Greetings on this the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: IS 22:19-23; PS 138:1-2, 2-3, 6, 8; ROM 11:33-36; MT 16:13-20
Ideal, Acceptable, Tolerated, Needful
Every year at this time we start a new journey. Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
Everyone has a different starting point.
Everyone who wants to try the Christian journey comes with every virtue and it’s twin vice.
From now until the Rite of Acceptance, the first decision point, the hope for change is given primacy.
No judgement. No corrections. Just the Gospel message revealed in nature, oral tradition, sacred Scripture and, finally, in the practice of a faithful people.
We don’t present ourselves perfect, rather we engage the perfect and become like him.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
So much is written on this sentence. For me it isn’t the diametric of rewarding the good and punish the guilty.
The imperative is to bind up the wounds of the wounded and loosening those in bondage. And most of all, to loose none the Father has given.
Temporary Missionary Approach
Spontaneous acceptance of the Gospel is always preferred. Yet, continuous conversation is the reality most often. The enlightenment of the apostles is obvious in the presence of Jesus. Even after Pentecost, continued maturation and development.
We are mission territory even among the Baptized uncatechized.
In this period we study how the Promise is made, given and lived. The life of the historical Jesus is fulfillment of the promise and brings about a new promise.
In this period faith is incarnate. Faith is made palpable and relatable.
Binded and Loosened
Who among us are perfect in promise and action? Do you not recall the story of the ungrateful Servant? Forgiven a large debt, he cannot forgive the smaller debt of his contemporary.
Or are we like those who … Woe to you lawyers as well! For you weigh men down with burdens hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers.
Rite of Elect
In this phase we learn of the Sacramental economy. The blessings to support us through our life journey. What, how, form/matter, who. Clarity on the specific blessings given to bind and loosen.
Here we practice the faith in great anticipation of the Easter Vigil and the reception of these Sacraments.
Even Now, Even Now
Even now we remain in the tension of the Ideal, Acceptable, Tolerated, and Needful.
Sometimes in one person, all four.
Here, empowered and strengthened in Sacraments is the promise of perfection as a consistent movement into the inner life of God.
Cast the Net
Catch every fish. Bind and loosen them. Which will be in the end to be lost is not our work. It is not our judgment.
It is only the judgment of the Divine and the work of the Angels.
Or do we mock St Paul who says, Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor?
Or who has given the Lord anything
that he may be repaid? For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be glory forever. Amen.
Go Forth, the Mass has Ended
Mass is the empowering event where the imperative is reenforced.
Be the embodiment of the Divine presence.
Peace be with you,
Greetings on this the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: IS 56:1, 6-7; PS 67:2-3,5,6,8; ROM 11:13-15, 29-32; MT 15:21-28
This homily is live streamed and viewable at any time on the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Lake Worth Beach, FL) YouTube and FaceBook. Read or hear, up to you!
The Cain Problem
We come back to Cain and the Book of Genesis and the first murder.
Cain, having been disappointed in the Lord’s reception of his cereal offering relative to the gift of Abel is unable to master his passions. Despite the Lord’s warning (sin is a demon lurking), as such, he plots and kills his younger brother. It’s an easy read of chapter 4 of the Book of Genesis.
The part of the story I draw your attention to is the phase where the Lord confronts Cain and his evil deed.
- You shall till the soil in vain as it will no longer give its produce.
- You shall be restless wanderer on the earth.
Reaction to the Consequences
My punishment is too great.
- You have banished me from the soil – I am disowned from the family of man.
- I must avoid your presence – you will no longer hear my voice* the key piece.
- I have become a restless wanderer – I have lost my root in you, O Lord.
- Anyone may kill me on sight – I am lower than a beast in the sight of men.
The Lord Replies
- If anyone kills Cain, Cain shall be avenged seven fold.
- And, the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest anyone kill him on sight.
Cain Leaves the Lord
A heart breaking verse. Cain leaves his unity with the family and is self-exiled to Nod (the wandering place).
Cain went away from the Lord. He did not ask for help with the lurking demon.
Cain’s great, great, great grandson Lamech makes a confession generations later that he also has killed even perhaps a young boy. He extrapolates that if the Lord will avenge Cain seven times, he will avenge Lamech seventy-seven fold. This is establishing a long term, embedded way of life. A discordant line of reasoning. A drifting way of being relative to the Lord.
There are three distinct presentation of the Canaanite enemies of the Jewish people.
- Cain and his line. In a literalist reading of the OT this line disappears. Of course it doesn’t.
- The line of Noah and his son Canaan and after the tragic error of sin begets the lines of the Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites and Hivites (etc, all enemies of the Jewish people).
- The line of Lot and his daughters and after the tragic error of sin begets the lines of the Moabites.
Basically, everyone that isn’t us is born of tragic sin. Unworthy.
Vilifying Your Enemy
It ordinarily isn’t the time or place to discuss the writing and redacting of sacred Scripture in a homily. The biggest reason is the function of time. It simply takes too long to discuss some of the themes hidden within the text.
For today let us simply note that:
- Cain’s line never evaporated. Recycling of the name Lamech is a big hint.
- The vilification of the enemies is a redaction of sacred Scripture to explain the current historical situation using the pre-history of the Genesis story.
She finishes the story of Cain.
Her daughter, subject to the lurking demon present in Genesis and harming Cain is represented.
She correctly notes that Cain was not ignored by the Lord but rather walked away from the Lord.
She has come back to resolve the problem.
Jesus reveres the aspects of the open Cain issues.
- Matthew 18:21-22 – one must forgive seven times seventy (extending the understanding of Lamech’s avenging thoughts).
- The lurking demon has had its full effect and needs to be removed.
- The absence from the House of the Lord is canceled.
She correctly states that she was never taken out of the house and now reclaims a place in the House of the Lord.
Jesus is in complete agreement.
The Canaanite woman represents all of us. We have exaggerated our distance from the Lord, allowed the lurking demon to have its way and we are in need.
The break of the table of course is the fullness of the Lord’s banquet which we were always invited but until now rejected.
Come taste the goodness of the Lord.
Peace be with you,
Covid-19 preventing Deacons from gathering for the annual renewal of vows, Mass and dinner with the Bishop.
Here is my annual promise I make from home this year.
Renewal of Diaconal Ordination Promises
(addressing the assembly)
My brothers and sisters in Christ,
we are gathered here to pray for those
who serve as deacons in Christ’s name.
Many holy men have gone before these men in this ministry:
Saints Lawrence, Stephen, Ephraim, Philip, Francis of Assisi, and many others.
Let us join with them as we bring our prayers before the throne of God,
(addressing the Deacons)
Beloved sons, we chose you for the Order of the Diaconate. Continue to embrace the ministry to which you have been called. As deacons, and ministers of Jesus Christ, who came among his disciples as one who served, and not to be served, do the will of God from the heart: serve the people in love and joy as you would the Lord. Since no one can serve two masters, look upon all defilement and avarice as serving false gods.
Are you resolved to renew,
in the presence of God’s holy people,
the promises you once made?
Deacons: I am.
Are you resolved to discharge the office of deacon with humble charity in order to assist the Priestly Order
and to benefit the Christian people?
Deacons: I am.
Are you resolved to hold fast to the mystery of faith with a clear conscience, as the Apostle urges,
and to proclaim this faith in word and deed according to the Gospel and the Church’s tradition?
Deacons: I am.
Are you resolved to maintain and deepen the spirit of prayer that is proper to your way of life and,
in keeping with this spirit and what is required of you, to celebrate faithfully the Liturgy of the Hours
with and for the People of God and indeed for the whole world?
Deacons: I am.
Are you resolved to conform your way of life always to the example of Christ, of whose Body and Blood you are ministers at the altar?
Deacons: I am.
Lord, look kindly on your servants:
we send them as messengers of salvation and peace, marked with the sign of the cross.
Guide their steps with your mighty arm and with the power of your grace
strengthen them in spirit, so that they will not falter through weariness.
Make their words the echo of Christ’s voice, so that those who hear them may be drawn to obey the Gospel.
Fill the hearts of your deacons with the Holy Spirit, so that, becoming all things to all people, they may lead many to you, the Father of all, to sing your praises in your holy Church.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Say a prayer for me, please. May Christ dwell within.
A news crew came with me today. I guess the Covid-19 story remains a high priority in the news.
This home visit was for food delivery and home sanitation. That was the plan.
Things went according to plan, put frozen food away and set up UVC lamps throughput the house.
Then outside go through each of the 25 items given with short tutorial on use. Masks, sanitizer, gloves, vitamins, etc, and a variety of course cleaners.
The Mom was sick, really sick. Negative? How long ago? Need to retest Saturday.
The children were great. The teen girl especially. I had her assemble the contactless thermometer and the finger O2 meter. Taught her how to operate and record values. We practiced several times.
She was so proud of her new skills and responsibilities. This is serious business. She has a role in keeping her family safe. I’m proud of her too.
We discussed what high and low ranges are for each measurement. Who to call if abnormal high HR or abnormal low O2 sat. That’s what you do when you’re 14 and you love your family.
Yesterday: This is palm beach post reporter Joe Capozzi. My story is online. Let me know if there have been any developments since we last spoke.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.”
And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone.
On the Feast of the Transfiguration, do you see Jesus as he is? He is a daughter who braves the future for love.
Going to the Deserted Place
Greetings on this the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: IS 55:1-3; PS 145:8-9, 15-16, 17-18; RM 8:35, 37-39; MT 14:13-21
Summer of Our Discontent
- 1964, Meridian, Mississippi
- 2020, Anywhere, USA
In 2020 we mourn the loss of several Civil Rights leaders…
When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The Gospel reading today starts with a rather startling point.
John the Baptist was murdered and Jesus withdrew.
At first glance you might be very disconcerted by this reaction.
Why? Well, among many things we mourn the dead, we have the liturgy of intercession for the dead and those mourning them. Even this Wednesday I will preside over a Funeral Outside of Mass for the twin purpose of (1) Intercession and invocation of the Mercy of God; and (2) Prayer of supplication for the grieving that in both purposes we may know the love of God in the paschal mystery and glorious resurrection.
But the death of John the Baptist wasn’t a simple death. It was an execution. John, having challenged King Herod, was beheaded.
The death of John is the most radical rejection of the baptism of repentance – killing the messenger.
Jesus withdrew to the deserted place and it became a great nonverbal message in the gospel. It is the message that can reach those guilty of murder.
The Message of John
Hardly anyone misses the message of John the Baptist. John preached the baptism of repentance. John called everyone who approached him to consider their actions and the commandments and make some changes. The gospel of Luke gives a really detailed account of these types of fruitful encounters.
John prepared the way of the Lord. Or more specifically. John helped us to prepare for the Lord.
The Deserted Place
When Jesus withdrew the crowd heard of it. They followed him.
Jesus went by boat – a straight line. The people walked/wandered through hill and dale to get to him.
They left behind any and all comforts, food, weapons, and all their possessions.
They knew something about Jesus was special. They wanted him.
In fact the point is that they valued nothing but him and his miraculous ways.
They wanted to enter the deserted place because that is where he is.
Where is the Deserted Place
This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.
The disciples were worried. Of course it was for the ordinary needs of the people. Very much appreciated and expected.
Jesus asks them to look beyond. Beyond the body, the wealth, the possessions.
Surrender the five loaves and two fish to him.
Surrender in the deserted place.
And be filled with every good, thing, God’s being.
The Most Deserted Place
In the center of your soul.
In the center of your soul Jesus has ‘retreated’. He rests there waiting for your return. Taking your attention away from possession and the belly.
There you will find Jesus who will restore you, feed you, speaking to you.
Go to the deserted place. Find everything.
Peace be with you,
We’ve got lots of troubles. We have many mistakes in our past and even in the current time. We confess them. We repair them. We stand up after falling down.
E pluribus unum!
We can find a way forward holding onto the genius of our Native American heritage, the welcoming of new arrivals and building a land of freed persons.
Below the four supplications of the song America the Beautiful!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood.
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood.
Key Referenced Letter – Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò open letter to Donald Trump
Reply – Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò open letter to Donald Trump
Concepts in the letter
- There are more children of light than of darkness but the children of light are held hostage by the children of darkness who control the media, government, politics and economics.
- Offspring (behavior reference) the children of light are imperfect but struggling to do good in its variety of forms.
- Specifically speaking out against: those who want to demolish family, accumulate undue wealth, foment internal division and war, and accumulate power.
- Projection: children of darkness are the Deep State.
- Projection: children of darkness are the Deep Church.
- Projection: COVID event is wielded as a tool used against the children of light.
- Projection: Civil Unrest (protests against police violence) event is wielded as a tool used against the children of light.
- Projection: Faithful Shepherds and Unfaithful Shepherds align specifically with the Deep State.
- Masonic principals are the driving thought process for the civil unrest and the COVID-19 response.
- The media is determined to destroy Christianity wittingly or unwittingly.
Endorse President Trump as:
- Donald Trump’s Deep State is one in the same with what the Church would/could describe as the Deep State.
- Donald Trump’s Invisible Enemy is one in the same with what the Church describes as the Invisible Enemy.
- President denounced persecution of Christians.
- President attended March for Life.
- President proclaimed National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
- Recommends prayer by and for the President. Does not actually reference any prayer by the President but suggests that if he prays the Bishop is united with him.
Missing Concepts – implied Fallacies of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
- Donald Trump’s Deep State is not one in the same with what the Church would/could describe as the Deep State is undefined.
- Donald Trump’s Invisible Enemy is not one in the same with what the Church describes as the Invisible Enemy.
- Deep State verses professional Civil Service not addressed and one of immediate concern.
- Deep Church is a concept of corruption and the need for Church renewal not fitting for a topic in this letter nor the reason to endorse Trump.
- Fail to recognize the Media right and left have lost their reporting integrity in equal parts.
- See President’s comments at March for Life below. Hardly anything close to holy.
- See Church distain for the President’s clear the mob actions below. Hardly an act that should be praised in the timing or its intent.
- Gives President Trump a pass on the fact he is who has demolished family, accumulated undue wealth, foments internal division and war, and accumulates power.
My First comment on Remnant Newspaper on Bishop’s letter:
Disturbing letter that sets aside serious problems with violent policing, sacrilege of holy places, the pandemic and general displeasure at President Trump’s instability. Shameful letter.
Responses on site – https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php:
- Bad Cleric
- A joke
It is a gigantic leap of presumed power to align President Trump with the Catholic Church and to align just about anybody else with the children of darkness. Endorsing him is at the least a questionable act. For millions President Trump personifies the very evil you decry. It was in fact a shameful letter.
The most positive thing I can say on this letter is indeed pray. Pray without preconception of the arrogance of knowing from your excess and treasure. No, pray from the poverty of your spirit.
Peace be with you,
- Children of light (the preeminent Christian focus and phrase).
- Children of darkness (usually associated with the Modernist movement). See Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius X PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS.
- Offspring of the Woman
- Offspring of the Serpent
- Law of God
- Kingdom of Heaven
- Deep State – (circa 2000) – an alleged secret network of especially nonelected government officials and sometimes private entities (financial services and defense industries) operating extra-legally to influence and enact government policy.
- Deep Church – No known generally accepted reference except to say shares the Deep State worries. Specific to the Church are the financial, sexual and liturgical norms of the Church being violated, diluted and ignored by a secret network..
- Invisible Enemy – A Virus. A Satan. An unholy appliance between the Deep State and Deep Church. Multiple meanings.
References Used In His Letter
- Appeal – Veritas Liberabit Vos (A document he wrote and posted and of which I previously responded).
- Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana – modern Kosovo Serbia.
- Apostolic Nuncio – former diplomat to the USA.
- Masonic references:
- New World Order
- Solve et Coagula – Dissolve and Coagulate (an Alchemy)
- Universal Brotherhood
- Covid Emergency.
- Street Protests in USA and Europe.
- Visit to the National Shrine of Saint John Paul II – link to article – https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2020/06/02/trump-catholic-shrine-church-bible-protesters/
- March for Life 2020 – link to actual text – https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-47th-annual-march-life/
- National Child Abuse Prevention Month declaration – https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-national-child-abuse-prevention-month-2020/
The appeal makes no attempt to document or prove any of its medical assertions.
- The freedom of worship, expression and movement have been disproportionately and unjustly restricted in the name of good medicine.
- Doubt of the COVID-19 contagiousness, danger and resistance to the virus.
- To approve and spend money on ineffective vaccines and treatments.
- To develop vaccines from aborted fetuses (he may have meant this as a generalized warning).
The appeal maintains that the true purpose of the epidemic response is:
- The epidemic is a pretext to control the population.
- To impose a permanent restrictions on freedom.
- To isolate populations, i.e., ageism, ethnic or racial segregation.
- To criminalize personal and social relationships, i.e., religious people.
- To ignore shady business interests wanting to profit from the virus.
- To allow experts to enjoy immunity of prosecution.
- To reduce our lives to a virtual reality alone.
- To establish an odious technological tyranny.
- To eventually establish a world government beyond all control.
The appeal uses good and solid Catholic positions as well as the long standing governance worries into a certain synthesis of an argument of these multiple worries and concerns. It is an interesting blend of nationalism, Catholicism, and governance by way of political convention. Taken in context of the political language of the day, it is completely intertwined with American political drama.
It is better to describe the intention of the letter this way: Given the supernatural powers that attempt to subject humanity and the Church to oppression the Bishop sees the COVID-19 pandemic as a handy pretext to push forward this evil agenda.
The caution are as follows:
- Medical assertions #1 to #4 above in the United States are matters of reasonable differences of opinion in support or against these statements (except #4 which seems a flip in for flavor).
- Worldwide you would have to take a country by country review with a skeptical eye toward totalitarian nations.
- As to the true purposes, I don’t buy most any of it. It’s a virus. It kills people and would by the millions if no intervention is attempted. We have hundreds of year experience with epidemics. No credible exaggeration.
- The Church by the way once enjoyed ‘worldwide’ domination and simply had no problem with it. Just a reminder that those who dominate see no problem.
- The disintegration of treaties and multi-State agreements makes the idea of a world government to be much less of a worry. Perhaps natural resource wars, trade wars and regional wars are a more immanent emerging problem.
Church Integrity – Free to
- To govern itself.
- To govern its members.
- To perform its evangelization of the Good News.
- To administer the Sacraments as the perpetual gifts of the Christ.
- To opine and participate on governance of the population.
- To offer prayer and supplication in the Name of God and His Son Jesus Christ for the salvation of and peaceful existence for humanity.
I don’t think any Catholic differs in this opinion. We must also agree that the Church, like the human family it is composed of, continues to learn the deeper meanings of the Gospel and adjust its social-cultural opinions accordingly. Faith and Science (including Sociology) play a part in informing the Church and the results in changes to the changeable doctrine. The steadfast and unchangeable remain. The wisdom to know the difference is a dynamic, constant progression in time just as the Divine revelation itself was and is a progression in time.
Real Common Good Worries
- The virus need a cooperative and reliable response from all segments of the society. We are all at risk when any fail to do their part.
- In the USA, some States suggested closing and some Sates ordered closings. In all cases, the Church decided on its own what to do. It wasn’t the State that restricted gatherings, the Church of its own good judgment decided so. Even still, the Mass continued with smaller gatherings according to the good judgment.
- In other countries these worries are more palpable and such concerns should be addressed regionally.
- Many people of good will and with no religion certainly agree about unregulated technology as tyrannical.
- Many people of good will and with no religion agree that unregulated medical-industrial complex as oppression.
Irresponsible Arguments – Responsible Leadership
It is irresponsible to address the World Domination worry as the preeminent concern of this virus. We should not mirror the behaviors of others who commingle arguments in order to provide greater support for our core positions. It is beneath the Church to do so. The anti-religious have been around a very long time. Let’s not be their mirror.
Peace be with you,