizing this verse is far different than living it and spreading the message to others.

Today’s Gospel is read on the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross to emphasize that the path of salvation is through the cross. The Holy Cross is the universal sign of God’s love for us through Jesus’ passion and death. Even though the world was created through Jesus, and He came to establish His Kingdom of Love, the cross is the only throne mankind offered Him. May we seek to unite ourselves with all Christians, throughout time, in seeking to love the Cross of Christ. Through this cross, Jesus has made available the path to eternal life, for all who are willing, and the way to gain true peace.

Each day Jesus invites us to offer up our deeds, works, and prayers to our Lord. We can give everything to the Lord as a “Living Sacrifice”. Everything can be redeemed by giving it back to Christ. Let us seek to be more like our Lord on this day, and welcome Jesus into our lives, our homes, and our work. We should ask the Holy Spirit for the grace to develop an interior unity and a focus on our ultimate goal of eternal life. By His healing grace we can learn to discard our fragmented lifestyles and distorted views of God and other people.

Allow Jesus to show you the way, the truth, and life by following His example. We should take up our own small crosses and offer our trials and tribulations back to Jesus.

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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.