Mk 16:15-18 Go Out To All The World

This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]

Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them:
Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature…
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover
.”
Saint Paul is one of my favorite saints. I love the saints with a messy past, the ones that didn’t always walk the straight and narrow road. They give all of us hope. They remind us of the infinite power of Gods great love and mercy. After all, if the Lord chose a man like Saul who was “breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord” to preach His gospel, certainly He can make great saints out of sinners like us.
 They will lay hands on the sick
Yesterday started off as a pretty normal day at work, if there is such a thing as a normal day at a crisis pregnancy center. I was expecting an appointment with a woman who was considering an abortion, at 15 weeks. I waited and waited, but I thought she wasn’t going to show up because she was more than thirty minutes late. Then, by the grace of God she walked in the door. She looked so tired, like she was carrying the weight of the world rather than a previous gift from God.
I knew I had to help her, somehow some way. So I silently prayed that the Lord would give me the right words to say and that He would show her His kindness and compassion through me.
After we had talked for a little while, I finally asked her why she wanted to have an abortion and she said “it just isn’t the right time for me to have another baby, this wasn’t in my plans, and the father wants nothing to do with me or the baby”. In that moment, although I didn’t agree with her decision, I understood her desperation. Again, I prayed silently, but nothing seemed to be working. Nothing I was saying to her seemed to be making a difference. Her heart was hardened. So after trying everything I knew how to do, I left the room so that the nurse could begin the sonogram.
About fifteen minutes later I went to go check on her. I don’t normally do that because our nurses take such great care of our clients, but something was telling me I should go back there with her. When I walked in the room she was laying on the table facing the sonogram screen, and streams of tears were falling from her face. Then she turned to look at me, and in the most unexpected moment she held out her hand for me to hold.
I couldn’t believe it! I was totally surprised. But I smiled at her and I went to take her hand. And we just stared at the screen. The 3d sonogram revealed a beautiful baby girl with her mother’s nose. The sonogram also revealed that she was actually nineteen weeks and four days pregnant, not fifteen like we initially thought. This means that she only had three days left to legally get an abortion here in Texas.
I was hoping and praying that she had changed her mind but I wasn’t sure. So I asked her what she was thinking and she said, “I’m going to keep my baby. She looks just like me!”
Sweet relief.
 Proclaim the Gospel to every creature
It’s so easy to get discouraged and to give up on another. It’s so tempting to think that someone will never change. Yet time and time again God reveals to us in the most surprising ways that there is hope for everyone. Whether it’s a woman considering abortion, a teen with an addiction, or an faithful spouse. We all have hope, because we are all made in the image and likeness of God.
Yes, that means there is even hope for the Justin Beibers of the world. St. Paul was once young and arrogant too, remember?
And there’s also hope for every young girl like Miley Cyrus who thinks she has to bare everything she has in order to get a little bit of attention. Just think of the Samaritan woman who lived with six men before encountering Jesus at the well (cf. John 4:1-26). And what about the women caught in adultery? Jesus did not condemn her but he did tell her to leave her life of sin (cf. John 8:11).
Let’s imitate His way. Let’s hate all sins and love all sinners. Let’s have compassion for one another, especially those who hate us and those who hate the One who sent us.
Let us remember that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) yet we must all put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12) towards one another, forgiving each other more than seven times seventy times (Matthew 18:22).
This mediation was written by Stephanie Juarez. She is a pro-life advocate in Dallas, TX and serves as confirmation catechist at St. Monica church. For more of her writings please visit her blog Lover of the Light.

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Fr. Alfonse (598 Posts)


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