Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart find favor before you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Ah, youth.  Sarah and I were coming back from breakfast yesterday.  As I made my way up into the choir loft to prepare for 9:30 Mass, two of my daughters, Mary and Teresa, were already there, Mary by herself and Teresa came over to  talk to Sarah.  It was a rather short conversation and Teresa went to her usual place to sit.  As I looked at her face, she had a rather peculiar look.  She was half smiling and sort of crying, so being the loving father I asked…”Are you crying?” to which she responded “Yes.”.  So that begged the next question – “Why?”, to which she responded…”I miss Presley.”  I then committed the unthinkable sin of rolling my eyes – good grief.  Now many of you reading this might thing why would she miss Elvis but you would be wrong…her boyfriends name is Presley.  Very nice gentleman too.  Back to rolling my eyes.  The more I think about this response, the more I think I might have been wrong rolling my eyes.  How many of us would love to have someone who thought so much about us that they cried because they weren’t with us and miss us?  This probably wouldn’t be a bad thing.   Again, I say, ah youth.  So to make up for rolling my eyes to my daughter yesterday, I have offered this apology to her like a true man, a true loving father would do.  Grant it, I’m doing it through this blog which she never reads but, nevertheless, it is an apology.

Today’s readings offer great insight to the MAN that I should strive to be.  If you’re reading this, it goes to say that these readings offer great insight to the person you should strive to be.

Who among you is wise and understanding?
Let him show his works by a good life
in the humility that comes from wisdom.
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts,
do not boast and be false to the truth…

Jesus said to him,
“‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.”

Everything is possible to one who has faith.  Everything.  As I finished reading this Gospel this morning, I immediately went to the footnotes on this to try and get some clarification.  Jesus was rather harsh on His disciples this morning, rebuking them for not being able to drive the demon out of the boy.  Here is what I found in the footnotes…

* [9:1429] The disciples’ failure to effect a cure seems to reflect unfavorably on Jesus (Mk 9:141822). In response Jesus exposes their lack of trust in God (Mk 9:19) and scores their lack of prayer (Mk 9:29), i.e., of conscious reliance on God’s power when acting in Jesus’ name. For Matthew, see note on Mt 17:1420Lk 9:3743 centers attention on Jesus’ sovereign power.

* [9:29This kind can only come out through prayer: a variant reading adds “and through fasting.”

So what is it I must do to become a true follower of Christ?  I must pray and I must pray often.  I must show to everyone around me a “conscious reliance on God’s power when acting in Jesus’ name”.  

When I rely on me, when I base my values on my wisdom and not God’s, these will be the “fruits” of my labor (as told to me in our first reading)…

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts,
do not boast and be false to the truth.
Wisdom of this kind does not come down from above
but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there is disorder and every foul practice.

BUT, if my prayer and my reliance is based on God’s wisdom – the Holy Spirit – these will be the fruits of my labor…

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure,
then peaceable, gentle, compliant,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without inconstancy or insincerity.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace
for those who cultivate peace.

Do something great for our Lord today – live in the Wisdom of God; live by His statutes which are holy and pure.  Pray unceasingly.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

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