Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 31, 2011 – Catechism 1015-1019

I guess we don’t often think about our bodies as a connection that is eternal. We were made in flesh, we will be resurrected in flesh, most of our sins are of the flesh, there is a connection there that is impossible to disconnect. With all that in mind, we must also understand that there is another piece to us. Those that feel the flesh is all there is, are missing a part that we cannot do without. As with most Catholic teachings, the understanding of flesh and spirit is a both/and teaching in which the two cannot be separated but support the others. As much as we criticize those that believe in flesh alone, we must also criticize those that focus on the spirit alone and lose sight of our bodily purpose and its role in eternity.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 30, 2011 – Luke 4:31 - 5:16

It is interesting. I always pictured that when Jesus called Peter after the fishing incident, that was the first time they had met. But the thing at Peter’s house with his mother-in-law happened before Jesus called Peter to follow Him. So, they knew each other, or at least had met, because Jesus was in his home. That means that Peter saw Christ cured his mother-in-law before he sees Christ on the shore. Then he is asked to get in his boat to preach to the people. Peter could not have thought anything was going to happen after the preaching. Even after the fish miracle, Peter might have been thinking Jesus would leave because he was not asked to follow Him after being is his home. Not until Christ tells him he will be fishers of men does he follow Him. It is not the miracles that Peter follows for. He actually ask Christ to leave because of his unworthiness after the miracles. It is after Christ calls him that he follows. It is the opposite of what we hear sometimes about people wanting to see miracles before they will be convinced or follow Christ. Peter is different.

Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29, 2011 – Psalms 147 – 150

This is a bit bizarre and maybe off topic, but reading this and about all the things praising God I had an interesting idea and could be an intriguing sci-fi novel for someone that can write. Two things have always interested me about life on other planets and religion. First, could they believe in the same God or even be Catholics and second, how could that fit in with Christ only becoming incarnate once and dying once. Obviously God can do whatever He wants being all powerful and everything, but here is a situation I find thought provoking and novelish.

Picture the Earth in the not too distant future. Governments crumbling, economies bad, religion being crushed by materialism and so on. Then all of a sudden spaceships come. In my novel they are not all the same types of spaceships but different types from different places. Our understanding in Catholic teaching is that after Christ left, God has revealed knowledge of the faith through different methods. That is why Catholics believe they have the Truth, that is where we get our understanding of the books that are to be in the Bible, teachings on Mary and so forth. We believe that God reveals certain pieces of knowledge to the Church to help it guide those pilgrims still on Earth. Well in my novel, God did not just reveal things to the Church, but also to special people on planets throughout the universe. Just like here, He did not reveal all, because that would be beyond understanding, but He revealed some, and the some converts them to believe in Christ and Resurrection. (As I am typing I am wondering how sin enters into all this, not to mention humans being special, but maybe for another day) So, all the spaceships are on their own special pilgrimages to Earth to see where Christ died, to learn from those He left behind, to partake of the Eucharist they have heard about, believe in, but don’t understand.

Imagine their surprise when they come to the world God choose as special to bring Christ to in complete disarray and very little belief in Christ at all. Imagine surprise to learn from the aliens what we have taken for granted. Anyway, I just thought of it when I was thinking about everything praising God and all things throughout the universe praising God. A bit of a twist to your space alien novels.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 28, 2011 – Deuteronomy 1

Here we have a short review of what has happened over the 40 years. This is the first time I have seen the separation of Joshua and Caleb and the reason they are allowed in. Moses gives the reason the Israelites are not getting in, doubting God about going into the land, but Caleb could go. Then Moses says he will not go into the land for his own faults (striking the rock twice) but Joshua would go in his place to lead. Eleazar isn’t mentioned, but it appears the same as Moses situation. Aaron is not going in because of the striking the rock (and he is already dead), but Eleazar will go in his place. Still, there are roles for Eleazar and Joshua, I wonder if we hear what becomes of Caleb.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

August 27, 2011 – Catechism 1010 – 1014

The understanding that we should always be ready for death is on one hand chilling and on the other (I least I find) relaxing. The chilling part is obvious. Nobody really wants to die. Life is life, we all understand living and breathing and don’t want it to end. The relaxing part, I think, is that it doesn’t worry me. I obviously don’t know how I will die, but I cannot in any way stop it. I have no more control over it than I have control over the car in the lane next to me or the person who tightened the bolts on the elevator. It could happen at any time, possibly mid sentence… nope still here. It has been something that I have realized that any moment spend worrying about death takes away from the short life we have. I do think about death and ways I might die, but I don’t think it is worry.

Friday, August 26, 2011

August 26, 2011 – Luke 4 – 4:30

The temptations in the desert have a significant relationship with Israel’s temptations in the wilderness. Christ is the new Israel, so He will embody the journey Israel has taken. Here we see Jesus in the desert and the three temptations. Getting food from stone. There is a very close connection with getting water from the rock. Israel complained to God, Christ does not fall for it and does not ask God to make the rock into food. The temptation to worship something other than God. Israel made the golden calf and bowed before it, but Christ does not bow and knows that you are to worship God alone. Putting God to the test. Israel, throughout the 40 years constantly question God and Moses and the reasons for what was happening, but God does not test God but has complete trust in His will. So we see that Christ is the new and perfect Israel, succeeding where they faltered.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

August 25, 2011 – Psalms 90 – 91

1,000 years is a day for God. Although this is the description, it is only said this way because we cannot understand how time looks or feels to God. God is outside of time and therefore, something inside of time, like us, cannot understand or describe how that is. Even though God is outside of time, there does appear that things happen in a certain order, even if it is not a time as we know it. The angels fell before Humans fell, or else the serpent isn’t there to tempt Eve. Men fall before Christ comes. The end of the world is the last thing to come before the Eternal Heaven is brought about. So, there is some order to things, even if time may not be how it is measured.

Making God Stronghold is the message. And we are told what God promises those who do this. The place where we go for protection from the enemy. That is what I would think is a stronghold. Also the place where we put what we most value. Going to God when we are in need, I think most understand that. But what do we most value. Time, money, family, what is it that we would say we most value. Do we entrust that to the stronghold of God. Do we bring our families to God or share with them our faith or do we feel it is none of our business and let them live their lives. Our money and time, do we give to God or do we spend it on things that are material and not lasting. Have you ever looked at God as your safe, the place where you take the things that mean the most to you, where you place those things you never want to part with. He wants them, and He wants to keep them safe and provide you with more than you could ever imagine, but just like a safe, He cannot put things in Himself. You must place those things with Him if He is going to protect them. What do you do with those things you value most. That is where your stronghold is. Is God your stronghold.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

August 24, 2011 – Numbers 35 – 36

I found the language about the blood staining the land and that the land could not be remedied by anything but the blood of the person that brought about the bloodshed. It seems the land is almost a living part of God’s plan, effected by the actions of man. I guess that makes some sense when you look that God uses nature to punish groups when they are not following His will. If you look at the plagues, famines, droughts, the ground opening up, you see that God not only controls nature but seems to have a connection to it.

It makes me wonder about a home where someone has died. Granted if someone was murdered in a home, I wouldn’t want to be there, but even someone dying, I would be leery about it. Evidently I am not too effected by it because we were told that one of the people that used to live in my parents’ house died there a long time ago. I don’t really believe in things being haunted or things like that, but I just get the sense that a place is changed when something like that happens there.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August 23, 2011 – Catechism 1005 -1009

I was thinking about our understanding of being immortal and what is meant when it says our bodies were not intended to experience death. I don’t think that it meant we were meant to be on Earth for an eternity. I think that we were suppose to live our Earthly life and then when that time was done, we would be taken to Heaven or to God, body and soul. We were never meant to be on Earth for eternity because we are suppose to be with God. I always thought the idea that death did not enter the world, Adam and Eve would just be on Earth forever. Now, I don’t think that is correct. With the ascension of Christ and Mary into Heaven, I think that is closer to what was supposed to happen.

Monday, August 22, 2011

August 22, 2011 – Luke 3

Tiberius began his reign as emperor in 14 AD That puts the beginning of John’s preaching at 29 AD. While I was looking at this date I found that Pontius Pilate was governor from 26-36. The Herod that was reigning (son of Herod the Great) ruled from 4 BC until 39 AD. This makes him fairly old when Christ comes before him. He is always pictured younger in the movies I remember, and in a drunken partying stupor with young people. But he was closer to 50 then 30, which would have been very old back then.

John does not condemn tax collectors or soldiers for being what they are. He tells them to do their job and not take advantage or steal more than they are suppose to take. I think sometimes we look upon jobs that may not look very “Christian” on the outside and look down upon them. But many jobs are necessary to make the world spin around and it appears that God understands this. He does not condemn the person with the difficult job, He condemns the actions of a person that steps outside the duties of that job to gain wealth or power inappropriately.

The footnotes say Matthew’s genealogy starts with Abraham to show Jesus bond with Israel, Luke traces it back to Adam and God to show Christ divinity. But they are very different and I really don’t think this is a satisfactory answer. Not just the names, but the numbers. Matthew goes from Abraham to Jesus in 42 (14/14/14) whereas Luke has 57 names between Abraham and Jesus.   Here is a list below. 

Jesus
Jesus
Joseph Joseph
Heli Jacob
Matthat Matthan
Levi
Melchi
Jannai
Joseph
Mattathias
Amos Eleazar
Nahum Eliud
Esli Achim
Naggai Zadok
Maath Azor
Mattathias Eliakim
Semein Abiud
Josech
Joda
Joanan
Rhesa
Zerubbabel Zerubbabel
Shealtiel Shealtiel
Neri Jechoniah
Melchi Josiah
Addi Amos
Cosam Manasseh
Elmadam Hezekiah
Er Ahaz
Joshua Jotham
Eliezer Uzziah
Jorim Joram
Matthat Jehoshaphat
Levi Asaph
Simeon Abijah
Judah Rehoboam
Joseph
Jonam
Eliakim
Meleaof 
Menna
Mattatha
Nathan Solomon
David David
Jesse Jesse
Obed Obed
Boaz Boaz
Sala Salmon
Nahshon Nahshon
Amminadab Amminadab
Admin Ram
Arni
Hezron Hezron
Perez Perez
Judah Judah
Jacob Jacob
Isaac Isaac
Abraham Abraham
Terah
Nahor
Serug
Reu
Peleg
Eber
Eber
Shelah
Cainan
Arphaxad
Shem
Noah
Lamech
Methuselah
Enoch
Jared
Mahalaleel
Cainan
Enos
Seth
Adam

                             

Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 21, 2011 – Jeremiah 33

Here we have a promise of fulfilling all that God has promised. We see that even though it appears God has forgotten them in their current situation, that does not mean they are forgotten. Appearances can be deceiving and we haven’t the ability to comprehend God’s plan. But He is telling us that even when things look bleak, His plan is in action and He cannot break His covenant.

The shoot from David, the King that will sit on David’s throne forever, is Christ. The descendants of David that multiply like the sands of the sea, that is us, the brothers and sisters, the heirs of Christ and His Kingdom.

This prophesy makes Jerusalem to be a pinnacle of what will bring about this everlasting Kingdom, and it is because that is where Christ gives His sacrifice, but it paints it in a picture that doesn’t fit with what we know happens. Bringing about songs of joy, gladness, of the bridegroom and bride, thanks and offering, this is not a description I would imagine of the cross on Calvary. I guess that could be what happened on the morning of the Resurrection. Maybe not a physical joy that we could see, but a spiritual joy or a rejoicing of all the Heavens around the open tomb, and that took place in Jerusalem. That does seem to fit, to read verse 10-11 with the view of Sunday morning, not Friday afternoon.

Also, talking about the land that had no sheep being filled and under the hands of one who counts them reminds us of the preaching of Christ about being the good Shepherd and the people being sheep without a shepherd.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

August 20, 2011 – Numbers 34

A chapter like this, it is much easier to look at a map when reading. Here is a link to a map marking the borders.

http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVanswers/images/Boundaries%20of%20Israel%20Numbers%2034%20and%20Ezekiel%2047.jpg

Friday, August 19, 2011

August 19, 2011 – Catechism 997-1004

I love the imagery in 999. A seed of corn is not what the corn stalk looks like. Any seed that grows into something, that something does not resemble the seed at all. Yet they are connected and there is part of the seed that resides in it. This is the way we are to think about our glorified bodies that will be connected to our souls in the end. Our bodies now will be to those bodies then as a seed is to the flower that springs from it.
When we think about what we do to our bodies, I wonder if it helpful to imagine it as a seed that will be planted and sprout our glorified bodies. We know that the condition of the seed will affect how well the plant will grow and whether it will be good or not. But I imagine that doesn’t go very far because the glorified body will be one of perfection or it would not be connected with God. But the body is not only resurrected for those with God, but also those that will suffer for all eternity. I guess you could say that the way they lived their lives affected the seed that will be planted when they die and the result will be a body that is not what God intended. We are all seeds that will be planted and we are called not only to be responsible for our seeds but to care for the seeds of others and we are called to help them so that when they are planted, as we all will be, they grow to be beautiful plants in God’s garden of eternity.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August 18, 2011 – Luke 2:21 - 2:52


The timeline of Christ birth to His being lost in the Temple is something that is always talk about as a gaping hole in the accuracy of the Bible. So I thought I would share my thoughts on it and what I think makes sense. First, lay out the events that occur. Jesus is born, Shepherds are told, Jesus’ Presentation, Wise Men come, Herod orders the death of boys 2 and under, Family flees to Egypt, Family Returns, Family comes from Nazareth to Temple when Christ is 12.
Obviously Luke is very clear about the timeline for the first 8 days. Christ is born, shepherds come, He is taken to the Temple. After the Temple it says the family returns to Nazareth. Does this automatically mean that Luke is saying they went back up on the 9th day. I don’t think so. The fact that Luke does not mention the wise men or Egypt does not mean they did not happen, each of the Gospels is written with a specific purpose and goal in mind and they may not have fit into Luke’s purpose. Matthew doesn’t mention the Presentation but focuses on the kingship at Christ birth, both recognized by Israel (Herod recognizes the danger to his power in the King) and in foreigners in the three wise men. Luke’s focus appears to be on the details on what came about with the birth, details on Mary and John, with the Presentation. It is not proof that both are inaccurate, but an understanding that they were trying to tell the story in different ways.
The question I have always found interesting is when did they leave for Egypt or when did the Wise men show up. I am of the opinion that the family stayed in Bethlehem for almost 2 years, hence Herod asking when the star first appeared and the order to kill boys 2 and under. It also makes sense that they would not have traveled back very quickly because Mary had just given birth. Also, Elizabeth and Zechariah lived very close to Bethlehem so that there were family ties to the area, not to mention they went there because that is where Joseph came from, or at least it was considered “his town” for matters of the census. I can see it being pretty plausible that, after Mary has Jesus, she cannot travel and so Joseph has to find them some suitable housing for a period of time. I cannot imagine they stayed in the barn/cave for the eight days until the Presentation. While they are waiting he gets some work, carpenters are always needed, and wind up staying a while longer. They may not have intended to stay long, but do, until Joseph is told in a dream to get out, and so they drop everything and leave again.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August 17, 2011 – Psalms 45 - 47


I have that this reading goes before the next because we will have the naming of Christ, but I really didn’t see where that was in these three Psalms. It does have a great deal about the King over all and the adoration due to that King, so it goes along with the Magi coming and adoring Christ. Think about the Jews before Christ and when they looked at Psalms like 46 and waited for this King to come that would be so remarkable. The way Christ did come makes me think of that newer Christian song about asking “what if its Him”. Or the song “Strange way to save the World”, (not sure if that is what the title is) but both songs bring out this idea that this is not what Israel was expecting. Yet, throughout the Bible, God takes the weak and uses it in mighty ways, to show that it is not human power but God’s power that is in control. For as powerful as Christ was, God had to start Him as humbly as powerful to continue to give us that example. If Christ had been born into power and wealth, what He accomplished by the power of God would not have been as significant.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August 16, 2011 – Numbers - 33:30 – 33:56

I know I wrote in a previous reflection that I thought Aaron died towards the beginning of the journey, but this says he died after the 40 years, so I will have to go back and see where that came from. Maybe I confused him with his sister. And it always talks about Caleb and Joshua and the only two to make it. Isn’t Eliezar, Aaron’s son, in that group as well.

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15, 2011 – Catechism - 992 – 996

If we are to believe in the Resurrection, I don’t understand the objection to the belief that Mary is just there early. Catholics believe that Mary has been taken up to Heaven, to be with her Son, body and soul, in the state we all hope to be in at the end of all things. Christ is bodily in Heaven, we hope to have our souls united with a glorified body and be in Heaven, why the complete protest in the belief that is in Heaven now with the Body she would receive then. Is there any doubt that Christ loved His mother dearly, is there any doubt He would not want her near Him when her earthly life was over. I understand that this is not stated in the Bible, but doesn’t it make sense that Christ would bring her close to Him. And I have already talked about the importance of the Queen Mother in Israelite tradition. That just furthers the argument that the King of Heaven would allow His mother to be with Him in a special way as He sits on His thrown.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August 14, 2011 – Luke 1:67 – 2:20

Verse 77 talks about salvation and the method of salvation. It says that people will receive salvation through the belief in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. OOPS. No it says that they will receive salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. If the path to salvation is through the forgiveness of your sins, what the Bible has to say about the forgiveness of your sins is probably pretty important. I don’t know of anywhere in the Bible that it says all your sins will be forgiven by praying to God and asking for that. It does say that Christ gave the power to the Apostles to forgive or retain sins. This is not a power He gave to a large group or the masses, just the Apostles. And if a person has the power to forgive or retain the sins of others, there must be some way for them to know what the sins are. Christ appears to set up a middle man between God and Us when it comes to the forgiveness of our sins. It is good to talk to God and ask for forgiveness when we fail, but to obtain that clean slate that God wants, there is a requirement to involve someone special that has the power, given from God, to forgive you of those sins.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August 13, 2011 – Sirach 10


We get a lot on pride and the downfalls and the benefits of humility in this section of phrases of advise. What I found most interesting were the couple that talked about what happens to the nation that is lead by those that were prideful or the city that is lead by someone humble. The chapter makes it clear that the effect or attitude of the leaders will shape where the people will go. If you could use one of the terms to describe our leaders would you use humble or prideful. I think the clearest indication that something is wrong with our leaders is the sense that they will not do something that will hurt their re-election. It cannot get more selfish than this. If you are elected to make decisions, you are there to make what you feel are the best decisions. When you allow the future of your position effect your choice, you are no longer a leader, but a pawn. There is also the large interest groups that put money into the pockets of those in office to get their way other than what may be a better or the right way. I don’t think there are two things that hurt our government, or lack of governing, more than the large interest groups and the obsession with getting re-elected next time. Both take away from the person’s ability to do the job they were sent there to do.

Friday, August 12, 2011

August 12, 2011 – Numbers 33 - 33:29

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_NBcVuRp0d9s/RfgOD74FHkI/AAAAAAAAAGs/rL8rVNeCAG4/s1600-h/Map+of+Exodus.jpg

Thursday, August 11, 2011

August 11, 2011 – Catechism 988-991

The resurrection from the dead is something that is often confusing to many and therefore a stumbling block to belief. We are also warped in our understanding of bodies raised from the dead because of our movies and stories of zombies and such. But it is a mystery exactly how all this will come about so trying to fully understand it is impossible and allowing it to be a stumbling block is trying to fit God’s abilities inside human limitations. The closest understanding we really have to what our resurrected bodies will be like when we are reunited with our souls is Christ during the Transfiguration or after the Resurrection. When Christ rose, He was not a zombie. Although He kept the wounds of His death, He was fully human, body and all, able to eat, be touched, and speak. However, it is a different form of the same body. He was able to travel quickly to those on the road to Ameus, able to appear and disappear, walk through walls, bring about fish and other extraordinary things. It is not about raising our old dead bodies but being united with a new and glorified body, unified with our glorified soul, becoming what we were meant to be, united with God, before sin became a part of who we are.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August 10, 2011 – Luke 1:39 - 1:66

In verse 45, do we think Elizabeth knew why her husband was mute. Is this calling out a reaction or converse to her husband’s unbelief.

In verse 48, what does it mean when Mary says all generations will call me Blessed. Is there anyone else in the Bible that says, people will call me Blessed. Jesus allows people to adore Him and call Him Lord, but anywhere else in the Bible, does a person say, all generations will call me Blessed. So when Catholics reflect on the Blessed Virgin Mary, that appears to be completely biblical.

I found it interesting that it says people were talking about John after all these events and wondered what he would become. We don’t know exactly when he started his ministry, but we know he was martyred around the age of 30, towards that beginning of Christ ministry. I wonder what the attitude was of those around him that knew about his birth. They probably wanted great things for him, much like people thought Christ was going to do, and were probably confused and disappointed when he decided to live his life in the desert.

I also find it interesting that John is born into a family of a Priest, someone of authority in the community, someone probably very well known. That would allow the story of his birth to stay more familiar to them. Christ, on the other hand, was born to a carpenter. Not only that, but he was born away from where His parents lived, then went to Egypt. The tale of His birth was witnessed by peasant shepherds, not important people who would be friends of the priest, and the wise men who were from a different land. Christ birth story would have been forgotten or not even known by the time His ministry starts. Even being lost in the Temple is a brief few days away from home. Many in the Temple would forget, many at their home would never have known. God went out of His way to allow Christ a humble beginning and even the miraculous parts were only witnessed by those that would either not be believed or did not have much influence. Thus, Christ comes into the world very quietly, where as John, who is one to wake the people up and get them ready for Jesus, comes into an important family among people of power and in a miraculous way.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

August 9, 2011 – Judith 13-14


Here we have the victory of Judith over the leader of the Assyrians. A precursor to Mary in many respects. You notice that when she is telling her story, she makes sure to mention that although she used her looks to get close to the leader, she was not defiled by him. 13:16. Much as Mary was without blemish or any defilement. Also, she goes after the head of the leader. There are many images of Mary, holding the child Jesus, and stepping on the serpents head. Also, Genesis states that the serpent will strike at the heel while you strike at its head to Eve. There is the language about being called blessed, with Judith, it is all the people will call her blessed, with Mary it is every generation.

Monday, August 08, 2011

August 8, 2011 – Numbers 32

Here we have the compromise for the land on the other side of the Jordan. You can imagine what the other tribes were thinking when they heard this idea. We want this land that is already taken, we don’t need any of the land that still needs to be conquered. From what we read, it is hard to tell if their motivation was completely selfish or if they just had the most livestock and thought it was the best place for them. Obviously Moses sees it as purely selfish and relates them to the original Israelites who caused the 40 years in the desert. I don’t think he wants to do that again. So, this is the second instance where we see the new generation has not really understood or learned from the lessons of the one that has past. We have them asking for water and Moses hitting the rock, and here we have the cowards not wanting to fight. But they work it all out and agree to fight, but be allowed to keep this land and not take any on the other side.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

August 7, 2011 – Catechism 981-987

I think people sometimes forget this from 982. There is no sin that cannot be forgiven. The unforgivable sin, although there are many theories about what this is this one makes the most sense to me, is the arrogance to feel you do not need God’s forgiveness and never seek it. God is always there for those that turn and seek Him with an open heart and humility and a longing to be reunited. When we turn back to God and ask His forgiveness, there is no sin that can stand between us and His mercy. I think there are many, and I have heard many say, God will never forgive me for this or that and refuse to let it go. This choice, this path, leads further and further away. However, the further we travel away cannot deter God from constantly asking us back and waiting there with infinite patience.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

August 6, 2011 – Luke 1 - 1:38

We have “how shall I know this” vs “How can this be”. Obviously the angel had the ability to read their hearts and not just their words, but I just wanted to focus on the words and see if there is a significant difference. The first thing we see is that there is an “I” in one of them. Zechariah felt he had to know more about God’s plan in order to believe it. Mary’s is not a selfish request, it is almost a request for what she is suppose to do. She is told she will have a child, but she does not know man. She could be questioning whether she is suppose to be with Joseph and from that they will conceive Jesus. What I think we can take from it is how we respond to God’s will in our lives. If we feel we are called to something are we asking God “how do I know this is what you want” or are we asking “how is this going to happen”. There is a difference between the two responses and we can see the underlining trust in one and the questioning in the other.

Friday, August 05, 2011

August 5, 2011 – Psalms 89

I found verses 32-34 very interesting. It begins by talking about the punishment that will come if God is disobeyed. But it concludes with the promise that His mercy will never be taken away. We have here a promise of mercy, but also a promise of justice if we go astray. Our world sees mercy only as a lack of punishment, but that is not a mercy God promises. Sometimes we deserve punishment and God will not withhold that from us and we should except it as something that will bring us closer to Him. Mercy is not a lack of punishment or a easy road, it is the fact that His love and forgiveness will always be there, that He will always long to be united with us. When we ask for God’s mercy, pray we understand that does not mean an easy path, free and clear of all obstacles. It means bathing ourselves in His Grace so we can be more closely united with Him, whatever that takes.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

August 4, 2011 – Numbers 31:25 - 31:54

I guess I was wrong. The part about why they killed Balaam is later.  Here we just have the spoils that were taken and where they went.  Notice that there is a portion, the first division, goes to God. 

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

August 3, 2011 – Catechism 976-980

What does sin do to us.  It separates us from God.  If you do not believe this simple idea, then what do you believe sin does.  We cannot be united with God if we have sin as any part of our lives.  Yes, there is redemption with Christ, but we must except that and then live a life that we are called to.  If sin is any part of that, then we cannot be united with God because nothing stained by sin can be in God’s presence.  So, either you believe that sin has some other effect, sin has no effect, or there is no saving us from sin. 

The first, I cannot understand.  As stated above, it seems clear to me that either you do not have the stain of sin and can be with God, or you are stained and cannot be with God. 

Second, I cannot understand those that feel sin can have no effect on their salvation.  Some understanding where believing in Christ and salvation is enough to get you by does not have any standing in Scripture that preaches the danger of sin, the forgiveness of sin, the understanding of sacrifice for cleansing of sin, etc.  Sin effects us at our very core and is something that we are constantly battling against. 

The third I will not say anything about.   

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

August 2, 2011 – Philemon 1

Here we have another point that many non-Catholic Christians make against the Catholics that does not take the entire Scripture into context.  Matthew 23:9 says call no man father.  In this letter, Paul is saying he became a father to someone that was not his actual son.  Was Paul breaking Christ command or is it taken out of context to literally call no man father.  Does it make more sense that Christ was saying that you should not make anything in your life a priority over God. 

Some will say that Christ is talking about those in authority in the Church and that they seek titles for their own glory.  Christ is not saying that authority is bad, but that you must remain humble.  Christ never says to abolish authority or to not address those in authority as the are to be addressed, but to do what they say but not act as they act if they are not living what they preach. 

Monday, August 01, 2011

August 1, 2011 – Daniel 7

When people write about interpretations on apocalyptic writings, they can be really out there.  It is only the really big crack pops that say their interpretation is absolutely right or predict a certain day something will happen.  So, what I am writing is not any prediction or something that I think is fact, just something that popped into my head when I was reading this. 

The last beast and the three horns that were dislodged by one bigger horn, this reminded me of what it might look like if someone took control of our government and somehow dissolved the three branches of government.  Not that I think Obama is doing that, or I think it will happen, or even that I think our country will be around when the end comes, but that is what it might look like.  Also the fact that this horn will be against God.  With the way our country is heading morally, any person that did dissolve those branches to take control wouldn’t be a God fearing man, much like the dictatorship in our most recent history.  None of this is based on anything other than my reflections and doesn’t account for any meaning to the other 3 beast, just my thoughts.