I prayed a lot yesterday. I thought a lot too about the power of prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit. I got up this morning and started thinking about what today’s topic was going to be and my initial thoughts were about being old fashioned and typing about not eating meat on Friday. Then I read the readings for the day and something in the back of my mind starting taking me somewhere else.
After reading the first reading, I was ready to type fire and brimstone…Let marriage be honored among all and the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge the immoral and adulterers. Aah ah, there is my topic! But something in the back of my mind told me to keep reading on…Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, I will never forsake you or abandon you.
Thus we may say with confidence: The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me? Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Oh, speak of the immorality of the love of money? And the voice in the back of my head shouted a bit louder “Keep reading!”.
And so I did and found inspiration in the Psalm today – The Lord is my light and my salvation. And the voice kept pushing me to read on and so I read the Gospel, the account from Mark of Herod’s opinion of Jesus and then the story of the beheading of John the Baptist and at this point I was totally confused about “reading on”. What on earth was I supposed to pull from this to pass on any message to you this morning. But the voice kept telling me to read on and so I did. In the interest of keeping this post shorter than the Bible itself, I read on with Bishop Barron’s thoughts on today’s Gospel which inspired me go back to read the entire 6th Chapter of Mark (from which today’s Gospel is pulled from), which led me to read the footnotes on the 6th Chapter of Mark and that is where the light in my head came on and the voice said “Aah Ha”.
It was there in the footnotes of Mark’s 6th Chapter that I realized that the little voice in the back of my head was the Holy Spirit. It was there in the footnotes that I realized how powerful the Holy Spirit was not only in Jesus’ ministry but mine as well. It was there in the footnotes where I again was reminded of how important faith is in my life – in your life too.
[6:5] He was not able to perform any mighty deed there: according to Mark, Jesus’ power could not take effect because of a person’s lack of faith.
* [6:30] Apostles: here, and in some manuscripts at Mk 3:14, Mark calls apostles (i.e., those sent forth) the Twelve whom Jesus sends as his emissaries, empowering them to preach, to expel demons, and to cure the sick (Mk 6:13). Only after Pentecost is the title used in the technical sense.
* [6:50] It is I, do not be afraid!: literally, “I am.” This may reflect the divine revelatory formula of Ex 3:14; Is 41:4, 10, 14; 43:1–3, 10, 13. Mark implies the hidden identity of Jesus as Son of God.
* [6:52] They had not understood…the loaves: the revelatory character of this sign and that of the walking on the sea completely escaped the disciples. Their hearts were hardened: in Mk 3:5–6 hardness of heart was attributed to those who did not accept Jesus and plotted his death. Here the same disposition prevents the disciples from comprehending Jesus’ self-revelation through signs; cf. Mk 8:17.
Confused? I’m not and I hope I can help you understand the message the Holy Spirit inspired me with this morning. I talked yesterday about feeling useless and made reference to the healing works of the Apostles. The Apostle could have done none of this without the power of the Holy Spirit and without FAITH. Jesus couldn’t do any miracles for the people in His hometown not because HE didn’t have the power but because they didn’t have the FAITH. The Apostles were people just like you and me and it took time (I’m guessing about 3 years); it took the death of their Savior AND it took the gift of the Holy Spirit before they truly came to believe in the saving power of God.
What more will it take for us to truly believe? We’ve had the time, we’ve witnessed the miracles, we’ve read the testimonies of many who have sacrificed their lives for their Christ and we’ve been empowered with the sacraments of full initiation into the Church – Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation. We have the power to act on Christ’s behalf if we have the FAITH! So join me in my simple prayer this morning…COME HOLY SPIRIT. FILL THE HEARTS OF THE FAITHFUL. ENKINDLE IN US THE FIRE OF YOUR LOVE. MAY WE BE THE WINDOW SO ALL SEE CHRIST. MAY GRACE AND MERCY FLOW FROM OUR HEARTS. MAY THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED BECOME OUR PATH. MAY GOD BLESS US AND KEEP US FROM HARM. (Hmmm, kind of catchy tune there. 😉 )
Do something great for our Lord today – keep reading on.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.