Gospel reflection: In the Old Testament, men found their spouses at wells.

 

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“Give me a drink.”

In the Old Testament, men found their spouses at wells—Moses meets Zipporah, Isaac meets Rebecca, and Jacob meets the beautiful Rachel at watering holes. And so, again at Jacob’s well, a woman comes up, alone, and Jesus is thirsty. Mother Teresa described the thirst of Jesus: “I Thirst is something much deeper than Jesus just saying ‘I love you.’ Even more—he longs for you. He misses you when you don’t come close.” The Samaritan woman approaches, and Jesus draws her close to him. How does He do it?

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Submitted by Bob Stanley

The pope cannot change fundamental Catholic Church doctrine – so why does he go out of his way to make it look and sound like he’s going to?

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St. Peter and St. John at the Beautiful Gate

by Doug Lawrence

Vatican II has already fundamentally changed Catholic Church doctrine, so those who claim the Pope cannot or will not do so are being somewhat disingenuous. Our present pope is the biggest “cheerleader” for Vatican II that the world has ever seen.

A “New Evangelization” is necessary in part, because in the wake of Vatican II, the people who ran (and still run) the Catholic Church led many of the faithful (and most of the known world) into ignorance, confusion and apostasy.

Top Church management is not much better enlightened today, so it’s necessary to question precisely what the “New Evangelizers” are asking faithful Catholics to do, that they haven’t been doing all along.

If they’re asking us to spread a “new” gospel that’s based on “freebies alone” (that’s what it sounds like) then we have a big problem, since the secular governments of the world have learned to inflate their tax rolls and and leverage their currencies in ways that allow them to finance massive wealth transfer/social programs which dwarf anything in that regard that individual Catholics (or Catholic parishes, or national bishops councils, or the Vatican) might be able to offer.

So, in a contest based solely on temporal goodies and give-aways, the New Catholic Evangelization is not only bound to fail – it will fail miserably! The sad record of The Catholic Campaign for Human Development and other high-profile Catholic Charities already provides ample evidence of this. When the Church takes government money, supposedly in order to accomplish charitable things, it invariably becomes subject to that very same secular government and the result is almost always something much less than truly charitable – and also something much, much less than authentically Catholic.

True charity, as it’s faithfully described in the authentic Gospels, is freely sharing the grace and love of God with others – not just by providing a modicum of necessary PHYSICAL GOODS – but also – and principally – making freely available those SPIRITUAL GOODS which ONLY the Catholic Church is capable of providing in UNLIMITED, SUPERNATURAL ABUNDANCE.

Now Peter and John went up into the temple at the ninth hour of prayer. And a certain man who was lame from his mother’s womb was carried: whom they laid every day at the gate of the temple, which is called Beautiful, that he might ask alms of them that went into the temple. He, when he had seen Peter and John, about to go into the temple, asked to receive an alms. But Peter with John, fastening his eyes upon him, said:

Look upon us. But he looked earnestly upon them, hoping that he should receive something of them. But Peter said: Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise and walk. And taking him by the right hand, he lifted him up: and forthwith his feet and soles received strength. And he leaping up, stood and walked and went in with them into the temple, walking and leaping and praising God.

And all the people saw him walking and praising God. And they knew him, that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened to him. And as he held Peter and John, all the people ran to them, to the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.

But Peter seeing, made answer to the people: Ye men of Israel, why wonder you at this? Or why look you upon us, as if by our strength or power we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus, whom you indeed delivered up and denied before the face of Pilate, when he judged he should be released. But you denied the Holy One and the Just: and desired a murderer to be granted unto you. But the author of life you killed, whom God hath raised from the dead: of which we are witnesses. And in the faith of his name, this man, whom you have seen and known, hath his name strengthened. And the faith which is by him hath given this perfect soundness in the sight of you all.

And now, brethren, I know that you did it through ignorance: as did also your rulers. But those things which God before had shewed by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Be penitent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. That when the times of refreshment shall come from the presence of the Lord, and he shall send him who hath been preached unto you, Jesus Christ. Whom heaven indeed must receive, until the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets, from the beginning of the world. For Moses said: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me: him you shall hear according to all things whatsoever he shall speak to you. And it shall be, that every soul which will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people. And all the prophets, from Samuel and afterwards, who have spoken, have told of these days.

You are the children of the prophets and of the testament which God made to our fathers, saying to Abraham: And in thy seed shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed. To you first, God, raising up his Son, hath sent him to bless you: that every one may convert himself from his wickedness. (Acts 3:1-26)

We Catholics have no need of any other model or paradigm.  Hence, our reliance on the “Great Commission of Jesus Christ” which explicitly charges Catholics with the duty of continuously, clearly, charitably and unambiguously preaching the divine truth of the authentic Gospels to everyone, without exception – day in and day out – all around the world – as we pray without ceasing!

And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And seeing him they adored: but some doubted. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. (Matthew 28:16-20)

The post-Vatican II Catholic Church leadership has already reasoned, preached and politically negotiated their way around these explicit commands of Jesus Christ, cleverly inferring that some people have no need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his Holy Catholic Church. Now, as part of this “New Evangelization” they want us to do the same. That’s certainly new and novel, but it’s also material heresy – and that’s not something that any Catholic should be preaching!

Pope Francis’ attempt at projecting an image of a kinder, gentler, “big tent” modern Catholic Church is something that would be laudable if such had not already been the case since the very beginning, courtesy of its’ divine founder and finisher, Jesus Christ.

If things have gone off the track in recent times, the hierarchy might consider going back to and once again learning to rely on what God has already provided, that which the Catholic Church has always possessed in unlimited, supernatural abundance and which – in every age except perhaps, this present, wicked one – has always proved to be sufficient.

Saint Luke’s Presentation narrative effectively puts the lie to the recently popular “Late Epiphany Theory”

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Today we hear the Gospel of Luke proclaimed, where we are treated to pertinent details of the Lord’s Presentation in the Temple, under the Mosaic Law, 40 days after Christmas:

And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord: As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord: And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons: And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon: and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel. And the Holy Ghost was in him. And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, He also took him into his arms and blessed God and said Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace: Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: A light to the revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel. And his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser. She was far advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity. And she was a widow until fourscore and four years: who departed not from the temple, by fastings and prayers serving night and day. Now she, at the same hour, coming in, confessed to the Lord: and spoke of him to all that looked for the redemption of Israel. And after they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their city Nazareth. (Luke 2:22-39)

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As of late, nearly every Christmas, we’re told by highly educated “experts” and “specialists” that the Magi/Wise Men didn’t make it to Bethlehem for a year or two after the birth of Christ, and that the Holy Family was likely living in a rented/borrowed house there when the Magi finally arrived.

Yet here we have Saint Luke, who had earlier testified, in writing, that everything he wrote was true, eye-witness testimony, told in the correct order:

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a narration of the things that have been accomplished among us, According as they have delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word: It seemed good to me also, having diligently attained to all things from the beginning, to write to thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mayest know the verity of those words in which thou hast been instructed.  (Luke 1:1-4)

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The Gospel of Saint Luke clearly states that Jesus was duly presented at the Temple 40 days after birth, according to the Law, and the Holy Family returned to Nazareth immediately afterward.

Catholic Tradition holds that the Magi arrived very shortly after the birth of Jesus – probably a couple of weeks (or less) after the blessed event. Not months or years later!

So, who are we to believe? Late-day progressive Bible critics who generally scoff at the concept of divine inspiration and supernatural inerrancy – or contemporary eye-witnesses to the actual events and circumstances in the life of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and others?

What do you think? 

Jesus Christ: Prefigured, preexistent, preeminent, powerful, the presence of God (and perfect).

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Click graphic to enlarge

As Ordinary time (tempus per anum) opens up, the lectionary continues to “introduce” Christ to us. Last week he was baptized obtained many gifts for us as he was manifested by the Father.

This week is a continuation of sorts as John the Baptist elaborates on Who Jesus is. John’s words are brief but they are packed with Christological teaching. In this Gospel we learn at least five things about Jesus. He learn that he is prefigured, preexistent, preeminent, powerful and the presence of God. Let’s look at each one.

Read more from Monsignor Charles Pope

The goal of efforts like the successful bullying campaign against Bob Newhart is to beat the faithful into submission to a gospel of secularism

When the George Soros–funded group “Faithful America” launched a petition drive against Newhart and Legatus, they used Pope Francis as their bludgeon:

It’s hard to imagine an organization further from Pope Francis’ vision of “a Church which is poor and for the poor” than Legatus, whose stated mission is to “study, spread, and live the Catholic faith,” but whose membership is open only to top executives of multi-million dollar corporations.

As it happens, though: Executives are called to holiness, too.

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Successful Conversion Methods for Old Fashioned Catholic Proselytizers

This article appears to date from the 1950’s…

Many exemplary Catholics, people with plenty of ability and initiative, are unwilling to be members of the average parish society because they feel that the meeting is largely given up to routine details. Yet if they were pointed towards making convert contacts, the Holy Name Society, the Altar and Rosary, the Laymen’s Association and other parish organizations could be revitalized.

The more zealous members could be formed into groups to plan their work and report on it at the meetings, e.g., Census Teams, Visitation Teams, or just plain good neighbors who take every opportunity to bring the love of Christ to others. The work of the teams would am be a matter just between themselves and the priest; reports should be made to the organization so that everyone in it feels that he has a share and be encouraged to participate. Much will depend on the emphasis and inspiration for convert making given by the priest. The fuel is there but the spark that fires it must come from him.

If the attention of the people is constantly drawn to it, if they are guided and encouraged, they will make converts. That is what occurred in the cathedral parish of Denver, Colorado, which was among that pioneered Inquiry Classes in this country. Many Catholics brought inquiries to the classes every year. Father John A. O’Brien tells in his NCWC column how a husband and wife, themselves recent converts, brought thirty-six in one year.

They studied each one and tried to show him how the Faith would satisfy his particular need, his hunger for spiritual security in a cold and indifferent world.

To contact the millions who feel something lacking in their lives, Our Lord needs many more hands like those of this devoted couple. There are many of them to be found in every parish; they need only encouragement and training. The converts will come exactly in proportion to the number of contacts they make. That is the secret.

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Incredibly disturbing and frightening comments from not only a prince of the Church, but the chief of the Pope’s advisory body of cardinals.

maradiaga“The Church could not continue posing as a reality facing the world, as a parallel “perfect society,” which pursued her own autonomous course, strengthening her walls against the errors and the influence of the world. This antithesis of centuries needed to be overcome.”

“The Church did not have a monopoly on truth anymore, nor could she pontificate on a thousand human matters, or hold stances denoting arrogance or superiority.”

“…count on the contribution of humanisms and of non-Christian religions, which will take us back to the foundation of any creed, any ideology.”

 Read more from A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics

Editor’s note: This is just another public embarrassment for Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga and for Pope Francis. In the words of Our Savior, Jesus Christ, “When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Not with people like this, in charge of the Catholic Church!)

The Evils of Modernism as demonstrated by the seriously flawed documents of Vatican II and the subsequent teachings of Popes Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Frances

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Modernism thrives on vague and ambiguous expressions, on lack of precision, on lack of clear definitions, because Modernism, being sinister, detests clarity, which is one of the hallmarks of truth and orthodoxy: “For every one that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved” (John 3:20).

Modernism seeks to make what is certain, doubtful, what is clear, confusing; it tries to make the straight paths of True Catholicism crooked, and so becomes the anti-Gospel.”

A.J. pulls no punches

Mass Question: What to pray when signing the forehead, lips and heart with the Cross of Christ, just before the Holy Gospel is proclaimed?

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Jola asks,“Exactly what words should we be praying as we make the sign of the cross on our forehead, lips and heart, at Mass, just before the Holy Gospel is proclaimed?”

This is what should be happening during that time:

(The priest or deacon bows before the altar and says inaudibly: Almighty God, cleanse my heart and lips that I may worthily proclaim your Gospel.)

The Lord be with you. And with your spirit.

A reading from the gospel according to… Glory to you, Lord.

Pray as you sign your forehead, lips and heart with the Cross of Christ:

May the Word of the Lord be in my mind,
on my lips and in my heart.

This is the gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ. (The priest or deacon kisses the book saying inaudibly: May the words of the Gospel wipe away our sins.)

Further study – Free MS Powerpoint Download on the Liturgy

Talk is “cheap”

wolfy2Since the Council we have witnessed, for the first time in the Church’s bimillenial history, the emergence of a strain of Catholic “neo-conservatism”—hence neo-Catholicism—characterized by a staunch defense of unprecedented ecclesial novelties the Popes before the Council would have viewed with utter horror. Among other novelties comprising the liberalized ecclesial status quo of the post-conciliar epoch, the neo-Catholic defends the new vernacular liturgy (including the appalling spectacle of altar girls, approved by “John Paul the Great”), the new “ecumenism,” which has all but de-missionized the Church, and the new “dialogue,” which has reduced the perennial preaching of the Gospel with the authority of Christ Himself to a vacuous  “discussion-ism” that avoids any open proclamation of the imperatives of divine revelation, especially the claims of Christ on nations as well as individuals.

Concerning “dialogue,” as Romano Amerio observed in his masterwork Iota Unum, this “is very new in the Catholic Church…” The word “was completely unknown in the Church’s teaching before the Council. It does not occur once in any previous council, or in papal encyclicals, or in sermons or in pastoral practice.” Yet this novelty suddenly appears 28 times in the Vatican II documents that were drafted in haste after the classically written preparatory schema, years in the making, were tossed into the trash following the famous Rhine group uprising on the Council’s third day. (Cfr. Wiltgen’s The Rhine Flows into the Tiber, pp. 15-60). Amerio notes that dialogue, “through its lightning spread and an enormous broadening of meaning, became the master-word determining post-conciliar thinking, and a catch-all category in the newfangled mentality.”  (Iota Unum, p. 347). The newfangled mentality to which Amerio refers is the mentality fairly described as neo-Catholic.

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Editor’s note: A definition of Sacred and Apostolic Tradition: The means by which the Holy Spirit infallibly guides the Catholic Church, from age to age.

Following the User’s Manual: The Catechism of the Catholic Church

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Seen on Bishop Robert Vasa’s blog

The global Church is the primary instrument for the promotion of the message and teachings of Christ.  As such, Catholics are called to believe that the message of Jesus is truly “good news” in every sense – good for humankind, both spiritually and temporally.   As bishop, I can speak from confidence and strength in ensuring that those Catholic teachings are taught and consistently presented throughout the entire diocese.

To that end, I seek to employ a strong catechetical model — one that starts with getting to know the faith.  One of my favorite books is the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Through the years I have gone through it several times, and each time I highlight different aspects,  different quotes.   Sometimes I scribble in the margins, as different things strike me at different times.  In my view, it is critical for our Catholic faith to remain in tune and in touch with this particular book which is fully consistent with the Scriptures, fully consistent with the Church traditions, fully consistent with Church practice with respect to the liturgy.

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Does Satan Really Exist?

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Some Catholics maybe surprised in this day and age, that the existence of evil, the devil as well as hell, are all truths of our Catholic Faith. All one has to do is pick up a copy of the Catechism and look it up and you will find that the Church officially teaches – from paragraph #1033 through paragraph #1037 – that evil does exist, that there is a person, a fallen Angel to be exact, who wants nothing more than to destroy humanity and if that is not possible then at least to get as many people away from God, away from salvation to spend eternity in hell with him.

Pope Paul IV, taught that “evil is not merely a lack of something, but an effective agent, a living spiritual being, perverted and perverting.   A terrible reality – mysterious and frightening – who goes about acting in a way contrary to the teaching of the Bible and the Church.”

Of course there is the New Testament, which alone refers to the devil and his wickedness nearly 300 times as a warning to us of his presence and activity in our world.

This leads us to the Gospels, where Jesus talks more about the devil and evil then anything else except His divinity.

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Submitted by Jola S.

Related links:

  1. Satan Never Looks Like Satan
  2. Pope Francis: Where There Is Calumny, There Is Satan Himself!
  3. Satan Is Real and Alive!

God’s positive prescription for holiness: A Bible study on the Beatitudes (Be Attitudes)

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In the beginning of His great homily known as the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus presented His plan for the radical transformation of hearts and lives in the blessings known as “the Beatitudes.” The Sinai Covenant also contained Beatitudes (see Lev 26:3-13 and Deut 28:1-14); however, the blessings for obedience in the Sinai Covenant were followed by curses for disobedience (Lev 26:14-46Deut 28:15-68). Unlike the blessings of the Sinai Covenant, the Beatitudes contain seven or eight (depending on how you count them) successive fundamental spiritual states that every Christian must strive to achieve followed by promises for obedience. The Beatitudes must be lived fully and completely just as the Law of the Ten Commandments must be lived in their entirety.

Jesus preached the Beatitudes as God’s New Covenant Law in a plan for our salvation journey to heaven. Like any journey there is a beginning point and a destination, but what Jesus presented in that great homily was more than the road map for the journey. What He called us to experience was the plan for an intimate relationship with God that would allow us to walk in His steps on our journey of faith to salvation and eternal life. But this is a plan that cannot be achieved on a human level “only through Christ can this blessedness be empowered and celebrated in the life of the New Covenant believer: For what is impossible for man (human beings) is possible for God (Luke 18:27).

Link

Weigel: The days of Recreational Catholicism—Catholicism as a traditional, leisure-time activity absorbing perhaps ninety minutes of one’s time on a weekend—is over.

The challenge can be defined simply: Throughout the Western world, the culture no longer carries the faith, because the culture has become increasingly hostile to the faith. Catholicism can no longer be absorbed by osmosis from the environment, for the environment has become toxic. So we can no longer sit back and assume that decent lives lived in conformity with the prevailing cultural norms will somehow convey the faith to our children and grandchildren and invite others to consider entering the Church.

No, in our new situation, Catholicism has to be proposed, and Catholicism has to be lived in radical fidelity to Christ and the Gospel.

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What to do when the “Good News” is regarded by much of the world as “old news”?

The Synod on the New Evangelization ended on Saturday in Rome. Something like 260 bishops (and 400 total participants) assembled from every continent. Their deliberations occasionally rose to real insight and eloquence. The pope himself seemed pleased – which should count for a lot in anyone’s book.

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Did you know Saint Luke was also a medical doctor and artist?

Saint Luke the Evangelist

Luke was St Paul’s beloved companion on many journeys, physician and evangelist, to whom we owe some of our most beautiful memories of Jesus and his mother.

He was born in Antioch – today’s Antakya, in Turkey – which was then the capital of the Roman province of Syria and the second city of the empire. He was a doctor by profession, and accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey into Greece. Being highly educated, Luke wrote polished, elegant Greek, and related the events he wrote about to contemporary history.

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And more

Is not this the carpenter, the (illegitimate) son of Mary…?

by Doug Lawrence

Today’s Gospel reading has a lot going on beneath the surface that most people never realize.

And going out from thence, he went into his own country; and his disciples followed him.

And when the Sabbath was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were in admiration at his doctrine, saying: How came this man by all these things? and what wisdom is this that is given to him, and such mighty works as are wrought by his hands?

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joseph, and Jude, and Simon? are not also his sisters here with us? And they were scandalized in regard of him.

And Jesus said to them: A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and in his own house, and among his own kindred.

And he could not do any miracles there, only that he cured a few that were sick, laying his hands upon them.  (Mark 6:1-5)

Jesus had been going around fulfilling all the various Messianic prophecies, and this was not lost on the inhabitants of Nazareth, who had already most certainly heard about it.

Now Jesus arrives back in his home town, compete with disciples, and begins to teach and preach in the synagogue. His teaching was of course, supernaturally impressive.

At first, the men of Nazareth were suitably impressed … but wait a minute … they knew Jesus. They knew his mother. They knew his personal history and his relatives. (A good number of these men likely were also related to Jesus, in some way.)

Wait a minute, they thought … this must be a trick! How could the illegitimate son of Mary be the Messiah of Israel … the one who will banish Herod and the Romans, and restore the Kingdom of Israel to the glory it experienced under David and Solomon?

This Jesus, who we know all too well, has the gall to stand in our presence and declare himself to be the Messiah. This is nothing short of blasphemy. We should kill him!

From this we can also understand that the Blessed Virgin Mary likely had to contend with the scandal of her supposedly illegitimate pregnancy throughout her earthly life. Nor is that surprising, considering the fact that many of today’s Christians also fail to accept the dogma of Mary’s perpetual virginity.

From this short passage we learn of the profoundly distorted Messianic expectations of the Jewish people, who to this day, although remarkably consistent in their rejection of Jesus Christ, have no idea who their promised Messiah will be.

No wonder then, that they eventually handed the real Messiah over to the Romans, to be crucified!

The Gospel of Luke includes a few other pertinent details, as well:

And he came to Nazareth, where he was brought up: and he went into the synagogue, according to his custom, on the sabbath day: and he rose up to read.

And the book of Isaias the prophet was delivered unto him. And as he unfolded the book, he found the place where it was written: The spirit of the Lord is upon me. Wherefore he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the contrite of heart, To preach deliverance to the captives and sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of reward.

And when he had folded the book, he restored it to the minister and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them: This day is fulfilled this scripture in your ears. And all gave testimony to him. And they wondered at the words of grace that proceeded from his mouth.

And they said: Is not this the son of Joseph? And he said to them: Doubtless you will say to me this similitude: Physician, heal thyself. As great things as we have heard done in Capharnaum, do also here in thy own country. And he said: Amen I say to you that no prophet is accepted in his own country.

In truth I say to You, there were many widows in the days of Elias in Israel, when heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there was a great famine throughout all the earth. And to none of them was Elias sent, but to Sarepta of Sidon, to a widow woman. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet: and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian.

And all they in the synagogue, hearing these things, were filled with anger. And they rose up and thrust him out of the city: and they brought him to the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them, went his way.   (Luke 4:16-30)

In the above passage from Luke (which we assume is detailing the same event) we have Jesus being even more specific in his Messianic preaching. But when the men demand to see some miracles, Jesus subsequently declines, so they rush him over to a nearby hilltop and attempt to push him off, to his death.

Of course, they fail, since no one … not event the devil himself … has the power or the authority to take the life of the only begotten Son of God … let alone a man who is totally without sin.

While many assume the Jews possessed a solid understanding of the meaning of their own sacred scriptures, history and tradition proves that to be almost totally untrue … since if they did … they would surely have recognized the Son of God … when he personally became one of them … living for a time in an obscure, little town … in first century, Roman occupied Palestine.

More on this here

And here

We’re all expected to make prudential judgments about the morality of our actions and those of others.

For if we could not judge the actions of others, that would be tantamount to denying that moral principles can be applied in practice, even though they must be accepted in theory. The final consequence is that morality would be rendered meaningless as a standard to guide human actions. That leads to the most complete subjectivism — a free for all in which everyone does what he fancies.

That also causes people to completely lose their moral sense; and it is perhaps one of the causes of the amorality of our present age.

Since religious people become insecure facing the “judge not” argument of the Gospel, let us examine more closely what it actually means.

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Submitted by AndyP/Doria2

The original Evangelical, Pentecostal, Apostolic, Bible Believin’, Charismatic, Trinitarian, Full-Gospel Church of Jesus Christ.

…the evangelical movement is, in fact, Catholic. We need not emulate our non-Catholic brothers to fix our problems. We need only look to our own identity in Christ.

I’m pretty sure the Holy Spirit has something to do with all this…

Evangelical Christianity started with the apostles. Evangelical means nothing less than “Gospel Christian” and the apostles were that, if nothing else. How could the first preachers of the Gospel – the evangelium – not be evangelicals?

The apostolic era model of the evangelical way of life is preserved in the Book of Acts:

They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one’s need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. -Acts 2:42-47

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How many does it take to a bring a loved one to Christ?

A couple Sundays ago, the Gospel was Mark 2:1-12,

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them.

They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?”

Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk?’ But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth”-he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.”

He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

What’s remarkable is that there’s no mention of the paralytic’s faith at all.

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Editor’s note: This article certainly reinforces the concept of “church” and the importance of the Christian community … and it should be a source of hope for virtually every family.