Mark 8: 22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.
Miracles happen when there is love and care. Miracles happen when friends are good. Miracles happen when people are kind. Miracles happen when people support others. Miracles happen when people inconvenience themselves for others. Have you been so kind to people that it breaks them and all they can say is you are a miracle? Has anyone used the words “you are a life saver? Yes indeed you are a life saver and miracle because what you did for them was what Jesus would have done. For some, you may be the only Jesus they see.
The blessing is not just in praying for them. You have to go out of your way to do something a more. You have to take him to Jesus. Take him to the one who can help. Take her to the one who can assist. Perhaps he is seeking for a job, or an admission and you can help, or you know someone who can. Why not be the “Jesus” in their lives for the moment. Trust me; Jesus wont be angry if you are Him. Why not be the miracle they seek. The man was blind and could not help himself. He needed others. He needed care. He needed support and he needed love. I imagine what would have happened if some people didn’t care enough to bring him to Jesus. Caring people take hurting people to Jesus. It is called intercession. It is called filling the space.
A lot of times we pray for miracles to happen in the lives of people when the actual miracle is you and I going out of our way to support and show them love. Sometimes the only miracle they need is a helping hand, giving a little of your time and saying some kind words. The miracle they need is not speaking in tongues, but speaking in love. The miracle they need is not speaking prophecy but speaking words of love.
The miracle is in loving them. The miracle is love. Love is powerful. Love is a healing force. Remember Christ has no body now but yours.
No hands, no feet, on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which He looks compassion on this world.
Yours are the mouth through which He speaks words of love.
Yours are the ears in which He listens to hurting and broken people.
Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good.
Yours are the hands with which He blesses the entire world.
Prayer: dear Lord help me to be a miracle in someone’s life today and for all time. Amen
Eph 4: 32: Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.
Have you been treated in such a way and manner that you felt so insulted and humiliated, and all left was just regrets and the desire to payback?
Have you been so unkind towards others especially those you think are not of the rich, high and mighty?
Ok. Tell me. How do you treat and relate with the man at the gate at your office, and the lady who cleans the pathway and restroom?
The way you see and relate with people determines the level of your relationship with God. The test of your spirituality is not determined by how much of the bible you know, neither is it determined by how often you go to church, or the groups, associations, departments and ministry you serve in or the amount of tithe.
The number one test that you are God’s own is seen in how you relate with other people, how you even speak to them. It is also seen in what you say about people when they are not around you. Remember Scripture; if I speak in the tongues of angels without love then it is just a waste of time. Love is not love until it is given and shared. About love in John 3: 16 for God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son to be “murdered”.
You cannot tell me you love when all you do is think about yourself, talk about yourself and dominate every conversation and belief things must be done your way and no other. Love is patient and kind. It does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud. It does not dishonor others. It is not self-seeking and not easily angered. Keeps no records of wrongs. It does not delight in evil but seeks the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes. Always perseveres. Love never fails.
Prayer: Lord help me see you in him and make me realize that you reside even in the least of persons.
In the feast of All Saints we celebrated yesterday, we, the saints who are still struggling on earth (the church militant), celebrate fellowship with the saints who have already arrived in heavenly glory (the church triumphant). Today we celebrate our fellowship with the saints in purgatory, a state of temporary suffering for departed souls who are not yet fully ready for full fellowship with God in the glory of heaven (the church suffering).
All Christians believe in the Four Last Things: death, judgment, heaven and hell. Purgatory is not mentioned as one of the “last things” for which reason many christians refuse to share the Catholic believe, more-so purgatory by name or word is not mentioned in the Bible likewise “Trinity”. Yet the same Christians believe in the Trinity. Why believe in the doctrine of the Trinity and throw away the doctrine of purgatory?
We arrive at the doctrine on purgatory the same way we arrive at the doctrine on the Trinity. Catholics believe in purgatory and our separated brethren do not, yet unofficially almost everyone seems to believe in an interim state of purification before heaven. When we lose loved ones, Catholics and our separated brethren alike pray for the dead. We all say, “May their souls rest in peace.” Wait a minute. If the souls of are in hell, why pray for them? Our prayers cannot help souls in hell. And if they are in heaven, why pray for them? Our prayers cannot help those in heaven either. They are already in heaven. Any sort of prayer for the dead has meaning insofar as the souls of the dead are in an interim state where they have not yet reached perfect union and peace with God, and where our prayers can help them get there. That is purgatory.
We shall take take a few scriptures pointing to the reality of purgatory:
(1) The Parable of the Unfaithful Servant, which teaches the need for disciples to be faithful to their tasks till the coming of Christ on judgment day, concludes with these words: “That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating” (Luke 12:47-48). This shows that in the last judgment, even though the results will basically be either pass or fail, go to heaven or go to hell, there may be those who are not bad enough to be thrown into hell and not good enough to be admitted right away to heaven. These then will receive some remedial purification to make up for what is lacking in their faith and good works before being admitted to heavenly bliss. That period of interim punishment before being admitted to eternity with God is what we call purgatory.
(2) Paul compares the different ways in which Christians live their lives to different builders all building on the one foundation which is Christ. They build with different materials: gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw. On judgment day what each person has built will be tested with fire. “If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:14-15). How can the soul after judgment “suffer loss” and still get saved “but only as through fire?” The answer is what we call purgatory.
(3) The Apostle John reminds us that a Christian can commit two types of sin: mortal sin which kills one’s relationship with God and venial sins which does not. “If you see your brother or sister committing what is not a mortal sin, you will ask, and God will give life to such a one – to those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin that is mortal; I do not say that you should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not mortal” (1 John 5:16-17). Believers who die without sin go to heaven. Believers who die in mortal sin go to hell. Where do believers who die in a state of venial sin go? The answer is purgatory, where they can make up for their imperfection before being admitted to the company of the saints in heaven.
(4) Isaiah 4:4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning. (see also Isaiah 1:25-26) This purgation made in the spirit of judgment and of burning is understood of Purgatory by St. Augustine, in the 20th Book of the City of God, chapter 25. And in fact this interpretation is favoured by the words preceding, in which mention is made of the salvation of men, and also by the end of the chapter, where the repose of the blessed is spoken of; wherefore that which is said — “the Lord shall wash away the filth” — is to be understood of the purgation necessary for this salvation. And since it is said that this purgation is to be made in the spirit of heat and of burning, it cannot well be understood save of Purgatory and its fire.
In the feast of All Souls we pray for the souls of the faithful departed who are being purified in purgatory. In this we profess our belief that, just as God has not stopped loving these poor souls because of their imperfections, neither have we. For us the belief in purgatory is Good News: even though we may not in this life be perfect as our heaven father is perfect (Matthew 5:48) we can still hold fast to the hope that there are mansions for us in the kingdom of heaven.
May the Souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.