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Friday, January 27, 2017

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St. Angela Merici

Hebrews 10:32-39
Psalm 37:3-6, 23-24, 39-40
Mark 4:26-34

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feed your faith

"We are not among those who draw back and perish, but among those who have faith and live." —Hebrews 10:39

We must live by faith to be pleasing to God (Heb 10:38; see also Heb 11:6). We are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8). "All depends on faith" (Rm 4:16).

Faith in God is "confident assurance" (Heb 11:1) resulting from a good personal relationship with God. All relationships need to be constantly nourished. Therefore, faith needs to be fed.

Faith is fed by the Word of God. "Not on bread alone is man to live but on every utterance that comes from the mouth of God" (Mt 4:4). "It is not the various kinds of fruits that nourish man, but it is Your word that preserves those who believe You!" (Wis 16:26)

Faith is fed by intimate Holy Communion. Jesus promised: "My flesh is real food and My blood real drink. The man who feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in him" (Jn 6:55-56).

Faith is fed by daily, committed, prayerful communication with the Lord. For example, Mary of Bethany sat at the feet of Jesus to listen to His words instead of preparing supper (Lk 10:39ff). When she did this, she wasn't missing supper; instead, she was feasting on the Lord's presence and love. "The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking, but of justice, peace, and the joy that is given by the Holy Spirit" (Rm 14:17).

God's gift of faith is very precious. Protect and nourish your faith. "But when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" (Lk 18:8, our transl.)

Prayer:  Father, through One Bread, One Body, may faith come through hearing, and hearing by God's Word (see Rm 10:17).

Promise:  "Do not, then, surrender your confidence; it will have great reward." —Heb 10:35

Praise:  St. Angela's coworkers in charity became a new congregation, the Ursulines. Many young girls heard and responded to the gospel during her ministry.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 10, 2016

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