In the early centuries of the Church there were some very difficult times, as faithful believers tried to express what we really believe about Christ. Particularly, how to begin to grasp the meaning and put into words, that in Jesus, God comes to us, revealing that the One God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! How is Jesus both fully God and fully Man?
"Whoever has ears ought to hear." When I hear Jesus' statement, I think back to all the times I heard from a coach, scoutmaster, and others: "Listen up!"
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A lay preacher received a call from another church offering him a higher salary. He spent much time in prayer, trying to discern what God wanted him to do. One day a friend met the preacher’s son on the street and enquired about his dad’s position, and if he had made a decision. The boy replied, “Well, Dad is praying, but Mom is packing!”
"You are damned if you do and you are damned if you don’t." You may have heard that expression. If you haven’t, there is an example of the sentiment in the reading from the Book of Exodus, in the exchange between Moses and God.
"I am concerned about you and the way you are being treated in Egypt." God spoke those words to Moses, and those words must have brought comfort to Moses as he struggled to respond to the needs of his people; who were at the time, being oppressed in Egypt.
Every once and a while we celebrate a memorial that includes a Saint, like today’s, and that also includes their companions. This group of 120 martyrs included 33 European missionaries and 87 Chinese laypeople, who ranged from 9 to 76 years old, and who gave their life for love of God.