Tag: Jesus

Hope is a Who

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This article originally appeared on the blog for the Be Love Revolution, which you can view here.

Many Decembers ago, in a small dorm room at the University of Michigan, a miracle happened. The God of the Universe broke into my selfish and sinful heart. That night after months of searching, my unnamed longing was revealed to me in the person of Jesus the Messiah, and through my feeble YES, faith—as new as the baby Jesus—was born in my heart.

Now as a disciple of Jesus I’m trying to help others, especially young women, to know, love, and follow Him too. My idea of a great week is Pine Hills Girls Camp, being on mission in the garbage dump in Mexico City, an early Tuesday morning bible study at the local coffee shop, and being with my grandchildren.

Yet despite all the good things and God things in my life, I am prone to discouragement, and at times I struggle with HOPE. After many years of following Jesus, I have faced great joy and great pain, triumphs and disappointments, answered prayers and ones that seem to fall on deaf ears. But during the season of Advent there is a truth that has helped me cling to and grow in hope. Hope is a Who. I know this sounds like a Dr. Seuss book title, but hear me out…

When I was pregnant with each of my children I was filled with such expectant hope because I was preparing to giving birth to a real person, not a theory or a concept, but a real, living person with a name (Sarah, Michael, Joshua, Rachel), a face, an identity, a personality, and a purpose. I couldn’t wait to welcome that little person into our life.

Advent helps me remember that God who really exists—not as an idea, a philosophy, or theory—was born into our world as a human person, with a name (Jesus), an identity, a personality, and a purpose. Hope is a Who. My hope is rooted in the person of Jesus Christ and the certainty of what God has promised in Him. My hope isn’t based on my feelings or circumstances which change constantly, or in material things which break and wear out. My hope in others can bring disappointment, and hope in myself incites self-reliance and often ends in failure.

What fills me with hope is Jesus’ unbreakable promise: “I am with you always.” The name Emmanuel, God-with-us, reminds me that I am never alone, that he came to earth to set up his dwelling within me; that he will never leave me or forsake me. True hope isn’t anchored in my word, on wishful thinking or what I want, but on what the sovereign, loving God knows I need, revealed to me in the Word made flesh, and the rock-solid truth of the Scriptures.

Hope has a name and His Name is JESUS. When the light of hope fades within you, like it does in me sometimes, I challenge you to speak, proclaim, and praise the name of Jesus with the confidence of a trusted friend. Let your hope grow—not in what is to come or in what may be, but in Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah who has come to make His home in us. This Christmas, may Jesus, the Hope of the world, find a welcome place in our hearts.

Church Teaching on Sexuality Remains Clear

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This article originally appeared in the National Catholic Register.

By Msgr. Charles Pope

A steady march of the sexual revolution into deeper and deeper confusion has left many Catholics and fellow Christians confused themselves. But there should be no confusion nor is there permissible dissent by any Catholic (lay or cleric) from Church teaching on human sexuality. Both Scripture and Church doctrine are very clear that all forms of illicit sexual union, whether adultery, fornication, or homosexual acts, are sinful and cannot in any way be approved.

Some Catholics formally dissent due to a knowing and willful rejection of Church teaching, but the dissent of others is due more to the confusion brought on by a loud culture and a quiet pulpit.

Particularly culpable is any deacon, priest, or bishop who spreads error either by direct statements, intentional ambiguity, or questionable policies that offer mercy without reference to the necessary repentance. Caring for all sinners is a constant work of the Church. All sinners deserve love and careful, respectful pastoral care. But calling good or insignificant what God calls sinful, whether by direct statement or obfuscation, is not pastoral care; it is malpractice. All of us, clergy and lay, are called to be God’s prophets, spreading His teaching; we do well to remember that one day we will have to account to Him.

Continue reading here.

What if Today is the Last Day of Your Life?

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Debbie Herbeck recently wrote about how coming to know Christ transformed her thoughts about mortality from ones of fear into ones filled with hope. We pray her recount of her journey will bring you comfort and peace, and help you also to confront death with faith.

What if today is the last day of your life? What if today is the last day in someone else’s life that you love? What if today is the day the world ends and Jesus returns?

These are challenging questions to ponder. No one wants to think about anything good coming to an end, especially our own lives. I distinctly remember when I was ten years old, lying in my bed late at night having just received the news of my grandfather’s death. That night, for the first time in the dark of night, I also realized that one day I too would close my eyes and never awaken. I know it sounds like a morbid thought, especially coming from a ten-year-old, but it’s a reality we all must face. It was the first time someone close to me had passed away, and little did I know then, that five years later another even more painful parting would shroud our family.

Continue reading here.