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Advent, Family Life, Gospel, Motherhood, Women's Ministry

Living our Faith with Courage. Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent

Tuesday 15 December

Matthew 21:28-32

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: “What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ 
The son said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went. The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did his father’s will?” They answered, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom of God before you. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.”


When my daughter was just starting to talk, I remember wanting to make sure we always said grace before meals. Growing up, my family knew how to say grace, but we didn’t do it regularly, and especially not in public. As I’m teaching my daughter to say grace, sometimes I’m tempted to skip public prayer if we’re dining at a restaurant. But let me tell you, my four year old never skips grace!

Saying that we’ll live our faith is easy.  Actually living our faith takes courage.  

In today’s world it can be so easy to post about doing the right things. We can tell people we pray before meals or post about attending Mass online when really we slept in. But we were made for more than easy. We were made to do the work not just talk about doing the work.

We were made to do hard things and sometimes praying in front of friends or family who are not Catholic is hard. Sometimes getting up to go to Mass, even Mass on TV, is hard, but doing that work is so important because it gives us encounters with the Lord. 

What’s more, we are called to be an example to others and a witness to Christ. People have their eyes on us. From our kids, to our friends, to our social media following, what we say we are going to do is far less important than what we actually do. God calls us not just to say what we mean but to do what we say we will do. He calls us to be an example of his love and while that may be easier said than done, I encourage you never to stop trying.

Rebecca Lockhart

Meditation

What does it mean to you to be courageous in your faith?

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Advent, Gospel, Motherhood

Good Tidings – Friday Reflection First Week of Advent

Friday 4 December 2020

Today’s reflection on Matthew 9:27-31 comes from Rebecca Lockhart.

As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us!” When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.

I’m a cradle Catholic. Throughout my teens I did all the Catholic things I was supposed to do, but when I went to college, I got a little lost. My faith was still there, but it wasn’t my priority. During that time, I got married and moved away from family. Eventually, however, we moved back home and stayed with my in-laws for an entire month. I remember being annoyed at times about being with my in-laws so much.

However, merely six months later, my father-in-law passed away. This was my first encounter with such a loss, and I vividly remember when we got the call it felt like someone had kicked me in the chest.

As we drove to my in-laws, I grabbed a rosary that I had gotten for free at a Catholic Women’s group I had just started attending. Honestly, praying felt strange. My faith was still there, but it felt kind of like riding a bike that I hadn’t ridden since I was a kid. I felt wobbly. But I prayed. I prayed prayers that I thought were long gone from my brain.


Spoiler alert, God’s merciful love for you is endless whether your eyes are opened or not.

– Rebecca Lockhart

It was a heavy few months, and admittedly, there were some unanswered prayers, but there were so many more answered prayers — some that I didn’t even know I was praying for. From the endless strength of my sweet mother-in-law, to the devotion to the Lord from the women I began to surround myself with in my church, I saw the good that can come from a foundation of faith. The graces were still there, and in a hard time, I was able to say yes to the Lord. Digging into the faith in our hearts is especially important when the answers aren’t clear or when life isn’t unfolding as you are expecting.

Maybe your eyes aren’t being opened in one fell swoop. Like me, maybe it takes time for your eyes to be opened, too. But, spoiler alert, God’s merciful love for you is endless whether your eyes are opened or not.

Rebecca Lockhart