Answering two questions: He can. He will.
Given the readings for this week, I think it is imperative to ask ourselves two questions today, and perhaps every day from this point onward. These two questions have an immediate implication for our lives and challenge the way we live.
The first question is this: Is Jesus Christ able to help me? That's right - it is that simple. Can Jesus, fully God and fully man, identify with me and help me? Can he come to my aid? Does he care? Is he able, really able, to intervene in my life and help?
Here I am just expounding on the main question. So answer that first, and please, be honest. Perhaps the answer is "no." Fine. But, if the answer is "yes," then read on.
Lv 13:1-2, 44-46
in Ordinary Time
(Feb. 12, 2006)
Ps 32:1-2, 5, 11
1 Cor 10:31--11:1
The second question that needs to be asked is this: Will he help me? This question is easily answered given the character of Jesus Christ and the Gospel reading for today.
This second question deals with his desire to come to our aid. Does Jesus really want to, does he wish to, and care enough to help? He very well may be able to, but is it his joy to rescue me?
So you may be thinking that these questions are very basic and perhaps childish; if so, great! That means I'm on the right track. Answering "yes" to these questions means drastic change in our lives.
In what area of your life are you not willing to let Jesus help? And why are you not letting him? If you believe that he cannot help, tell him that. If you believe that he doesn't want to, tell him that, too. Ask him to prove himself and then watch out, because he will.
So now let's get a little more pragmatic. The answers to these two questions can be applied to the lies that we tell ourselves every day. For example, I may subconsciously say, "Stephen, if you don't look a certain way, or if some girl doesn't go out with you, you have less value. No one will like you and you are nothing. There is something wrong with you, etc."
Now clearly that does not conform with my knowledge that Christ will never abandon nor forsake me.
Do you believe Jesus Christ can help you?
Do you believe Jesus Christ will and has the desire to help you?
What lies do you tell yourself that are contrary to the words of Christ?
Challenge yourself. Contest the lies that you tell yourself which are in direct contradiction with the claims of Christ. If we can assent to Jesus Christ being able and willing to help us, to identify with us, and to love us, the rest is history.
If you answer "yes" to those two questions, then any destructive thought, any thought that is logically contrary to what follows from answering "yes" to those two questions, is nonsense. You can dismiss it.
Stephen Cavill is a University of Wisconsin-Madison alumnus who majored in religious studies and philosophy. He is now a dorm missionary at St. Paul University Catholic Center.
St. Paul's Web site is www.stpaulscc.org
This week's readings
Week of February 12 - 18, 2006
Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I: Lv 13:1-2, 44-46
Reading II: 1 Cor 10:31--11:1
Gospel: Mk 1:40-45
Monday, Feb. 13, 2006
Reading I: Jas 1:1-11
Gospel: Mk 8:11-13
Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006
Memorial of Saint Cyril, monk, and Saint Methodius, bishop
Reading I: Jas 1:12-18
Gospel: Mk 8:14-21
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006
Reading I: Jas 1:19-27
Gospel: Mk 8:22-26
Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006
Reading I: Jas 2:1-9
Gospel: Mk 8:27-33
Friday, Feb. 17, 2006
Reading I: Jas 2:14-24, 26
Gospel: Mk 8:34--9:1
Saturday, Feb. 18, 2006
Reading I: Jas 3:1-10
Gospel: Mk 9:2-13
Pope's Prayer Intentions
February General Intention
End to human trafficking. That the International Community may be ever more aware of the urgent duty to bring an end to the trafficking in human beings.
February Mission Intention
Lay faithful. That in the Missions the lay faithful may recognize the need to serve their own country with greater commitment in its political and social life.
Prayer for St. Raphael Cathedral
Whose word is like fire,
who spoke to Your servant Moses in the burning bush;
who led Your people Israel out of bondage
with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night:
hear Your people as we call upon You
in both need and gratitude.
May the Cathedral fire purify Your Church
in the Diocese of Madison
so that our hearts may burn with the knowledge
that Your Church is built upon the bedrock
of Your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the intercession of Saint Raphael,
Your messenger of healing,
in union with our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI,
and with our Bishop, Robert C. Morlino,
may we find comfort in our affliction
and the courage to proclaim
the Good News of Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever.
For more prayer resources visit the Office of Worship's Web page at www.straphael.org/~office_of_worship/
(Click on the link on the main page.)