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'Chosen to Serve'

Tuesday of Holy Week

Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
Yet my reward is with the LORD,
my recompense is with my God.

- Isaiah 49:4

Appearances, it is said, can be deceiving. We may regard our lives as of little consequence in the wide scope of things, but the full measure of our success or failure is God's concern. After all, God has chosen us and calls us to share in his plan.

In this life, we will never know how many people we touched, how often we showed forth the glory of God, not because of any special grace we ourselves possessed, but because God reveals himself through his servants.

That may seem far-fetched, especially as we grow in awareness of our sinfulness and shortcomings. But our faith is in the works of God who transformed the apparent failure of Jesus on the cross to the glory of Easter morning. We are asked also to believe that God is transforming us day by day, not just for us personally, but for the salvation of the world.

- Mark Neilsen
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I attended a discussion of a group of university professors with a friend of mine. The discussion was on the "Life of Jesus". It was mentioned that Jesus had brothers and sisters from possibly the Blessed Mother and Joseph, or Joseph, or Joseph's previous marriage, or through adoption.

I was shocked by this and it has been bothering me ever since. I came home and looked through my bible, through some catholic books I have. I can't find any information on that.

Does anyone in the Living Faith Family know if it is true that Jesus had brothers and sisters? I don't know how to feel about it. Please help!
Tillie | Posted on: 2019-04-16 18:02:56
We are all Jesus' brothers and sisters. I have heard that cousins in our society are referred to as brothers and sisters in ancient times. We as Catholics believe in Mary ever Virgin. What difference would it make?
Gayle LaPointe | Posted on:: 2019-04-17 19:47:42
Thank you Mark for your though provoking devotion.

I agree with Linda, "But the fact is exactly as Mark Nielsen tells us, that "Appearances can be deceiving." In biblical days, those who did not believe in Jesus, thought "Jesus's passion" as a failure. But those who believe in God and His only begotten Son, know that God sent Jesus for a reason, His plan. God sent His son to save His true believers through His passion to forgive our sins and lead our souls to the Kingdom of God - "Heaven".

Yes, "Appearances can be deceiving". Jesus's passion is not a failure, instead it the "Greatest Triumph Ever". Jesus accomplished God's plan, his Father's will.

Jesus is our Hero!
Tillie | Posted on: 2019-04-16 16:14:52
freeter | Posted on: 2019-04-16 13:48:50
The Jews at the time were looking for a military as well as Godly messiah—like David, the messiah would restore Israel to glory....he ‘apparently’ failed in that mission.

Also, to do good deeds that affect others is not the only affects we have. There are small deeds that we may not put much thought into but will affect someone for life as well—but not positively. I still remember a teacher that punished me because I had had a week to collect a basic item for art class—an empty toilet paper roll, I was 7. I came from an abusive, poor home and had really tried to get what to everyone else was a piece of trash and paid emotionally for it. The teacher put more hurt on top of what was already to be a painful memory by separating me from the class so that now my failure, if not situation, was pointed out out to all. That lady does not remember me, I’m sure, but what could have been an act of kindness turned out to be sadness for me. The triumph of Christ prevails in me most of the time, however, as I make this memory a challenge to myself to look past and ‘apparent’ failure to never judge another’s failure and to give them a helping hand when I can because I never know what the circumstances of their failure was.
Vicky G | Posted on: 2019-04-16 09:34:43
Vicky,Thank you for sharing. I too still remember and share a story of a time when I was slapped on the top on my hand with a ruler by my music teacher I empathise and show compassion to all children so that they will always feel love from me. I feel in my heart that our story serves as a purpose. God was withyou when you hurt.
Teresa P | Posted on:: 2019-04-16 10:54:21
God is good. God Bless the Living Faith Family.
B.T. | Posted on: 2019-04-16 09:32:07
Amen. Thank you Holy Father for this beautiful day and for today's Gospel. 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
Thank you Thank you Thank you
A sinner | Posted on: 2019-04-16 09:14:32
Jesus you have entrusted us, chosen us to be your disciples in the growing of the word. Help us today to continue to share, use our God given blessings to others so that your light may shine forth in their lives as well.

Suzette, possibly what they mean is that because our Lord Jesus Christ has risen from the cross on the resurrection on Easter Sunday that the cross could be viewed as a failure. No one can overcome God’s ways and the world can do whatever to try to defeat us, With God in our lives we will overcome the world as he has shown us in the resurrection.

Have a great Holy Week Tuesday.

Tim | Posted on: 2019-04-16 08:38:21
Amen. Thank you for this reminder that my small acts of faith and service may touch others who might be in need of hope. I am not shy about showing my faith at work or when I’m out. At work yesterday many coworkers were quick to reach out to me to let me know the Cathedral of Notre Dame was on fire. Prayers for the LF family and for the City of Paris as they work to rebuild this testament of our faith.
EM | Posted on: 2019-04-16 08:29:10
Jesus Christ is Lord!!!
Angela | Posted on: 2019-04-16 08:28:52
What is the apparent failure of Jesus on the cross?
Suzzette | Posted on: 2019-04-16 07:36:42
Suzzette, I always cringe when I hear someone remark that the cross was a failure. But the fact is exactly as Mark Nielsen tells us, that "Appearances can be deceiving." Some, in biblical days, like those who said to Jesus, if you are the Christ, then save yourself, meaning that He could avoid the cross. To them he was a failure. But we knew that He had to die on that cross. He is our hero. And that so called "failure" saved all of us! Alleluia!
Linda | Posted on:: 2019-04-16 08:15:18
Linda, thank you for explaining that as I wondered as Suzzette did, how that was a failure.
Judy | Posted on:: 2019-04-16 09:28:33
Amen Linda!
Tillie | Posted on:: 2019-04-16 15:45:22
Lia | Posted on: 2019-04-16 07:29:24
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