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Friday, December 12, 2014

Luke 1412 14 Feeding Your Faith

Luke 1412 14 Feeding Your Faith
Luke 14:12-14 Feeding Your Faith

"(Click here for readings)"

"On a Sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees. He said to the host who invited him, "When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends... or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you."

Reading books on prayer is not the same as praying. Knowledge of God is not enough to fall in love with God. We must experience God. How? It's simple, extraordinarily simple.

"If I want to increase my faith, then I must take a leap of faith. The best part about believing is the surprises that come from faith. "

Every morning I reflect on God's Word: His Son and Scripture. I translate the Lord's words into my words and the Lord's actions into my actions. This is my "Morning Prayer" and daily bread, and this is what I will give to my parishioners and students. This is how I increase my faith. This is how I take a leap of faith.

Recently, at a high school retreat, while the kids where in adoration, a student came up to me and asked for some advice regarding a friend. I told her that she should go back to adoration, look for her friend and surprise her friend by giving her a hug. She wasn't sure about my advice. Well, as soon as she left I left.

The next day, she came up to me and told me what happened. As soon as she went back to adoration, her friend came up to her and gave her a hug. She couldn't believe it. She couldn't believe that the Lord had told her friend what I had told her.

Her faith grew that day. It became alive for the first time in a long time.

"WHEN YOU HOLD A BANQUET, INVITE THE POOR, THE CRIPPLED, THE LAME, THE BLIND. "The Lord loves to keep us on our toes, our tippy-toes. He loves to keep us in suspense. He loves to throw curve balls at us. Just when we think we are getting the hang of this Christian stuff, the Lord encourages us, to go one step further, by challenging us. He loves to challenge our pre-conceived notions by turning our world upside down. He loves to challenge our love out of love for us. He does so because, like He told Martha, He wants us to experience the "better part"; "the part about trusting God above all our fears and tribulations and finding the surprise at the bottom of it. "

When was the last time you were surprised by your faith? If it has been a while, then it means you're going through the motions: you're going to Church out of a debt to pay. It means you're just praying out of an obligation or habit. And if you're praying out of habit, then you're praying with your mind only and not with your whole body: mind, heart and soul.

The commandments are not so much an obligation as they are a prescription.

In today's Gospel, the Lord is not offering us a quick tip to holiness or some "techniques" to rise in stature and in respect. He is encouraging us to make the most out of life; to learn from the blind, the poor and the crippled. There is so much to learn outside of school. There are so many friends to be made outside of my circle of friends. There is so much more to this world than the places and things I can see, or walk to or buy. There is so much more to love than my carnal desires.

"There are so many better things in my life than in whom or what I like."

Because of our lack of faith, we have this undesirable tendency to work with the undesirable to make ourselves more desirable. In other words, we have a tendency to do things for ourselves even when we are doing things for others.

The Lord is telling us that that is not Christian.

Kids struggle with their faith because they never get a chance to experiment with their faith. Parents can help their children by encouraging their children to take a leap of faith. For example, if your child wants to have a birthday party, then encourage him/her to not only invite their friends, but also to invite some people who would never imagine being invited by him/her. See what happens next. Try it. Take a chance.

If you think about it, the problem with most of our parents and kids today is that they resort to sinning rather than believing. They are more than willing to take a chance at breaking the commandments (and getting what they want) than take a chance and living by the commandments (and get what God wants). So they never really get a chance to experience God in their lives or know Him by heart or above all things because they are constantly placing themselves and their fears in His place.

If you want your children to experience God in their lives, then you must show them the Way. It's not enough to just teach them "the faith". Rather, you have to inspire them to His words and actions by your decisions, inspirations, suggestions, mercy, compassion, understanding and unconditional love. To achieve this, you must continue reflecting on your faith and feeding your faith on God's word and God's body.