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Friday, May 3, 2013

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Sts. Philip & James

1 Corinthians 15:1-8
Psalm 19:2-5
John 14:6-14

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will your faith last? (see lk 18:8)

"Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me, or else, believe because of the works I do." —John 14:11

If we believe in Jesus, we will do greater works than He did (Jn 14:12). By faith, we can move mountains (Mt 17:20), conquer the world (1 Jn 5:5), obtain God's promises, break the jaws of lions, put out raging fires, and escape the devouring sword (Heb 11:33-34). By faith, we accept the grace of salvation (Eph 2:8). Definitely, faith is a very great gift from God.

However, as great as faith is, it must be permanent. Otherwise, we have believed in vain (1 Cor 15:2). Only by lasting faith do we hold fast to the gospel (1 Cor 15:2). Therefore, it is extremely important to protect and develop our faith. Our daily prayer should be: "I do believe. Help my lack of faith!" (Mk 9:24, our transl.)

Faith is confidence, assurance, and conviction (Heb 11:1). Faith is a result of a good relationship. Therefore, faith can increase or decrease frequently because all relationships continually deepen or lessen. Consequently, we need to maximize our communication with the Lord so as to deepen our relationship with Him, thereby strengthening our faith. We need the Scriptures (Rm 10:17), Christian community, the breaking of the bread (the Eucharist), and the prayers (Acts 2:42). We need ever-increasing and everlasting faith. Lord, "increase our faith" (Lk 17:5).

Prayer:  Father, deepen my faith in You so that I will die for you as did Sts. Philip and James.

Promise:  "He was seen by five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still alive, although some have fallen asleep. Next He was seen by James; then by all the apostles. Last of all He was seen by me." —1 Cor 15:6-8

Praise:  St. James "the Less" was an apostle who is never mentioned individually in the gospels as saying or doing anything. His only activity was to hear Jesus' call in his life and respond by wholeheartedly following Jesus. He died as a martyr and is part of the foundation of the Church (Eph 2:20).

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 2, 2012

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