Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands. Gideon longed to believe God. But the enemy army before him was enormous.
What he saw seemed far more compelling than what God had promised him. Throughout the centuries, water from this spring refreshed innumerable travelers throughout the Harod Valley. It was here Gideon learned to trust God Judges Although the Lord promised a great victory, the doubtful judge still requested a sign to prove it. Photo: Israeli soldiers drinking from Ein Harod.
The Lord knew that the Hebrews, though badly outnumbered, would still boast in their victory. So the Lord told Gideon to bring his men down to the Ein Harod spring and separate them on the basis of how they drank. Thinning the ranks again put him in a position that would expose his fear. Gideon had sought security with the fleece, and though God acquiesced to the request, the Lord immediately countered by putting him in an even more precarious position. If he struggled to have faith at 4 to 1 odds, how would he react to to 1? He had to face his fear. No other way would do it. Circumstances and emotions will demand we doubt what God has clearly promised.
But our confidence and faith must remain fixed on what the Lord has said, not in what we see. To leave a comment, just click here. You'll also receive fresh content each time I post.
It's easy! Leaving a comment is easy! If you don't want to mess with logging in to a service, just: 1. One may also assume that they are discouraged, lacking in hope, and maybe even angry. Some of the women in their midst claim to have seen Him alive, but now it is night and they have heard of no other sightings. Thanks be to God, they have gathered. This is probably the worst thing that one can do.
It would seem that Thomas has taken this approach, though his absence is not explained. Their gathering is an essential part of the solution to everything that afflicts them. This gathering is the place in which their new hope, new hearts, and new minds will dawn. So it is for us, too, afflicted as we are in so many ways, troubled at some times and joyful at others.
Moving From Fear To Faith - Catholic Stand
In every Mass the Lord prepares blessings for us. I am powerfully aware that every Mass I celebrate, especially Sunday Mass, is a source of blessings for me. Not only does God instruct me with His Word and feed me with His Body and Blood, He also helps form me through the presence and praise of others: the people I have been privileged to serve. They are about to be blessed, but the blessing occurs only in the context of the gathering, so Thomas will miss it.
This blessing is only for those who are there. So it is for us, too, who also have blessings waiting but only if we are present, gathered for Holy Mass.
Sometimes what we see seems more compelling than what God says.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Note that there is also a new serenity, a peace, a shalom. Not only do they see and come to experience an entirely new reality, they also receive an inner peace. Observe again that this is only for those who are present. This is a basic purpose of the gathering we call the Sacred Liturgy. It is here that we are invited to encounter the living Lord, who ministers to us and offers us peace. Through His Word, we are increasingly enabled to see things in a new way, one that gives us hope, clarity, and confidence.
Our lives are reordered. Inwardly, too, a greater peace is meant to come upon us as the truth of this newer vision begins to transform us, giving us a new mind and heart. Looking to the altar, I draw confidence that the Lord has prepared a table for me in the sight of my enemies and my cup is overflowing Ps The Eucharist is thus the sign of our victory and our election. As we receive the Body and the Blood of the Lord, we are gradually transformed into the very likeness of Christ.
Is this your experience of the gathering we call the Mass? Is it a transformative reality or just a tedious ritual? I have seen my mind and heart changed and renewed. I see things more clearly and have greater hope, joy, and serenity. Yes, the Mass works. It transforms; it gives a new mind and heart. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained. In this remarkable moment, the Lord gives the Apostles the power to forgive sin.
Ein Harod —How to Move from Fear to Faith
This is extraordinary! Not only has He given this authority to men cf Matt , He has given it to the very men who abandoned Him with the exception of John at His crucifixion. These are men who are well aware of their shortcomings. Perhaps it is only because Jesus knows of their awareness that He can truly trust them with such power.
There are other texts in Scripture showing Confession to be quite biblical:. He should call the presbyters of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed. Many consider it sufficient to speak to God privately about their sins, but the Scriptures instruct us away from such a solitary notion and bid us to approach the Church. The Lord gives the Apostles the authority to adjudicate and then to absolve or retain sins, but this presupposes that someone has first approached them for such absolution. Thus, again, there is a communal context for blessing, not merely a private one. I have written more on the biblical roots of Confession here: The Sacrament of Confession.
The text says, Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. Thomas exhibits faltering fellowship in two ways:. But we are not done yet.
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We go on to say that we believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We know and believe what we do about Jesus Christ on the basis of what the Church hands on from the Apostles.