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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Good Friday – Christ’s death at Calvary

Suffering and Triumph of the Servant of the Lord

FRIDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD

MARCH 30, 2018

13 See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised high and greatly exalted. 14 Even as many were amazed at him— so marred were his features, beyond that of mortals his appearance, beyond that of human beings 15 So shall he startle many nations, kings shall stand speechless; For those who have not been told shall see, those who have not heard shall ponder it. – Isaiah 52:13-17 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Insight 1: From Heaven to Earth was the son of man called to do the impossible, write the wrongs of the entire world of sinners, and bring the truth into the world of darkness. God gave this knowledge to Isaiah and in the wisdom of the Lord it was written and spread by mouth unto all the many nations.

Ant. It is not you who speak but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

Insight 2: God chose to forgive us just as Lucifer through pride chose to spread sin amongst us, tempting the Lord Our God to wipe man away as he had done in the flood thus forever breaking His divine promise made in the age of Noah. But God chose to forgive us, putting away His anger and wrath and in its place sent love, mercy, and grace. It would be by the promise of salvation the world would be redeemed by a God who is the father of us all. Therefore, perfect in every way God made a plan before the foundations of the world.

Ant. The eternal Word, born of the Father before time began, today emptied himself for our sake and became man.

Insight 3: For the Lord, God in Heaven did not send an angel to die for man’s sin, rather a whole army of angels could not accomplish this task. The whole of Heaven is not divine enough to wipe away the immortal sin now before God. This Lucifer knew but was unaware of the might of God’s love, unexpecting the Father’s desires to wipe away sin, unaware of the strength of His Holy Son to become man. For Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary to look like we do, feel like we do, love and hate as we do, but born without sin or blemish. Sent with a mission, a holy volunteer that would bring salvation to the world despite Lucifers plans to spread sin and to harden men’s hearts.

 Ant. In his great love for us, God sent his Son in the likeness of our sinful nature.

The Fourth Servant Oracle

Who would believe what we have heard? To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot from the parched earth; He had no majestic bearing to catch our eye, no beauty to draw us to him. He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, knowing pain, like one from whom you turn your face spurned, and we held him in no esteem. – Isaiah 53:1-3 (NABRE)

Ant. Lightly I run in the way you have shown, for you have opened my heart to receive your law.

Yet it was our pain that he bore, our sufferings he endured. We thought of him as stricken struck down by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole, by his wounds we were healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, all following our own way, But the Lord laid upon him the guilt of us all. – Isaiah 53:4-6 (NABRE)

Ant. I put all my trust in the Lord and he has not failed me.

Insight 4: How could the world believe if Satan himself could not know God to be so loving, so forgiving and merciful? How could a mortal man see the Son of Man in his true personage, know it was God made flesh, hear His voice and man’s hearts not be stirred? For some purposefully hardened their hearts, ran from the light while clinging to the Holy books of Moses refusing to believe. The true message of Christ lost among them but was not wasted on the poor in spirit. For each miracle from His birth till His death, those who did see, who’s eyes where opened, and hearts filled with grace was Jesus received.  Gladly He walked with His cross to His final suffering –  dying upon it for all mankind.

Ant. But not in hurried flight will you go out nor leave in headlong haste, For the Lord goes before you, and your rear guard is the God of Israel. – Isaiah 52:12 (NABRE)

The Crucifixion of Jesus

 

So they took Jesus, 17 and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.” 20 Now many of the Jews read this inscription because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” John 19:17-22 (NABRE)

Insight 5: Dear Brothers and Sisters, truly I say to you that in the hour of judgment be not afraid, take heart in the fidelity of Christ, to which He gave Himself for you. For as it is written Jesus Christ goes before all mankind, both men and women, He descended into Hell for you, freed many who had no hope and in that hour Christ shook the foundations of the world on your behalf! He suffered, was beaten and scourged until unrecognizable, His blood poured out so ours would not have to be shed, and in that hour of judgment carried His cross to His death.  Truly Christ goes before all mankind paving the way and God the Father truly protects from the rear as we all march to the Holy Banquette in Heaven.

The Blood and Water

31 Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, 34 but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may [come to] believe. 36 For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled:

“Not a bone of it will be broken.”

37 And again another passage says:

“They will look upon him whom they have pierced.”

John 19:31-37 (NABRE)

Insight 6: Even after death Jesus was fulfilling scripture. For Our Lord told His beloved disciples these things and they did not believe. Isaiah for told these events and yet many did not believe during his age. In truth, it was those who condemned Jesus who helped to bring about the fulfillment of scripture unwittingly. For their lust for power drove them into sin out of fear. Had the Pharisees contemplated further, consulted the scriptures more, prayed to God to help them discern the truths about Jesus perhaps our salvation would have been in parallel, i.e a paradox. But God knew no one would be able to ignore the temptation to murder Jesus, and thus fulfilling scripture and set in motion our salvation.

The Burial of Jesus

38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So he came and took his body. 39 Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds. 40 They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. 41 Now in the place where he had been crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. 42 So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by.

Insight 7: So it was when the Lord died the earth shook and the sacred place in the temple was torn. God cried for His Son, for His tears fell to the earth as rain and all who were there fleed in fear. The wind gushed up as the Romans broke the legs in haste of the two criminals who still were alive but Jesus appearing to be dead thus He received a spear to His side. After all these events it would be two Pharisees who would lay Jesus to rest, taking Him form the cross, bounding him with ritual spices and closing the tomb. If they had not believed before they did now. If their hearts had been hardened by Satan they were open and obedient to God now. Yet there was a plan to keep Jesus in the tomb as guards were placed to watch over the tomb making sure there was no one to steal Christ’s body claiming Him risen. In these things, we see the love of Jesus as man tried his best to snuff it out, to end the works of Christ. But it was written;

13 The one who forms mountains and creates winds, and declares to mortals their thoughts; Who makes dawn into darkness and strides upon the heights of the earth, the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name! – Amos 4:13 (NABRE)

Ant. All you works of the Lord, bless the Lord. Praise and glorify him forever.

For I tell you now my brothers and sisters today we witness the death of Christ Jesus and we wait for His resurrection and final return.

Let’s Us Pray

God, come to my assistance.

Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Ant. Lightly I run in the way you have shown, for you have opened my heart to receive your law. (Alleluia) 

Psalm 119:25-32

 25 My soul lies in the dust;
by your word revive me.
26 I declare my ways and you answered me:
teach me your statutes.

Ant. Lightly I run in the way you have shown, for you have opened my heart to receive your law. 

27 Make me grasp the way of your precepts
and I will muse on your wonders.
28 My soul pines away with grief;
by your word raise me up.

Ant. Lightly I run in the way you have shown, for you have opened my heart to receive your law. 

29 Keep me from the way of error
and teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of truth
with your decrees before me.

Ant. Lightly I run in the way you have shown, for you have opened my heart to receive your law.

31 I bind myself to do your will;
Lord, do not disappoint me.
32 I will run the way of your commands;
you give freedom to my heart.

Lord, we are citizens of this earth and ask to be made citizens of heaven by your free gift. Help us to run in the way of your commandments and to set our hearts on you 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!

Reaffirming Our Mission

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

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“Let’s grow together as children of God”

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