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Monday, February 24, 2003

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Sirach 1:1-10
Psalm 93
Mark 9:14-29

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will you accept the faith-challenge?

"Everything is possible to one who has faith." —Mark 9:23, RNAB

What if someone said to you: "What an unbelieving lot you are!"? (Mk 9:19) What if Jesus gave you the impression that you needed greater faith? Would you take correction about your faith without becoming defensive? Like the father of the possessed son, would you confess and admit: "I do have faith! Help my lack of faith!"? (Mk 9:24, our transl)

It is not necessarily a good idea to suggest to others that they are lacking in faith. But it is good to accept a challenge to grow in faith. We should frequently pray: Lord, "increase our faith" (Lk 17:5). Because the Lord's gift of faith is so precious, we should be willing to do whatever it takes — even suffer — so as to receive the gift of more faith (see 1 Pt 1:6-7). Because even a slight increase of faith can move a mountain (see Mt 17:20), it makes sense to orchestrate our lives so as to have maximum receptivity to the gift of faith.

Therefore, let us live to grow in faith. Let us have faith to live fully the abundant life in Christ (see Jn 10:10).

Prayer:  Father, may I pray and fast in faith to drive out demons (see Mk 9:29; Mt 17:21).

Promise:  "Fear of the Lord warms the heart, giving gladness and joy and length of days." —Sir 1:10

Praise:  With God's grace, Rick was able to forgive a neighbor who literally transgressed him and was rewarded with a special friendship with the former transgressor.

Reference:  (Presentation Ministries' Lenten Retreat: The Life of Christian Prayer, March 7-9, will help you grow in faith through the Church's daily liturgical prayer, meditation, contemplation, etc. To register or for more information, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 1, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 7, 2002