Faith Needs No “Prove It to Me” Sign

Today’s readings:
Letter to St. James 1:1-11
Mark 8:11-13

The Holy Spirit led me to think about the strength of my faith.  Do I persevere in adversity?  Do I doubt God’s existence?  I think I’m still too new to the faith.  I’m still too passionate about God to doubt His existence.  I pray that the bitter cup of life would pass from my lips, but I also pray for the grace to accept His will.  St. James tells us to consider life’s trials as a joy because tests to our faith produces perseverance.  In all honesty, I don’t know if I’m ready.

My greatest attachment is to my wife and child.  What if I lost them to a tragic accident?  I would be devastated.  I would certainly ask God why it had to happen, why He didn’t prevent it.  I’m scared just to consider the possibility, now.  Like I said: I pray that the bitter cup of life would pass from my lips, but I also pray for the grace to accept His will.

Mark’s Gospel today spoke of Jesus being fed up with people asking for a sign that proves His being.  Jesus told them that no sign would given them.  Thanks be to God, I don’t need a sign to prove that He exists.  Yet, I may be guilty of asking for the confirmation of His will.  I think it’s okay, though.  Sister Meg Funk from Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove, Indiana wrote:

“It is one thing to ask for a sign, as in ‘prove it to me.’  It is another thing to respectfully ask for a confirming sign that we can be sure we are hearing the voice of the Lord.

“How is it that doubts cover our faith from time to time?  Should we not heed the caution?  Isn’t it good to doubt and to take action only when ready and confident?  The answer is yes, if we live by faith.

“Where there is doubt, we need to pray in faith for confidence in Jesus Christ.  This way we have only one mind and heart, the mind and heart that is turned toward God, and not just toward ourselves.”

Leprosy of the Soul

Today’s readings:
Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46
1 Corinthians 10:31 – 11:1
Mark 1:40-45

I went to confession, today.  It was seven months since my last one, and I had a lot of sins that needed absolution.  I’m grateful to the author of the “Confession: A Roman Catholic” app.  I was able to use it to conduct a thorough examination of conscience.

One of the things my confession made me realize was my unhealthy obsession for web development.  I was wasting a lot of time, during work hours and late at night, just to learn about web design and SEO.  It was taking me away from prayer; I was stealing time away from my employer.  Both are sins.

Then God spoke to me from today’s second reading: First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (10:31 – 11:1) “… whether you eat or drink, whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”  So, why not channel my obsession to create a website about my journey with God?  I would satisfy my obsession and, at the same time, improve my prayer life and potentially bring the Gospel to others.

So, why not start today?  It’s already 1:30am (see how this obsession is affecting me?)  But, I can’t stop until I make some progress.

Passages like Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46 cause unbelievers to think God is different than the God of the New Testament.  But, He is the same God.  So, why did God tell Moses to instruct Jews to treat lepers worse than second-class citizens?  I was told during catechism that we cannot understand the Old Testament without the New Testament.  So, this apparent callous treatment of lepers cannot be fully understood until we see the connection in the Gospel reading for today, Mark 1:40-45.  Jesus will come and redeem all lepers.  I get it, but… why did God wait thousands of years?  In the meantime, many generations of lepers died in despair.  Why didn’t God offer some sort of solace to the lepers?  I’ll have to dwell on this problem for a while longer.  The Holy Spirit will provide me an answer.

Leprosy is a disease that is obvious to a casual observer.  Yet, the sins that disfigure my soul are not so obvious.  A leper can’t hide his disfigurement, but I can hide the leprosy of my soul.  So, I go to confession to have Jesus cure my spiritual leprosy.  The leper in Mark 1:40-45 goes out and tells everyone how Jesus cured him.  He is so happy.  So grateful.   He couldn’t keep Jesus a secret.  He had to share with others this miracle: his leprosy is gone!

I’ve been to confession before, but I never saw my sinful condition as a hideous disease of the soul.  So, I did not shout from the rooftops or run to every street corner to proclaim the glory of God.

It’s different this time around.  I went to confession, today.  I started a website.  Jesus cured the leprosy of my soul, and I want to tell you about it.  Welcome.

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