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God in the Past and Present

It had been years since we left the Oregon town where we raised our family. We’d made great memories there, and the visit reminded me of moments I’d forgotten: our girls’ soccer games, our old home, church gatherings, and our friends’ Mexican restaurant. The town had changed, but there was enough of the familiar to spark my desire to return.

When the Israelites went into Babylonian exile, they missed the familiarity of people, landmarks, and culture. They forgot they’d been exiled for rebelling against God. When false prophets told the exiles they would return home soon (Jeremiah 29:8–9), they found a receptive audience. It was easy to listen to the slick words of false prophets who promised a return home.

God didn’t take kindly to these peddlers of the past and their false promises. “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you,” He said (vv. 8–9). He had plans for His people, “plans to give you hope and a future” (v. 11). The situation was challenging, difficult, and new, but God was with them. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart,” He told them. God would bring them “back to the place from which I carried you into exile” (vv. 13-14).

Nostalgia plays tricks on the mind, making it easy to long for what once was. Don’t miss what God is doing right now. He will fulfill His promises. 

St. Celestine: Saint of the Day for Sunday, May 19, 2024

When the father of this Italian saint died, his good mother brought up her twelve children well, even though they were very poor. "Oh, if I could only have the joy of seeing one of you become a saint!" she use to say. Once when she asked as usual, "which one of you is going to become a saint?" little Peter (who was to become Pope Celestine) answered with all his heart, "Me, mama! I'll become a saint!" And he did. When he was twenty, Peter became a hermit and ...

Making God Known

A love for God and for people undergirds Kathryn’s Bible translating work. She rejoices when women in India come to a deeper understanding of Scripture, reading it in their mother tongue. She remarks that when they do, “They often start cheering or clapping. They read about Jesus, and they say, ‘Oh, wonderful!’ ”

Kathryn longs for more people to read the Bible in their own language. In this desire, she holds close to her heart the vision of the aging disciple John on the island of Patmos. Through the Spirit, God ushered him into the throne room of heaven, where he saw “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9). All together they worshiped God, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God” (v. 10).

God continues to add to the great number of people praising Him. He uses not only the work of Bible translators and those praying for them, but also those who reach out to their neighbors in love with the good news of Jesus. We can rejoice in this joyful mission, marveling at how God will spark more people to join with the angels in saying, “Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever” (v. 12).

St. Pope John I: Saint of the Day for Saturday, May 18, 2024

St. John I, Pope and Martyr (Feast day - May 18) A native of Tuscany in Italy, John was elected Pope while he was still an archdeacon upon the death of Pope Hormisdas in 523. At that time, the ruler of Italy was Theodoric the Goth who subscribed to the Arian brand of Christianity, but had tolerated and even favored his Catholic subjects during the early part of his reign. However, about the time of St. John's accession to the Papacy, Theodoric's policy underwent a drastic change as a result of ...

Called and Equipped by God

“Your job for the international book expo,” my boss informed me, “is to organize an onsite radio broadcast.” I felt fear because this was new territory for me. God, I’ve never done anything like this, I prayed. Please help me.

God provided resources and people to guide me: experienced technicians and broadcasters; plus reminders during the expo of details I’d overlooked. In retrospect, I know that the broadcast went well because God knew what was needed and prompted me to use the skills He’d already given me.

When God calls us to a task, He also equips us for it. When He assigned Bezalel to work on the tabernacle, Bezalel was already a skilled craftsman. God further equipped him by filling him with His Spirit and with wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and all kinds of skills (Exodus 31:3). God also gave him an assistant in Oholiab, as well as a skilled workforce (v. 6). With His enablement, the team designed and made the tent, its furnishings, and the priests’ garments. These were instrumental in the Israelites’ proper worship of God (vv. 7-11).

Bezalel means “in the shadow [protection] of God.” The craftsman worked on the project of a lifetime under God’s protection, power, and provision. Let’s courageously obey God’s prompting as we carry out a task to completion. He knows what we need, and how and when to give it─or even withhold it.

Ray Dalio Warns of Potential Civil War, Advises Moving Assets Abroad

Billionaire investor Ray Dalio warns that the likelihood of a second American Civil War is greater than one in three, urging investors to consider moving part of their assets abroad.

St. Paschal Baylon: Saint of the Day for Friday, May 17, 2024

Franciscan lay brother and mystic. Born to a peasant family at Torre Hermosa, in Aragon, on Whitsunday, he was christened Pascua in honor of the feast. According to accounts of his early life, Paschal labored as a shepherd for his father, performed miracles, and was distinguished for his austerity. He also taught himself to read. Receiving a vision which told him to enter a nearby Franciscan community, he became a Franciscan lay brother of the Alcantrine reform in 1564, and spent most of his ...

Ray Dalio Warns of Potential Civil War, Advises Moving Assets Abroad

Billionaire investor Ray Dalio warns that the likelihood of a second American Civil War is greater than one in three, urging investors to consider moving part of their assets abroad.

A Change of Venue

My friend Joann passed away from a stroke just as the coronavirus began to spread in 2020. At first her family published that her memorial service would be at her church, but then it was determined it was best to hold it at a funeral home to control the size of the group attending. The new notice online read: Joann Warners—Changed Venue.

Yes, her venue had changed! She’d gone from the venue of earth to the venue of heaven. God changed her life years before, and she lovingly served Him for nearly fifty years. Even while she lay near death in the hospital, she asked about others she loved who were struggling. Now she’s present with Him; she has changed venues.

The apostle Paul had the desire to be with Christ in another venue (2 Corinthians 5:8), but he also felt it would be better for the people he served for him to remain on Earth. He wrote to the Philippians, “It is more necessary for you that I remain in the body” (Philippians 1:24). When we grieve for someone like Joann, we may cry out to God something similar: They’re needed here by me and many others they loved and served. But God knows the best timing for their change of venue and our own.

In the Spirit’s strength, we now “make it our goal to please [God]” (2 Corinthians 5:9) until we see Him face-to-face—which will be far better.

Did you know the Catholic Church has a birthday?

Happy birthday to the Catholic Church! Happy birthday to you, who are the body of the Church!