Articles by Al Mansfield

DID THE LORD JESUS COMPLAIN?

It is difficult to picture the Lord Jesus complaining. However, as I read the gospels, I keep coming across a rather consistent complaint of his. Hint: it has to do with faith, or more specifically, the lack of faith. I did a rough count and found about ten passages in which Jesus scolded the disciples for having “little faith,” “no faith,” or “their unbelief.” One time he asked them pointedly, “Where is your faith?” In his own home town, Jesus was amazed (and not in a good way!) at their lack of faith and “did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief” (Matt. 13:58). Even after he rose from the dead, Jesus appeared to the eleven apostles and rebuked them for their “unbelief and hardness of heart” (Mark 16:14). Jesus spoke of many things, but it certainly seems that the topic of faith was of tremendous importance.

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THE WORD OF GOD: IGNORE AT YOUR OWN PERIL!

I remember Christmas Eve 1976. Why? Because there are photos of me trying to put together a toy motorcycle for our first child. I guess I didn’t pay (sufficient) attention to the assembly instructions because the front wheel somehow ended up on top of the handlebars! I also remember taking trips when I didn’t pay (sufficient) attention to the driving directions. I either got hopelessly lost or ended up at a completely different destination. Some of us have to learn the hard way that instructions, directions, rules and laws are there for a reason. This is all the more the case when it comes to God’s word in Sacred Scripture. It is a gift to teach us the truths of what to believe and how to live. We ignore it at our own peril.

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“HEY, FRIEND, DO YOU STILL LOVE JESUS?”

The voice was uncomfortably loud and came from someone behind him in line at the airport. “Hey, Pepe, do you still love Jesus?” Evangelist and Bible teacher Jose (Pepe) Prado Flores turned to face a rather imposing woman who asked him yet again, more loudly than before, “Pepe, do you still love Jesus?” Pepe answered, perhaps in self-defense, “Yes!”  The woman, who was actually an old friend and fellow evangelist, just nodded and said, “Good, good!”, and proceeded on her way. Pepe says he has encountered her several times since then, and always heard the same question: “Hey, Pepe, do you still love Jesus?”

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“CCRNO…I LOVE THAT!”

My wife Patti went to the UPS Store to ship a package with a CCRNO return address label on it. The clerk, a young woman in her twenties, pointed to the CCRNO red dove and exclaimed: “CCRNO…I know what that is. I love that!” Apparently, she used to attend events with the CCRNO youth group and really enjoyed it. This kind of incident has occurred many times over the 50-year history of CCRNO, since its beginning in 1969.  As we celebrate this “Golden Anniversary,” let’s look back, remember, and give thanks.

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EVANGELIZATION – WHAT IT IS AND IS NOT

My wife Patti and I once served on a committee of about 20 people to assess evangelization in our Archdiocese. At one point each person was asked what he or she thought evangelization was. There were as many concepts as there were people – vastly different and sometimes almost contradictory!

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Articles by Patti Mansfield

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Articles by Alex Lorio

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