In our hyper divided nation where people get so angry at their opponents or even people on the street or grocery line, the below daily reflection, really struck a chord with me. The human reaction to our enemies or opponents is to get even, or to destroy them in some way, but God’s way is to heal, and forgive, to bring our enemies into the fold. The apostles were not so different from us. When they wanted to pass through a Samaritan town, and the Samaritans refused to give the disciples entrance to pass through, one of Jesus’ disciples wanted to call down fire from heaven to smite the Samaritans. Jesus told them to hold off. Jesus had a different plan in mind for them.
The story made me thing of today’s culture. How often do we react this same way? I could easily see myself reacting the same way as the disciples did. How quickly we react with our human instincts to rebel, fight back, or try to “get even” with those who oppose us. Rather God calls us to pray for our enemies and treat them as we would a fellow Christian or family member. No one is lost in God’s eyes, even though from our perspective our enemies seem like a lost cause.
The scripture below comes to mind.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55: 8-9)
The below story CLEARLY demonstrates this and it gives me pause to consider how quickly we can all be to act with our human instincts rather than to operate by God’s grace and in the power of the Holy Spirit to be God’s hands and feet in this divided world.
Are you too busy? Are you overwhelmed with life’s demands? If so, God has a better way for you. In talking with a priest one day who had completely burned out at one point in his ministry told me something I will never forget regarding his ministry workload, he said, “The Lord is not a slave driver, the devil is.” He went on to explain, that the Lord called him to minister to his flock, but it was the devil who was whispering lies in his ear, and mentally using a whip to get him to work faster, and faster, to take on more and more than he could handle. One day the priest realized the Lord was not pushing him like this, it was the devil. And he stopped operating like that. He needed REST. And the Lord was calling him to Rest in Him. The below reflection from Presentation Ministry’s One Bread, One Body struck me as many of us try to serve the Lord, and meet all the demands of work and family, but it was a good reminder that we need to know the Lord is not a slave driver, the devil is.
52 Masses: A Journey to Experience Catholicism Across America – On this segment of Faith in Action, co-hosts Jim Ganley and Brigid Ayer are joined bytheir guest, author Daniel Markham who shares his journey in attending mass in 50 states and Puerto Rico and District of Columbia and wrote a book about it. He shares his journey and his takeaways from attending Mass. For more details or to get a copy of the book the website is https://52masses.com/
Messy Family Project-Cana 90 Lenten Program – Alicia Hernon joins Jim Ganley and Brigid Ayer to talk about The Messy Family Project, and she offers tips on how you can improve your marriage & family life during the season of Lent with a program called Cana 90. The Messy Family Project webpage is www.messyfamilyproject.org
Discipleship in the new millennium brings many opportunities and challenges. We have really awesome technology we can harness to share our experience of Jesus and the truth we have been given.
A question I hear a lot in my various roles is “Should I be using YouTube, or another video sharing platform?” As a longtime Catholic Christian who has worked in evangelization and as a professional communications consultant, I get questions about video use, particularly YouTube, all the time from those who want to up their discipleship efforts. In fact, I feel so strongly about using digital media (including video) to evangelize, I wrote a book on the topic called “Breaking New Ground: Discipleship Using New Media, Evangelization in the Third Millennium” In that work, I encourage followers of Jesus to use all that is at our technological fingertips to share our personal encounters with Christ, and advance what we have been given as it relates to Jesus and our Christian faith. Yet, I do not go into great detail about the how’s or why’s to use specific platforms. I’ll do that here with regard to YouTube. I get this question so often, especially the “How“, I created a 3-part video class on things to consider when starting a YouTube channel.
Rachel’s Vineyard Healing Retreat – Faith In Action co-hosts, Brigid Ayer and Gordon Smith talk with Bernadette Roy of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis’ Project Rachel – Post Abortion Healing Ministry. They discuss the upcoming Rachel’s Vineyard retreat, designed to help post abortive women heal from the emotional and spiritual wounds caused by the abortion. The retreat talks place in Indianapolis July 29-31 and details can be found at Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat- Indianapolis Weekend or by emailing [email protected], or calls can be directed to either Bernadette Roy 317-452-0054 or Maria Hernandez (for Spanish Speakers) 317-946-3813. All calls are confidential.
HOW TO CREATE A PARISH EVANGELIZATION TEAM – On this segment of Faith in Action, host Brigid Ayer goes on location to St. Elizabeth Seton to talk with her guests, Greg Fleckenstein, Evangelization Director, and Jen Weldon, Evangelization Team member about how to form a parish evangelization team. Click below to listen and for more information, the website is https://www.setoncarmel.org/