January 12, 2021
Teaching With Authority
The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
Mark 1:22

It can be pretty easy to discern if a speaker is talking about something they really know or just reciting what they’ve learned from others. New teachers often start out reciting, but as the teaching itself deepens one’s knowledge, we teachers grow in the authority of our words over time. In my early years, I recall thinking, “Wow, I didn’t know that!” when I heard a new insight or connection come out of my mouth. When the words, ideas and connections make their way down into the deepest recesses of our minds and hearts, we can speak with true authority. Jesus’ authority, on the other hand, was of an even greater order of magnitude than that of a seasoned teacher. 

The authority with which Jesus taught was rooted in his divinity. His preparation for his ministry was nurtured by his time with the Spirit in the desert. Jesus’ desert time was intense. When I find myself in the spiritual desert, I do pray to emerge from it with some tiny fraction of what Jesus gained there

- Aileen O’Donoghue

Hebrews 2:5-12 • Psalm 8:2, 5-9 Mark 1:21-28


January 12, 2021 at 03:35 PM

Aileen, Thank your for your beautiful devotion. * Jesus is my Lord, my savior, my refuge, my friend and the list goes on and on. But it's when we find ourselves "in the spiritual desert", when we experience trials, tribulations, sorrows, and when we are in so desperate need, is when we truly go to Jesus with all our hearts. It's during those times of desperation when we , from our hearts, and when we place him in the center of our souls and ask Him for His help, is when "Jesus the nonviolent warrior, Jesus the judge, God’s own mind, comes into our hearts, and our lives." Jesus always pulls through for us and provides us with all that we need. God want us to use those times and experiences to share with others and to be a part of our "Teaching With Authority". God Bless our Living Faith Family and continued prayers for all.

January 12, 2021 at 03:46 PM


January 12, 2021 at 02:50 PM

Sharing with you my BSF student Bible lesson 14...1/13/21 BSF Student Bible Lesson #14 Genesis 22-23 ***God’s Attribute: Father ***Aim: To learn that God provides all we need to obey Him! ***Teach us, O Lord, the benefits of obedience! May we understand obedience comes from the trust and the love of God, and that You, Lord God, provide everything we need to obey! Amen. ***Introduction • What does obedience mean to you? (PPT slide #1) Let’s look at the Biblical definition of obedience, “Submissive agreement to the commands of One in authority.” “Submissive” means we yield our wills to God’s. “Commands” speaks of God’s commandments and instructions in the Scriptures. The “One in authority” is God Himself! • Does that mean that you don’t have to obey anyone except God? You know the answer to that question! Yes, you obey God and no, you obey God and whosoever He gives authority to! That means your parents, your teachers, your bosses when you have a job, and your local state and federal government leaders. • God has been giving Abraham tests over the years to train his obedience. I think this week’s lesson is most difficult test of all. • (PPT slide #2) Our aim this week is to learn God provides all we need to obey Him. And God’s attribute is Father! Let’s open our Bible to Genesis 22 and see how Abraham responds to this test. ***A. Abraham was called by God to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22:1-12) • Abraham waited 25 years for the promise of God to have Isaac! He loved Isaac and God knew that. But one day God asked Abraham to kill Isaac as sacrifice for a burnt offering! • Although God tests all His people, this test was for Abraham alone. God’s call to sacrifice Isaac would become a picture of God’s sacrifice of His only Son, Lord Jesus! • Abraham obeyed immediately taking Isaac, two servants and cut wood on a donkey for a three-day trip to Mount Moriah. He didn’t even ask why God would ask him to do such a thing? He knew God was trustworthy and would keep His promise for Isaac! He knew it was possible for God to raise Isaac from the dead! • Isaac carried all the wood for his sacrifice just as the Lord Jesus would carry a cross for His sacrifice 1800 years later. • Isaac asked Abraham where the lamb for the sacrifice was? “And Abraham answered, “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.” This is our memory verse for the week in Genesis 22:8. • Indeed, God did provide and He stopped Abraham from sacrificing Isaac by calling him from heaven. God provides all we need to obey Him! ***First Principle Truth: (PPT slide 3) God’s tests strengthen us in faith! • I don’t think God will test you by asking you to sacrifice your siblings or your vegetable (as if you love and will never give them up, right? Right!) But He will require you to trust Him with the things you consider most valuable. Look around you and see if there anything you will not want to give up if God asks you to… • Will you ask God to strengthen your faith in Him? Will you ask for faith to believe God enough to do the next things He requires of you or ask you to give up? Whatever He requires of you may be difficult, but His tests will strengthen you in faith! When our faith is strengthened by His tests, we trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, we trust and obey! ***B. Abraham accepted God’s substitution (Genesis 22:13-24) • When Abraham looked up, he saw a ram caught by its horns in the bushes. He knew that God provided this ram to take the place of his son. Abraham sacrificed the substitute ram and he named the place, “The Lord Will Provide!” • What is a substitute? Substitute means “to take the place of” or “on behalf of.” • How prophetic that Abraham told Isaac in Genesis 22:8, our memory verse this week that “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” It foreshadowed (telling you beforehand) the Lamb of God as a sacrifice! • God Himself did provide the Lamb, His only Son Jesus Christ, sacrificed for our sins once and for all! He is our substitute. Jesus is your substitute. Jesus took your place on the alter to be the burnt offering for your sins! What do you do with that fact? • Jesus stood in our place, sinless, and bore the punishment we deserve for our sins. Through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, we are invited to come to God and have fellowship with Him forever! • Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God Who came to die for your and my sins? Have you ever received forgiveness of all your sins by accepting His sacrifice on your behalf? Have you ever decided to make Him the Lord of your life and that you will follow Him all the days of your life? There is a “Are You Sure?” booklet on mybsf.org. If you have any questions about this eternal Salvation, please let us know or talk to your parents! ***Second Principle Truth: (PPT slide #4) God provides all we need to obey Him! • God provides for our greatest need – His forgiveness and love – through His Son, Jesus Christ! • God provides all we need to obey Him through His Holy Spirit working in us when you received Jesus as your Savior! • Will you ask God to strengthen you with the power of the Holy Spirit to do all He is calling you to do? You can move forward in obedience knowing God will give you everything you need to do what He asks of you! ***C. Abraham bought land to bury Sarah (Genesis 23) • Genesis 23:1-2 tells us Sarah died at the old age of 127! Abraham was very sad and cried over his wife’s death. • In one of the questions in my adult lesson asking, “How does God's relationship with Sarah and her legacy of faith impact you?” It makes me think and conclude that relationship was surely dependent on God and not on Sarah. God was faithful to Sarah even when she came up with her own idea to give Abram a child with her slave Hagar (Genesis 16:2), drove a pregnant Hagar away into the desert (Genesis 16:6), laughed at God's promise of giving her a child at 90 and lied about laughing (Genesis 18:12-15), and demanded Abraham to get rid of Hagar and Ishmael after Isaac was born! (Genesis 21:9-10). Sarah's faith was real, was growing and was not perfect for sure! BUT GOD...He was faithful to both Abraham and Sarah even when they kept sinning and doing their own things! So there is hope for me yet :-) I don't have to be perfect doing all the right things all the time because He is faithful and perfect and He is my Father!!! • Now Abraham bought land in Canaan to bury Sarah. He didn’t take advantage of his position when the Hittites called him “mighty prince” and Ephron told him he can have the land for free. Abraham paid 400 shekels of silver for it. Abraham’s purchase of the land was another proof of his belief in God’s promise of giving him this land in Canaan. ***Third Principle Truth: (PPT slide #5) Obedience is always our right response to God! • At this point, Abraham lost his beloved wife, Sarah. He had one son and no land. Instead of giving up on God, he trusted God in His Promises and obeyed His Word! • Are you in the middle of a test right now? Are you ready to give up and go back? I think we were all looking forward to 2021 and put 2020 behind us, but 2021 seems to be even more unpredictable than 2020? How may we see 2021 as another opportunity to trust God in a greater way? ***Conclusion – God gives difficult tests to His people. God’s tests are meant to strengthen our faith and love for Him. God prepares us for every test and provides everything we need to obey His Word and His call! He is our Father!

January 12, 2021 at 03:38 PM

Thank you, Salina. It is good to understand trust in God and the test he has us do to increase our faith and love for him, with obedience we trust.

January 12, 2021 at 10:46 AM

Living faith family I am praying for you guys. Please pray for the essential workers and the souls in purgatory. Please try to give some one encouragement and gentle response. Call an old friend you know that would like to hear from you. Ken

January 12, 2021 at 10:40 AM


January 12, 2021 at 10:34 AM

Amen. Thank you Holy Father for this beautiful day and for this Gospel today. Thank you Lord for my faith, my life and for my family. Thank you Holy Father, most of all, for your great sacrifice and for the opportunity of forgiveness and reconciliation. Please Lord have mercy. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, King of Endless Glory. Amen

January 12, 2021 at 10:31 AM

I am an RVer and am blessed to be in the Az. desert with Christian friends praying for our country and our family and friends. God bless America and all of you.

January 12, 2021 at 10:10 AM

Thank you Aileen for an encouraging devotion. I often think when talking about discernment, if a man came up to me while I was fishing and said to follow him, what would I do. The Lord had that kind of certainty and authority about Him that left no doubt in those that dropped everything and followed Him. I pray to have that same discernment those fishermen had. Continued prayers for all LF family as there are many needed. A Blessed day to all!

January 12, 2021 at 09:17 AM

Jesus, please grant that I may receive additional wisdom from you today, so that I may continue learn and teach others along the path you have prepared for me to follow. In today's Gospel we see Jesus teaching and healing in the temple. The gloves are off, and he is not afraid who knows that he has come to do the Fathers work, while he is here on earth. His popularity is growing, but he did not come here for that, but to do the will of the Father. Sometimes in our own lives, our vision can become blurred, with our own self interest and feel goods. We are only human, and when we fall out of grace, we have the blessed sacrament of reconciliation, which was given to us by our Father in Heaven. What excuse are we using today to not come back to the path laid out for us, through the blessed sacrament of reconciliation. Remember today, that God chose to reveal himself to us through his son Jesus Chris, the word made flesh, so that we may received the Holy Spirit and have access to the Father through the son. Jesus Chris is the word made flesh, speaks the word of God to the people in the temple, the people are amazed. Jesus confirms with his divine testimony, that God is with us, to free us from the darkness of sin and death to raise us up to eternal life, when our work here on this earth come to an end. Dear Jesus, we bow down before thee to ask for all of the prayers here today by our Living Faith Family be answered by you. We offer up our prayers for those who have no one to pray for them. Dear Jesus, please hear our prayers for the souls in Purgatory that they, today, may be reunited to the Father in Heaven. Amen.

January 12, 2021 at 08:40 AM

May God bless us with his teachings to learn something new everyday bringing some light and happiness to all in this weary world these days.

Kevyn Mary
January 12, 2021 at 09:34 AM


January 12, 2021 at 08:09 AM


January 12, 2021 at 08:05 AM

Amen. May God Bless the Living Faith Family.

Sham Peter Narine Respond to comment
January 12, 2021 at 07:58 AM

Thanks Eileen for today's devotion. In his goodness and love, we allow creation to master us. When we give ourselves to the world and the flesh, it shows that we are no longer masters of ourselves. Dear father in heaven, you let us see and feel your great goodness toward us. Prayer for all the living faith family members. Have a blessed day everyone.

January 12, 2021 at 07:43 AM

A great analogy for a teacher and for our life.

January 12, 2021 at 05:43 AM

Amen. Good Morning Living Faith Family :)

Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.

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