Saturday, July 29, 2017

What St.Martha Teaches Us

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Martha. Her story of complaining to Jesus about Mary not helping her, as well as the story of her grief that her brother died and Jesus delayed in coming, are well known to us.   Martha is very real with Jesus. She holds nothing back, as she and Jesus are very close friends. Martha is a model for us to imitate in developing a close relationship with the Lord.  Like her, we too, at times, might become overwhelmed with meeting our responsibilities to others and, sometimes, resent all we have to do.  Resentment will pile up, as it did for Martha, when we compare ourselves to others and resort to complaining about them not doing their share of the work or, more accurately, not meeting our expectations!

It is the responsibility of each of us to balance our work and our prayer time--alone time with Jesus. No one else can do that for us.  When we begin to feel overwhelmed, we need to look at how well we are taking time to meet our personal needs, especially our need for solitude and reflection, spending time at the feet of the Lord, listening to Him and sharing our concerns with Him, being utterly honest with the Lord about what we are feeling and thinking, what's bothering us and weighing us down and for what we are grateful and leads us to praising God.  Meeting the needs of others must include meeting our own needs as well.  Doing both leads to healthy relationships with others, ourselves and our God.

Friday, July 28, 2017

The I AM in Us

In the Entrance Antiphon to today's liturgy,  we say to God:  "I will sacrifice to you with a willing 
heart, and praise your name, O Lord, for it is good."  God revealed His name to Moses,  telling him that "I AM" sent him to free God's people from slavery.  The name of God, "I AM", is good.  It is a name above all other names! It is a name that saves, blesses, purifies, sanctified, frees us!  The I AM as incarnated is JESUS!  There is power in the name of JESUS.  And there is power in every name, calling us to be respectful of each person, and of ourselves, as an image of God!  JESUS was a total reflection of FATHER/MOTHER GOD. You and I reflect God partially, I believe. We will be a full manifestation of our FATHER/MOTHER GOD, I believe, in eternity, where sin will be no more!

In the meantime, may each one of us "sacrifice" to God "with a willing heart, and praise God's name, for it is good" and we are good. May we, through grace, discover the good within ourselves, within others, and throughout all of creation.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

God, the Sower of Seed

In today's Gospel, Mt. 13: 1-9, Jesus speaks to us about the sower who went out and sowed a bunch of seeds. Some fell on a well-used path and was quickly consumed by hungry birds. Other seed fell on rocky, shallow soil. It sprang up quickly but with shallow roots had no way to survive.  Still other seed ended up in soil populated with thorns. The thorns multiplied and choked off the seedling plants; they died.  And, yes, some seed fell on soil rich and yielded a rich harvest.

As I reflected upon this passage, I thought of many people who, in my mind, do not fit the description of soil  that yields a harvest worthy of the Kingdom.  The soil that these people cultivate does not bear fruit that will last into eternal life.

As I prayed, the Lord reminded me not to judge anyone but to follow Him and that He is God; there is no other.  Furthermore, the Spirit repeated that God sows good seed and that I need to prepare the soil of my  heart to receive it, nurture it, and allow it to bear fruit that will last into eternal life. It is important, I was reminded, that I do not let worries about what is going in the political arena choke off the seeds that the Sower is sowing.  "Trust me," God said to me in prayer, "and cast your cares upon Me. I am God; there is no other. I am a Warrior God, I will fight for what is right. And at the right moment, all those choosing evil will fall into the traps they are setting for themselves. I will not stop them against their wills.  Choose Me, Dorothy Ann. Choose Truth. Choose Love. Choose Life, not death." 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Death and Life of Jesus in Us

"...[W]e who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal bodies." We know "that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and place us with you his presence.  Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God."  Truly, "we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us"  (2 Cor 4: -15).

Dying with Jesus and rising with Jesus--all for the sake of others in order that "thanksgiving" will
overflow for the glory of God!  What a treasure and what a gift to be  an instrument in God's hands for "abundance" to be outpoured upon others, to be the "cause" of "thanksgiving" to gush forth from others in glory of God's holy name!

What a sacred mission! And as difficult as it is to be "given up to death for the sake of Jesus," what a grace to rise with Christ to new life in the dying to selfishness, to impatience, to pride, to fear, to avarice and greed and whatever blocks grace from flowing through us!  May we, each day, see patience, humility, courage, love, generosity, wisdom and all the gifts of the Spirit rise in us to the glory of God forever and ever. Amen!  

Monday, July 24, 2017

In Hot Pursuit!

In today's first reading, Ex 14: 5-18, the Egyptians regret having allowed the Israelites to leave their country.  "What have we done!  Why, have we released Israel from our service!"  Angry, they go in pursuit of the Israelites with full force:  "Pharaoh's whole army, his horses chariots and charioteers, caught u[ with them as they lay encamped..."  The Israelites see the Egyptians coming at them in to pursuit. Terrified and angry, they turn on Moses: "Were there no burial places in Egypt that you had to bring us out here to die in the desert? ....Fear not! Stand your ground, and you will see the victory the Lord will win for you today." Through Moses, God parts the Red Sea and the Israelites pass through it on dry ground, while Egypt's whole army parishes in the middle of their attempts to cross over and return the Israelites to being their slaves!

How challenging it is for us to leave the "Egypts" of our lives--those environments or attitudes or behaviors or  people that enslave us to evil or deprive us of the freedom God desires for us.  When we resolve to do what is right, the evil one does not give up. He pursues us just as the Egyptians pursued the Israelites. Do we "stand our ground"  until we "see the victory the Lord will win" for those who are faithful to His commands, seek is help and long to see His face.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Call to Be Merciful, not Sacrificial

In today's Gospel, Matthew 12: 1-8, the Pharisees confront Jesus about his disciples picking grain and eating it on the sabbath.  Your "disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on sabbath," they complain.   Jesus tells them that he "desires mercy, not sacrifice" of his followers.  Yes, the disciples could have sacrificed themselves and not satisfied their hunger, but that is not what God was asking of them in Christ Jesus.  At other times, throughout His earthly  ministry, Jesus performs acts of mercy toward the sick and, then, too, the Pharisees rebuked Him.

In our spiritual or religious formation, many of us had it drummed into us that sacrifice is very important--in fact, I believe that I was led to perceiving sacrifice as far more important than mercy. "Mortify yourselves," we have been told.  "Make sacrifices for Jesus," was an oft repeated refrain. How often did we hear: "Be merciful," toward others. "Be understanding!"  "Be compassionate." And, as importantly: "Judge not!"

As I was bearing down upon myself for not spending more time in prayer, putting off meditation as I chose to relax in other ways and pray later, a friend said to me: "Dorothy, be gentle with yourself."  In other words: "Dorothy, God desires mercy, not sacrifice."  If I am harsh with myself, forever demanding more and more and more of myself, how am I am to be understanding, compassionate, merciful toward others?  How about you?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

God's Calling

Today's first reading, Ex 3: 1-6, 9-12, gives us the story of Moses' call to free his people from the oppression of the Egyptians.  He is out tending his sheep near Mt. Horeb and sees a bush on fire but not being consumed.  He decides to check it out: why isn't this bush being consumed, he must be asking himself. As he is approaching the burning bush, he hears a voice saying to him: "'Moses, Moses'! He answered, 'Here I am.' God said, 'Come no nearer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your father,' he continued, 'the 
God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. The cry of the children of Israel has reached me, and I have truly noted that the Egyptians are oppressing them. Come, now! I will send you to Pharaoh to lead my people, the children of Israel, out  of Egypt."

I can imagine the following dialogue between Moses and God: 

Me? I'm a murderer.  I fled Egypt to get away from Pharaoh, who had every right to kill me for killing an Egyptian.  No way can I go back there!

Moses, I am sending you back to Egypt to free my people. They are oppressed.

I will be killed if I return to that place. 

I will protect you!

Find someone else, God! I will not go!

Moses, I am God! Go free my people. You are under my protection.

Oh, Lord, okay! If you say so!  Please help me. I am vulnerable. I will be  depending upon  you.

And, under God's protection, Moses, scared to death, begins his journey back to Egypt!

You and I, also vulnerable and dependent upon God, are sent into "Egypts," big and little, to free others from whatever oppresses them, to lift burdens we ourselves may even have placed on other people's shoulders.  God goes with  us! God protects us. And, yes, God equips with the tools we need to do His bidding!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

God's Providence

Today's first reading, Ex 2: 1-15a, tells the story of Moses' birth, his being placed in "a papyrus basket, daubed...with bitumen and pitch," and hidden in some reeds on the river bank. The baby was found at age three months by an Egyptian woman who recognized the boy as very special and belonging to an Israelite woman. He is rescued and eventually adopted by Pharaoh's daughter as her own son and given the name "Moses," meaning "I drew him out of the waters." When Moses grew up and saw an Egyptian fighting with one of his own kinsmen, he killed him. Fearing that Pharaoh found out about the murder, Moses fled to Midian.

The first stanza of today's Responsorial Psalm, Ps. 69, describes Moses' plight: "I am sunk in the abysmal swamp where there is no foothold; I have reached the watery depths; the flood overwhelms me."

You and I--in our sinfulness, in the weaknesses to which we give in when we lord it over others, when we  need to have things work out our way and we refuse to compromise, when we are obnoxious and prideful, when we do not follow the Spirit's lead--can also sink  into "the abysmal swamp where there is no foothold; [we can then reach] the watery depths; the flood [then can overwhelm us]."

With today's psalmist, I "pray to you, O Lord, for the time of your favor...In your great kindness answer me with your constant help....I will praise the name of God in song, and I will glorify him with thanksgiving...."

As we prayed yesterday at the liturgy,  "our help is in the name of the Lord" (Psalm 124).  With God at our sides, we will not sink into the "abysmal swamp where there is no foothold."

Monday, July 17, 2017

God's Unfailing Help and Rescue

In today's first reading,  Ex 1: 8-14, 22, we are told the story of how the Egyptians enslaved the       Israelites, oppressing them "with forced labor," reducing them to "cruel slavery, making life bitter for them with hard work in mortar and brick and all kinds of field work--the whole cruel fate of slaves."   Every boy born to an Israelite was drown at birth, to limit increased population of the Israelite nation.

In today's responsorial psalm, Psalm 124, the Israelites pray: "Had not the Lord been with us...when men rose up against us, then would they  have swallowed us alive, when their fury was inflamed against us.  Then would the waters have overwhelmed us; the torrent would have swept over us; over us then would have swept the raging waters. Blessed be the Lord, who did not leave us a prey to their teeth."  

We know the story of how God freed the Israelites from the oppression of the Egyptians, how they escaped through the Red Sea, in which the pursuing Egyptians' horses and charioteers and the whole Egyptian army drown. We also know the story of how God brought the Chosen People to the Promised Land, being with them in all the battles that ensued in route!

We, too, encounter many a hardship on our journey to the Promised Land of eternal life: wars, domestic violence, oppression by the cruelty of some bosses and/or employees; hard labor, natural disasters, unemployment, chronic illnesses, the "loss" of children who get lured into drugs and those who become victims of sexual predators, and on and on!

God is right there with each one of us when hard times come our way! We may not see God or feel His Presence, but God has a plan to free us, make us whole, and restore us to the life He intends for us.   It is God who "does not leave us the prey" of the teeth of "predators." "Broken is the snare, and we [are] freed. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth," the psalmist prays, and so do we!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Being Fertile and Fruitful

In  today's first reading, Isaiah 55: 10-11, the Lord reminds us that "[j]ust as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; my word shall not return to me void, but it shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it."

As a parent, imagine that each instruction that you give to your children bears fruit, that is,  it does not return to you void but accomplishes the good for which you intended it. Imagine, also that, because of your guidance--the words of wisdom you speak to them-- you see your children grow in grace and wisdom, in strength to do what is right, especially when peers are pressuring them to make choices that will bring them harm!  Your words, as stated in the Gospel of today, Matthew 13: 1-23,  "fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold." And you are truly proud of you sons and daughters, your grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Now, apply this to your relationship with God. God instructs you every day, sending His Word to you through the Spirit who dwells within you, through the Scriptures read at a Sunday liturgy and explained in the priest's homily, or in your reflection on a cherished spiritual resource which we read each day.  The word "fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold." And God is truly proud of you!

Friday, July 14, 2017

"Here I Am," God

In today's first reading, Ge 46: 1-7, 28-30, God calls Jacob in a nightly vision:  "Jacob! Jacob!"  Jacob answers: "Here I am."  God then asks him to not be afraid to go down to Egypt, "for I will make you a great nation. Not only will I go down to Egypt with you; I will also bring you back here, after Joseph has closed your eyes." In today's Gospel, Mt 10: 16-23, Jesus says to his apostles:  "Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves."

Jacob is asked to a go to a foreign country and to trust that his needs and the needs of his family and relatives will be provided for. He is promised that he will grow into a great nation, as well!  When Jesus sent His apostles out during his three-year ministry and afterward, following Jesus' return to His Father in heaven, He provides them with the strength and the courage and the wisdom they need--He baptizes them with the Holy Spirit!  The Kingdom of God spreads throughout the world--a great nation of believers is developed through their obedience to God. And the Church continues to grow to this very day.  Men and women, today, are also sent out "like sheep in the midst of wolves."  We are to be as "shrewd as serpents and simple as doves," guided by, empowered by, made "shrewd" by the Holy Spirit, who equips us with wisdom, courage, and strength to say "yes," "here I am," Lord, to do your will just as Mary did, just as You did when God sent you to redeem us.  Yes, we are sent to by God to be His heart and voice in a world that is corrupted by greed and power--a world that has become enslaved to idols, false gods,  and substitutes for God.

God comes to set us free!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Mystery of Suffering

In today's first reading, Gen. 44: 18-21, 23b-29; 45: 1-5, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers.  He forgives them for selling him into Egypt, saying: "I am your brother Joseph, whom you once sold into Egypt But now do not be distressed, and do not reproach yourselves for having sold me here. It was really for the sake of saving lives that God sent me here ahead of you."  Joseph, a man of faith, interprets what was an harrowing experience as a blessing from God, a part of God's providence.  In Egypt, he was the victim of false accusation and thrown into prison: "They weighed down with fetters, and he was bound with chains, till his prediction came to pass and the word of the Lord proved him true" (Psalm 105). When that happened, "[t]he king sent and released him, the ruler of the people set him free. He made him lord of his house and ruler of all his possessions" (Psalm 105).

God worked marvels in Joseph's life, as He does in the life of all of us. God had a plan for him that initially looked horrible and which, in fact, was  a criminal act on the part of his brothers.  God wrote straight with crooked lines, so to speak, bringing God good out of evil and continues to do so for us today. You and I are the strong persons, the women and men of faith that we are today, because of the sufferings we have endured and which we survived, as was Joseph. In the midst of such suffering, however, we usually do not see God's hand at work. That does not mean that God is sleeping or does  not care.  He is very much molding, melting, and transforming us through the cross, just as our lives were made holy through the sufferings of Jesus on Good Friday. Clothed in faith, we are transformed by what we suffer for the sake of God! Joseph was and so were his brothers!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Justice to a Fallen World

In  the entrance antiphon to today's liturgy, we pray:  Your merciful love, O God, we have received in the midst of your temple.  Your praise, O God, like your name, reaches to the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with saving justice."

God's right hand is filled with saving justice for the U.S.--for all nations.  Right now, given the probability of  immoral, unethical and possibly criminal activities surrounding the presidency of the U.S., some members of the President's cabinet as well as of our Congress, we desperately need God's saving justice to be brought upon those who are violating the values of our Constitution, the commandments of God and the teachings of Jesus given in the Gospels.

In today's first reading, Gen. 41: 55-57; 42: 5-7a, 17-24, in which Joseph demands justice of his brothers who come down to Egypt seeking food for their family, we are given an example of God's justice. In fact, when Joseph threw his brothers into prison for three days, they believed it was God's justice being meted out to them for what they had done to their brother. Justice, in our day, will also come to those in powerful positions who are treating others cruelly so they can line the pockets of the rich at the expense of the poor--yes, even possibly to the unnecessary loss of lives.

"O God," we pray in the Collect, "who in the abasement of your Son have raised up a fallen world, fill your faithful with holy joy, for on those you have rescued from slavery to sin you bestow eternal gladness."  Raise up our President, members of his cabinet and of our Congress from their "slavery to sin"--the sin of greed, the idolatrous worship of wealth.  Raise all us  up from that which enslaves us to Satan's allurements.  I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Wrestling with Good and Evil

In today's first reading, Gen. 32: 23-33, Jacob, in the course of the night, takes his family across "the ford of the Jabbok." Once across, his family leaves him alone. "Then some man wrestled with  him until the break of dawn. When the man saw that he could not prevail over him, he struck Jacob's hip at its socket, so that the hip socket was wrenched as they wrestled. The man then said, 'Let me go, for it is daybreak.' But Jacob said, 'I will not let you go until you bless me.'  The man asked, 'What is your name?' He answered, 'Jacob.' Then the man said, 'You shall no longer be spoken of as Jacob, but as Israel, because you have contended with divine and human beings and have prevailed....Jacob named the place Peniel, 'Because I have seen God face to face,' he said, 'yet my life has been spared.'" 

In today's Gospel, Mt 9: 32-38, Jesus Himself also "contended with divine and human beings"; in fact, He contended with evil spirits and overpowered them. Amazed people proclaimed: "Nothing like this has never been seen n Israel."

We, too, wrestle with God and with demons, who prowl the earth seeking someone to devour, St. Paul tells us in  one of his letters.  We struggle/wrestle with good and evil, with that which is ugly and that which is beautiful. With God, with Jesus, we shall prevail.  Grace will triumph in our lives, as it did in the life of Jacob (Israel), as long as we keep our focus on Jesus, walk and talk with Jesus, relying on Jesus, on our guardian angels and our patrons saints to protect us, to help us, to guide and direct us in all of our ways.


Monday, July 10, 2017

God's Messengers: Are We Listening?

In today's first reading, Gen 28: 10-22a, Jacob leaves Beer-sheba and proceeds toward Haran. He comes upon a shrine there and stops for the night. He has a dream: "a stairway rested on the ground, with its top reaching to the heavens; and God's messengers [angels] were going up and down on it. And there was the Lord standing beside him and saying: 'I, the Lord, am the God of your forefather Abraham [and foremother Sarah] and the God of Isaac [and Rebecca]; the land on which you are lying I will give to you and your descendants. These shall be as plentiful as the dust on the earth, and through them you shall spread  out east and west, north and south. In you and your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing. Know that I am with you; I will protect you wherever you go, and bring you back to this land. I will never leave you until I have done what I have promised.'"

To this very day, I believe, that angels continue to descend and ascend from heaven to earth and from earth to heaven, bringing messages to us from God and from us to God, as well! Are we listening? Are we tuned into heaven or too busy with messages from our iPods, iPhones, Internet, and other electronic devices to hear God speaking to us through His messengers?  Quietly, the angels instruct us to make that phone call, to do this or not do that, to close the iPad, to shut down the iPod, to turn off the TV or radio or the Internet and become quiet.  Only then will we be prepared to hear the Holy Spirit or one of God's messengers revealing God's will to us.

"Know that I am with you," God says to Jacob and to us. God is also with us, standing beside us, walking on our  left and our right!  God never leaves us anymore than He left His chosen people as of old. His promises to us--as shared with us through His Son Jesus and written down by the evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John--God will never break!

Those are my beliefs! What are yours?

Friday, July 7, 2017

God's Solicitations and Invitations

O, the goodness of our God, revealed to us in today's Scriptures, Gen. 23-1-4, 19; 24: 1-8, 62-67 and Mt. 9: 9-13.  The first reading speaks of Abraham's loss of his wife Sarah, his arrangements for a burial place  for her in the land of Canaan, and his efforts to assure that a wife is found among his own kinsman (he is not a Canaanite) for his son Isaac, according to the oath God made with him.  One of Abraham's servants goes in search of a wife for Isaac among Abraham's kinsmen and both Isaac and Rebecca are looking for each other when the servant returns go Canaan.

God is no less solicitous for our well-being, from womb to tomb!  Just as Isaac and Rebecca, a kin-person of Isaac's, find each other, so, too, I believe, does each of us find the right persons to accompany us in our lives, either as spouses, friends, co-workers, or members of a religious community and/or priesthood.  God's will is established forever for  each one of us and, if as with  Abraham and Sarah and Isaac and Rebecca, we are searching for that will, we will truly find it and be blessed.

In the Gospel, Jesus finds Matthew at his "customs post" collecting taxes and and says to him: "Follow me!" Matthew follows Jesus and Jesus dines with him in his house...."  Where were you when Jesus called you to your vocation in life? How often do you invite Jesus to dine with you,  to share your home, to share your family and friends?

If not now, when?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

God's Question to Us: What is the Matter?

In today's first reading, Gen 21: 5, 8-20a, Sarah demands that Abraham "[d]rive out that slave [Hagar] and her son [Ishmael]. No son of that slave," she declares, "is going to share the inheritance with my son Isaac!"  Abraham is upset, as Ishmael is as much his son as Isaac.  But God makes it clear to Abraham that he is to listen to his wife Sarah and give her what she wants and He will bless Ishmael and make of him a great nation, also. Both Isaac and Ishmael, God assures Abraham, will be blessed by the Almighty.  So, the next morning he sends Hagar and Ishmael packing, out into the desert they go!  When Hagar and Ishmael run out of water and death is likely--no one can survive in the desert without water--God intervenes. God's messenger hears Ishmael crying and calls Hagar from heaven: "'What is the matter, Hagar?Don't be afraid' God has heard the boy's cry in this plight of his.  Arise, lift up the boy and hold him by the hand; for I will make of him a great nation.' Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water.  She went and filled the skin with water, and then let the boy drink.God was with the boy as he grew."   

What might we learn from this passage? Number 1: God takes care of everyone! Number 2: There are situations that blow our minds, that make no sense to us, but God shows us the way to sanity--trust Him! Number 3: When we have no out, God is the "in."  God watches over us and knows when His intervention is paramount to our survival!  In other words, God has our backs, so to speak!  I believe that!  What about you?

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Jesus' Compassion

The centurion in today's Gospel, Mt 8: 5-17, approaches Jesus and says to Him:  "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully." And Jesus replies: "I will come and cure him." The centurion responds immediately and humbly: "Lord, I am to worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant shall be healed."

Several things to which we need to pay attention.First, the centurion's attitude toward his servant, an employee of his.  He treats that servant as his own child. He is empathic, concerned and wants the best for him. He is moved by his servant's suffering and acts on his behalf.  He does not take his servant for granted and does not treat him as inferior to himself. They are equal in God's eyes and in the eyes of the centurion.  He does not lord his authority over him.  Second: The centurion's respect of Jesus. He addresses Jesus as Lord, that is, as one having authority.  He's probably heard, and may have even seen miracles which Jesus has performed on behalf of the sick, of those burdened with long-term debilitating illnesses.   The centurion's faith and trust in Jesus is unshakable. He simply states the problem: "My servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully."  Third: Jesus' immediate response to the centurion's trust and faith: "I will come and cure him."  No hesitation!
Fourth: the centurion's humility and recognition of who Jesus is!  O, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter my roof; only say the word and my servant shall be healed!"

What about you and me? How respectful are we of others? How concerned about them when they are in pain? Do we act on behalf of others, going the extra mile, leaving our comfort zones to help
another person?  What about our trust and faith in Jesus as one who heals, as one who has our best interests in mind?  Do we even go to Jesus with our concerns or is He the last person  we think of when facing problems among ourselves, our family, our co-workers and/or employees, or personal problems?