January 27, 2021
St. Angela Merici
‘Among Thorns’
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it produced no grain.
Mark 4: 17

It’s a good thing the disciples asked Jesus to explain this parable because now we have his explanation to help us when we, like them, cannot seem to get it. Reflecting with it, I notice I have in myself all the different kinds of places the seed (God’s Word) lands: rocky, thorny and even fertile. I can imagine what it was like for the seed among the thorns; I know the choking feeling of so much to be anxious about, so many needs and cares, pleasures and comforts. How can we not be overwhelmed and choked by them?

They will grab us by the throat till we can’t breathe the fresh air of the Spirit, can’t swallow the nourishment of Christ. I don’t think Jesus is blaming us for this—it’s the world we live in—so much as warning us to pay attention. How? We can start by taking time for prayer, silence and stillness.

Like a child, let me still and quiet my soul, my God.

- Mary Marrocco

Hebrews 10:11-18 • Psalm 110:1-4 Mark 4:1-20

Comments

January 27, 2021 at 10:47 PM

ANNETTE, I also like your vision of all of us LFF of who may be awake at that bewitching hour of 3 a.m.ish who either toss and turn or like Sandy grab the rosary and pray.

January 27, 2021 at 08:56 PM

Thank you for this wonderful reflection. God bless LFF and all His loyal servants. Amen.

January 27, 2021 at 04:09 PM

Mary, thank you for your touching devotion, it also spoke to my heart. * It's very comforting to know that I am not alone with sleepless nights. At times, I too toss and turn and am awake in bed at around 3:00ish (am). I pray the Our Father or the Hail Mary, sadly sometimes my mind is too overwhelmed to stop thinking and "turn my thoughts off ", but I must remember that praying the rosary always settles me and my mind. I'll start grabbing my rosary(which I sleep with under my pillow) and pray it, like Carol and Sandy do . Thank you Ladies. Patrick You're Not Alone! God Bless everyone.

January 27, 2021 at 10:48 AM

For all of us who toss 'n' turn praying for all the issues live-streaming through our minds. I have a plaque in my bedroom..."Don't count sheep ~ talk to the Shepherd". God Bless us, and all who we love.

Salins
January 27, 2021 at 03:29 PM

I usually tell Google to play K-Love for 30 min. Before the songs are finished, I would be sound asleep zzzzzzz

JAM
January 27, 2021 at 01:39 PM

Wow! I love that...it's a new thought for me. Thank you.

January 27, 2021 at 10:14 AM

I love reading these daily devotionals. They are so inspiring in world of so much anger and hate. It gets me through my days.

January 27, 2021 at 09:47 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, now and forever. Amen Holy Father, please help our country to be victorious

January 27, 2021 at 09:43 AM

Sharing with you BSF Student Lesson 16.......1/27/21 BSF Student Bible Lesson #16 Genesis 25-26 ***God’s Attribute: Impartial ***Aim: To learn that God keeps His promises in His time and in His way! ***Teach us, Lord! To learn and understand You are impartial and that Your choices are always good and right! May we rest on Your unlimited wisdom even when we don’t understand because we can trust You! In Jesus’ precious Name we pray, Amen! ***Introduction • When was the last time you wanted something really bad and you told yourself, “I should wait because it is better to wait!” For me, it was like…never  • Do you think ‘waiting’ is a bad word? I can’t say I like ‘waiting!’ Waiting means not getting what I want right away. • I still remember how fast I thought the computer was running and how fast it was connected to the internet through dialing up on a telephone line 30 years ago. That’s before you were born. Today, if I have the old computer speed and wired phone line internet connection, I would probably be constantly yelling at the computer. • I hope this lesson will change your mind about what it means to wait for God and think about the good plan that God has for us! (PPT slide #1) Our aim this week is to learn that God keeps His promises in His time and in His way! God’s attribute is impartial. God saves people regardless of what they have done or will do. Let’s open our Bible to Genesis 25. ***A. Abraham’s death and legacy (Genesis 25:1-11) • Sarah died when she was 127 and Abraham was 137, he remarried after Sarah died and had 6 more sons. Why? I do not know… • Abraham lived 175 years. While he was still living, he gave gifts to the other sons and sent them away from Isaac to the land of the east to prevent future dispute over the inheritance. He left everything he owned to Isaac. Why? Because Abraham believed God’s promises to him is through Isaac and he acted accordingly. ***First Principle Truth: (PPT slide #2) God keeps His promises through every generation! • God blessed Isaac with all the promises He had given to Abraham. God keeps all His promises! • Jesus said in John 11:25-26, “I AM the resurrection sand the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in Me will never die!” One of the most important promises for God’s children is that God gives us life after we die. Do you believe this promise? • We do not need to worry about what will happen when we die. We know God keeps His promises because of His character and His Word! ***B. Isaac and Ishmael’s prophesied offspring (Genesis 25:12-34) • Verses 12 through 18 tell us the family line of Ismael. He had 12 sons. Verses 19 through 23 tell us the family line of Isaac. • You see, God keeps His promises in His Time and in His way! This is the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham in Genesis 17:20, “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.” Genesis 17:19, “Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.” • Now Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah. And they waited for 20 years before Rebekah was pregnant with twins, Esau and Jacob. Remember Abraham and Sarah? They waited for 25 years before the birth of Isaac. • So what do you think about waiting for the promises of God…now that we see Abraham and Sarah waited for 25 years, and Isaac and Rebekah waited for 20 years for their promised sons! • Talking about God’s promises, here is one He told Rebekah in Genesis 25:23, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” • As I was thinking Isaac and Rebekah waited 20 years for the twins, at least they didn’t try to help God out to move along the timeline by having a son with another woman like Abraham and Sarah did. • Then I read verses 29 through 34, Jacob did not wait for God to give what He promised. Instead, he took into his own hands and tricked Esau into giving up his birthright and blessing for a bowl of soup. ***Second Principle Truth: (PPT slide #3) Sin never overpowers God’s promises! • Jaco and Esau were very different: one liked outdoor hunting and the other liked indoor cooking! But in this moment, they both wanted what they wanted immediately, regardless of God’s will or His promises! • God is impartial! He saves us by His grace, not by our works! There was nothing Jacob or anyone can do to force God to do what they want or not to do what He promised. The good news is that no person is beyond God’s power and promise to save! • You can trust God and believe His promise of forgiveness through Jesus Christ! Just turn away from sin and trust Jesus today! And you will be saved because God is impartial! And sin never overpowers God’s promises! ***C. Isaac repeated Abraham’s deception (Genesis 26) • (PPT slide #4) Our memory verse this week in Genesis 26:2-3, “The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, ‘…Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham.’” • God wanted Isaac to stay in Gerar and did not want Isaac to go down to Egypt with famine in the land. And while he was in Gerar, he repeated the sin of Abraham and lied about his wife Rebekah being his sister! Abimelek found out. Because God is gracious, and He blessed Isaac with a hundredfold harvest on his crops. Abimelek sent Isaac away because he has become too wealthy and powerful. • Isaac’s servants dug two wells in the valley of Gerar, but the herders quarreled with Isaac’s. So Isaac let them have the two wells and moved on to dig another well, finally no one argued! • Isaac went to Beersheba where God appeared and repeated His promises. He built an alter and called on the name of the Lord. And his servants dug another well! • Meanwhile, Abimelek came and asked Isaac for a peace treaty because he saw how God has blessed Isaac. • In the midst of God’s blessings, there was great grief to Isaac and Rebekah. Esau married not one but two unbelieving Canaanite women. ***Third Principle Truth: (PPT slide #5) God fulfills His promises at the right time and in the right way! • Isaac and Rebekah waited patiently for God’s right time to have a child. 20 years later, they had twins. • Even when we pray for something God’s Word promises us, we need to be patient to wait for God’s time and God’s way. We can trust and obey God while we wait! • Are God’s choices ever arbitrary or unjust? These are very real questions for me at times! How comfortable am I with the fact that God understands what I cannot? God’s dealings with people rests on His unlimited wisdom and absolute justice. I cannot understand all of God’s ways, but I can trust Him, period! ***Conclusion – Waiting for God’s promises means not getting what we want right away. It is also a protection because God knows the best time and the best way to do everything! We can be sure that God keeps His promises in His time and in His way!!!

January 27, 2021 at 09:35 AM

His Word (seed) falls onto the soil of my heart this morning: 1) Old way in Hebrews 10:11, "Every priest stands daily at his ministry, offering frequently those same sacrifices that can never take away sins." 2) New way in Hebrews 10:12-14, "But this One (Jesus) offered one sacrifice for sins, and took His seat forever at the right hand of God; now He waits until His enemies are made His footstool. For by One offering He has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated." 3) Meaning in Hebrews 10:18, "Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer offering for sin!" ***To God be the glory!!! Amen!

January 27, 2021 at 09:26 AM

Amen!

January 27, 2021 at 08:37 AM

Good morning Living Faith family! As I read through today's readings, devotion, and comments I had to smile at the vision I had. One of all of us who may be awake at that bewitching hour of 3 a.m. who either toss and turn or like Sandy, grab the rosary that you have in your bed and begin to pray, and "become still and know God", like Patrick. Knowing that we are all united in prayer with God, and in God, is powerful. "Where two or more are gathered in prayer"... It is a beautiful visual. May you all take comfort in that vision. Grow where you are planted!! God bless.

EM
January 27, 2021 at 03:44 PM

“Like” this visual Annette! I do the same thing grab my rosary and start praying. I recommended it to my hubby who now does the same when he’s tossing and turning. Will make sure to keep thoughts of others in the LF Family who may be doing the same.

Kevyn Mary
January 27, 2021 at 09:04 AM

Amen!

January 27, 2021 at 08:29 AM

Amen. :)

January 27, 2021 at 08:03 AM

A very powerful reflection. So many of us are suffering from the side effects of the COVID and the situations in our world. I too have restless nights, and often find myself finding comfort in the praying the rosary. May we remind ourselves to find strength in God because He is always with us. Amen

January 27, 2021 at 07:52 AM

Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear. This reading today is again one of my favorites, because it reminds me to remember what is important and stay on the right path when other worldly things take up too much time or desire. This message helps me be reminded that if I sway off my intended path that God has for me, I can always reconcile with him at anytime, repent of my sins where I have disappointed him and can be welcomed back to his holy family once again. Let us sow seeds with others that may last and not come to the worldly distractions. I know this is wishful thinking, but if we keep both eyes open and our ears tuned into God’s station, we have a better chance to succeed. All of us are sinners at times, this is where we serve a loving and forgiving God who loves us so much that he will forgive us and make us whole again. Praying for all of the Living Faith Family, for those who do not have anyone to pray for them and for all of the souls in Purgatory that will be reunited with God in his Heavenly Kingdom, today. Put God First Today and have your lives be transformed. Amen.

January 27, 2021 at 07:39 AM

This devotion speaks to my heart. These are very timely thoughts as we, our country and world struggle with all that’s going on. I am awake most nights at 3AM thrashing about looking for answers. It’s not until I turn my thoughts off and begin a rosary that I can find calm and be reminded I am not in charge but God. Please pray for the fertile soil!

January 27, 2021 at 07:21 AM

Heavenly Father, look down upon all Your children who are experiencing rocky times in their lives. Wrap them in Your loving arms so that they know things will get better. Give them peace. Amen

January 27, 2021 at 07:05 AM

Patrick, some times are rocky, even covered with boulders. Keep trusting and moving forward. May God grant you peace and strength today. Prayers and love to you

January 27, 2021 at 05:59 AM

Amen. "Be still and know that I am God". This is a beautiful phrase Patrick (one of my favorites :). Thank you! I pray that your day is good, productive and that the rocky period ends soon. Good Day Living Faith Family!

January 27, 2021 at 03:01 AM

I have been awake for a few hours with thorny issue in my head preventing me getting back to sleep. I read the Mass readings for the day, but they’re definitely falling on the path, I’m just ticking the commitment box. I had to reread passages several times as they weren’t sticking. The thorny thoughts keep intruding. I get through to the devotional and after reading it I am refreshed. Today I am tired, I have a few things to do which I wish I didn’t have too. Thanks to your words Mary I know this rocky period will pass, committed I will get through my day in the belief I will find fertile soil again. It’s good to know I am not alone. I am thankful the Living Faith forum and for my faith. I place my trust in the word of God. Be still and know that I am God. Wishing you all a good day.

Bob m
January 27, 2021 at 07:39 AM

Patrick, the times when we are committed to working the soil, even when we don't feel like doing it, are valuable to prepare the soul (soil) to receive His word. Do not be discouraged! Keep tilling, keep working even when you think you're just going through the motions. God knows the heart. Do the work, for we don't know which seed will take root, but we do know that we will prepare the soil (soul) to receive it!

EM
January 27, 2021 at 07:27 AM

Amen. Praying for you Patrick. I’ve been in your position sometimes for weeks on end. May the Lord guide us to the quiet stillness we need to hear his voice today to calm our anxious hearts. Jesus, I trust in you.

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