Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 31, 2012 – Judges 6

When I was reading this my mind was drawn to the movie “A Bug’s Life”.  It started because Israel would work and get crops ready, then the enemies would come when they were finished and take or destroy them.  I immediately thought of the grasshoppers and what they would do to the ants in the movie.  Then as I read on, I couldn’t help but continue to make the connections.  The smallest and least likely of the ants is called to defeat the enemy.  Doesn’t feel capable of doing it at first.  The first thing he attempts against the enemy he does in secret because he is afraid (the hero in the movie tries to defeat the grasshoppers with a bird disguise and says it is someone else’s idea because nobody trust him).  Finally he stands up because he realizes he is capable of great things and the enemy is defeated.  It is funny (and telling) that once you have a notion in your head you can stretch something you read in the Bible to go along with your ideas.  This is what happens many times with people interpretations of the Bible and what they read into it so that the “Bible allows” whatever they can think of or believe.  That is why it is so important to have an authoritative guide to the Bible or you could have crack pots pawning “Bug’s Life” off as a religious movie that should be shown at church because of its taken straight from the Bible. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

March 30, 2012 – Catechism 1427 – 1433

The idea of two different types of conversions makes perfect sense and like something that you always saw on the surface but never really thought about.  Baptism is the beginning, a conversion that changes you and brings you, Sacramentally, into God’s fold.  The conversion that happens after that is a changing of your heart to actually live that life.  That is something that is constant and must be continued throughout your life.  This turning your interior life to God is what is meant, usually, by our understanding of conversion. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 29, 2012 – John 2:13 – 3:21

I was thinking about the cleansing of the Temple.  There is language in the Bible that labels our bodies and temples of God.  “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” 1 Corinthians 6:19.  I kept having this idea pop into my head as I was reading this and listening to reflection on it.  Christ comes into our lives, our very bodies, and drives out evil.  Not only evil, but those material goods that distract us from God.  Jesus did not just drive out those that were doing evil, He drove out all those that were selling the livestock (which was needed) and may not be in and of itself evil.  But the focus was the material.  They were losing the focus on God.  That is what Christ is doing.  Not necessarily going after evil, but trying to get the focus back on God.  All the material things in our lives fill us up and leave no room for God.  Before we can change, all that stuff must be driven out or swept clean.  Christ wants to come into our lives and drive away the things that fill us so that we have room for God to dwell.  I am not sure I ever thought about it that way before.   

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 28, 2012 – Baruch 3

“In it were born the giants, renowned at the first, huge in stature, skilled in war. These God did not choose, nor did he give them the way of understanding; They perished for lack of prudence”  26-28  I was thinking about this verse and what “giants” they might be talking about.  The footnotes say that they meant some giant thing killed in the flood.  But there is nothing really about giants before the flood in the telling of that in Genesis that I can remember.  It got me thinking about what might make them write this.  Here is my theory.  If you lived in 1000-500 BC and you were in your field or out and about and you stumbled upon the femur bone of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, what would you think.  Without the knowledge or understanding that we have now and with the education the somewhere in the past there was a huge flood that killed all but 8 people and the animals that are left, what can you conclude from this huge bone.  I think it is pretty logical that a person could think there were giants (I don’t think a femur of a T-Rex looks all that different than a femur bone of a human) that are not around anymore and were killed by the flood.  Obviously they would have been strong enough to defeat any clan, but for some reason God did not choose them and did not give them wisdom to survive. 

Stories that involve giants may come from the same ignorance of science.  Homer didn’t know anything about dinosaurs, so maybe they had knowledge of these large bones and developed the notion of giants based on these huge bones that could not be identified. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 27, 2012 – Judges 5

I didn’t think of a whole lot to write on this chapter.  This is a song of thanksgiving, which is always a good lesson.  It is appropriate that it follows the story immediately afterwards, teaching us that we need to thank God right away, while the memory is still there.  How often good things go by and we are lost in the moment and maybe make plans to thank God, or someone else, later.  Then the thank you becomes forgotten in the midst of life and is never done.  Deborah does not allow this by giving her thank you right away.

Monday, March 26, 2012

March 26, 2012 – Catechism 1420 – 1426

I can see why some people don’t like the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  It is hard to say out loud the sins you have committed.  It is usually something we are not proud of, would rather forget, or not want anyone else to know.  But the fact that it is hard or awkward to do, does that mean that it wasn’t something Christ wanted.  Not at all.  There are many things we are called to do that are not easy or fun, but we don’t deny these.  If God did not want us to say our sins out loud to a someone so that we can be forgiven, why did Christ give the Apostles that power.  John 20:22-23 “And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. "If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained."”  This was not said to the crowds, this power was not given to all Christ followers, only to a certain few.  Yes, we are called to forgive those that sin against us, but that is not what Christ is giving here.  He is not talking about specific sins against them, but sins that others will bring to them. 

Ask yourself two questions and whether they make any sense without the Catholic understanding of this Scripture.  Why give them this power if they were not going to hear the sins of people?  How are they going to forgive or retain sins if people don’t confess them out loud. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

March 25, 2012 – John 1:35 – 2:12

Isn’t it interesting that the first words we hear Jesus utter in the Gospel are “What are you looking for?” This cannot be an accident. John wants us to reflect on this. Think about the question. Are you actually looking for God. Are you looking for an easier way, less pain, a happy ending. Are you looking for the Truth or evidence to fortify your beliefs already. The first time Jesus opens His mouth it is with a challenging question that does not lose its power after 2,000 years. What are you looking for?

If you have the time, this video spends almost an hour on the Wedding Feast at Cana.

There are a lot of connections to the Old Testament, especially God being revealed to Israel through Moses for the first time, that is reflected here. Can you ever hear the reading of the Wedding at Cana without thinking of God being revealed to Egypt.

On the third day would tell Jews that there is something that is going to be revealed. This was an allusion to Pentecost of Israel that celebrated God revealing Himself to Israel in the desert.

So many one liners to reflect on. What are you looking for is followed by, “Do whatever He tells you.”Mary, as is developed in Catholic teaching, is always pointing towards Jesus. This is a fundamental Scripture passage that shows this. There is nothing she does to set herself out as anything. She takes any focus and points it directly at Christ. Do whatever He tells you. And this also goes back to the Jews saying to God, we will do whatever You tell us that occurred when He revealed Himself.

Old wine and the new wine and keeping the better stuff until last is an allusion to Christ coming now and bringing about something better for the Jewish people (and all the world) something better and what they had had before. Jesus takes the water of the Old Testament and turns it into the wine of the New by His teachings and His words.

Talk 3B

Talk 4A

Talk 4B

Talk 5A

Talk 5B

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March 24, 2012 – Songs 5 – 6

In chapter 5 we see the author opening up to receive the lover but then the lover turning away. The author goes after the lover and seeks them out. Then we hear a long description that places the lover above all others in every quality. Why would they look for anyone else, their lover that they seek has everything they could ever need.

Friday, March 23, 2012

March 23, 2012 – Judges 4

Here we have a very different scene than from what you come to expect. A woman is the victor of the battle. And not in a gentle way, but with a tent stake through the head. I don’t have a lot to share on the story, but I found an image that gives you a visual. It reminds me of the Lord of the Rings when the Wraith leader says he cannot be killed by a man, only to be killed by a woman. Ah, men and their arrogance.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March 22, 2012 – Catechism 1406-1419

Since these are just the summary paragraphs, I thought I would find something else to reflect on. I hear a lot about Catholics following the doctrines of men and not God and that our teachings aren’t from the original Christianity. There is a thought that the first Christians did it a certain way and that somewhere along the way Catholic men changed a lot of teachings and that the Reformation was going back to the way it was originally. Here is a description of what Christians thought of the Eucharist in the second century. If this is what they thought, I am curious as to when they strayed from the “real” teachings of Christ. If you believe Christ died around 33 AD, St. Paul died around 67 AD, John wrote Revelations around 90 AD, you would have to think that at least until the year 100 they were still teaching the “real” Christianity that Reformers believe in. If this was written before 165 AD, can you point to the year between 100 and 165 that man made teachings took over. Point to the writing that sent them off course. Or, agree that the earliest Christians believed in the real Presence in the Eucharist as Catholics do today and realize that the “reformers” may have only been “changers”.

St. Justin Martyr (100–165): First Apology: Chaps. 65-66


But we, after we have thus washed him who has been convinced and has assented to our teaching, bring

him to the place where those who are called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty

prayers in common for ourselves and for the baptized [illuminated] person, and for all others in every

place, that we may be counted worthy, now that we have learned the truth, by our works also to be found

good citizens and keepers of the commandments, so that we may be saved with an everlasting salvation.

Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss. There is then brought to the president of the

brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the

Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at

considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has

concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This

word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to genoito [so be it]. And when the president has given

thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of

those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was

pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion.


And this food is called among us Eukaristia [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the

man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing

that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For

not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our

Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so

likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which

our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made

flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered

unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This

do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body;" and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and

given thanks, He said, "This is My blood;" and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have

imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of

water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either

know or can learn.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 21, 2012 – John 1 – 1:34

Something a bit humorous first. Paul loves the story or Rumpelstiltskin. He loves the part where the queen is guessing names and he responds “that’s not my name”. I do a funny voice and we both laugh, it is great. I was reminded of that when they kept asking John who he was. Are you the Messiah, “that’s not my name”, are you the Elijah, “that’s not my name”, are you the prophet, “that’s not my name”. It made me smile.

In the Old Testament you often read something like, “then the Word of the Lord spoke to me”. I was thinking about that when it says “the Word became Flesh”. It makes you wonder about whether it was Christ speaking to those in the Old Testament. Not in human form because that came with the incarnation, but in a Spirit form or one that we don’t understand. I always thought it was the Holy Spirit that was more at work when the prophets were speaking, but maybe it was Christ the Son that was at work.

I have enjoyed the talks so far. I recommend that you watch or listen to them as we go through the Gospel of John because it is a very theologically complex book and you would be wise to have a more knowledgeable guide than just me.

March 21, 2012 – John 1 - 1:34

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March 20, 2012 – Wisdom 8 – 9

Wisdom is everything you are looking for.  Everything that you think you are looking for in other places are found through locating and being with wisdom.  The whole book follows this equation.  Are you looking for A, you will find it through or with Wisdom.  Everything good comes through wisdom and Wisdom is God, perfect and eternal Wisdom. 

We must know that Wisdom is a gift from God.  We must first be humble and know that we are not Wise until we accept God’s gift of Wisdom.  Then, we must be obedient to her guidance.  It does us no good to accept the gift and then choose to ignore it.  We must bow to its command and trust where it leads.  “For who knows God’s counsel, or who can conceive what the Lord intends” (9:13)  We cannot know what the Lord has in store, so we must humbly go along with His plan.  Being obedient to Wisdom that is received is how Wisdom is used.  It is not meant to be given so that we can judge what is best for ourselves.  That is ignoring Wisdom. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19, 2012 – Judges 3

It seems like many dismiss the God of the Old Testament as meaningless or outdated, unloving and violent. Ask yourself why God left these nations in to tempt and test the Israelites. Why wouldn’t He just erase them all and let Israel live in peace. I think it is a fair question and one that should be reflected on, but before to dismiss the God of the Old, ask yourself a follow up question. If you got a high school degree but were never required to take a test, do you think that degree means anything. If you went to a Dr. and saw their degree, but they told you that they graduated without taking a single test, would you use them as a Dr. Of course not. Just because you listen to something or read it and even if you think you know everything, we are not considered to really grasp it until we are tested. Is God any different. Israel knew the law, they said they would follow it, but God wanted to test them to see if they really would follow, and they failed, over and over. We may ask God why this happened in our lives or what this was for, maybe God is testing you. If you have read the materials, understand what is being asked, are following God’s commands, you should be able to pass the test. If you are focused on yourself, ignore God’s law, live for the world, chances are you are not prepared for the exam and will likely fail. GOOD NEWS is that according the parable of the workers (the ones that get asked to work last get the same wage as those that worked all day) if you don’t study but pull and all night cram session, there is hope of passing the test. But isn’t it always better to learn along the way, study as your taught and not to procrastinate. What if it is a pop quiz that comes at an unexpected time. You do not know the hour.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March 18, 2012 – Catechism 1402 – 1405

I wonder if people understand when they receive the Eucharist that they are getting as close to Heaven as they can before they die. It is God, really present, He cannot be separate from Heaven, and so He is connected to it and brings it with Him. We commune or connect with Him in a very special way and are pulled into Heaven by our communion with Christ. To connect this with the idea that you should not receive if you do not believe or have mortal sin, if you do not believe it is Christ you do not believe Heaven is being brought to you. Heaven is not made for those that do not want to be there. Similarly, if you have mortal sin, it means you have turned your back on God. If you do not want to follow God, you will not want to be in Heaven, where God is fully present and wholly there. Both of these groups do not believe Heaven is present or do not want to be with God and have turned from His, so they should not receive the Eucharist or join in that communion because it is a lie. Everything is about that connection and because God is perfect and lacking in nothing, the only way the connection can falter is us. That is why you need to have that relationship, that connection with God, believe in what He has taught, believe in the Church He left to guide us and not be separated by mortal sin in order to receive the Eucharist.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

March 17, 2012 – 2 Timothy 3 – 4

Paul talks about finishing the race and winning and on the other hand talks about being delivered from harm. I was trying to work out the connection between him talking about being delivered from persecutions (3:11) and his acceptance of being poured out and his departure being at hand (4:6). What I came up with is the idea that follows with keeping treasure in heaven where moths cannot get to it or be wary of the one that can kill the soul, not the one that kills the body. Paul has been delivered from those that taught incorrectly or did not follow Christ. His soul was safe. He had run the race well and was going to finish having kept the faith. His delivery is from those that can kill the soul. He knows he is heading for a death of the body, but this is not fearful to him. He knows he is being delivered and that this will be a pouring out of his life for Christ, but he still recognizes that he has been delivered up from the dangers that could actually harm him, his soul.

Friday, March 16, 2012

March 16, 2012 – Tobit 13 -14

It was interesting the description that Tobit uses for the Jerusalem to come. With it being built of emeralds and sapphires and lasting for all ages, it sounds a lot like the Jerusalem that is described in Revelations, the eternal Jerusalem to come. Tobit is not describing what is to be expected of a the earthly Jerusalem after the exile is over but the Jerusalem to come and the end of days that they are preparing for by keeping God’s commands. I thought it was interesting because you do see Tobit as a prophet, yet this is similar to prophetic language used in other books to describe what is to come.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 15, 2012 – Judges 2

We see the pattern that will be laid out throughout the rest of this book. Israel will go against the Lord, the Lord will send a judge to help Israel, when the judge dies Israel will falter and be oppressed until the next judge. Here is a rough list of the judges we will see.

Othniel (3:9-11) vs. Cushan-Rishathaim,

Ehud (3:11-29) vs. Eglon of Moab

"minor" judge Shamgar (3:31)

Deborah and Barak (4-5) vs. Jabin of Hazor

Gideon (6-8) vs. Midian

Abimelech (9) vs. all the Israelites who oppose him

"minor" judge Tola and Jair (10:1-5)

Jephthah (11-12:7) vs. the Ammonites

"minor" judge Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon (12:8-15)

Samson (13-16) vs. the Philistines

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March 14, 2012 – Catechism 1391 – 1401

I do not know if I recall the Eucharist and getting rid of venial sins in this way. It makes a very rational argument for something that many may misunderstand. The Eucharist is Christ. When you come into communion with Christ (God), you are being separated from sin, because God cannot be a part of or have any connection to sin. Similar to Eve’s descendant having enmity with the serpent (argument for Mary being sinless). That connection we have with Christ in the Eucharist created enmity with sin and therefore separates us from our venial sins. This clears our conscious and allows us to avoid sin in the future in the same way that allowing venial sin to stay with us will lead eventually to mortal sin.

Mortal sin does not go away because that is our choice to turn away from God, not allowing that communion to take place, and putting enmity between us and God. God cannot cross that threshold without our choosing. As I explained before, our soul is dead when it is in mortal sin, and the Eucharist cannot feed a dead soul. Only the Sacrament of Reconciliation takes away that enmity so that we can commune with God once again.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March 13, 2012 – 2 Timothy 2

Yet another passage that leaves sola scriptura without an answer. Verse 2 “what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people”. What Timothy hears (not reads) he is to entrust to others so that they can grow in their faith. Timothy is to pass on teachings that are oral and tradition, not just what is written in a few letters or Gospels, which he may not have even had copies of. Early Christians would not have understood sola scriptura at all.

Verse 5 – “an athlete cannot receive the winner’s crown except by competing according to the rules.” This whole notion that you can get to Heaven by being a good person or living a good life is relativism at its most dangerous. It simply is not true. You must follow the rules laid down for us and those rules go well beyond being a “good” person.

Verse 25 talks about those that have deviated from God’s path and the hope that they will repent and it will lead them back “knowledge of the truth”. There is only one truth and we are called to follow that truth. Any other path that leads us away is “the devil’s snare, where they are entrapped by him, for his will.” Verse 26. Ask yourselves again about what Truth means, can there be contradiction, how are we to know truth and can the Truth be given to us without some authority established by God.

Monday, March 12, 2012

March 12, 2012 – Tobit 9 – 10

This book has been split up throughout many different months, so it is hard to place these chapters into context.  A brief recap, Tobit sent Tobiah to get a large sum of money from a distant relative.  The angel Raphael went with him to protect him.  He met and married Sarah, who had been married several other times and the husbands had all been killed the night of the wedding by a demon.  Raphael helps protect him and Tobiah and Sarah say a beautiful prayer before consummating their marriage (well worth a read).  We are now to the part where Tobiah is returning home to his worried parents with a  wife and the money that Tobit asked him to get. 

I did think it was interesting that Tobit is worried about whether Tobiah is going to bring back the money and his mom thinks that he has died.  Shows you the difference as to what men and women are concerned about.    

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 11, 2012 – Judges 1

Here we see that the Israelites did not force all those natives of the land out of the Promised Land.  We have discussed many times why God told them that this was necessary.  If they stayed in the land, Israel would be tempted by their idol worship and would not follow the law of the Lord.  It was to protect them from their ways that the Lord told them that they must be forced out of the land.  It is like someone decides to quit smoking, but keeps their cigarettes handy.  How long do you think that person will last with the temptation right there.  A person wants to stop gambling, but still goes to casinos with his friends.  For any addiction, if you leave yourself vulnerable to the addiction, chances are you will relapse.  Israel was, for lack of a better term, addicted to idolatry.  By keeping those that believed in idols in the land, they were leaving themselves open to relapsing, which we will see over and over again, they do fall into. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

March 10, 2012 – Catechism 1382 – 1390

Here again we have the explanation of why non-Catholics cannot receive and why those that have knowledge of mortal sin they have committed should not receive.  It is a lie because you are not in communion with the Church or with God, because mortal sins separate you from God.  I just recently heard it put like this.  If you are in mortal sin, it is as if your soul has died.  The Eucharist is life giving food for the soul and feeds those souls that are in need of help and able to feed.  But a dead man does not receive any benefit from food, they are already dead.  Likewise, a soul the is dead because of mortal sin does not benefit from the Eucharist.  Only after confessing that sin and being absolved by a priest and coming back into communion with God can that nourishing food for your soul benefit you. 

Friday, March 09, 2012

March 9, 2012 – 2 Timothy 1

A friend of mine loves to use the visual aid of Chocolate milk when discussing the Holy Spirit inside of us. When we receive this gift, it is like the chocolate coming into the milk. You can picture the liquid all sinking to the bottom. It will just sit there if you leave it alone and if you try to drink it, it will taste exactly like normal milk. It is only with the stirring and mixing it up that you are able to see the difference. When I look back on my confirmation, this visual is very understandable because that is what happened to me. I received the gift, the Graces, but they just settled and were not stirred up.

Here we see Paul instructing Timothy to stir up those gifts that they can be used, that he can be changed, and be an example and leader for those around him. It is also a lesson in complacency. When we begin to feel like we are in a good spot, we stop striving and growing, the chocolate will begin to settle to the bottom, and even though we still may appear and taste differently, we are a weaker tasting chocolate milk. Now that I wrote that, I think the visual needs to include a stirred of glass of chocolate milk that was allowed to sit idle for a while to show that we need to continually stir up our Graces.

And it is interesting that these gifts and graces Paul is talking about did not come to Timothy by anything Timothy confessed or believed or did. “I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God* that you have through the imposition of my hands”. 1:6 Timothy received them through the laying on of hands by Paul. Whether this be through Confirmation or Ordination isn’t as clear (although the footnotes seem to explain it was Ordination). Timothy did not receive the Graces that Paul is talking about through “faith alone” or confessing that “Jesus Christ was his personal lord and savior”. It came through the Sacraments, the Catholic Sacraments.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

March 8, 2012 – Tobit 5 – 6

The language that Raphael uses is wonderful. She was set aside for him from the beginning of the world. How often do we hear language like that. We hear a lot of junk that tries to hit the mark, love at first sight, being soul mates, other romantic stuff. And we hear it in the context of shows like the “bachelor” or other reality shows. What a joke they make of love and finding someone to be with forever. What a mockery we have made of marriage and love when half end in divorce and nobody seems to want children. What a lie we live when we think of the sleeping around and the cohabitation that is so acceptable in society. Can we truly believe or see anymore that God has a plan for us. If we are to be married, God has set someone aside for us from before there was time.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

March 7, 2012 – Joshua 23 – 24

The scene when Joshua is giving his last speech reminded me of John 6. We have Joshua letting the people know that they must obey the Lord and then they are given a choice. I never knew or remembered that part and I cannot think of a time that Israel has really been offered a choice like that. They are told they can go and leave the land and worship the other gods of the other lands and they would not have to follow the commands of the Lord. The reason it reminds me of John 6 is that is the chapter when Christ lays down what His followers must do. After hearing it, many of those that were following Christ left. Christ did not stop them because following must be done with your own free will. He turned to His Apostles and asked if they would leave to. Much like the Israelites, they answer that they will not leave because they know this is the Lord. By making that commitment they are accepting His rules and promise to obey His commands and suffer the consequences if they do not. How many Christians today say they will follow Christ but do not accept the commands He laid out. Much like the Israelites falter in following God, those Christians who do not follow Christ command’s are going down a path to exile from God.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

March 6, 2012 – Catechism 1373 – 1381

“It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God's. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered.” St. John Chrysostom, prod. Jud. 1:6: PG 49, 380.

How can you call yourself a Christian and ignore the Eucharist. It is so obvious that the early Christians believed that Christ Body and Blood were truly present. I just don’t understand how you can ignore it. Many call it a man made doctrine, but that is not what you get from John 6. Some say it was only made a teaching later in Church history or after the Reformation, but this is from the year 380 and it speaks very clearly of Christ being present and becoming the Body and Blood. When do non-Catholic Christians think the understanding of Eucharist and Catholic teaching started or when man made it. The evidence shows that God wanted this, Christ came to fulfill it and open the door for it and that it is achieved by the power of the Holy Spirit. If your church is not offering the Eucharist and claiming that it is truly Christ Body and Blood, ask yourself if your are following the same church that Christ wanted or that was being developed by the Earliest Christians. They obviously believed in the Real Presence.

Monday, March 05, 2012

March 5, 2012 – Hebrews 13

The end of Hebrews tells us to follow our leaders and not be led astray by different teachings. Was Martin Luther following this teaching when he split. Was Calvin or any other non-Catholic Christian. Follow your leaders, that being the heads of the Church. Those that started the splits had some legitimate complaints about corruption and abuses, I cannot argue against that, but that does not give them the authority to break away. They do not have Christ authority to do so, to teach or make rules, to amend scripture or theology. When Christ taught about the Temple priest that were corrupt, He did not teach that you should break away and start your own church. He said to obey your leaders and what they tell you, but do not follow their example. That was what Luther was suppose to do. He was a priest who did not agree with things happening. He should have lived a life according to Catholic teaching and not followed the example of those that were doing things wrong. Christ did not tell us we can just make it up on our own and this letter tells us to obey our leaders and watch out for teachings that are different then what we are told. There is absolutely no authority to back or support the path that Luther and other reformers took and those that have followed still do not possess any authority to lead, teach, instruct, or give the graces of the Sacraments to those that choose to follow them. Read this chapter, ask yourself who you are to obey, who are your leaders, where did they get their authority to lead you, and if you cannot answer that with any confidence, ask yourself if there is a better way.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

March 4, 2012 – Tobit 1-2

Here we see something that is really the opposite of Job. Tobit loses his sight and becomes angry and depressed. He snapped at his wife and would not listen. Job, although he lost more, doesn’t seem to jump to in that direction. And here we have a very honorable and respected man. It is a lesson that no matter how honorable and good we may become, we are still vulnerable to going downhill. We must be on guard against this and not let bad things change what we know and believe to be true. Oh, how easy that is to say and so hard to do.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

March 3, 2012 – Joshua 22

Almost instantly we see the two divisions about to go to war. Not only did they have all these lands around them, but they had incredible tension between the tribes. And this was all over a misunderstanding and a fear about what might happen in the future. There was a fear of what the future generations would believe and that they would not follow the Lord. It is not an unreasonable fear. How many people have parents that wonder why their children have left the Church. It only takes a generation or so to see a dramatic shift. And when it happens, it appears there is little a parent can do for it, at that point, the damage appears to be done. Those that went across the Jordan had no idea what might happen on the other side. They wanted to make sure that connection remained.

Friday, March 02, 2012

March 2, 2012 – Catechism 1362-1372

Catholics are sometimes accused of thinking or believing that we are Sacrificing Jesus at every Mass. That is not what we believe. Christ died, once and for all. What happens at Mass is, as it puts it in the paragraphs, a re-presenting of the Sacrifice on the Cross. The word memorial is used to help describe this understanding, but I don’t think that helps because we use memorial differently than it used to be understood. We see memorials as celebrations of something in the past. Birthdays, anniversaries, they are looking back at a certain event and remembering it from a distance. That is not the same as memorial was thought of in Christ time. As it states, Memorial to the Jews was an entering into the past event in a special way. When Jews celebrated Passover they prepared themselves as if they were going to leave Egypt, they, in a mysterious way, join in the fleeing of Egypt. It was not merely looking back and remembering, it is reliving it and experiencing it. Christ told us to make a memorial of what He was going to do at the Last Supper and gave us the means to do it.

I was trying to think of a way that we could make our “memorials” into a Jewish idea of “memorial”. Maybe, if on your birthday, you watched your own live birth. That is not just remembering, but entering into the event in a special way. Maybe you go to the hospital. I was thinking about when a couple renews their wedding vows on their anniversary. There is a whole ceremony, usually fairly similar to the original event. It is not just remembering, but entering into that past event and re-creating or re-presenting it in a new way. They are not perfect examples and cannot truly explain the mystery God is working through the Mass, but I wanted to distinguish between our understanding of merely looking back and remembering an event and the concept of celebrating a memorial of the event as Jews understood it and as Christ intended.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

March 1, 2012 – Hebrews 12

I sometimes don’t understand people’s objections to the Catholic beliefs on saint and their ability to intercede for us. I have heard many people say that someone they love is looking down on them. We don’t seem to have any trouble thinking that those that are in Heaven have the ability to see what is going on in our lives. The first verse confirms this idea with the idea that a cloud of witnesses (martyrs) surround us. If they surround us or look down upon us, they know what we need. They know what we are asking for and what we are struggling with. If you think someone you love and lived a good life here on Earth lived in such a way that they made it to Heaven and you think that they can see you struggling with something, is it a leap to think they would ask God or intercede for you. They love you and want you help you. It seems the most sensible thing in the world to ask them to pray for us. And if your loved one can do so, why not a holy person such as St. Francis.