Monday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Saint Albert the Great—(c.1200-+1280) Doctor of the Church, Patron of Natural Science, Medical Technicians, Philosophers, and Scientists
1 Maccabees 1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63, 119: 53, 61, 134, 150, 155, 158
& Luke 18:35-43
"…many in Israel stood firm and were resolved in their hearts not to eat unclean food." —1 Maccabees 1:62
"Your faith has made you well." —Luke 18:42.
You may agree or disagree when I say, 'these are the times when we need stories about the unstoppable power of faith.'
Some fifty-seven years ago, when our high school football coaches tried to inspire my team coming off a prior 0-10 season, they motivated us with the words "believe" and "desire." They talked about the power of faith. I candidly admit that I did not have great ability, but those coaches saw something within us that pushed us to be better athletes. Somehow, several of my teammates and I excelled that season. Faith yielded confidence. Confidence yielded results. Unfortunately, our team finished a disappointing 2 and 8, better than the previous season, and we learned much about life.
In a time of unnecessary violence, fear, and uncertainty, it is inspiring to have today's stories of faith, power, and salvation. Maccabees author states, those who "stood firm and were resolved in their hearts," which caused my heart to race a bit. I believe all of us know that feeling. We might have come under attack, felt vulnerable, exposed, weak, or wounded. Then we reached deep inside, called on God, and found that He has placed a steady resolve in our hearts. Those who resolved to die rather than be forced into infidelity to their faith found freedom and life. We need the example of their strong hearts.
The Gospel story of Jesus and the blind man is similarly powerful. The image of the two men is refreshing. Jesus, followed by a substantially noisy crowd and the blind beggar, insistent and shouting for attention. Both men are confident in the power they rely upon; both are rock-solid in their faith. What I find riveting is that Jesus recognizes towering faith in the seemingly insignificant beggar. Again, faith yields confidence, and confidence yields results, even if your team finishes 2 and 8.
Question of the Day: What might Jesus see in you when you call upon Him today?
Prayer: "Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands." (Psalm 119)