Divine Transparency

transparency

Divine Transparency

I meant to post my homily notes before the Baptism of the Lord.

Readings: IS 42:1-4, 6-7; PS 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10; ACTS 10:34-38; LK 3:15-16, 21-22

Lukan Perspective

In the Gospel of Luke we have one of the four accounts of the baptism of Jesus. Each account emphasis is different. Each account has a slightly different perspective.

The Lukan perspective is centered on the prayer of Jesus which in the Holy Spirit reveals the interior dialog of Father and Son.

‘… and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying’

In very few instances of sacred Scripture can we use one of the alternate definitions of prayer in the Jewish tradition; here this prayer is an introspection and bonding.

In this prayer both Father and Son answer the question in the context of a deep judgment — ‘who am I’.

This baptismal prayer is a communal bonding of Father and Son. This prayer is a reciprocal and dynamic expression of communion. The Father’s love for the Son is not static or stale. Rather it is loving communion that is ever-dynamic and ever-fresh. In this case we see how this is so based on other known aspects of the divine life.

‘… The heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove’

The presence of the Holy Spirit in this prayer exchange would be understood in the context of known perspectives of the Spirit. As we see in 1 Corr 2:10:

This God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.

In this baptismal exchange the Holy Spirit reveals the very depths of God. The Spirit searching everything that is God and the revelation of the mystery of God’s wisdom.

We humans cannot do this. Dominus providebit. The Lord will provide.

Who am I?

In the baptism of the Lord the question is asked and answered by the Father and the Son at the probing of the Holy Spirit. To the very depths of the Father we find him and He tell us directly.

You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.

God is the very essence of beloved. Jesus is the beloved. God is love. Jesus is love. That is who they are.

Actually, to put it in modern terms and in parental terms we can all best relate.

This voice from heaven is the exuberant overflowing irresistible primal utterance coming from the very depths of a parent —- I Love YOU!

This inner life of God the Father and Son brought out to us by the Holy Spirit is the very life Jesus baptizes us into. This is the final end for us to be in the middle of this dynamic ever fresh love.

God’s love for you is never stale, never static and never unreflective.

Rather in every prayer you raise to God the Father allows the Holy Spirit to probe his depths and bring forward this eternal reality.

I love you, my beloved!

Blessings,

Deacon Gerry

Mission Accomplished

epiphany 3 wisemen

Mission Accomplished

On this The Epiphany of the Lord, I’d like to share with you the profound reality hidden in plain view regarding the Magi and their homage to the Lord.

Readings today: IS 60:1-6; PS 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13; EPH 3:2-3A, 5-6; MT 2:1-12

Generally the Christian community tends to focus on the mystical aspects of the star rising which is not a problem per se but does tend to mask over the basic truth: the Jewish people have fulfilled their mission. Mission accomplished: the Messianic message has been given to the Gentiles. For it is written (Isaiah 60:3):

“[The Gentiles] shall walk in the light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising.”

We can say that Jesus is the visible sign of the consistent and ancient sharing of the good news by the Jewish people through the centuries prior to Jesus’ arrival. Jesus is both attesting to the work of his faithful people and to the future fulfillment of this work in himself.

From Summa Theologica:

I answer that, As stated above (A3,r 1), the Magi are the “first-fruits of the Gentiles” that believed in Christ; because their faith was a presage of the faith and devotion of the nations who were to come to Christ from afar. And therefore, as the devotion and faith of the nations is without any error through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, so also we must believe that the Magi, inspired by the Holy Ghost, did wisely in paying homage to Christ.

How does this come to be?

Throughout the Old Testament the Jewish people brought the good news of the saving power of G-d. Throughout their travels they would speak with faith the ancient stories of Genesis and Exodus of which you are familiar. They had two different audiences. Primarily, the diaspora or dispersed Jewish populations around the known world where they would teach them the ways of the Torah and right living. The secondary audience was the gentile communities. Here too they taught the same lessons. They would teach of the Exodus and how You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; have the same love for him as for yourself; for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt. I, the LORD, am your God (Lev 18:34).

The concept of righteous gentiles was well established from of old. The Gentles were further taught the 7 Noahide Laws which bind the children of Noah. Right living or righteousness were the central themes taught to the gentiles and that they too should expect the Messiah. Further during major inflection points in Jewish history the Lord uses a Gentile to bring about His will (a useful book reference: http://www.jewishlights.com/page/product/978-1-58023-364-4).

Trading Secrets

How did this all come about: trade. Jewish traders traveled far and wide long before the time of Jesus. The traders would supply and support the diaspora and trade with all those gentiles who wish to trade. Israel had products to trade as well as particular access to the Egyptian markets and products. Well established southern and northern trading routes were in existence centuries before the coming of the Christ.

The city of Palmira or Palmyra was built by King Solomon (1 Kings 9:18; 2 Chron. 8:4). It was situated about 140 miles northeast of Damascus, on the caravan route between Palestine and the Euphrates. Thus situated, the city was fortified by Solomon to protect his trade routes. In Hebrew, it is called Tadmor.

To the south more trade routes which included portions of sea-routes to India and south east Africa.

The title Magi is based on a Persian word. It is generally accepted that these Magi came from ancient Persia. They came a long way to see for themselves this King!

Witness and Inspiration

It is the diaspora and the Jewish trader who brought the good news (small ‘g’ and small ‘n’ to distinguish) that there is a loving God and He will send the Messiah. This witness together with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit compelled them to travel to Jerusalem to greet and pay homage to the King. I submit to you both are required. It is God’s plan to have us participate in the salvific message and no less so for the Jewish people to be the first to bear the Good News. I think the Magi knew Bethlehem was the place but they were simply asking directions to this suburb of Jerusalem. Herod was clueless.

Gifts

Gold, Frankincense and myrrh. Usually we associate the frankincense with the temple worship and incensing the Altar. However, from a Persian perspective, frankincense is a healing remedy. It is my opinion that the Persian influence allows us to view the frankincense as a healing remedy (Persian) and as incense for temple worship (Jewish). These three kings are declaring this new born to be a King, the healing remedy of God and the Suffering Servant. Wow! The righteous living of the diaspora and traders would be the witness that proves the promise.

Joseph of Arimathea

Joseph of Gospel fame was most likely a trader. Galilee while principally an agricultural region it s also perfectly situated for trade toward Damascus (east). It is understood that Joseph traded and traveled for and wide. While some would like the British version the more likely is Damascus, Babylon, the east coast of Africa and India. This is still evolving science and archaeology. Artifacts placing 1st century Jews in trade is well established. Jesus, between age 12 and his coming out in public ministry, very likely accompanied Joseph on these trading caravans. Poetically, it is even possible Jesus met the three Kings later in life in their home place (speculative).

Modern Take-Away

Application of the Epiphany in our time should include these observations:

1. Trade, free-trade, is critical.
2. Freedom of religion is critical.
3. Freedom of travel and immigration are critical.
4. Righteous living is essential. It is the preparation for the Messiah.
5. Sharing the promises of a loving God is a mandate for Jews and Gentiles alike.
6. The Messiah is the healing remedy for what ails humanity.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

Margin Call

O Antiphons

Margin Call

As we enter the final days of Advent (December 17th begins the seven days leading up to Christmas Eve) we again make a margin call. We are at an inflection point in our self-awareness.

Taxes

Well, if you are a stock investor such a margin call would cause heartburn. Stocks have been pounded lately due to the general disintegration of governance and the erosion of executive branch moral vision. This has placed in peril the future of these United States.  These supposed tax breaks are nearly worthless to me as millions like me. As I do a draft tax return (standard procedure this time of year) the impact is negligible, given the cost the people this is a disastrous legislative failure.

Immigration

How did we get here? How is it possible we are silent in the reality that we use military troops to repel men, women and children desperate for a new life? How can we just sit and watch people being marked with indelible ink on their arms with a serial number in the hope of an immigration interview.

What is your understanding of the vision? Is this really your vision?

We have always struggled with the best way to be a friend in our own hemisphere. While the task is difficult it is not one we must abandon to this new xenophobic executive branch.

In December 1961 by President Kennedy’s initiative the Alliance for Progress was started. Faulty and never fully implemented it was an expression of a desire to find common good and hospitality among our neighbors. It was a ten year progressive plan with a peaceful pan-America as the aim – which is well beyond the current guttural vision. We can do better.

The O Antiphons

These last Seven Days we observe the O Antiphons as the antiphons for the Magnificat canticle of Evening Prayer. The Magnificat already is known to be a recognition that the plan of the Lord is to lift up the lowly and that the hungry are to be fed by us. All of us.

We’ll step through the O Antiphons now. Perhaps we can break through your fear and anxiety and find in charity is true freedom.

O Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love: come to teach us the path of knowledge!

We can know and should know the will of God that is to defend the widow and orphan. All who are without power.

O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai: come to rescue us with your mighty power!

Laws are meant to rescue and protect.  Right relation is expressed in the common good. Barbed wire is an evil barrier between friends.

O Root of Jesse’s stem, sign of God’s love for all his people: come to save us without delay!

The bounty of God’s love is for all. The riches of the earth are for all too.

O Key of David, opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom: come and free the prisoners of darkness!

People excommunicate themselves when they have been radicalized by the new nationalists.

O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Who will be satisfied? Do we need to see piled bodies of serial marked arms laying in desolation? Why are we desecrating the land of the free?

O King of all nations and keystone of the Church: come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!

Who among us are above being dust? Who can account our riches to our efforts alone? No, it is a bounty from God.

O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law: come to save us, Lord our God!

Indeed save us Lord from the anxiety of wealth!!

The darkness grows day by day. We need our Advent light.

Blessings,

Deacon Gerry

From My Poverty

Jewish Coins

From My Poverty

Greetings on this the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: 1 KGS 17:10-16; PS 146:7, 8-9, 9-10; HEB 9:24-28; MK 12:38-44

A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.  Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury.  For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood (MK 12:42-44).

The Gospel reading paired with the first reading today gives a voice to two downcast widows. In the first case, we know her thoughts as she speaks with Elijah. In the second case, we know her thoughts because the eyes of the Lord are upon her and he teaches us from her poverty.

Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks, to go in and prepare something for myself and my son; when we have eaten it, we shall die (1 KG 17:12b).

The widow of Zarephath of Sidon suffered during the severe drought in the land. She and her son having reached the very bottom of poverty prepared to eat one last meal before dying. The Lord had a wonderful plan for her. Rather than dying, the Lord sent Elijah to her. For Elijah he was given the word she would be his caretaker. Upon his arrival and discovering her dire circumstances he first ministered to her. Or perhaps we can say it this way: they ministered to one another?

Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid. Go and do as you propose. But first make me a little cake and bring it to me.  Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son.  For the LORD, the God of Israel, says, ‘The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry,  until the day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.'” (1 KG 17:13-17).

She gave from her poverty. There was no pretense. There was no condemnation. Just the truth and her heart willing to share the truth of her insufficiency. The Lord accepted her and gave her the riches of the heavens. Immediately in the story she, her son and Elijah ate through the drought with a super abundant oil and flour. Even next beyond the reading Elijah resuscitates her son after he is near or at death. God provides.

In much the same way, the Gospel widow having prayed contributes her two cents. She gave from her poverty. There was no pretense. There was no condemnation. Just the truth and her heart willing to share the truth of her insufficiency. The Lord accepted her too and her wonderful gift from the heart.

Jesus wants the gift of our insufficiency

In actual fact, Jesus wants the gift of our insufficiency not our excess.

The Lord gladly and tenderly accepts these gifts coming from the greatest weaknesses within us. He wants these things because they are the gifts and signs of our greatest needs. He, himself.

The gifts are given in community

In the case of Elijah and the Temple gift, both gifts are given the context of community – the Church. Elijah has come to bring hope to the widow and her son and to all those in the vicinity. The prophet is here.  The Lord is here with us in our difficulties. He is here among us and expresses his gifts through us — through our inadequacies. Here in this place is acceptance and the warm embrace of Christian love.

Hear the words of Saint John Paul II:

To everyone I say: love your parish; think of it as your home, your family, where you can meet, get to know one an-other, dialogue and reflect together on the principal problems which affect your community. However, most of all, you should find in it the strength and enthusiasm for a faith journey that is ever more shining and attractive, which will lead those who consider themselves “separated” to reflect on the beauty of faith in God, the Father of all, and in Christ Jesus, Redeemer of every person (November 10, 1991).

Give Jesus your poverty.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

One Vote

USA Flag

One Vote

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time – MK 12:28B-34   

And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”  MK 12:34

True Prayer One

Two deacons were having a conversation about prayer and the difficulty of staying present and silent in prayer.

Deacon One, “It’s not easy”.
Deacon Two, “Sure it is! I do it all the time.”

Deacon One, “OK. I will make a reward for you. I will give you my prize horse if you can be present and silent for one hour in prayer.”
Deacon Two, “You got it”.

Deacon Two goes into prayer, settling in, closing his eyes and begins. Silently he sits, silently he prays, ever so silently.

Deacon Two, “Does that include the saddle?”

True Prayer Two

A young Brother at the monastery approaches the Abbot with a question.

Brother, “Abbot, is it right to eat while I pray?”
Abbot, “No! Absolutely not right. That is a terrible thing to do.”

Later in the week…

Brother, “Abbot, is it right to pray while I am eating?”
Abbot, “Yes, this is most virtuous.”

The Lord is One

In today’s gospel reading we encounter the single yet impossible goalYou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

Impossible yet absolutely necessary and good! How then is it possible? If we cannot settle in for one hour of prayer without regressing to ‘what is in it for me’, how is it possible to reach such degrees of quiet and attentiveness to the Lord? Jesus reassures us, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.” MK 10:27. It is the Divine Presence that calls us to himself – to aspire to this degree of intimacy with the Lord — and it is the Divine Presence that makes it possible for us to respond with intimacy. Said another way, it is the inspiration of God that makes the desire and provisions the pathway. We enter into the way…. without the horse.

The second commandment is a little less impossible… The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”

How can I say such a thing? How can it be that the 2nd commandment is a predicate to the 1st commandment unless I reengage Jesus’ response to the scribe.

The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, ‘He is One and there is no other than he.’ And ‘to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself’ is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Burnt Offerings and Sacrifices

Our burnt offerings (prayer) and sacrifices (Eucharistic practice) are virtuous but are lacking without the binding commandment to love neighbor as yourself. The challenge here is to read the commandment in both directions. Usually we read this way — Love God entirely by way of burnt offering and sacrifices then you can love neighbor as self. Jesus prefers the opposite, love neighbor as yourself then bring your gifts so as to be receptive to the Divine Presence.

Have you not read: Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. MT 5:23-24.

Love Neighbor and Self

How and what do we love about ourselves? Well, some are often unhappy about their person for different reasons. But we can say that for most all we love ourselves by taking care of the body, emotions and spirit. Do you not eat? Do you not see a doctor when sick? Are you not attentive to what you think and how you feel and what is the natural good for you?

Seek those things for neighbor.

You see most times we eat while we pray. We need to learn to pray while we eat.

One Vote

The oneness of the Lord includes without separation love neighbor as yourself.

Vote with your conscience. Vote with an informed conscience.

Is our own eating the priority and our primary focus? Is this not the dead faith James speaks of (Jam 2:14)?

Is political dogma and thoughts of moral right kept on a higher value than the person? Do you not understand Jesus statement “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath”

The gospel reading today ends with a moment of decision. The scribe having correctly answered with understanding that love of neighbor is an intrinsic part of loving God, Jesus says in reply: “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

Time to Vote

And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

There is nothing left to ask.

Know the difference between prayer and prayer with the reward of a horse and saddle.

Know the difference between eating and praying.

Now, press the lever.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

Blindness of Timaeus – Son of Plato

Plato

Blindness of Timaeus – Son of Plato

Long before the time of Jesus Plato wrote the classic Timaeus providing an expression of Socrates and his thoughts. This piece is a discourse about the nature of the universe.

This literature would have been a source of logic and reason for the then-modern Jew. The people were Hellenized in their manner of thinking.

Therefore, in this Gospel reading today we are witnessing bar-Timaeus (Son of Timaeus from the city of Jericho, the place of failing flesh) reconsidering all these things taught in this Platonic philosophy.

This Son of Plato (an apt title for this Gospel story) had a solid philosophical framework for creation, for the animation of life, and the origins / essence of body and soul. It provided a framework of ‘how’ but not the ‘why’ and not the ‘who’.

He was blind or said another way blinded by his philosophy. He knew a framework of creation and accepted the premise of his being alive. He accepted a concept of morals and moral life without a connection to person. The God of Plato does not hear. The God of Plato does not ask questions. The God of Plato simply doesn’t care what you do.

Using this now as a starting point to Timaeus meeting Jesus. There was a throng of people, a cacophony of noise. It is doubtful an ordinary person could hear him. Jesus heard him. “Jesus, son of David, Have pity on me… Son of David, have pity on me.” Jesus can always hear.  What do you want me to do for you?

The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”  Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.”  Jesus, the divine image always hears. Jesus the divine image always asks what we need.

Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way (“The Way” – the first expression of the new Christian sect).

Timaeus received first of all spiritual sight where the eyes of his heart were opened. Also the eyes of his body. For Timaeus the way of philosophy, void of person, is no longer his path. His path now is the way of engagement of the divine and human on the journey from Jericho to Jerusalem, from the place of failing flesh to the place of divine love.

In light of the attacks this week of the mailing of pipe bombs and the violent attack on the Tree of Life synagogue, we are reminded that ideological frameworks and philosophical viewpoints are void of humanity and is the way of rotting flesh. Bar-Timaeus needed to be rescued by the divine from the blindness of philosophy and political ideology. He cast aside that cloak and received divine insights and a new path in life.

All of us must do the same!

What is your cloak? What empty political ideology and firmly held philosophy of life that has stripped the humanity out of you? How blind are you to the divine?

Cast off the cloak… Son of David, have pity on us!!

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

 

 

 

 

The Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing

Saint Oscar Romero

The Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing

October 14th, 2018

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

On this Lord’s Day, the Church today celebrates a certain Romero (‘a pilgrim to Rome’).

Archbishop Oscar Romero, who the Church will canonize today, was a Salvadoran Archbishop who was martyred for Christ March 24, 1980. While celebrating the Holy Mass in the Chapel of the Good Shepherd an assassin’s bullet pierced his chest. When his blood and water poured forth upon the Earth his Episcopal motto cried out Sentir con la Iglesia (feel with the Church). The Archbishop knew the value of those who the powerful consider nothing. Today he is at rest entombed inside Cathedral in San Salvador. Today he is canonized a Saint.

It is a fitting for today’s Gospel reading MK 10:17-30 is it not? “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

The Archbishop never used the Gospel as a weapon. He spoke the communion of the Gospel and the interconnectedness of us all in this life. He saw the necessity of dialog between men especially between the powerful and the dispossessed. The Gospel today is a dialog between Jesus and a man, as well as, Jesus and Peter, to wit, What must I do? Then who can be saved? We have given up everything and followed you! In our language today we would summarize: Do? Who? You!

The Archbishop felt that one must feel with the Church for the Gospel to have any rationality. How else can we understand Jesus’ words?

“Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.”

How can we understand Jesus? Do you think Peter was instantly satisfied with the answer? Do you suppose he had to think with his heart to understand?

In 258, the Roman Emperor Valerian ordered the archdeacon Lawrence turn over all the riches of the Church. He quickly disbursed the material wealth among the people ignoring the Emperor. Later, when before the Emperor to pay the mandatory treasure, the deacon gestured toward the gathered crowd and said: “These are the true treasures of the Church.”  They were the poor, crippled, blind, and suffering people of … El Salvador.

Spoken shortly before he was assassinated, Archbishop Oscar Romero said:

God’s reign is already present on our earth in mystery. When the Lord comes, it will be brought to perfection. That is the hope that inspires Christians. We know that every effort to better society, especially when injustice and sin are so ingrained, is an effort that God blesses, that God wants, that God demands of us.

I offer you dialog and a certain thinking with the heart. Then let us build the City of God.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

 

Scandalized

Side By Side Ford Kavanaugh

MK 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin…

Scholars say rather than understanding this to mean an innocent child it is to be understood as any insignificant person without hope of earthly reward.

Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna…

The Greco-Roman use of the body as a description of the community. Here is used to describe the necessity of the removal from community the one who would lead the community into Gehenna.

This may or may not be the situation in this historic confrontation. It is useful as a teaching tool.

Let me address it this way. How do I describe relationships to 10th graders?

There are for the most part three types of relationships:

• Friendship – mutual self-giving.
• Alliances – contracts and secrets.
• Domination – demands and subjection.

The only one worth having is friendship.

You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter. You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance.

Sometimes you need to remove the offender to preserve the community. Sometimes you need to leave the community to preserve yourself.

Blessings,
Deacon Gerry

Episcopate Passion

 

Episcopate Passion

The passion predictions of the Gospel of Mark are tightly associated with the Church itself. The passion predictions indicate the first among all the sufferings of Christ is at the hands of churchmen. This association is not a new revelation rather an early understanding of the rights and responsibilities of the Episcopate and the Chair of Saint Peter. It is good in our times to be reminded of what this may mean and how it can be aligned again to the heart of charity.

Predict Gospel Mark Passion Immediate Teaching Episcopate
First 8:31-33 Son of Man suffers/killed at the hand of the false religious Deny Self

You, follow

Peter’s rebuke

Sanctity

Separation & Firmness

Teaching

Second 9:30-32 Handed over, killed, rise again Greatest of Twelve – Servant

Children

Unity

Internal, Spiritual & Visible w Governance

Third 10:32-34 Jerusalem/Priest/Gentiles scourged and put to death Ambition of James and John

Seated RT Hand

Catholicity Inclusiveness

Apostolicity Authenticity

Ruling

The First

Peter himself is rebuked by Jesus when he thinks as man does and not of God. This is interesting as Peter is given ‘the Seat’ because the Lord has chosen him to proclaim “You are the Messiah”.

One can point out that Peter, although preeminent, is held to the standard of the mind of God. Nothing less is acceptable. God, complete self-giving, expects the Church to emulate the same to the extent the Holy Spirit has given the strength to be thus.

The Lord is firm in this matter. We must separate from faithless and sinful teachings (generations) and follow unreservedly.

The Second

The famous first/last of greatness teaching. Today is the feast of Padre Pio by coincidence. He taught us all the humility of that Capuchin priest. He was obedient to ‘the Seat’ even as they misunderstood the holiness of the visions and healings. Padre Pio suffered obediently many censors and restrictions unfairly. How much more so those in error? The second passion proposes we become like children in unity. The second passion is sealed by the unity of the treatment of children.

It is clear to see that for the Lord the governance of the Church must first be grounded in the wellbeing of children. This wellbeing is wellness internally in each bishop with a healthy spirit and at the same time the episcopate must be governed visibly.

The Third

The prediction of abuse and crucifixion of Jesus by chief priests and Gentile alike. The teaching immediately following is the ambition of James and John. Jesus notes that ambition on the episcopate is to be avoided and the priestly functions should be closely held to. The authentic ministerial follower of Christ is first a good priest becoming even yourself a ransom for many.

The ruling authenticity of the Christian faith is centered in the inclusiveness (ransom for all) and apostolicity (those who have been prepared).

Prayers

Let us continue to pray for decisive action by the episcopate to right this wrong. It has been from the beginning the harshest pain of the Lord the three Passion Predictions so closely illustrated by the Church itself.

Peace be with you.

Deacon Gerry

Sweet Little Lies

Sweet Little Lies

Tell me lies. Tell me sweet little lies. (Tell me lies, tell me, tell me lies).

Oh, no, no you can’t disguise. (You can’t disguise, no you can’t disguise). Tell me lies. Tell me sweet little lies.

Little Lies, Fleetwood Mac, 1987

The political romance with Donald Trump continues. Turn the volume up she sings so nice. Turn it up and let us drown out the crowd.

The constitution and the institutions of the government of the United States strain to contain and bring justice. Donald will stop at nothing to save himself and would destroy the country if necessary. The question should be put to the leadership of the House and Senate. If evidence of malfeasance by the President and his agents is produced for high crime and misdemeanors will you impeach? Tell us before we vote in November. Fleetwood Mac tells me the Donald Trump and Duncan Hunter self-rationalization claims are the new standard for justice.

The courage of the leadership is missing. Replace them.

These sweet lies you hear to comfort your sullied conscious only serve to further deaden your senses and mute your moral voice. Your very salvation is at risk for these sweet lies 2 Corr 3:14 “their thoughts were rendered dull”.

“Every country has the government it deserves” and “In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve” – Joseph de Maistre, 1811 (Catholic)

Cold as Ice

You’re as cold as ice. You’re willing to sacrifice our love. You never take advice. Someday you’ll pay the price, I know. I’ve seen it before. It happens all the time. Closing the door. You leave the world behind You’re digging for gold. Yet throwing away. A fortune in feelings. But someday you’ll pay.

  • Foreigner, 1977

It is odd timing and sad truth the abuse scandal of the Catholic Church rages at the same time. In this case the governance is too weak. Bishops work mostly as collaborator as largely independent authorities. When an interloper bishop is ordained there is little to stop him from evil and the projection of self interest.

The governance of the Catholic Church is broken. Fix it.

My beloved Pope Francis, if you’ve not the stomach to institute effective governance, step down and make room for a reformer Pope. Yes, fasting and prayers and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is needed. Yes, indeed. Yet already it is so, the skill and knowledge has already been given. This problem is an ancient problem. Heck, Pope Gregory VIII went to Lucca to have the remains of Antipope Victor IV dug up and thrown out of the church. We can be a little firmer in our responses to these interlopers.

Besides what are you worried about? The next holy bishop is suppressed by a dull majority? So what! Even martyrdom brings forth the fruits of the Spirit.

Remember this:

  • A martyred holy bishop saves millions.
  • An interloper bishop harms millions.

There is no room for temerity here.

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror. He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like. But the one who peers into the perfect law *of freedom and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, such a one shall be blessed in what he does.  James 1: 23-25

Decision Time

As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15b.

Make your choice.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry