FAITH & WORKS

WORDS VERSE ACTIONS

TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – WK IV

CANTICLE OF MARY – Antiphon “I say to you: there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.”

14-17 “Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?” ~ James 2:14-18 Message Bible (MSG)

Reflection Question:

“Have you ever confessed how much of a Christian you are and how much you love God but then treat someone close to you badly, ignoring their real needs because someone else told you to do so? Better yet… have you ever confessed your love and friendship for someone close to you but never truly defend them with both words and actions as Christ has done for you?” [Hint: God gave us all free will for a reason.]

Dear brothers and sisters, I say to you that God sees everything you do and hears everything you say. There are plenty of people in this world that have the gift of the tongue – they sound really really convincing and say all the right things when it counts, but their actions do not match their words. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who sorta sound OK but their actions are a great inspiration as they make sure they are in all the right places being seen by all the influential people but build detractors because of the harsh criticisms they say in private. Another example is those fake friends and lovers who will say they love you but are never around when times get tough. To all these sorts of people I ask, “What good is there in that?” “How are words without actions working for you?” “How are actions with harsh criticisms making a real difference?” To those fake friends – “How is being around only in the times of plenty emulating Christ?” 

Last week was centered on these words put into action, “Peace I leave with you…and “The Spirit of fear, God, therefore, did not give to humanity”. In that post, we discover how mankind is the catalyst for sewing the seeds of fear into each other for the purpose of convincing or controlling the situation or circumstances which arise from those actions and how God plays no part in the spreading of fear but yet is the light of peace in the world. The same applies here in this post… If our spirit is true and pure the words which come forth from our mouths will be from God as well as our actions emulate God. Words and actions together that glorify God and which overcomes this world of sinners is our mission plane and simple. So, I say to you my brothers and sisters, make sure every word you say is pure and filled with compassion and love. Likewise, make sure every action is in-line with God and His will, guiding your actions and emulating the love and peace which only comes from God above.

God-Talk with God-Actions Reflection

“Therefore I exhort first of all that you make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for everyone, for kings and for all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty, for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” ~ 1 Timothy 2:1-4 Modern Egnlish Version (MEV).

So… where did Paul choose to start with Timothy? In truth, I really like this epistle because it highlights so much of what every person is called to do not just Ministers and Priests, but also the laity – that being you and me. There is so much wisdom in Paul’s words, so much love in how he approaches the many duties of discipleship, and truly you can see the father/son relationship they shared. Beyond the greeting – “To Timothy, my true son in the faith…” (1 Timothy 1:2) to the warnings of false doctrine… (1 Timothy 1:3-20) Paul starts his instruction with the very topic Jesus had started with His very own disciples… that of  Prayer. That is the main reason I decided in my own life to begin a ritual of prayer using the Christian Prayer: The Liturgy of the Hours.  It was Paul’s deep desire that all people pray everywhere, clearing our minds of our earthly troubles and to open our hearts without contentiousness. (1 Timothy 2:8). The other thing which Paul does here is expresses Jesus’s deepest desires; being that all people be saved and come to the wisdom and knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4). Therefore, sounding good, talking the talk, and or showing up with a deep self-serving motive does you and those who follow no good because an act disguised as faith is no faith at all and therefore dead in the eyes of God. (1 Timothy 1:5-7) For true teachers are most concerned with devoting their entire life to the truth, wisdom, and shares their faith with both God-talk and God-actions with fidelity. This is a lifelong pursuit as God allows diversity to teach and mold you into the most perfect version of yourself possible. But this can not happen without any effort or thought to one’s own sins and the most heartfelt supplications lifted up with sincerity confessing to yourself and to God as Paul did in writing to Timothy that; “I accept that Christ Jesus came to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15)  So my brothers and sisters, the power God gave us, (2 Timothy 1:7), is rooted in the knowledge of what Christ has done for us and because of His sacrifice we love Him;  1 ” I love the Lord, who listened to my voice in supplication, Who turned an ear to me on the day I called.”(Psalm 116:1-2). Paul expresses that through his supplications of being a sinner Jesus gave him mercy. (1 Timothy 1:15) Again, my brothers and sisters just as lip service doesn’t work with us humans it doesn’t work with God either. Thus, prayer with sincerity is what cleanses the soul and makes ready for those God-Actions. The fulfillment of being in harmony with God allows the obedient heart to show all patience, love, and mercy with each other which are some of the most wonderful fruits of the Holy Spirit. Beyond this pray earnestly for one another; even those people whom you do not like. For if you do not what good is there in that? Again, I say to you my brothers and sisters do not be as those who have plenty and are lost and thus act and sound pious. Rather lack nothing in your hearts… pick up your cross and follow Jesus exhibiting your faith with both your words and actions! (Mark 9:22).

Reflection Question: “Do you think that you will be strong enough to answer Jesus when He comes to you and asks, ‘Who do you say that I am?'”

LET US PRAY!

Thanksgiving to God Who Saves from Death

Psalm 116

Beseech the Lord


1  I love the Lord, who listened to my voice in supplication,

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

2 Who turned an ear to me on the day I called.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

3 I was caught by the cords of death; the snares of Sheol had seized me; I felt agony and dread.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

4 Then I called on the name of the Lord, “O Lord, save my life!”

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

5 Gracious is the Lord and righteous; yes, our God is merciful.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

6 The Lord protects the simple; I was helpless, but he saved me.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

7 Return, my soul, to your rest; the Lord has been very good to you.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

8 For my soul has been freed from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

9 I shall walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

10 kept faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted!”

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

11 I said in my alarm, “All men are liars!”

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

12 How can I repay the Lord for all the great good done for me?

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

13 I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

14 will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

15 Dear in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his devoted.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

16 Lord, I am your servant, your servant, the child of your maidservant; you have loosed my bonds.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

17 I will offer a sacrifice of praise and call on the name of the Lord.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

18 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people,

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

19 In the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Hallelujah!

Remember to also pray for all the victims of Sexual Misconduct within the Catholic Church, we all pray: (Month of September 2018) The Prays of Contrition & Reconciliation.

Special Prayer for Fr. Mike 
December 7, 1946 – September 9, 2018

The Ascension community thanks God for the time that Father Michael J. Mandala S.J gave as a beloved guest minister at Ascension Catholic Church… he will be sorely missed. We Celebrate his life of service to Our Lord and his ministry of giving on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at 10 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church 6657 Sunset Blvd. Hollywood CA 90028.

Ant. I became all things to all men, that all might find salvation. Common of Pastors – Canticle of Mary – For a Priest.

5 “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. ~ 1 Peter 5:1-4 (NIV)

REST IN PEACE AND LOVE – FR. MIKE

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember you’re never alone.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

NOW GO SPREAD THE WORD!!

FRIENDS WHO LIKE LISTENING FAITHFULLY COMMUNITY

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LISTENING FAITHFULLY PODCAST W/BROTHER BRIAN

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Each podcast is focused on a specific reading based upon the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth (3rd Edition) by Saint Mary’s Press. Listen, Learn, Share!

REAFFIRMING OUR MISSION

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

Help Support A Family In Need

Donate

LIVE STREAM

Saint Louis De Montford Catholic Church

7:30am – Mass
9:30am – Mass
11:30am – Mass
3pm – Mass (Spanish)
6pm – Mass

Special events outside the above schedule will also be streamed.

Be a part of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today. 

“Let’s grow together as children of God”

Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

Peace I Leave With You…

The Spirit of Fear, God, therefore, did not give to humanity.

TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – WK II

CANTICLE OF MARY – Antiphon “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them, says the Lord.”

7 “God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid. He gave us a spirit of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 International Children’s Bible (ICB)

Dear brothers and sisters, listen for the truth in these trying times of which we live is under attack at every turn! You only have to watch the nightly news channels, the doom, and gloom reporting about the lies and misconduct of those in power, people who have decided to take it upon themselves to commit horrible crimes leaving in their wake pain and heartbreak. But, I would like to reassure you that there is still a lot of good news to be had in all of this daily chaos. Simply put God did not put into our hearts the spirit of fear, no… flawed people do that. They do it in their words laced with the selfish intent of maintaining control over those around them. They do it in their selfish actions and unreasonable deep-seated misguided beliefs that are transferred from one to another like a plague. I have known people who have prided themselves on the fact that they were hard to get along with; I used my nice voice on that comment. Moreover, I have known people that have boasted… yes you heard me… boasted that they can be argumentative, pushy, rude, and admit they have a bad attitude and that they don’t care who they hurt. They wear these bad attitudes like a badge – a badge of honor! Remember my brothers and sisters, “God gave us a spirit of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)  

Practical Application

In reflection, I think we all need to get back to the basics by looking at some examples that inhabit our sinful world for the purpose of striking fear into our hearts! From there I promise to serve as a guide in looking at ways we can overcome our individual personal fears which plague us daily; finding the right source –  knowing where to turn for relief and rejuvenation.

World-Wide Societal Examples of Fear Driven Agendas

Slavery of all kinds around the world, racism, sexism, as well as economic, religious, and cultural oppression. The idea that human beings allow the spread of lies, resentments, crushed and fearful hearts, as well as the condoning of acts of social deviance, in all do not come from God, but rather the human race.

Reflection Question:

“Have you ever been put into a situation that put real debilitating fear into your heart? Was that situation manifested by a flawed human being or by our loving, forgiving, perfect God?”

Think about this for a moment before answering. Take time to examine it fully. I would wager that 100% of the time it was a man-made dangerous and careless action that snowballed out of control. Perhaps it was an accident or maybe due to unforeseen events. Then look around you in your town, city, neighborhood, and state and if you look deep enough for every so-called innocent accident created by man there are at least a hundred events that affect your life which had been planned and executed diligently and deliberately with fidelity over a long period of time that does real evil in our world. Crimes which tear families apart, suppress fathers rights, discriminate against the weakest and most vulnerable of us, that being our children. Actions by people in power at all levels and even by individuals who seek to maintain control over their children and make a convincing argument which leads to alienation of the child’s biological father or mother. I am talking about things in this world so evil that it causes permanent damage to our hearts, minds, and souls. All of which was not condoned or given to us by God, but perpetrated unto us by members of our own human race! From start to finish evil allowed to live in our world by the heinous actions of yes… our own brothers and sisters! Done with malice and purpose to drive fear into those who only see the effects and are innocent of the long-range plan. But take heart my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, for it is this fear mongering which kicks up the fears from within, stirs the insecurities passed down by family members, or maybe close friends, certainly the nightly news can wear thin on our sensibilities. Ignoring them, using sarcasm, comedy,  or worse in the attempts of shutting them out only puts a band-aid on your problems at that singular moment. These fears are real and valid and stock us during the day and at night when we are awake and in our dreams.  Know that the fears of our world if allowed into our hearts take hold and grow becoming your new unwanted reality and begin to shape your life in ways you could have never possibly imagined. It is these fears which hold you back and until you find a way to free yourself from those fears will then and only then your eyes be truly opened. (John 8:32)   Now, think about your life and ask yourself were did these fears come from then when you arrive at the true answer do not sit back and do nothing, but rather give them all to God. For I tell you from experience that God gave us power and love and self-control. The power to stand up and let our true feelings be heard loud and clear. God gave us love so that the message we preach is given with sincerity and kindness which allows for forgiveness and reconciliation.  Self-control to know when to talk and when to be quiet, when to help and when to be still.

Turn To God!

4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” ~ Psalm 23:4 Modern English Version (MEV)

In the depths of your fear know that God protects you, God comforts you, and God walks by your side. In that what reason is there to fear? When you think your parents, brothers or sisters, husband or wife or a friend may not support you, or when you think you will be deserted know that God is with you and in that knowledge you are never deserted, left alone, unprotected, and when a person slams a door closed in your face God is there ready to open a new and better door! What is there to fear in the face of such unjudging love? I can’t tell you how many times in my life people have closed the door in my face without rim or reason. I can’t begin to express the uncertainty of not having any income, or even worse yet to have money taken from my bank account because falsehoods had been propagated against me which left me almost without a home, car or food and without any recourse to spend precious time with my only child. Imagine the evil it takes to tell a parent they can never see their only child at no fault to that parent! What gets me is the unfairness of it all!  On the other hand, God never left me and put good people in my life which took wonderful care of me. That my brothers and sisters is the very nature of our God, always walking by our side bringing us to glorious victory! Jesus says we must have confidence in our faith, and God has given us many perfect examples that are powerful and tangible so that we might have that confidence in Him. (Mark 5:36)   When life gets you down don’t allow pity to fill your heart rather say this instead; 13 “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’” (Isaiah 41:13)   Say it with confidence, my brothers and sisters, because I testify before you that it is true, God does indeed hold your hand and walks with you through all kinds of mayhem, hoopla, and chaos! Finding comfort in the Lord is the starting point for reclaiming the real you, the one He is molding into a more perfect version! (Jeremiah 29:11)

LET US PRAY!

MY HEART SHALL NOT FEAR – Psalm 27

Psalm of David

27 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

Remember to also pray for all the victims of Sexual Misconduct within the Catholic Church, we all pray: (Month of September 2018) The Prays of Contrition & Reconciliation.

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember you’re never alone.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

NOW GO SPREAD THE WORD!!

FRIENDS WHO LIKE LISTENING FAITHFULLY COMMUNITY

A Facebook Group. Everyone is welcome! Come and be part a of the discussion!

LISTENING FAITHFULLY PODCAST W/BROTHER BRIAN

Powered by Podbean

Each podcast is focused on a specific reading based upon the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth (3rd Edition) by Saint Mary’s Press. Listen, Learn, Share!

REAFFIRMING OUR MISSION

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

Help Support A Family In Need

Donate

LIVE STREAM

Saint Louis De Montford Catholic Church

7:30am – Mass
9:30am – Mass
11:30am – Mass
3pm – Mass (Spanish)
6pm – Mass

Special events outside the above schedule will also be streamed.

Be a part of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today. 

“Let’s grow together as children of God”

Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

Disregarding The Bread of Life – Secular Humanism Series

The Dangers of Nonbelief!

Twenty-First Week of Ordinary Time

48-51 “I am the Bread—living Bread!—who came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this Bread will live—and forever! The Bread that I present to the world so that it can eat and live is myself, this flesh-and-blood self.” ~ John 6:48-51  The Message (MSG)

Convenient Absentmindedness pt. 2

Last week I wrote, “We have become unmindful of the one who bore us, the one who gave us life, and forgot where we have come from.” (Brother Brian Disregarding God, August 21, 2018) I took aim at what I feel is a great and terrible evil we are fighting in our everyday lives. I gave examples of how humanity is guilty of being collectively unmindful. I asked, “Is anyone listening?” This week I give more examples of how Secular Humanism pulls us away from God and makes us blind to God’s offer of everlasting life and instead living your life on a ledge of disaster!

Secular Humanism says, “How can this man serve up his flesh for a meal?”, just as the Jews had begun asking in, (John 6:52 MSG). This rhetoric sowed disbelief because man inherently fears what he does not understand but that is only a small part of what drove the mass disbelief. Even the disciples had a hard time with this one, proclaiming, 60 ” this teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” (John 6:60 NRSVACE).

Thinking Deeper: “Why is it that this specific teaching sowed so much disbelief?”

Perhaps, my brothers and sisters, we like children take things too literally! Maybe, we think so basically as to misunderstand what Jesus said? Surely it is easy to hear one thing and interpret it in a completely different way than what it was meant to mean. On this point how many times have you intently listened to the rhetoric other people say? How many times do you take them at face value or doze off not really hearing their overall message?  Worse yet picking and choosing the parts you like and discarding the rest? (We will circle back around for more on this point.) Notice that those who left John calls them disciples indicating that they all had once believed and followed but had lost their way or maybe simply had grown tired and so they simply wandered off to take up their old lives. Maybe, the idea of being the bread of life; the most staple food source at that time period referencing the bread (manna) that fell from heaven when the Jews were escaping Egypt was simply too much for those one-time disciples of Jesus to bear? Whatever the reason, modern secular humanism supports the falling away from Christ, enforces the disbelief in God, blurs our vision so much so we do not know where then to look for salvation. Jesus made many hard to understand and follow statements but in each one of them at the root, He was calling us to Himself so that we would have the hope of everlasting life. Secular Humanism, however empowering will not and can not save your immortal soul because man cannot save himself apart from God.

On the other hand, maybe those lost disciples did indeed get Jesus’s “I AM” proclamation of everlasting life! Maybe they had also heard Jesus’s teaching on marriage, his view of both husband and wife needing to be equal partners; which flies in the face of both Mid-Eastern culture and practices going back thousands of years. I have to admit this scripture found in (Ephesians 5:21-32), is a blow to the male ego in almost every culture around the world. But simply put that is our Lord and Savoir, He was not afraid to say it as it was or needed to be. Maybe His message was too harsh for some, but whoever said everlasting life was going to be easy to attain?

Thinking Deeper: “How does being subordinate to another person in marriage mix with the message of disregarding the bread of life?”

21 “Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.” Ephesians 5:21 The Message (MSG)

Many of Jesus’s “I AM” proclamations were intended to shock, to stir up, to challenge the way we see this secular world. But mainly to wake us up to what is coming upon His return. But more to the point we will not be awake if we as a human race do not first get with the program of submission and being subordinate to each other first. Oh yes… I said the words that our own egos can’t stand to hear or even confront, (submission and subordinate), without saying the word love. Truth be told many people in their marriages treat their spouses horribly and try to assume the role of the boss in the relationship! After all our secular world is all about the wants of the individual right? How then can you possibly be submissive to your spouse if your mentality is all about the preservation of ‘SELF’ wants? In this listening and communicating becomes the last priority then lies and deceit creeps in to fill the gap of being submissive and subordinate i.e. loyal to your spouse! If then love is not associated to any of this then marriage is not rewarding and thus tiresome and labor intensive. You will my brothers and sisters lose the love you so crave from the world, blinded so severely that you do not know where to look for salvation! Therefore, to love and honor your spouse and children is both the greatest gift and redeeming qualities that emulate God! Think of it this way, submissive love is being God-like! So Yes… “He who loves his wife loves himself.” (Ephesians 5:28 NABRE) For Jesus so loved the Church and sacrificed Himself for her – (the collective of mankind as His Holy Church!) 

Putting It All Together: In short my brothers and sisters, to be loyal, faithful, living your life honoring your relationships with fidelity and love is one of the best ways any human-being has available to honor and emulate God.  To live for your own selfish means then is the same as being that group of disciples who got bored and wandered off and consciously or unconsciously ended up emulating secular humanist. When we fall into this secular mold we become lost and blind not knowing or seeing where to turn for salvation and/ or redemption. Sadly in that state, we become the property of Satan and headed for damnation. But when we honor our relationships we emulate the Christian Family Jesus had wanted us to live. We, in turn, serve God and are headed for His everlasting grace and mercy. Believing in Jesus, honoring your personal relationship with Him is, in turn, mastering the concept of eating and drinking his body and blood which is traditionally in the Church known as the Eucharist. For spiritually Jesus lives within each one of us and loves all of the human race. He is always calling to us to be that better person, He is always reaching out to intervene and protect us which is something this secular world cannot do. In the end my brothers and sisters, the choice is yours to make. Which interpretation of living in this secular world will you choose? Who do you want to emulate?

LET US PRAY

PRAYER FOR LOVING OTHERS

From: Catholic Doors.com

Lord, Make me an instrument of your love. 
May I see each circumstance in my life 
as an opportunity to grow in your love.
May I see my environment 
as a place to grow in your love.

May I then take this love to other people…

When I am tempted to become impatient, 
help me to be patient. 

When I am tempted to become unkind, 
help me to be kind. 

When I am tempted to become jealous, 
help me to be tolerant. 

When I am tempted to become boastful or proud, 
help me to give you the glory. 

When I am tempted to be rude or selfish, 
give me the gift of gentleness. 

When I am tempted to take offense, 
help me to let go. 

When I am tempted to become angry with someone, 
give me the gift of forgiveness. 

When I am tempted to become resentful, 
give me your power to love. 

Lord, grant that I may take no pleasure in criticizing others, 
but that I may see good in them, as you do.

When I begin to concentrate on the faults and failures of others, 
give me the courage to praise their accomplishments. 

Help me be loyal to those you give me to love. 

Help me to believe in them, 
even when they do not believe in themselves. 
To expect the best from them, 
but accept the best they can give. 
May I always defend them, 
as you always defend me. 

All gifts and powers come from you. 
All will come to an end. 
With one important exception, the gift of love!!! 
Lord, when I was a child, 
I thought like a child, 
I acted like a child, 
and I reasoned like a child. 
Now that I have become an adult,
I release my childish ways.

In Jesus’ Name and with the help of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember you’re never alone.

Amen, Alleluia!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

NOW GO SPREAD THE WORD!!

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Disregarding God – Secular Humanism Series

The Consequences of Conscious Decision

Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time

18 “You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you; you forgot the God who gave you birth.” ~ Deuteronomy 32:18 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE) 

Convenient Absentmindedness

We have become unmindful of the one who bore us, the one who gave us life, and forgot where we have come from. A strong statement right? But is anyone in this secular world hearing this message? This question I think is a deeper question which is even more impactful. Free will, my brothers, and sisters is a two-edged sword that leads to two completely different versions of humanity.  On one hand, we could be in compliance with God at every turn, worship Him and praise Him every day of our lives and be given everlasting life for doing so. Practicing our faith in Him with fidelity and joyful obedience! But that world of worship is not what we are living today. Instead, we are living in a secular world filled with sin at every turn, where we are tempted by Satan within every thought we think, and our hearts have been soiled because of our own corrupt decisions and absolute compliance to sin itself. So I ask again, is anyone listening?

On a global scale, we see the needless deaths of children in the United States, according to a January 2018 Health Affairs report, “The United States has the worst child mortality rate among a group of 20 wealthy democracies…” Furthermore, the report states, “And despite an overall improvement in the child mortality rate in the U.S. and those 19 other countries, the U.S. has persistently outpaced those nations in that grim metric for decades.” Reported by Dan Mangan – CNBC Health and Science.

Reported by BBC on August 13, 2018, in Yemen, “Local authorities say, 51 people including 40 children were killed in the air strike on a bus traveling in Dahyan, in Saada province, last Thursday. Most of the children were aged between 10 and 13.” This airstrike came from the Saudi-led Coalition rebel-held north. There are pictures online where the friends of these victims literally are digging the physical graves for those who had died.

Also reported by BBC this past April 2018, “At least 70 people have died in a suspected chemical attack in Douma, the last rebel-held town in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, rescuers and medics say. Volunteer rescue force the White Helmets tweeted graphic images showing several bodies in basements. It said the deaths were likely to rise.”

More Than 300 ‘Predator Priests’ In Pennsylvania Accused Of Abuse | Video Link – NBC Nightly News

Once again in the United States, a probe led by Attorney General Josh Shapiro in Pennsylvania found, “There were hundreds of “predator priests” sexually abusing more than 1,000 children in Pennsylvania for decades — all while being shielded by Roman Catholic Church leaders, according to a scathing grand jury report released Tuesday. The main thing was not to help children, but to avoid scandal,” the report states, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing: They hid it all.”  Reported by Tamar Lapin of the New York Post, (August 14, 2018)

Effects of Secular Humanism

21 “They made me jealous with what is no god, provoked me with their idols. So I will make them jealous with what is no people, provoke them with a foolish nation.” ~ Deuteronomy 32:21 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE) 

It would be easy to say that the devil made this all happen, but the truth of it is what is reported on the nightly news is more damning and more human. In a secular age, God is replaced by our own desires, humanity is guilty of making a morally horrifying collective conscious decision to replace God with the ego-driven “Self”! Driven by the need to function as an individual satisfying our own “Self-interest”. The definition of secular humanism plan and simple, “Secular Humanism is an attempt to function as a civilized society with the exclusion of God and His moral principles.” found online at AllAboutPhilosophy.org

Again, it would be to easy to blame the founders of the Secular Movement because each person has free will, the ability to make up one’s own mind and beliefs and thus to face one’s own consequences for those actions. With that said, to abandon God is a “Self – damning” conscious decision. In that sense when we hear the snake oil salesman say, “What if I told you that you could be completely in control of your own life without being shackled by any religion, law, realm or beings imagined to transcend ordinary experience?” I ask you my brothers, and sisters, doesn’t that sound like a modern version of what Lucifer said to Eve in the garden of Eden?1′Did God say, “You shall not eat from any tree in the garden”?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.”’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ ~ Genesis 3:1-5 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

Is anyone listening, seeing, hearing, or feeling the world is not right? I presume this was much like how the world was during Noah’s age before the flood! In both instances, God punished mankind for lapsing into ungodliness. In each case in history where a group of people has forgotten God things don’t pan out well for those humans! Remember this if nothing else – we are all guilty of forgetting God and yet God has never forgotten about us! Jesus from day one has been calling out to each one of us saying, “Come and follow me.” The real question is… will you?

Let Us Pray

Prayer by: Kimberly J. Edwards – Catholic Online

May I Remember

God,
I find myself heartbroken by
the hatred I see all around me. 
So I ask that I may never forget :

That behind every brown, yellow, red, black or white face, there is a family like mine, and souls trying to live in a world that often tells them they are less than or unworthy, aliens that are not wanted. May I never lose sight of the soul behind each face, the souls of Your children.

That behind every homeless person there is a story that may be so familiar to me as to be uncomfortable. May I never be comfortable until there are no more homeless faces seeking a kind word, or an opportunity, or just a smile and a little love.

That I never forget the truth of Your gospel, that storing up riches here, withholding from others out of some misguided sense of superiority or right to judge, that treating any one of Your children as unworthy to come to Your table is not the Christian love You came to teach us.

That I count as treasures the friends who stand beside me, encouraging, loving, supporting and accepting me, through word and deed. Sometimes just being available, sometimes through prayer, sometimes through the sacrifice of their own. Let me never take them for granted, and always see them as the blessing You meant them to be, and do my very best to love them as well as they have loved me.

That when I see actions or hear words that mean harm to the ‘other’, to never stand still or be quiet in the face of injustice, cruelty, racism, to call out behavior that seeks to harm my neighbor. To always see in each face the potential of a child of God no matter how I might disagree with their manner or actions. To protect those who are being shunned, criticized, or even threatened because they are considered different.

That I appreciate the love and devotion shown to me by my pets. The unconditional adoration that radiates from the soul of our animal friends is surely sent from heaven, through souls that speak a different language, one of complete acceptance. It is no small thing for an animal to love a person. May I always remember those gone on to You to await our reunion.

That I see and cherish each small blessing, from a spontaneous hug given by a grandchild, to a moment of clarity when I realize that my grown children love and understand me despite my obvious imperfections, a gesture or look from a husband who shows devotion and commitment each day, an unexpected phone call or card from someone reminding me that I matter, to the sunset, birdsong, moonlight, joyous bark or laugh that sweeten my life.

That I never find myself so blinded by my illness or difficulties that I forget those around me, and around the world, who hurt, hunger, shiver, grieve and strive for rights denied them by oppression and greed.

That I take every opportunity to let the wonders of Your creation heal and uplift me. Knowing that something as simple as sunshine on my face, sand, and waves under my feet, regal treetop canopies, a bird in flight or the beauty of horses galloping across a field can be proof of Your love for Your world.

That I always, always remember that color, creed, faith or none, accent, sex, age, language, dress, orientation, hairstyle, home, or financial status has not one thing to do with the worth of anyone to You and to follow your example.

That above all the chaos and upset in this world, You gave us the greatest Gift the world has ever known. You loved us then, and love us now, that much. May we all continue to grow and journey toward the greatest we can be for You, and because of You.

That I do all I can to give my children an grandchildren an example of the power and light of Your love in my life. That I always do my very best to be a light for Your world, to honor and respect each individual I meet, no matter our differences. That I grow into the person You wish me to be. 

Amen.

In Jesus’ Name and with the help of the Holy Spirit, Amen. 

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember you’re never alone.

Amen, Alleluia!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

FRIENDS WHO LIKE LISTENING FAITHFULLY COMMUNITY

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Each podcast is focused on a specific reading based upon the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth (3rd Edition) by Saint Mary’s Press. Listen, Learn, Share!

Reaffirming Our Mission

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Nothing Is As It Seems!

The Trap of Human Perception

22 When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts?” ~ Luke 5:22 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

Insight on Perception: Know that the Lord Our God is perfect in His understanding of every person who has ever lived on this earth, every thought that we have ever entertained and those which we have dismissed, every reason behind every decision whether justified or not, and every impulse that leads to each action or none action we take or do not take. In this God is the only true judge of our actions. Hence Jesus warns against judging others; (Luke 6:37 & Matthew 7:1). Our perceptions are not like Gods, and therefore inherently flawed which leads us into making some of the greatest mistakes, misjudgments, and emotional betrayals.

Guiding Questions: How many times have you or your actions not been fully understood by friends or family? How many times have you misjudged someone you care about and accused them of something which later is proven false?

Our Perceptions Do Not Always Lead Us to Truth!

Dear Brothers and Sisters, I truly say unto you do not pretend to know what your brother or sister is thinking and do not fool yourselves into the assumption that you know what is in another person’s heart! Actions they have taken only speak of a specific set of circumstances which are between God and that person (Job 19:4-5). As Christians, we can only do our best to be a support and serve as a reminder of God’s perfect love without judgment or condemnation.  When we allow ourselves to perceive the reason why a friend or family member has done something, we fall to speculation that allows in the seed of distrust and sews deep into our hearts contempt for that individual. I know all to well the guessing game which ensues, the acceptance of falsehoods because they seemingly fit into the puzzle whether they truly do or not, and the outright rejection of any explanation that is offered especially if in our own mind it does not match what we have judged to be the truth do-to personal biases. I say unto you, my brothers and sisters, only God knows what is in our hearts, minds, and soul, and in this truth, judgment is His alone! Therefore, when you are tempted to accuse, remember that this is not from God and is not in our jurisdiction rather remember that it is the game of Satan to trick you into the mindset of division for the sole purpose of sowing discord. Resist from telling your brother or sister in Christ that he/she is not a true Christian, again this is a judgment and God will judge you as you have judged them with the same measuring stick of intolerance and prejudice (James 4:12). Do not be that scribe or that Pharisee who through falsehoods allows doubt into your heart rather trust in the Lord that all things are in his purview and be like the Saints who reach out anyway, loves anyway, believes with an open heart trusting in friendship, and practicing the wisdom of nonjudgment and compassion.

Let Us Pray

Posted by: Mark and Jill Herringshaw – Pray Plain and Simple

Father,

I lay down my self-imposed responsibility of judging the heart, motives, intentions, and actions of the people in my life. You have instructed me in this, and I will obey you. I remove the back-breaking burden of being the judge, and I repent of the pride in my life that is evident every time I have a critical, judgemental thought. You have commanded me to walk in forgiveness and love, to rise above offenses, and to walk humbly with you. I choose that road today. I submit my thoughts to you – each and every one – for approval, choosing loving thoughts and not condemning thoughts, compassionate thoughts not critical thoughts. And kindly remove the log in my eye. Thank you.

In Jesus’ Name and with the help of the Holy Spirit, Amen. 

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember your never alone.

Amen, Alleluia!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

FRIENDS WHO LIKE LISTENING FAITHFULLY COMMUNITY

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Each podcast is focused on a specific reading based upon the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth (3rd Edition) by Saint Mary’s Press. Listen, Learn, Share!

Reaffirming Our Mission

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

Help Support A Family In Need

Donate

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Be a part of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today. 

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What Truth Sounds Like!

Human Life Is Scared

10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10 New International Version (NIV)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I can no longer stay silent on this week’s events of the Trump Administration who simply cannot stop telling lies from one top official to another.  These lies are not just lies which simply have no effect rather they have a catastrophic effect upon hundreds of families and thousands of children who are seeking a better life in America as many hundreds of thousands of immigrants who have fled their native lands for hundreds of years have done to find a better life here in America. Life is sacred! Respect for life is one of the cornerstones of Christianity and has been from the very start! Christians show this respect for life in many different ways from standing up to stopping capital punishment, War, abortion, euthanasia, suicide, and defending the Fifth Commandment, “You Shall Not Kill”, all wrapped in the deep concern for the respect of human health.

“We are wonderfully made-body, mind, and soul. When any aspect of our being is hurting, we cannot be whole, the way God made us. As individuals we must respect our own health, avoiding all kinds of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.” ~ The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth 3rd Edition, (2013) Chapter 28: Respecting Life.

In this, we see that God is all about human health; mind, body, and soul. So the children who are in distress this week, these many past months since Trumps, ‘ZERO TOLERANCE’ policy at the border has been in effect has once again gone against our nations deepest core moral boundaries, the respect for health, respect for life, and the greatest of commandments; to love our God and our neighbor as we love ourselves.

ASYLUM SEEKERS

Is it possible to be strong on immigration? Yes! Can we as a nation show compassion at the same time? Absolutely! But what I find most offensive is that this policy now made worse this past Wednesday with Trump’s Unlawful Executive Order, that has been at its core meant to detour people from coming here by separating them from their children! This has been their design from the start! My question to Trump and his family and to the top officials who can’t stop lying is; “Have you ever been unjustly separated from your child by the state?” I have had that happen to me personally through lies told in Family Court. I know what people go through when one biological parent alienates the other then gets the child to believe the lies. More on Parental Alienation – Click Here.

But what makes this policy of Trumps so horrific is the mental health of those children who have been taken from their parents, moved to various places across our nation. Many of which will never see their biological parents again! How can these families ever be whole? I am especially appalled at Malonia Trumps Thursday visit to one of the places children are kept. The jacket she wore said it all! “I really don’t care. Do u?”  This is our answer to the question – “Does anyone in the Trump family really care about those children taken from their families at the border?” This my friends is what truth looks like and the answer to the above question, “NO!” Our President, the First Family, and many of the Trump Administration simply do not care despite what they may say about it in public! What we are seeing in our top leadership is an abomination and a mortal sin against God! Though in my research I did find the following scripture which did bring a sense of peace to my otherwise furious heart;

19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment. ~ Proverbs 12:19 English Standard Version (ESV)

MCALLEN, TX – JUNE 12, 2018

Let Us Pray that these barbaric acts last but a moment in our history and are washed clean with new and more faithful leadership in the coming Mid-Term Elections where we hold those accountable for their inaction to account. In the mean-time take action by donating to the fundraiser created by Charlotte Willner and Dave Willner: Reunite an immigrant parent with their child facebook campaign. Click Here

LET US PRAY

ACT OF HOPE

(Say as often as you can throughout the day)

O my God, trusting in your infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of your grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord, and redeemer. Amen.

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember your never alone.

Amen, Alleluia!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

FRIENDS WHO LIKE LISTENING FAITHFULLY COMMUNITY

A Facebook Group. Everyone is welcome! Come and be part a of the discussion!

Listening Faithfully Podcast w/Brother Brian

powered by Podbean

Each podcast is focused on a specific reading based upon the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth (3rd Edition) by Saint Mary’s Press. Listen, Learn, Share!

Reaffirming Our Mission

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

Help Support A Family In Need

Donate

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Saint Louis De Montford Catholic Church

LIVE STREAM

7:30am – Mass
9:30am – Mass
11:30am – Mass
3pm – Mass (Spanish)
6pm – Mass

Special events outside the above schedule will also be streamed.

Be a part of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today. 

“Let’s grow together as children of God”

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Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

 

Most Holy Body – Most Holy Blood of Christ

A Story of Two Covenants

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – Corpus Christi

June 3, 2018

Passover pt. 1

Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, ‘All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.’ And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and set up twelve pillars, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel. He sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt-offerings and sacrificed oxen as offerings of well-being to the LordMoses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he dashed against the altar. Then he took the book of the covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.’ Moses took the blood and dashed it on the people, and said, ‘See the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.’ – Exodus24:3-8 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

Insight One: Being the Year of Grace – I want to point out that in the events upon Mt. Sinai we can extrapolate the overwhelming love of God shown to His people. It is not enough to set one free but rather to give freedom with responsibility which shapes character and builts a morally just person.  Thus, in this love, God is seen molding His people through Moses and giving them a first (Exodus 19-23) and even second opportunity, (Exodus 24) to get it right – so that the words spoken would have depth of purpose and a resounding historical meaning that which cements the foundational convenient, that by all accounts is God showing mankind absolute grace! As for the Israelites, they were literally, “taking on the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven” (Berachot 2, 2).

Reflection One: Moses acting as the intermediary consecrated the people, forming a covenant with God, and delivers laws to the Israelites that will set them apart from every other nation on earth. The laws Moses reads from the BOOK OF THE COVENANT , covered many topics which included;

Before we go any further let’s look at the underlying symbology which is repeated later with Jesus and the New Covenant;

‘Words of the Covenant’ – Passover Night

– Moses reaches Mt. Sinai where God delivers His divine word and promise that if the Israelites obey they will be God’s Priestly Kingdom.  (Exodus 19:1-6)

– Jesus speaks the words that outline His divinity, offering a new and everlasting covenant through His sacrifice consecrated with His body and blood. (John 13-17

‘Covenant Sacrifice Prepared’ – Passover Day

–  Moses told the people what God had said, “the next day he built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and set up twelve pillars, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel. He sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt-offerings and sacrificed oxen as offerings of well-being to the Lord.” –Exodus 24:3-8

– Jesus is brought before the Sanhedrin who find him guilty, they send Him to Pilot who has him whipped. Still not satisfied The Jews call for Jesus’s execution. Jesus then is taken and nailed upon the cross at Calvary or Golgotha where He gives His life in payment of our sins. – John 18-19

Passover pt. 2 – 1,680 Years Later

12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, ‘Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ 13 So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, 14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, “The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.’ 16 So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; they prepared the Passover meal. – Mark 14:12-16 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

Insight Two: Jesus Christ who came as the bridge linking us back to God – the olive branch that is the intermediary between man and God. Jesus is the lamb led to slaughter and it is His blood that is shed that is at the center of God’s divine plan. Again, over time we can see God’s never failing love, His unrelenting grace for the people that He loves. Think about the blood of the oxen shed during Moses’s day which served as the cleansing and purifying force which God had accepted. Now think of how much more clean and purified are we when covered with Jesus’s body and blood. No longer do we need to sacrifice animals, for the Lord is a loving and merciful God who took all this upon Himself for us. That my friends is the essence of this solemnity that we celebrate because now that yoke of our sins has now been lifted! Amen Allaluliah!

Reflection Two: God spoke – Moses took notes – man received. Now God became man walked among us, then God spoke again. How powerful is this idea? Well, it started two world religions, saved millions from sin, and gave every living person the opportunity to know God intimately. In both covenants, God was bringing His people closer to himself. In both instances, a sacrifice was required and laws had to be given for man to be molded into a better more purified version of himself. I find it ironic that Jesus during His ministry confronted the Pharisees on many different occasions and each time He showed a higher level of mastery over the first covenant laws than did they. In many ways, this goes to show the corruptness of Gods first set of laws by man given by Moses as the intermediary. So God became man to straighten the path back to Himself through the intermediary of His Son Jesus Christ – the High Preist for All Time! We give thanks because of this grace, love, and a symbol of Gods commitment that God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit has shown to us.

Through Christ All Things Are Possible!

The Institution of the Lord’s Supper

22 While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take; this is my body.’ 23 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. 24 He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.’ – Mark 14:22-26 (NRSVACE)

Reflection Two Cont: So now instead of the flesh of animals that had been sacrificed we have Jesus – the bread of life, ‘Take; this is my body.’ Instead of the blood of animals, we now have the blood of Christ,This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.’ In this Jesus concentrates his disciples as the new priesthood – spelling the fall of the Pharisees and giving rise to our modern day Papacy starting with Saint Peter. In this Jesus is the more perfect mediator, delivering a more perfect covenant. – Hebrews 8:6-8 (NRSVACE)

During the institution of the new covenant throughout His ministry, Jesus makes clear God’s new commandment, 34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.’ – John 13:34-35 (NRSVACE)

What Jesus Becomes:

Jesus gives purpose to the New Covenant

You’re the Witnesses

44 Then Jesus said, “Everything I told you while I was with you comes to this: All the things written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in the Psalms have to be fulfilled.” 45-49 He went on to open their understanding of the Word of God, showing them how to read their Bibles this way. He said, “You can see now how it is written that the Messiah suffers, rises from the dead on the third day, and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in his name to all nations—starting from here, from Jerusalem! You’re the first to hear and see it. You’re the witnesses. What comes next is very important: I am sending what my Father promised to you, so stay here in the city until he arrives, until you’re equipped with power from on high.” – Luke 24:44-49 The Message (MSG)

Final Thoughts: In the fulfillment of the scriptures Jesus hands it all over to man – like a teacher in the classroom who has given the instruction. Jesus sets the limits (The Rules), then models each concept (Guided Practice), then letting the students at it to do it themselves (The Release). This is how Jesus taught, instructing, modeling, then giving it over for man to emulate. Jesus serves ultimately as the perfect example of God’s grace and love and in that each Sunday we are given the opportunity to participate in His body and blood through the Holy Eucharist – Corpus Christi.

Amen

Let Us Pray

Young girl praying

Lauda Sion

The shorter form of the sequence

Lo! the angel’s food is given
To the pilgrim who has striven;
see the children’s bread from heaven,
which on dogs may not be spent.

Truth the ancient types fulfilling,
Isaac bound, a victim willing,
Paschal lamb, its lifeblood spilling,
manna to the fathers sent.

Very bread, good shepherd, tend us,
Jesu, of your love befriend us,
You refresh us, you defend us,
Your eternal goodness send us
In the land of life to see.

You who all things can and know,
Who on earth such food bestow,
Grant us with your saints, though lowest,
Where the heav’nly feast you show,
Fellow heirs and guests to be.

Amen. Alleluia.

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember your never alone.

Amen, Alleluia!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

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