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Deacon’s Bench:
It is never enough to convince a human to honestly believe. We always want more just like Thomas would not believe Christ rose from the dead unless he felt the nail holes and checked His side. We too are never convinced of Christ as God. No matter how many miracles we see or how many good things we experience we always want more proof. Christ always has, is, and will be God and available to us if we trust. Maybe it is not our belief so much as how we must live when we believe. Our life can not be the same if we believe in God and what He has taught us. Trust in God must be demonstrated by the way we live our lives and treat others. That is the hard part: love of God requires sacrificing our own time and treasure for others. If we believe in Christ, we must demonstrate that with our lives.
Deacon Greg
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FEAST OF THOMAS, APOSTLE

Beyond all doubt

Thomas may have started out doubting, but once he saw and touched the truth, his faith took him very far indeed. It is said he traveled to the southwest coast of India in the year 52 and spent the last 20 years of his life there planting Christianity. To this day, “Saint Thomas Christians” in India trace their origins back to the apostle. In fact, Thomas is so popular that India has issued a commemorative stamp in his honor! Doubt does not oppose faith, it makes faith possible.

Today's readings: Ephesians 2:19-22; John 20:24-29 (593). “Thomas answered and said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ ” ... See MoreSee Less

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Deacon’s Bench:
Glorify God by your life. Living in the ways of Christ brings much satisfaction and joy to yourself and family. God rewards and judges us with fairness and when we do the same, we can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. Through the Holy Spirit we gain wisdom and authority from God. We can have authority over things beyond most humans. God is more than willing to allow us to control healing and problem relationships to the point of coincidences that help us to glorify God. But we must always give credit to God, as His glory brings us that power or help. God is not far away but rather with us in His Spirit. He helps us with the small things and larger ones. He loves us so much that He spends much time with of us. Do not ignore His presence but offer everything good in prayer.
Deacon Greg
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The healing power of compassion

Jesus healed in ways we consider miraculous, not because he had anything to prove about his power, but because his compassion urged him to alleviate suffering in whatever ways he could. His teaching and his healing went hand in hand: Both were focused on bringing us to wholeness. When he calls the paralytic man his son or child, it displays a mark of the tenderness he feels for all of us. Jesus draws us close in a healing embrace. Accept his healing today.

Today's readings: Amos 7:10-17; Matthew 9:1-8 (380). “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” ... See MoreSee Less

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Deacon’s Bench:

Justice will prevail and not noise to hide evil deeds with hatred and controversy. God brings true fairness to our lives, but the devil will push with hate and guilt. God will testify against those with false pretenses of injury and hate to gain selfish ends. Demons often scare and frighten people with savage actions and destructive means. If you are weak in faith, these demons will command your life and take your freedoms. Drugs, alcohol, sex, greed, power, and pride bring most of the evil we experience here on earth and we can win against them with faith in Christ and actions of justice. Christ drove the demons out and we can too through His power by prayer and fasting. We can use the power of the cross and the rosary of the Blessed Virgin to protect us from the devil. The devil has no power unless we give him permission, for Christ defeated the evil ones through His crucifixion and resurrection. Praise Christ by our lives.

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MEMORIAL OF THE FIRST MARTYRS OF THE CHURCH OF ROME

Holiness involves dying a little each day

Tertullian, one of the first Christian theologians, wrote: “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” The church’s first martyrs are commemorated a day after the feast of Saints Peter and Paul—who tradition says were also victims of Nero’s slaughter, beginning in 64. And martyrs aren’t meant to be just a memory but also a model. Look no further than first responders and essential workers to see modern examples of those following the model of self-sacrifice for the sake of others. Offer a sign of gratitude for their service.

Today's readings: Amos 3:1-8; 4:11-12; Matthew 8:23-27 (378). “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” ... See MoreSee Less

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1 week ago

Holy Redeemer Catholic Church

livestream of Mass June 27, from Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in New Bremen, OH. Simulcast using Castr.io ... See MoreSee Less

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Come quick, compassion

The COVID-19 pandemic leaves deep scars around the world. The words of today’s psalm are vividly true: “May your compassion quickly come to us, for we are brought very low.” The church teaches that God’s compassion is always at hand. Suffering can be excruciating, but God’s presence endures. Be a compassionate presence to someone who is hurting. The heart you heal may end up being your own.

Today's readings: 2 Kings 24:8-17; Matthew 7:21-29 (374). “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” ... See MoreSee Less

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Deacon’s Bench:

“Lord, Lord,” we say when we think we need things beyond our control. We want the Lord to protect us from disaster, often self-inflicted problems from sin in our lives. God is wise and knows our heart and motives and may not answer our prayers when they are misguided or self-seeking. Jesus said, love of God is following His commandments. If we do not act on His words in honesty and diligence, how can we expect the Lord to recognize us when we call on Him? Jesus taught with authority because He not only came from God but is God and human. He knows everything and is our redeemer and judge of eternal life. We can put our trust in Him and anyone that professes His message with honesty. The Holy Spirit can answer our prayers and questions. He can guide us. Ask Him in good faith.

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SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

Give it away

John the Baptist is considered the opening act for Jesus, the forerunner and the one who prepared people to receive the message of Jesus. A better spokesperson could not be found. John’s noble counsel that we share our extra coat and food with those who need them holds true today, ever more in these difficult times when we have learned the imperative need to care for one another. Head to the closet—what can you give away?

Today's readings: Isaiah 49:1-6; Acts 13:22-26; Luke 1:57-66, 80 (587). “‘What, then, will this child be?’ For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.” ... See MoreSee Less

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Deacon’s Bench:

Proclaim Christ to all you meet through your actions and your speech. We serve not ourselves or the past, but the present and the future. Our ancestors taught us the faith and brought the knowledge of God to many of us and it is our responsibility to bring it forward to others. Christ has asked that we bring His message of love and salvation to every corner of the world. To succeed, we must start with our family and friends. We are guided and assisted by the Holy Spirit through the church. The people of the world are complicated and varied in their experience, therefore it takes a vibrant church to reach them. You proclaim Christ to one and I another, soon we will reach many. With a church of 2 billion, each of us need to influence and encourage just 3 or 4 and everyone will be in with us Christ.

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Essential work calls

Today is a good day to remember all families that have lost a loved one - especially families that are most vulnerable, with children or a limited livelihood. As Pope Benedict XVI affirmed in his encyclical Deus Caritas Est, “love for widows and orphans, prisoners, and the sick and needy of every kind is as essential” to the church “as the ministry of the sacraments and preaching of the gospel.” How can you be Christ’s hands and feet today, to help provide sustenance to hurting families and lessen their suffering?

Today's readings: 2 Kings 19:9b-11, 14-21, 31-35a, 36; Matthew 7:6, 12-14 (372). “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.” ... See MoreSee Less

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