Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Thursday, 11 January 2006

Thursday of the First Week of the Year

Mark 1: 40-45

Today’s First Reading and Responsorial Psalm offer a strong word of encouragement for us. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews encourages us to take care that our hearts do not become hardened toward God and unfaithful to Him. We live in a world of many temptations, and popular opinion tries to lure us away from the Lord. It is easy to find pleasure in abusing the things of this world. Sin is often fun and exciting, for a while at least. Yet, it is important to remember that all of creation is good and sacred because it is the work of a loving and infinitely good God. Thus, as sons and daughters of God, human persons are called to use the treasures of the world, the gift of human sexuality, our relationships, possessions, and talents, for God’s glory and one another’s good, not for selfish interests. Our Heavenly Father indeed knows what is best for us. We are called to praise God and help each other along to path to happiness in this life and eternal life in heaven.
Sin causes us to stray from the healthy and holy purpose God has designed for us and for all of creation. It might all begin with something that seems small: we think it’s fine to miss Mass on Sunday, to tell a “white lie,” to cheat in school or slack off at work. After a while, our hearts become hardened, so that we are no longer ashamed of our sins. We become complacent, and comfortable in our selfish way of life. We begin to make excuses for our behavior. Our hearts harden against the Lord, until we can no longer hear His voice in our lives, and He becomes more and more distant from us.
Today we are awoken from our complacency by the power of God’s Word, which calls us out of our hardness of heart and into the light of truth. If we wish to experience the loving presence of Jesus Christ, we have to hold up our end of the bargain. Missing Mass on Sunday without a grave reason is a mortal sin, which separates us far from God. Lying and cheating only lead to more deceit. Sin left unchecked leads to a heart of stone.
Today, hearken to the voice of the Lord, who calls to you: “harden not your heart…turn back to me…let sin not separate you from my love.”

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