He himself was tested through what he suffered

He himself was tested through what he suffered. Scripture (Mark 1:29-39) reminds us that Jesus wasn’t some superhero.   He became a man just like us;  he suffered and was tempted just as we are.   He got tired and hungry, just as we do.   He felt hurt when people spoke against him, just as we do.   And he needed to pray, just as we do.   Jesus never sinned, of course, but he nevertheless experienced so many of the effects of sin that we know. ...

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He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him

He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.  People living in First World countries have all but completely dismissed the idea that evil spirits are real.   But as numerous saints have emphasized over and over again, that’s a big mistake.   Demons are real, and they are constantly trying to tempt us to commit sins. Before we go any further, however, we need to make one important distinction.   While very few people are...

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He spoke to us through the Son

He spoke to us through the Son.  As the Church begins a series of readings from the Letter to the Hebrews, let’s take a broad look at this beautiful epistle. Truth be told, Hebrews has always been somewhat of a mystery to commentators.   Many early Church writers saw in it the influence of a Pharisee like St. Paul because of its numerous quotes from the Old Testament.   But its style is totally different from Paul’s other works. Other scholars...

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Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!

Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!  Jesus’ words are perplexing at best.   Why wouldn’t the disciples be terrified, given the situation?   Not only are they far out to sea, but it’s dark, a storm is raging, and what appears to be a ghost is walking toward them.   Who wouldn’t be afraid? So how should we understand Jesus’ words to the disciples?   And more to the point, how can we deal with our fears when we face terrifying circumstances? ...

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They all ate and were satisfied

They all ate and were satisfied.  Has anyone ever surprised you with a gift of food?   Maybe it was dinner that a neighbor brought over when a family member passed away.   Maybe someone at work handed you a cup of gourmet coffee when you were laboring over a tight deadline.   Or maybe someone gave you a gift card to your favorite restaurant for your birthday. The miracle of the feeding of the five thousand was also an unexpected gift.   The...

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We should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ

We should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ.  In a recent study, researchers interviewed American Christian youth, both Catholic and non-Catholic.   The data indicated that although they called themselves Christians, many of the young people didn’t really grasp the essential truths of Christianity.   They believed that God exists, but that he is far off and removed from their daily lives.   They believed that God exists mainly to...

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