Monday, September 17, 2012

Surrender!

Scripture - Mark 14:35-36


And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Comment - Surrender!

Surrender!
Don’t you hate that word?
You should if it means I’m defeated and I give up.

Surrender for a Christian means I am laying down my life for other people.
That is our whole relationship with God.

To lay down our life and love for Him who laid down His life and love for me.
We have got the God of the universe.
If someone says “I am not willing to lay down my life for Jesus”, I think are you stupid?

You are going to die.
We all are.

You can be dust forever
OR
You can surrender to the God of the universe.

When you surrender to Him, He surrenders to you.

Everything you ever wanted or desired, He is the one who created it.
So with God you have everything.
Without God you have nothing.

Source: Surrender! The Life Changing Power of Doing God's Will by Fr Larry Richards.
Text transcribed from his guest appearance on Life on the Rock www.ewtn.com

God Loves You

Scripture:


2 Tim 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Proverbs 13:4
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

Comment

God made you strong to protect the weak.

Think of a coach.
“OK, Coach, what do you want me to do?”

If the coach said:

“I like you just the way you are. Just show up at practice, sit there for 45 minutes and have good thoughts about the game”, you’d say “What sort of coach are you?”

You want a coach to challenge you to be the best and say things like:
“Be at practice everyday”
“Miss practice and you won’t play in the game”
“Do this, this and this”
“Any whinging that you don’t want to do it, then get off the field”

But when it comes to Church, we might hear “God loves you just the way you are”.

God loves us the way we are, but He challenges us to not stay there. He wants us to be the best.

We respond best when we are challenged to be the best we can be.

You can give more!

Source: Surrender! The Life Changing Power of Doing God's Will by Fr Larry Richards.

Text transcribed from his guest appearance on Life on the Rock www.ewtn.com

Eat My Flesh

Scripture John 6


51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."

52 The Jews quarrelled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?"

60 20 Then many of his disciples who were listening said, "This saying is hard; who can accept it?"

63 It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh 22 is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

66 As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.

67 Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?"

Comment

The pronouncement of Jesus being the bread of life, is a critical moment and a turning point in his public mission.

Jesus challenged his listeners by saying that “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.”

That shocking statement was intended, “to disenchant the crowds and especially to push his disciples to make a choice.

In truth many among them, from then, chose to no longer follow him.”

Pope Benedict


Today’s Gospel reading, from the conclusion of John 6, records how dissent from the teachings of Jesus took place in the very first century.

This, revealingly, is the only instance in the Gospels of disciples leaving Jesus over a matter of doctrine.

There is little doubt that St. John, in describing that tense scene, also had in mind Christians of the mid and late first century who struggled to accept the shocking words of the Lord.

It is sometimes tempting to think of the early Christians as a homogenous group of loyal heroes and willing martyrs.

But they, like those of us living in the twenty-first century, struggled with doubts, fears, and temptations.

Fr. James T. O’Connor

http://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/2012/08/doctrine-dissent-and-the-eucharist.html

Teaching The Faith

Scripture John 6:66


As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.

Comment - Teaching The Faith

We may pray “Yeah Lord, keep my kids in the faith”

You know one of the great struggles of good catholic parents is what happens when your kids become adults and leave the faith.

With this brings a mixture of guilt and questions like “Where did I go wrong?”, “What didn’t I see?”, “Was I not holy enough?”

Now, I want to ask you (Marcus) 5 questions and I want you to answer Yes or No.

• Is there a God?

• Was Christ God?

• Could He perform miracles?

• Was He sinless?

• Did He have a perfect understanding of human nature?

Now a follow up question.

• Could He get most people to follow Him?

And then I look at the parents and go “Who do you think you are?”

We have got to keep that reality, God himself couldn’t get the majority to follow Him.

Source: interview by Marcus Grodi with clinical psychologist Dr Ray Gaurendi on The Journey Home www.ewtn.com

Preacher Jailed for Speaking Out on Marriage

Scripture: Mark 6:17-18


17 zFor it was Herod who had sent and seized John and abound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because he had married her. 18 zFor John had been saying to Herod, b“It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”

Comment: “Preacher Jailed for Speaking Out on Marriage”

We celebrated the birth of John the Baptist on 24 June 2012, a great saint and biblical character who led a very difficult life and ministry.

In hindsight, the conflict that led to his demise and death has a strangely modern ring to it: he was jailed by Herod Antipas for speaking out on marriage (Mark 6:17-18). Specifically, John the Baptist held to the principle of one man, one woman, for life—a theology of marriage founded in Scripture (Mal. 2:13-16) and reflected in the Essene movement at Qumran and in the teachings of Our Lord (Matt 19:3-12).

This got him into trouble with the nation’s chief executive, Herod Antipas, whose own views on marriage had evolved: he had wed Herodias, his divorced ex-sister-in-law, who was also his niece. John the Baptist said the marriage was unlawful. Herod invoked executive privilege to have John arrested and detained for expressing his intolerant and partisan views on marriage in public. Eventually, Herod had him beheaded at the request of his wife Herodias’ daughter Salome, who gave a “hot” hip-hop performance for the king and his cabinet that earned her a political favor (Mark 6:14-29).

There is really nothing new under the sun. John the Baptist was a political failure but a great spiritual success, a champion of faith and fortitude who still lives and is praying for us from heaven. The readings for his feast day also provide us hope and encouragement:

Be that as it may, the “desert” also has a spiritual sense. Despite all the glorious things said about John and the remarkable events surrounding his birth, his life was not easy. It was one of self-denial and mortification. It’s true, his preaching was popular and he received public acclaim—for a while. But from a certain perspective, he was a glorious failure, a big flop. His run-in with the government ended badly and his “movement” fell apart, even if there were still a few “fans” left years later (Acts 19:1-3).

But that’s only from one perspective, an external and material one. A certain prophet from Nazareth had a much different evaluation of the success of his ministry: “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist” (Mt 11:11).

Like John, if we speak about God’s truth boldly and continue to point toward Jesus, we are going to provoke opposition in this world from those who don’t want to hear it because it doesn’t suit their agenda. It may mean the loss of income, employment, possession and life. We’ve got to maintain an eternal perspective: God has a plan for each of us that began before our birth and extends beyond our death. The goal is not visible success in this life. It’s covenant fidelity (hesed) toward the one who is greater than us, whose sandals we are not worthy to tie, but nonetheless promises to “raise us up on the last day” (John 6:40).

Source: John Bergsma - http://www.thesacredpage.com/2012/06/preacher-jailed-for-speaking-out-on.html

Surviving The Furnace

Scripture Daniel 3:19-26


Then (king) Nebuchadnez'zar was full of fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he ordered certain mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their mantles, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were cast into the burning fiery furnace. Because the king's order was strict and the furnace very hot, the flame of the fire slew those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnez'zar was astonished and rose up in haste. He said to his counselors, "Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?" They answered the king, "True, O king." He answered, "But I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods." Then Nebuchadnez'zar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace and said, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego, servants of the Most High God, come forth, and come here!" Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego came out from the fire.

Comment – Surviving The Furnace
The deathcamp Auschwitz became the killing centre during WWII where the largest numbers of European Jews were murdered by the Nazis. One Christian man who died here became a martyr to the truth of evils of Nazism - a true hero for our time, a saint who lived what he preached, total love toward God and man ...

http://auschwitz.dk/Kolbe.htm


Maximilian Kolbe studied philosophy, theology, mathematics, and physics.

During his time as a student, he witnessed vehement demonstrations by the Freemasons against Popes St. Pius X and Benedict XV.

In 1918, Kolbe was ordained a priest. Kolbe left Poland for Japan in 1930, spending six years there.

During the Second World War, he provided shelter to refugees from Greater Poland, including 2,000 Jews whom he hid from Nazi persecution in his friary in Niepokalan├│w.

On 17 February 1941, he was arrested by the German Gestapo and imprisoned in the Pawiak prison. On 28 May, he was transferred to Auschwitz as prisoner #16670.

At the end of July 1941, three prisoners disappeared from the camp, prompting the deputy camp commander, to pick 10 men to be starved to death in an underground bunker in order to deter further escape attempts.

"There is no greater love than to give up your life for your friends" (Jn 15, 13).

When one of the selected men, Franciszek Gajowniczek, cried out, "My wife! My children!", Maximilian Kolbe who was not one of the 10 chosen to be executed, offered himself to die in the this man’s place. The commander of the concentration camp accepted the exchange.

In the starvation cell, he celebrated Mass each day and sang hymns with the prisoners.

Each time the guards checked on him, he was standing or kneeling in the middle of the cell and looking calmly at those who entered.

After two weeks of dehydration and starvation, only Kolbe remained alive. (I understand it is rare to survive more than a week without water – Gary)

He was taken out of the gas chamber only to be put to death by injection.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximilian_Kolbe