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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

A Friend Who Expands My Heart

by Fr. David M. Knight

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Week II in Ordinary Time; Memorial of St Anthony Abbot

Lectionary No. 313

1Samuel 17:32-51; Psalm 144; Mark 3:1-6

"Blessed be the Lord, my Rock! My refuge… my deliverer." Psalm 144:1

Is it weakness to be grateful for a strong friend?

All of us need one sometime. Christians need one all the time.

Why? It is because the Christian life by definition is impossible. Christian life is divine life. We are called to live on the level of God. As Jesus himself said, speaking about his whole New Law, “For humans it is impossible.”

He added, however, “But for God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

“I am the vine, you are the branches… apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). By “nothing” Jesus means, “nothing divine,” nothing that has everlasting value.

We don’t think big enough. We may aim only at keeping the Ten Commandments, not even thinking about Jesus’s New Law (summarized in Matthew, chapters 5-7). Like the Pharisees in the Gospel, we have, not withered hands, but withered hearts.

Grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored.

Our hearts will be restored if we “stretch them out,” always acting in partnership with Jesus. Never acting without him, or being afraid to act with him.

Friendship is interaction. Interact with Jesus and he will empower you to live and love like God.

ACTION: When challenged, hear Jesus saying, “Stretch out your heart!”

PRAYER: “Lord, do this with me, do this in me, do this through me.”

Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

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