Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Answer to Jesus’ Prayer

May 13, 2018 –– 7th Sunday of Easter
Acts 1:15–17, 20a, 20c–26 / Psalm 103: 1–2, 11–12, 19–20 / 1 John 4:11–16 / John 17:11b–19
The Answer to Jesus’ Prayer

Think of the people you love the most. What are your greatest concerns and desires for them? The Gospel reading takes us into the intimacy of prayer between Jesus and the Father. It’s the night before Jesus goes to the cross and we are allowed to look into the deepest desires that our Lord has for his followers. Two of his key concerns are unity and truth.

He prays: for them… you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one. Jesus wants us to have the oneness he has with the Father! And how the devil has sought to destroy the unity of God’s people! Christians are divided by ethnicity, nationality, economics, sexuality, and doctrine––just to mention some of the most significant. How can we be one? In our fractured world, what could possibly be a unifier?

The simple answer is another of the desires we hear from Jesus: Consecrate them in your truth. Your word is truth. That is a “simple” answer, but applying it is anything but simple. We live in a culture that has given up on truth. Some say there is no absolute truth. Some say truth is too complicated to understand even if it exists. Some want truth to be a subjective (personal) decision so that “I have my truth and you have your truth.” Almost everyone would agree that the issue of truth is complicated and hard. How can truth unify us unless we know what truth is?!

If we are prepared to believe Jesus, he tells us right here in his prayer. As he calls on the Father he says Your word is truth. That is a primary issue for all of us. Are we ready to surrender our own ideas of what is true to what God says? If so, we are ready for a second question: How do we discern what God says? The second reading speaks to one facet of this: This is how we know… that he has given us of his Spirit. What is the result of having God’s Spirit? A person acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God; (so that) God remains in him and he in God. That is still a bit abstract, so John gives a tangible application––love.

This is not sentimentality. This is not whatever makes us personally feel good. The love John exalts in his first letter is God’s kind of love––the kind of love that sacrifices for the good of another…. the kind of love that causes the Spirit of Jesus to make us more and more like him.

Yet this still takes discernment. How do know what is true about Jesus? We find that our Lord has provided that. In the first reading Peter, as the leader of the other apostles, says it is necessary that the place vacated by Judas be filled by one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, and so become with us a witness to his resurrection. The way we know Jesus––what he said and what he did and what it all means––is that he provided for eye-witnesses to establish Apostolic Teaching and successive continuity.

In the early 1970s Charles Colson was President Nixon’s “hatchet man” going into the Watergate scandal. He was convicted along with a few others for obstruction of justice. Going from one of the most powerful positions in the nation to jail resulted in his conversion to Christian Faith. Reflecting on that he later gave a compelling reason why we can trust the eye-witnesses to whom Jesus entrusted the Church:

I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned, and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world––and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible!

God, in his great love, has given us his Son as atonement for our sins and raised him from the dead to give us victory over death and the hope of eternal life. We can dare believe this because our Lord also gave us a Church founded on an Apostolic Authority––men who were eye-witnesses, and then gave credibility to their testimony by their consistency and courage and continuity.

The unbelieving world around us grasps for something stable; we as Christians have every reason to believe we know the truth of God. Beyond all the lesser issues that divide our society––and even our Christian communities––we have a Church that is rooted in truth.

If we believe God’s truth with passion and allow it to have priority over all other issues, then we can trust our Lord to make us one. As that happens, we will begin to love more and more like Jesus.

And then this prayer that Jesus prayed on the night before his death will become a living reality––even in you and me. We can be the answer to Jesus’ prayer!

Lord, make it so….

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The One Way of Salvation

April 22, 2018 –– 4th Sunday of Easter
Acts 4:8–12 / from Psalm 118 / 1 John 3:1–2 / John 10:11–18
The One Way of Salvation

Peter was bold, even confrontational, in his proclamation that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. That message has often brought a negative reaction. The Early Church Fathers understood this, and even added to it when they wrote: No one can call God “Father” apart from having the Church as “Mother.”

There are two fundamental questions: 1) Is Jesus the only Savior? and, 2) Is conscious knowledge of Christ necessary for salvation?

Universalism (or pluralism) wants to say that there are many paths to God, and Jesus is only one of them. If there are many paths to God, it follows that people do not have to believe in Christ to be saved. This is the popular opinion that gets big press in contemporary expression. This opinion is also at odds with Christian Faith and what the Church believes and teaches.

At the other end of the spectrum from universalism is exclusivism. It answers both questions with a ‘Yes.' The exclusivist believes that Jesus alone has done what is necessary to save sinners, and second, that explicit knowledge of and faith in Christ is necessary for anyone to be saved. Some extreme Protestants push this narrow application.

In the middle––and reflecting the teaching of the Church––is what might be called inclusivism. This answers the first question, ‘Yes,' and the second question, ‘No.' Only Jesus Christ has accomplished what is necessary to make salvation possible, but it is “possible” for people to be saved by responding whole-heartedly to God's revelation in creation and perhaps through the partial truths that exist in other religions. So, even though Christ is the only Savior, it is “possible” (but not simple) for people to be saved apart from explicit knowledge of and faith in Jesus.

The first part of this truth is not negotiable for true Christian Faith. This is what Peter proclaimed in his sermon: There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved. This is in continuity with Jesus saying, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:9). In modern ears this sounds bigoted and hateful. Some will not accept that Jesus said such a thing, but the only Jesus we have is the Jesus that comes to us through the witness of Scripture. The witness of Scripture does not allow us to pick and choose according to what suits our individual taste and comfort, and Jesus did say some hard and exclusive things.

This is why faithful Christian witness is so crucial. People need to know who Jesus is and what God has done in the death and resurrection of his Son. The Church needs faithful preachers. Parishes need faithful teachers. But beyond the roles that are rooted so visibly in the Church, every person who owns the name of Christ needs to be showing (and when possible, telling) the wonder of belonging to God through Jesus Christ. At the core of who we are is the thrust of evangelization: God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life (John 3:16).

The objecting question always comes: What about all the people who have never heard of Jesus?  In our shrinking world we are quite aware of millions who have not heard the name of Jesus. What about people whose understanding of Jesus is totally skewed because of distorted teachings and horrible examples?

This does not change what God has done and what he offers and intends. John followed the famous “3:16” verse saying, For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Today’s Gospel extends this when Jesus says he is the (not “a”) Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. God is love.

God has made salvation possible in one way––through Jesus Christ. Peter said it so plainly: There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved. So, how can anyone be saved by Jesus without an explicit encounter with Jesus?

This is one subject where the reflection and insight and authority of the Church is so helpful. Study what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says in #841. Read the Second Vatican document Lumen Gentium (#14). But to give some idea here of what the Church has said, Pope Pius XII projected that people outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church can be “related to the Mystical Body of the Redeemer by a certain unconscious yearning and desire.” It is “possible” to find the grace of God outside a conscious encounter with Christ and his Church. In the case of one who is ignorant of the truth of Catholic Faith, “through no fault of [his] own,” he can be saved, if he is truly “invincibly ignorant, [is] given the supernatural virtue of faith and [has] perfect charity in [his heart]” (cf. Instruction of Holy Office of Dec. 20, 1949). Yet this is no reason for presumption.

We must remember that we are not the judges of salvation. We do not know who is truly “invincibly ignorant” and who is not. Only God can know if a person has “perfect charity of heart.” God is the sole and final––and merciful––judge. But for any measure of assurance, we need to embrace the graces that come through Jesus and his Church. This means evangelization is crucially important. Each of us needs to embrace and proclaim the message of the Church––the message that Peter proclaimed at the very beginning: There is no salvation through anyone else…. no other name by which we are to be saved.

We leave the judging to God; we need to be clear about that. At the same time, we also hold onto the truth that salvation is only in Jesus Christ. There are two huge things at stake here: 1) Each one of us must embrace Jesus and all that means; this is our own salvation. 2) Each of us should consider what it means to be a faithful witness; another person’s salvation may depend on it.

Knowing Jesus as the only way is our hope. Showing Jesus as the only way is our message.

Sunday, April 1, 2018


April 1, 2018 –– Easter Sunday
Acts 10:34a, 37–43 / from Psalm 118 / Colossians 3:1–4 / John 20:1–9

Christ is risen! This has been the exultant cry of the Church since that first Easter Morning when the disciples’ sadness was turned to an incredible joy. Yet on this Easter Sunday there is a Culture of Death that surrounds us, threatening us and always wanting to turn our joy into fear and sadness. Pope Francis wrote an Easter meditation that asks: “Why is it that there is so much adversity….?” There is constant bad news on TV. We wake during the night with worries––how to pay the bills, a child who's struggling in school or with friends, the needs of aging parents, the boss that can never be satisfied, the marriage that's falling apart, the son or daughter fighting depression, a friend who has cancer…. These kinds of stresses feel heavy all the time. How does the Resurrection apply to the nitty-gritty?

The message of Easter is that the very Life of God breaks into our world––this world where there is little escape from fear and sadness. It seems there is no escape…. unless there is something bigger and stronger and longer lasting. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is God shouting into our word that death itself is not greater than the Life available to us in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The message of Christ is risen! gets distorted. Some think it cannot be true if the pain of all the evils in the world continue. Some hear the Church adding to the pain when it says “no” to many things the world offers to make us happy, not understanding that the Church only says “no” to the things that ultimately bring the pain and death we so much want to avoid.

“Life” as we know it in this world is not forever; the eternal Life of God that comes to us in the Resurrection of our Lord comes to us in this world, but it is the door and the bridge that takes us so much further.

Yet “this world” is always so close to us. How can we live in the reality of Paul’s words to the Colossians?! You were raised with Christ…. think of what is above, not of what is on earth.

Imagine a colony of grubs living on the bottom of a swamp. Every once in a while, one of these grubs is inclined to climb a leaf stem to the surface. Then he disappears above the surface and never returns. All the grubs wonder why this is so and what it must be like up there, so they counsel among themselves and agree that the next one who goes up will come back and tell the others. Not long after that, one of the grubs feels the urge and climbs that leaf stem and goes out above the surface onto a lily pad. And there in the warmth of the sun, he falls asleep. While he sleeps, the carapace of the tiny creature breaks open, and out of the inside of the grub comes a magnificent dragonfly with beautiful, wide, rainbow-hued, iridescent wings. And he spreads those wings and flies, soaring out over those waters. But then he remembers the commitment he has made to those behind, yet now he knows he cannot return. They would not recognize him in the first place, and beyond that, he could not live again in such a place. But one thought is his that takes away all the distress: they, too, shall climb the stem, and they, too, shall know the glory (Bruce Thielemann, Christus Imperator).

Christ is risen! Jesus has done what no grub could ever doHis Life has broken into our world, but it is so much more. Through Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, God gives us Resurrection Life. Live today in his Life, and believe––for yourself––in the glory that is to follow. Christ is risen!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Who Is Jesus?

Friday: March 23, 2018 –– 5th Week in Lent
John 10:31–42
Who Is Jesus?

Why doesn’t God answer our questions more clearly? Something bad happens and we ask God, “Why?” We face a hard decision and ask God, “What shall I do?” We’re given a difficult task and ask God, “How am I to do this?” Too often we do not get the plain answer we hoped for.

The Jews asked Jesus questions many times. They wanted straight answers and signs. Jesus gave answers and performed incredible signs, but not according to their expectations. So they could not “hear” him nor accept anything he did.

We want to identify with Jesus (and that’s good), but we might reflect on how we can be like the Jews who rejected Jesus in at least one way: How often do we not hear how God answers our questions because his answers are not what we expect?

God does not often answer our questions according to our expectations––Jesus didn’t, and Jesus said repeatedly that he and the Father are one; that he came to show us the Father. Jesus could have answered their questions in an overwhelming way (just as God could answer our questions in a way leaves no doubt). Why didn’t Jesus make himself clearly known?

God wants our love, and love does not overwhelm so that it becomes a power play. God wants and invites us to ask, but he also wants us to seek––not merely “answers” but what is good and beautiful and true so that we find him.

Those who were open to hearing and seeing Jesus as he really was began to believe in him. As John put it in another part of his Gospel: to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God (Jn 1:12).

Even today unbelief does not accept that Jesus is God. Some say he was a great prophet or a wonderful moral teacher or perhaps the best man who every lived––but not God. Some sects that call themselves “Christian” do not accept the full divinity of Jesus Christ. Yet Jesus says it so plainly, again and again, for those who are open to believe.

Whatever our questions are about God and how he answers, let’s be open and clear about one thing (and again it is John who tells us this as he begins his Gospel): No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known (Jn1:18).

Let’s keep our hearts focused on Jesus. Let’s listen to what God tells us through Jesus: If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father. Believe Jesus. Trust in Jesus. He’ll take care of the rest.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Core of the Gospel

March 11, 2018 –– Fourth Sunday in Lent
2  Chronicles 36:14–16, 19–23 / Psalm 137 / Ephesians 2:4–10 / John 3:14–21
The Core of the Gospel

Today’s text from Ephesians: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and especially the well-know text from the Gospel of John: For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life, remind me of Billy Graham.

Billy Graham’s recent death and funeral was a major news item spanning a couple of weeks. Of course it dominated the Evangelical media, but even the secular press gave it high priority. What particularly fascinated me were the numerous Catholic commentaries I read. [One of them was written by a convert-priest in South Carolina who I came to know in my own Catholic journey. His Evangelical background and college path through Bob Jones University had much in common with my personal history, so I resonated with Fr Dwight Longenecker’s comments about Billy Graham. I hope my lightly edited use of his article for this homily will be understood in the context of the esteem I have for what he has said.]

Someone asked why everybody thought Billy Graham was so great. It was because he preached the simple message of a human race locked in sin and in need of a savior, and that God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son so that all who believe in him might have everlasting life. That’s it.

I was brought up in a devout Evangelical home where Billy Graham’s model of Christian faith was assumed. We memorized Bible verses and believed that you had to “get saved.” We went forward in church and accepted Jesus into our lives as our personal Lord and Savior. That had a key role in making me who I am today.

Billy Graham’s message was often ridiculed. Intellectuals would sneer, and many religious people dismissed it as naive. Theologians said it was too simplistic. Unrepentant sinners would scorn it and laugh and turn away. But many, many ordinary people heard that simple message and had their lives forever changed.

I think our Catholic churches could be stronger if we took a bit of a lesson from Billy Graham. I know he’s not a Catholic. I know his theology was not as developed as it could have been. I know we do not preach his simple, easy message of eternal security–“Just say yes to Jesus and you can know you are going to heaven.” I know we stress the sacraments and membership in the Church. I know that being a Catholic is more complicated and full and abundant than the reductionist beliefs of  “pop-Christianity.”

But…. on the other hand, isn’t the core message still the same? Do we not call sinners every Sunday at Mass to repent of their sins and come forward in an altar call to receive Jesus? Do we not call sinners to come to confession, to say they are sorry for their sins and accept the forgiveness of Jesus? And if we do not say that people can know absolutely that they are going to heaven, we can certainly say that they can know today that they are on the road to heaven if they say “Yes” to Jesus and seek to live in a state of grace.

Could it be…. that churches have people who win prizes for humanitarian efforts while they vote for the dismemberment of unborn children…. that churches have people who seem more concerned to save the planet than to save souls…. that churches have far too many shallow (and worse) clergy…. could it be that the main reason churches (both Catholic and Protestant) have people modeling a faith that is not The Faith is because we have let the core of what it is all about get out of focus?!

What Christianity is all about is the core message Billy Graham preached so simply––a sinful humanity in need of a savior. That is the Gospel.

I have not walked away from the good things that came from my early Christian heritage––I have just grown in them and found there is more and more. If I had to choose a label it would be “Evangelical Catholic.”

I hope Billy Graham’s passing has reminded all of us who profess the name of Jesus what it’s all about: a sinful humanity in need of a savior, and God has given us his Son for that very reason. That is truly for all of us. It is our Catholic Faith.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Grace to Keep Going

February 18, 2018 –– First Sunday in Lent
Genesis 9:8–15 /  Psalm 25 / 1 Peter 3:18–22 / Mark 1:12–15
The Grace to Keep Going

The response psalm usually has a limited selection of verses. Many of the psalms are too long to sing every verse given our cultural expectations of time. The psalm verses today emphasize God’s love with the explicit words compassion and kindness and goodness. There is also the wonderful affirmation: he shows sinners the way.

It is good to remember that we are sinners. St Paul gave this foundational word of Christian truth to the Romans: all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). He is not saying we have lost the image of God which we were given in creation (Gen 1:27), but we are broken because of disobedience, and the resulting power of sin has affected our whole world. One important way to understand salvation is being healed and restored to the full glory of God (which we see and are given in Jesus––Heb 1:3, Col 2:9).

A popular misunderstanding of Christian faith––we can even dare to call it a heresy––is that salvation is only forgiveness of sins. All of us surely need forgiveness, but the salvation that leads us to eternal life is so much more. We come to God and ask for the gracious forgiveness of sins because of the death of Christ, but we need to understand it is so that we can be healed of the tragic brokenness that affects all of us.

It is glorious to come away from a time of confession knowing we have been forgiven. But if we’re honest, we too often think almost immediately about the weaknesses and patterns which seem so easily to pull us down. The devil wants us to get discouraged about that and just quit trying.

WRONG! The only way lose the spiritual fight is to quit trying. There is a verse in Psalm 25 that was not part of today’s response. It comes in v3 and the Grail translation in The Liturgy of the Hours is especially insightful and wonderful:

Those who hope in you shall not be disappointed,
but only those who wantonly break faith.

Let’s unpack this. We so easily feel our failures. We can think God gets tired of our weakness and stumbling. But the psalmist gives us a testimony of God’s mercies, and it’s a witness that has withstood the test of time. Throughout the ages God’s people have learned to say:

….your compassion, O Lord, and your love are from of old.
In your kindness remember me, because of your goodness, O Lord.

The devil wants us to think that God is just looking for an excuse to judge and reject us. Turning again to St Paul’s words to the Romans: God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! (5:8,9).

God’s anger is directed at sin. God loves us so much that he hates the things that hurt us. And because of that hurt, God became a human being just like us in the person of his Son to take that hurt upon himself…. to let that hurt kill him on the cross. That was what God did so that the resurrection life that comes after the cross can do its work in us. Yes, we have forgiveness. We also have healing.

But healing usually comes more slowly than we wish….. healing can try our patience. It can seem a broken bone or recuperation from surgery takes forever for full healing. We get impatient with ourselves. We get impatient with others who are not healing as quickly as we would like.

Here’s a word for Lent: Do not be afraid to face your sins. Do not get discouraged if change does not seem to be happening soon enough––in yourself and in others.

The one thing the enemy of our souls wants us to do is get discouraged and quit. Remember, though, that giving up and quitting is the only way to block the process of grace in your life.

Those who hope in you shall not be disappointed,
but only those who wantonly break faith.

“Breaking faith” is not who we are. God wants to give us the grace to keep going. Here is a great encouragement from the writer to the Hebrews: We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved (10:39).

We believe and trust one thing: the grace of God that is given to us in Jesus Christ. 

Have a good Lent!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Confrontation with Evil

January 28, 2018 –– 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Deuteronomy 18:15–20 / Psalm 95 / 1 Corinthians 7:32–35 / Mark 1:21–28
Confrontation with Evil

In popular terminology Christian Faith is supernatural. Christian Faith encompasses a “spirit-world” and believes that the Creator God is actively involved in every nuance of what is called “natural”––from microbes to galaxies far, far away. This visible world that we mostly take for granted is actually a spiritual battleground. The Christian apologist C. S. Lewis once wrote: “There is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch, every split second is claimed by God, and counterclaimed by Satan.” That is not to say the battle between good and evil is equal. Christianity condemns dualism: the idea that that good and evil are in eternal conflict. The creature, Satan, is in rebellion against the Creator God, but Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God the Father, entered our world to lead us into the security and life of God’s forever kingdom.

Mark started his Gospel by identifying what it is: the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Mark had come to believe that a man, Jesus from Nazareth, was unlike any other person. Mark's Gospel was written to tell why it is right to believe that the man Jesus was God's promised Messiah and God's divine Son.

Jesus came declaring the presence of a new kingdom. We don’t usually think about “kingdoms” (that word is not very contemporary), but we do understand what it means to live in a world where power is a big deal. We understand implications of authority. The message of Jesus was that the kingdom of God had come in power. The actions of Jesus were designed to show that the kingdom of God had come with authority. But with Jesus, the words “power” and “authority” do not point to what we normally would expect.

If we had been there to hear and see the man known as Jesus, we would have seen…. a peasant Galilean accompanied by a rag-muffin type of following. So what caused people to realize that with Jesus and the kingdom he proclaimed there was a distinctive power and authority? By all external observations he was an ordinary man, even a nobody. But when he talked, people were amazed. When he acted, people were astounded. And as he talked and acted, people could not help but be attracted.

When Jesus spoke in the synagogue that day it was not a boring “talk.” Jesus spoke with authority. There was something that made a person see beyond a simple Galilean peasant. There was life in what he spoke. There was a freshness and a reality and a power.

Yet words alone can be manipulated to be deceptive. Jesus' verbal authority was challenged on the spot. In the synagogue was a man who was under the control of a demonic spirit. An onlooker would have seen the man get to his feet, but it was the evil spirit using the man's vocal chords which did the speaking: What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are––the Holy One of God! In his first letter John says, The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work (3:8). This demon knew exactly what was happening, and it was reacting. Satan fights back when his territory is invaded and challenged. Sometimes when we feel down and it seems nothing is going right, there is a possibility that evil itself is attacking us.

Here is where Jesus proved the authority behind his words. His talk of the kingdom of God was not mere talk. So Jesus spoke again, and it was a command to the demon. The verb there is simply, Shut up. Sometimes we need to tell the powers of hell to shut up. We can do that in the authority of Jesus Christ.

Not only did Jesus tell the demon to shut up, he made it come out and leave the man: The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. Hear St. John again: The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. The meaning was clear to the people in the synagogue: A new teaching––and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.

We live in a culture that until recently has scoffed the supernatural. Many still think a rational, "scientific" explanation can be found for everything. There is also a fresh interest in spiritualism (which often turns to the occult). As C. S. Lewis so clearly stated, we live each day in confrontation with evil. Our Christian faith has real ramifications. We are called to embrace what is true and good and beautiful and turn away from all that is false and harmful and ugly. When we do that, there will often be reaction––and some of it will not be pleasant because evil fights back.

We need to know and understand that Jesus has authority over evil spirits. We follow the One who has the true authority in this world. We belong to the King who has given us citizenship in his kingdom and gives all who belong to him the gift of his Spirit.

With apostolic authority, Mark invites us to believe that God's kingdom has come, and Jesus is the King. This is our Christian Faith.

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