Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Leopold Mandic July 28,2014

Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Leopold Mandic July 28,2014

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Reading 1 JER 13:1-11

The LORD said to me: Go buy yourself a linen loincloth;
wear it on your loins, but do not put it in water.
I bought the loincloth, as the LORD commanded, and put it on.
A second time the word of the LORD came to me thus:
Take the loincloth which you bought and are wearing,
and go now to the Parath;
there hide it in a cleft of the rock.
Obedient to the LORD’s command, I went to the Parath
and buried the loincloth.
After a long interval, the LORD said to me:
Go now to the Parath and fetch the loincloth
which I told you to hide there.
Again I went to the Parath, sought out and took the loincloth
from the place where I had hid it.
But it was rotted, good for nothing!
Then the message came to me from the LORD:
Thus says the LORD:
So also I will allow the pride of Judah to rot,
the great pride of Jerusalem.
This wicked people who refuse to obey my words,
who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts,
and follow strange gods to serve and adore them,
shall be like this loincloth which is good for nothing.
For, as close as the loincloth clings to a man’s loins,
so had I made the whole house of Israel
and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the LORD;
to be my people, my renown, my praise, my beauty.
But they did not listen.

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm DT 32:18-19, 20, 21

R. (see 18a) You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you,
You forgot the God who gave you birth.
When the LORD saw this, he was filled with loathing
and anger toward his sons and daughters.
R. You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
“I will hide my face from them,” he said,
“and see what will then become of them.
What a fickle race they are,
sons with no loyalty in them!”
R. You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
“Since they have provoked me with their ‘no-god’
and angered me with their vain idols,
I will provoke them with a ‘no-people’;
with a foolish nation I will anger them.”
R. You have forgotten God who gave you birth.

Gospel MT 13:31-35

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed
that a person took and sowed in a field.
It is the smallest of all the seeds,
yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants.
It becomes a large bush,
and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”

He spoke to them another parable.
“The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast
that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch was leavened.”

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables.
He spoke to them only in parables,
to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:

I will open my mouth in parables,
I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation
of the world.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection 1: Like a Mustard Seed

In today’ s gospel, Jesus likened the kingdom of heaven to a mustard seed which is the smallest of seeds but when planted could grow to more than a tree, the largest of plants and become a large bush, where the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches. He also compared it to yeast, which could not be useful to anyone but when mixed with flour makes it rise and converts it to dough to feed more people.

In the same light, His kingdom and all that flows from it- His Word, His wisdom, His grace and all His blessings-may prove to be quite insignificant to us unless it is sowed in the hearts of people and accepted. This proved to be true for the Pharisees and scribes, as they did not benefit from Jesus, His teachings and His ways. They had no room for Jesus, much more believe and abide in Him.

As followers of our Lord, let us follow the exhortation in Exodus 32:34 which said “Now, go and lead the people to the place I have told you. My angel will go before you.” Using His Word, we are asked to lead His people to His kingdom. We are ordered to sow His Word on the hearts of people and bring them to repentance.

As His vessels of love, mercy and healing, we are encouraged not to look for great things but instead expect the insignificant, the ordinary and regular, not necessarily the holy but the wounded and broken yet malleable and open to His transforming power.

Just like the mustard seed and yeast, if we all share His gospel with one another and abide by it in our lives, we can in our most insignificant state yet be the most significant in our Lord ‘s vineyard and all of us of taken together, can be His church, united and transformed into his likeness. We could be the dwelling place of every good thing where “kindness and truth shall meet, where justice and peace shall kiss and where the Lord Himself will give His benefits and our land shall yield its increase” Psalm 85:11-12.  And in all these, we should always “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!” Psalm 118:1

Direction

Be an open vessel of the Lord and be Christ to others.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, give me heart that will accommodate the needs of your people so that as I travel the path you have paved for me I may be able to draw them all towards your kingdom. In Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Reflection 2: The Importance of the Mustard Seed

As Christians, we have the blessed certainty through Jesus Christ of our unshakable security in the divine love. Each of us is loved by God with a limitless, unconditioned, and unconditional love that we can never destroy or even diminish. We are loved into existence; cherished in our existence; affirmed absolutely in death and beyond. This love is independent of our merit or demerits. Nothing whatsoever can separate us from this love. For it is the breadth; it is the length; it is the height and it is the depth – there is nowhere beyond it, above or below it. It is All: the limitless ocean that encompassed our tiny, threatened, fragile yet infinitely precious self.

This is not merely impersonal, protective benevolence but a love that gives self, that offers inconceivable intimacy and that seeks reciprocity. We can never define or draw a line around what God will do for each one of us. We are exposed to the infinite. Against this truth what does our sense of importance matter? (Source: Sr. Ruth Burrows, O.C.D., Magnificat, Vol. 16, No. 5, July 2014, pp. 383-384).

Reflection 3: St. Leopold Mandic(1887-1942 A.D.)

Western Christians who are working for greater dialogue with Orthodox Christians may be reaping the fruits of Father Leopold’s prayers.

A native of Croatia, Leopold joined the Capuchin Franciscans and was ordained several years later in spite of several health problems. He could not speak loudly enough to preach publicly. For many years he also suffered from severe arthritis, poor eyesight and a stomach ailment.

Leopold taught patrology, the study of the Church Fathers, to the clerics of his province for several years, but he is best known for his work in the confessional, where he sometimes spent 13-15 hours a day. Several bishops sought out his spiritual advice.

Leopold’s dream was to go to the Orthodox Christians and work for the reunion of Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. His health never permitted it. Leopold often renewed his vow to go to the Eastern Christians; the cause of unity was constantly in his prayers.

At a time when Pope Pius XII said that the greatest sin of our time is “to have lost all sense of sin,” Leopold had a profound sense of sin and an even firmer sense of God’s grace awaiting human cooperation.

Leopold, who lived most of his life in Padua, died on July 30, 1942, and was canonized in 1982.

Comment:

St. Francis advised his followers to “pursue what they must desire above all things, to have the Spirit of the Lord and His holy manner of working” (Rule of 1223, Chapter 10)—words that Leopold lived out. When the Capuchin minister general wrote his friars on the occasion of Leopold’s beatification, he said that this friar’s life showed “the priority of that which is essential.”

Quote:

Leopold used to repeat to himself: “Remember that you have been sent for the salvation of people, not because of your own merits, since it is the Lord Jesus and not you who died for the salvation of souls…. I must cooperate with the divine goodness of our Lord who has deigned to choose me so that by my ministry, the divine promise would be fulfilled: ‘There will be only one flock and one shepherd’” (John 10:16).

Read the text: http://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1090

Islam’s Religious Exemption From Criticism

Islam’s Religious Exemption From Criticism

During the financial crisis of 2008, one of the pressing questions of the day had to do with whether or not various giant corporations—AIG, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, GM, and others—were too big to fail. The consensus among policymakers at the time was that these companies had to be bailed out by the government, or else the global economy would collapse with them.

A similar question can be raised with regard to Islam. Is it too big to fail? Would its collapse bring chaos in its wake? Judging from their behavior, most policymakers seem heavily invested in Islam’s survival. Their reasoning goes roughly as follows: Islam is a religion; religion is a stabilizing force in society; therefore, the flourishing of Islam is vital to the stability of the Muslim world. Hence, the consensus view is (and has been for a long time) that it is desirable to prop up Islam and provide bailouts when needed.

The bailouts come in the form of financial and military aid to various governments in the Muslim world. The assistance also comes in the form of “vouchers” for Islam’s good character: assurances by world leaders that Islam is a peaceful religion, assurances by religious leaders that it is a model of interfaith tolerance, and assurances by educators that “jihad” is an interior spiritual struggle. Keeping Islam afloat has become such a high priority that Western critics of Islam often find themselves facing fines or even jail time. In most of Europe, you can safely wave a “Behead Those Who Insult Islam” poster in the face of a policeman, but if you are a non-Muslim and you observe that Islamic law allows for beheadings, you’ll be standing before a magistrate the next day on hate crime charges. For his own part, the President of the United States vowed to protect the good name of Islam from “negative stereotypes.”

Initially, the moral support went to Islam, and the financial and military support went to Muslim governments—many of which were not particularly religious. That changed with the Obama administration. The policy all along had been to support moderate, stabilizing governments, but with the advent of the new administration, the definition of “moderate” underwent a change. On the assumption that religion makes for moderation, the more religious factions—such as the Muslim Brotherhood—were now assumed to be the more moderate ones. Consequently, the Obama administration threw its support behind the Muslim Brotherhood and Muslim Brotherhood-type groups who were attempting to overthrow secular governments in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Syria. Likewise, the administration strongly supported the rule of Recep Erdogan in Turkey, even though Erdogan was in the process of transforming Turkey from a stable, secular state to an Islamic state.

Moderate? It doesn’t look that way now. As it turned out, the U.S.-backed Islamists quickly proved themselves far less adept at stabilizing their countries than the regimes they replaced. Whatever their drawbacks, the secular, authoritarian rulers appear, in hindsight, to have been the more moderating force; and one of the ways they maintained stability was by keeping Islam in check. They acted as a restraining force on the more violent manifestations of Islam with the result that Christians and other minorities enjoyed relative security.

One of the primary arguments for providing life support to Islam is that it’s a stabilizing force in the Middle East and elsewhere. But if that’s not the case, should we still want Islam to succeed? If Islam is a destabilizing force, wouldn’t the world be better off without it? And since Muslims are the primary victims of Islamic violence, wouldn’t they also be better off without it? This is not to suggest that we should consider going to war against Islam, but that we should consider withdrawing the support that keeps it viable.

Let’s draw an analogy to another globe-spanning ideology—communism. Take the case of Soviet-bloc communism. Should we have wanted it to succeed or fail? Considering the oppressive nature of communism, it’s surprising how many in the West had mixed feelings about the question. Many Western elites had the same attitude toward Soviet-bloc communism as they do today toward Islam. Like Islam, Soviet communism also seemed permanent—an inevitable force of history with which, it seemed, we had to come to terms. Western apologists for communism were willing to grant that Soviet communism had its faults, but that was because it was a misinterpretation of true communism. It needed reform, yes, but the basic model was sound. Yet, for all its Western cheerleaders, Soviet communism did fail, and it failed in large part because Western leaders stopped making accommodations with communist ideology (as they had during the Carter administration) and began to challenge it instead.

The analogy to Soviet communism limps, however, in one crucial respect. Soviet communism was not a religion. In fact, many attributed the evils of communism to its godless nature. As with the Nazi threat which preceded it, communism was perceived to be a political, not a religious, movement. Although Hitler tried to revive pagan-Teutonic mythology and although Stalin encouraged a religious-like cult of personality around himself, no one in the West thought of Nazism or communism as legitimate expressions of religion.

It’s a different story with Islam. Islam is looking more and more like a world-threatening ideology, but it is more immune to criticism than either Nazism or communism because it is a recognized and long-established religion. To challenge it is to court charges of anti-religious bigotry. In addition, something in our conscience makes us reluctant to reprove a fellow religion.

We are conditioned to have a favorable view of religion—especially other people’s religion. It somehow doesn’t seem right to contemplate Islam’s failure. To get around this difficulty, some critics of Islam contend that it is nothing but a political ideology and ought to be labeled as such. But this rebranding effort is a difficult sell because, by most standard definitions of the term, Islam does qualify as a religion. To most people, moreover, it certainly looks like a religion. The pagan-like symbols and ceremonies of the Nazis were clearly ersatz, but the same can’t be said of the centuries-old observances of Muslims. When people prostrate themselves in prayer five times a day, it’s hard to make the case that what they’re doing is nothing more than a power play.

The truth of the matter is that Islam is a hybrid: it’s both a political ideology and a religion. And although the political side of Islam may turn out to be every bit as dangerous as Nazism or communism, the religious side provides considerable protection from criticism. Because of its religious nature, it seems improper to engage Islam in the kind of ideological warfare the West waged against fascism and communism.

Yet the threat to the West and to the rest of the world is, by all appearances, increasing. Egyptians, Nigerians, Kenyans, Pakistanis, Filipinos, and others are finding it difficult to arrest the spread of radical Islam within their borders. In Europe, Islamization moves on apace, and no one has found the formula for resisting it. In Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has proclaimed the creation of a new caliphate state, declared himself caliph, and has called on Muslims worldwide to join him in waging war against infidels. We hear a lot about all the different forms of Islam, but the idea of the caliphate is that there should be only one unified Islam. Like communism, the caliphate is intended to be a borderless community—a trans-national and ever-expanding empire of true believers. That’s because, like communism, Islam aspires to be a universal belief system.

Unlike communism, however, Islam has the advantage of conducting its proselytizing activities under the banner of religion. During the Cold War, communists did not have the benefit of being able to set up recruitment and indoctrination centers all over the free world. Yet, in effect, Islam does. Mosques are not just places of worship; they are often centers of political activity and, not infrequently, of jihad activity. As a popular Muslim poem puts it, “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets, and the faithful our soldiers.” That may seem like a bit of poetic exaggeration, but it is taken seriously in the Muslim world. Recep Erdogan went to jail for quoting those lines when Turkey was still a secular state. That he is now the leader of that country provides a good indication of which way the wind is blowing.

Of course, for a non-Muslim to even hint at the possibility that mosques might serve such purposes is to invite accusations of Islamophobia and bigotry. Likewise, to suggest that there are similarities between Islam and communism or between Islam and Nazism puts one on the fringe of acceptable discourse. Which goes to prove the point: Islam’s religious status puts it beyond criticism. You can criticize very radical Islamic radicals and very extreme Islamic extremists—just as long as you add that, of course, their activities have nothing to do with the religion of Islam.

When I was a boy, one of the more popular comic strips was “Ham” Fisher’s “Joe Palooka.” Palooka was a heavyweight prize fighter, and about as clean-cut, noble, and patriotic as a comic strip character could be. Next to his boxing skills, Joe’s greatest strength was his integrity. It was also his chief weakness because his opponents invariably took advantage of it. One that I recall was a burly brawler named Ruffy Balonki. Ruffy used every dirty trick in the books, including eye-gouging and brass knuckles inside his gloves. He even used psychological warfare. On one occasion, he appeared in the ring with a large tattoo encompassing his expansive stomach. It was a heart-shaped tattoo, and inside it, in bold letters, was the word “MOTHER.”

As Ruffy correctly guessed, Joe’s sense of decency prevented him from landing any punches in that area. For round after round, and despite the pleas of his manager (and the silent pleas of comic strip readers across the country), Joe refused to hit Ruffy in what everyone knew was his weak spot. And, because he was thrown off his game, Joe took a beating for round after round. I don’t recall what it was that ultimately brought Joe back to his senses, but I haven’t forgotten the image of him rendered nearly helpless by his own sense of propriety.

Like Ruffy Balonki, the theology/ideology of Islam has some very large weak spots. But our sense of propriety, which is nowadays governed by the rules of political correctness, won’t allow us to even talk about them. In effect, the sensitive areas are protected by a large sign that reads “religion—do not touch.” The difference is, the struggle we’re being drawn into is not a boxing contest and if we lose it, we won’t be offered a rematch.

Read the source text: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2014/islams-religious-exemption-criticism?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CrisisMagazine+%28Crisis+Magazine%29

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A Critical Look at the Koran by William Kilpatrick

“May Allah accept this from me.”“I’m doing it in the name of Allah.”“To establish Islamic law—Allah’s law on earth.”

The above are statements made by would-be and successful jihadists to explain their motivations for planning or executing acts of terror in America. Jihadists in other parts of the world say much the same thing. Where, then, do they get the idea that this is what Allah wants them to do?

Please click this link to continue reading the article A Critical Look at the Koran by WILLIAM KILPATRICK

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Abraham: Father or Master?” Dr. Scott Hahn

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Dr. Scott Hahn, Fr. Michael Scanlan Chair in Biblical Theology, spoke to Franciscan University of Steubenville’s 2011 Defending the Faith Conference “Ambassadors for Christ.” This is a 20 minute excerpt from the larger talk “Abba or Allah:The Difference it Makes” “For the last quarter of a century,” said Dr. Hahn, “I have shared a conviction with a growing number of people that Islam really does represent the single greatest force of the third millennium and also the single greatest challenge and threat to Christianity worldwide.” Dr. Hahn explains the very different conceptions of God in Islam (as Allah, Master) and in Christianity (as Abba, Father) and their consequences for life, religion, and interreligious encounters. “There’s a profound difference between slavery and sonship,” Hahn declared. “Until the sons of God outserve the slaves of God, Christianity is going to continue to dissolve.”

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Who Killed Muhammad?

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According to Qur’an 69:44-46, if Muhammad were a false prophet, Allah would sever his aorta. Interestingly, when Muhammad died, he said he could feel his sorta being severed.

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Lying in Islam

Lying in Islam

By Abdullah Al Araby

Like most religions, Islam in general, forbids lying. The Quran says, “Truly Allah guides not one who transgresses and lies.” Surah 40:28. In the Hadith, Mohammed was also quoted as saying, “Be honest because honesty leads to goodness, and goodness leads to Paradise. Beware of falsehood because it leads to immorality, and immorality leads to Hell.”

However, unlike most religions, within Islam there are certain provisions under which lying is not simply tolerated, but actually encouraged. The book “The spirit of Islam,” by the Muslim scholar, Afif A. Tabbarah was written to promote Islam. On page 247, Tabbarah stated: “Lying is not always bad, to be sure; there are times when telling a lie is more profitable and better for the general welfare, and for the settlement of conciliation among people, than telling the truth. To this effect, the Prophet says: ‘He is not a false person who (through lies) settles conciliation among people, supports good or says what is good.”

In exploring this puzzling duplicity within Islam, we will examine first some examples from recent and ancient Islamic history. These examples demonstrate that lying is a common policy amongst Islamic clerics and statesmen.

In June of 1967 Egypt was defeated by Israel and lost the Sinai Peninsula during the “Six Day War.” Subsequently, Egypt’s primary focus became to regain the lost territory. President Nasser, and then, President Sadat, adopted the motto: “No voice should rise over the voice of The Battle.” The soldiers that had been drafted in 1967 were kept in service and remained on high alert in the expectation that at any day “the battle” would ensue. Nonetheless, years pasted and Egypt’s people became disgruntle with the political hype and the “no peace, and no war” status. In 1972 Sadat proclaimed with finality that it was to be the year for the long anticipated battle. Throughout the year he swore, “I swear to you by my honor that this year will not pass by, before we launch The Battle.” People believed him because he was staking his reputation and honor through an oath. To everyone’s amazement the year passed without a single shot being fired. As a result many, inside and outside Egypt, began to dismiss him as a “hot air bluff”. This opinion was confirmed in the following year of 1973. He made no further mention of his oath about the battle. Many of the draftees were released and numerous officers were given vacation furloughs. Then without warning, in October of 1973, he launched the attack and what was known as the Yom Kippur war began.

As a military commander, Sadat was expected to use the element of surprise to trick the enemy. As a devout Muslim, Sadat was not the least bit concerned about his un-kept oath. He understood that the history and teachings of Islam would exempt him from spiritual accountability if he used lies as a foundation for a strategic military maneuver.

This point is proven by many incidences in the life of Mohammed. He often lied and instructed his followers to do the same. He rationalized that the prospect of success in missions to extend Islam’s influence overrode Allah’s initial prohibitions against lying. A good example of sanctioned lying is the account of the assassination of Kaab Ibn al-Ashrf, a member of the Jewish tribe, Banu al-Nudair. It had been reported that Kaab had shown support for the Quraishites in their battle against Mohammed. This was compounded by another report that infuriated Mohammed. It was alleged that Kaab had recited amorous poetry to Muslim women. Mohammed asked for volunteers to rid him of Kaab Ibn al-Ashraf. As Mohammed put it, Kaab had “Harmed Allah and His Apostle.” At that time Kaab Ibn al-Ashraf, and his tribe were strong, so it was not easy for a stranger to infiltrate and execute the task. A Muslim man by the name of Ibn Muslima, volunteered for the murderous project on the condition that Mohammed would allow him to lie. With Mohammed’s consent, Ibn Muslima, went to Kaab and told him fabricated stories that reflected discontent about Mohammed’s leadership. When he had gained Kaab’s trust he lured him away from his house one night and murdered him in a remote area under the cover of darkness.

A similar example can be found in the story of killing Shaaban Ibn Khalid al-Hazly. It was rumored that Shaaban was gathering an army to wage war on Mohammed. Mohammed retaliated by ordering Abdullah Ibn Anis to kill Shaaban. Again, the would-be killer asked the prophet’s permission to lie. Mohammed agreed and then ordered the killer to lie by stating that he was a member of the Khazaa clan. When Shaaban saw Abdullah coming, he asked him, “From what tribe are you?” Abdullah answered, “From Khazaa.” He then added, “I have heard that you are gathering an army to fight Mohammed and I came to join you.” Abdullah started walking with Shaaban telling him how Mohammed came to them with the heretical teachings of Islam, and complained how Mohammed badmouthed the Arab patriarchs and ruined the Arab’s hopes. They continued in conversation until they arrived at Shaaban’s tent. Shaaban’s companions departed and Shaaban invited Abdullah to come inside and rest. Abdullah sat there until the atmosphere was quiet and he sensed that everyone was asleep. Abdullah severed Shaaban’s head and carried it to Mohammed as a trophy. When Mohammed sighted Abdullah, he jubilantly shouted, “Your face has been triumphant (Aflaha al- wajho).” Abdullah returned the greeting by saying, “It is your face, Apostle of Allah, who has been triumphant. (Aflaha wajhoka, ye rasoul Allah).”

Provisions for lying in Islam

Most Muslims are familiar with the principles of Islam that will justify lying in situations where they sense the need to do so. Among these are:

  • War is deception.
  • The necessities justify the forbidden.
  • If faced by two evils, choose the lesser of the two.

These principles are derived from passages found in the Quran and the Hadith.

In the Quran, Allah, allegedly, says:

” Allah will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths, but He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths: for expiation, feed ten indigent persons, on a scale of the average for the food of your families; or clothe them; or give a slave his freedom. If that is beyond your means, fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths ye have sworn. But keep to your oaths. Thus doth Allah make clear to you His signs, that ye may be grateful.” Surah 5:89

“Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness (vain) in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts; and He is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing.” Surah 2:225

“Any one who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters Unbelief, except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith – but such as open their breast to Unbelief, on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty.” Surah 16: 106

The noted Islamic commentator, Al-Tabary explained Surah 16:106 as a verse that had been revealed to Mohammed after he learned that Ammar Ibn Yasser was forced to deny his faith in Mohammed when kidnapped by the Banu Moghera tribe. Mohammed consoled Ammar by telling him, “If they turned, you turn.” (Meaning: if they again capture you, you are allowed to deny me again.)

These and similar passages from the Quran clearly reveal that Muslims’ unintentional lies are forgivable and that even their intentional lies can be absolved by performing extra duties. It is also clear that if forced to do so, Muslims can lie while under oath and can even falsely deny faith in Allah, as long as they maintain the profession of faith in their hearts.

In the Hadith, Mohammed, emphasizes the same concept.

From “Ehiaa Oloum al-Din,” by the famous Islamic scholar al-Ghazali, Vol. 3: PP.284-287:

One of Mohammed’s daughters, Umm Kalthoum, testified that she had never heard the Apostle of God condone lying, except in these three situations:

  1. For reconciliation among people.
  2. In war.
  3. Amongst spouses, to keep peace in the family.

One passage from the Hadith quotes Mohammed as saying: “The sons of Adam are accountable for all lies except those uttered to help bring reconciliation between Muslims.”

Another says, “Aba Kahl, reconcile among people.”(Meaning: even through lying.)

The following quote demonstrates the broadness of situations in which the prophet permitted lying. “The sons of Adam are accountable for all lies with these exceptions: During war because war is deception, to reconcile among two quarreling men, and for a man to appease his wife.”

The principle of Al-Takeyya

The Arabic word, “Takeyya”, means “to prevent,” or guard against. The principle of Al Takeyya conveys the understanding that Muslims are permitted to lie as a preventive measure against anticipated harm to one’s self or fellow Muslims. This principle gives Muslims the liberty to lie under circumstances that they perceive as life threatening. They can even deny the faith, if they do not mean it in their hearts. Al-Takeyya is based on the following Quranic verse:

“Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution (prevention), that ye may Guard yourselves from them (prevent them from harming you.) But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah.” Surah 3: 28

According to this verse a Muslim can pretend to befriend infidels (in violation of the teachings of Islam) and display adherence with their unbelief to prevent them from harming him.

Under the concept of Takeyya and short of killing another human being, if under the threat of force, it is legitimate for Muslims to act contrary to their faith. The following actions are acceptable:

  • Drink wine, abandon prayers, and skip fasting during Ramadan.
  • Renounce belief in Allah.
  • Kneel in homage to a deity other than Allah.
  • Utter insincere oaths.

The implications of the principle of Al-Takeyya

Unfortunately, when dealing with Muslims, one must keep in mind that Muslims can communicate something with apparent sincerity, when in reality they may have just the opposite agenda in their hearts. Bluntly stated, Islam permits Muslims to lie anytime that they perceive that their own well-being, or that of Islam, is threatened.

In the sphere of international politics, the question is: Can Muslim countries be trusted to keep their end of the agreements that they sign with non-Muslim nations? It is a known Islamic practice, that when Muslims are weak they can agree with most anything. Once they become strong, then they negate what they formerly vowed.

The principle of sanctioning lying for the cause of Islam bears grave implications in matters relating to the spread of the religion of Islam in the West. Muslim activists employ deceptive tactics in their attempts to polish Islam’s image and make it more attractive to prospective converts. They carefully try to avoid, obscure, and omit mentioning any of the negative Islamic texts and teachings.

An example of Islamic deception is that Muslim activists always quote the passages of the Quran from the early part of Mohammed’s ministry while living in Mecca. These texts are peaceful and exemplify tolerance towards those that are not followers of Islam. All the while, they are fully aware that most of these passages were abrogated (cancelled and replaced) by passages that came after he migrated to Medina. The replacement verses reflect prejudice, intolerance, and endorse violence upon unbelievers

In conclusion, it is imperative to understand, that Muslim leaders can use this loop-hole in their religion, to absolve them from any permanent commitment. It is also important to know that what Muslim activists say to spread Islam may not always be the whole truth. When dealing with Muslims, what they say is not the issue. The real issue is, what they actually mean in their hearts.

Read the source text: http://www.islamreview.com/articles/lyingprint.htm

Islam as a Christian Heresy: 8 Quotes from St. John Damascene A.D. 749

Please click this link to read the Article on Islam as a Christian Heresy: 8 Quotes from St. John Damascene A.D. 749

The Islam Study: The Muslim Worldview – Adam Francisco, PhD

Please click this link to watch the video on The Muslim Worldview – Adam Francisco, PhD

Published on Feb 1, 2013. Adam Francisco (who has a PhD in Islamic Studies) speaks on the Muslim Worldview.

Islamic Theology (1 of 2) – Adam Francisco, PhD

Please click this link to watch the video on Islamic Theology (1 of 2) – Adam Francisco, PhD

Published on Feb 2, 2013. Adam Francisco (PhD in Islamic Studies) lectures on Islam and Muslims.

Islamic Theology (2 of 2) – Adam Francisco, PhD

Please click this link to watch the video on Islamic Theology (2 of 2) – Adam Francisco, PhD

Published on Feb 2, 2013. Adam Francisco (PhD in Islamic Studies) lectures on Islam and Muslim.

Islam in America – Adam Francisco, PhD

Please click this link to watch the video on Islam in America – Adam Francisco, PhD

Published on Feb 2, 2013. Adam Francisco (PhD in Islamic Studies) lectures on Islam and Muslims.

A Critical Look at the Koran by William Kilpatrick

“May Allah accept this from me.”“I’m doing it in the name of Allah.”“To establish Islamic law—Allah’s law on earth.”

The above are statements made by would-be and successful jihadists to explain their motivations for planning or executing acts of terror in America. Jihadists in other parts of the world say much the same thing. Where, then, do they get the idea that this is what Allah wants them to do?

Please click this link to continue reading the article A Critical Look at the Koran by WILLIAM KILPATRICK

The Origins of Quran (To Know Islam) – Robert Spencer

Please click this link to watch the video on The Origins of Quran (To Know Islam) – Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer – The Politically Incorrect Guide To Islam

Please click this link to watch the video on Robert Spencer – The Politically Incorrect Guide To Islam

Islam’s View of Christianity – Robert Spencer at Franciscan University

Please click this link to watch the video on Islam’s View of Christianity – Robert Spencer at Franciscan University

Robert Spencer: “Evangelization and Islam”

Please click this link to watch the video on Robert Spencer: “Evangelization and Islam”

Franciscan University Presents: Catholics and Islam

Please click this link to watch the video on Franciscan University Presents: Catholics and Islam

“Blasphemy with Breakfast” Dr. Scott Hahn

Clip from “Abba or Allah: The Difference it Makes” with a Muslim Scholar.

Please click this link to watch the video on “Blasphemy with Breakfast” Dr. Scott Hahn

Abraham: Father or Master?” Dr. Scott Hahn

Please click this link to watch the video on “Abraham: Father or Master?” Dr. Scott Hahn

Dr. Scott Hahn, Fr. Michael Scanlan Chair in Biblical Theology, spoke to Franciscan University of Steubenville’s 2011 Defending the Faith Conference “Ambassadors for Christ.” This is a 20 minute excerpt from the larger talk “Abba or Allah:The Difference it Makes” “For the last quarter of a century,” said Dr. Hahn, “I have shared a conviction with a growing number of people that Islam really does represent the single greatest force of the third millennium and also the single greatest challenge and threat to Christianity worldwide.” Dr. Hahn explains the very different conceptions of God in Islam (as Allah, Master) and in Christianity (as Abba, Father) and their consequences for life, religion, and interreligious encounters. “There’s a profound difference between slavery and sonship,” Hahn declared. “Until the sons of God outserve the slaves of God, Christianity is going to continue to dissolve.”

The Truth About Muhammad – Robert Spencer

Please click this link to watch the video on The Truth About Muhammad – Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer speaks in Los Angeles on Did Muhammad Exist?

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Robert Spencer vs. David Wood: Did Muhammad Exist

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Did Muhammad Exist? Robert Spencer & David Wood vs. AnjemChoudary & Omar Bakri

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Who Killed Muhammad?

Please click this link to watch the video on Who killed Muhammad?

Please click this link to watch the video on Who killed Muhammad- ABN

According to Qur’an 69:44-46, if Muhammad were a false prophet, Allah would sever his aorta. Interestingly, when Muhammad died, he said he could feel his sorta being severed.

“Does Islam Teach Violence?” (Robert Spencer) vs (Nadir Ahmed)

Please click this link to watch the video on “Does Islam Teach Violence?” (Robert Spencer) vs (Nadir Ahmed)

Islam: Threat or Not?

Please click this link to watch the video on Islam: Threat or Not?

Freedom Fest 2008 Debate between Dr. Daniel Peterson of BYU and Robert Spencer. Moderated by Matt Sanchez.

Mic’d Up with Robert Spencer “Banned by Bishops and the Truth About Islam

Please click this link to watch the video on Mic’d Up with Robert Spencer “Banned by Bishops and the Truth About Islam

Robert Spencer, Director of JihadWatch.org, goes into detail about his clashes with many Catholic Bishops both here in the States and abroad; as well as the many myths, lies and dangers surrounding the world’s fastest growing religion; Islam.

Who Killed Muhammad?

Who Killed Muhammad?

Please click this link to watch the video on Who killed Muhammad?

Please click this link to watch the video on Who killed Muhammad- ABN

According to Qur’an 69:44-46, if Muhammad were a false prophet, Allah would sever his aorta. Interestingly, when Muhammad died, he said he could feel his sorta being severed.

Islam as a Christian Heresy: 8 Quotes from St. John Damascene A.D. 749

Please click this link to read the Article on Islam as a Christian Heresy: 8 Quotes from St. John Damascene A.D. 749

The Islam Study: The Muslim Worldview – Adam Francisco, PhD

Please click this link to watch the video on The Muslim Worldview – Adam Francisco, PhD

Published on Feb 1, 2013. Adam Francisco (who has a PhD in Islamic Studies) speaks on the Muslim Worldview.

Islamic Theology (1 of 2) – Adam Francisco, PhD

Please click this link to watch the video on Islamic Theology (1 of 2) – Adam Francisco, PhD

Published on Feb 2, 2013. Adam Francisco (PhD in Islamic Studies) lectures on Islam and Muslims.

Islamic Theology (2 of 2) – Adam Francisco, PhD

Please click this link to watch the video on Islamic Theology (2 of 2) – Adam Francisco, PhD

Published on Feb 2, 2013. Adam Francisco (PhD in Islamic Studies) lectures on Islam and Muslim.

Islam in America – Adam Francisco, PhD

Please click this link to watch the video on Islam in America – Adam Francisco, PhD

Published on Feb 2, 2013. Adam Francisco (PhD in Islamic Studies) lectures on Islam and Muslims.

A Critical Look at the Koran by William Kilpatrick

“May Allah accept this from me.”“I’m doing it in the name of Allah.”“To establish Islamic law—Allah’s law on earth.”

The above are statements made by would-be and successful jihadists to explain their motivations for planning or executing acts of terror in America. Jihadists in other parts of the world say much the same thing. Where, then, do they get the idea that this is what Allah wants them to do?

Please click this link to continue reading the article A Critical Look at the Koran by WILLIAM KILPATRICK

The Origins of Quran (To Know Islam) – Robert Spencer

Please click this link to watch the video on The Origins of Quran (To Know Islam) – Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer – The Politically Incorrect Guide To Islam

Please click this link to watch the video on Robert Spencer – The Politically Incorrect Guide To Islam

Islam’s View of Christianity – Robert Spencer at Franciscan University

Please click this link to watch the video on Islam’s View of Christianity – Robert Spencer at Franciscan University

Robert Spencer: “Evangelization and Islam”

Please click this link to watch the video on Robert Spencer: “Evangelization and Islam”

Franciscan University Presents: Catholics and Islam

Please click this link to watch the video on Franciscan University Presents: Catholics and Islam

“Blasphemy with Breakfast” Dr. Scott Hahn

Clip from “Abba or Allah: The Difference it Makes” with a Muslim Scholar.

Please click this link to watch the video on “Blasphemy with Breakfast” Dr. Scott Hahn

Abraham: Father or Master?” Dr. Scott Hahn

Please click this link to watch the video on “Abraham: Father or Master?” Dr. Scott Hahn

Dr. Scott Hahn, Fr. Michael Scanlan Chair in Biblical Theology, spoke to Franciscan University of Steubenville’s 2011 Defending the Faith Conference “Ambassadors for Christ.” This is a 20 minute excerpt from the larger talk “Abba or Allah:The Difference it Makes” “For the last quarter of a century,” said Dr. Hahn, “I have shared a conviction with a growing number of people that Islam really does represent the single greatest force of the third millennium and also the single greatest challenge and threat to Christianity worldwide.” Dr. Hahn explains the very different conceptions of God in Islam (as Allah, Master) and in Christianity (as Abba, Father) and their consequences for life, religion, and interreligious encounters. “There’s a profound difference between slavery and sonship,” Hahn declared. “Until the sons of God outserve the slaves of God, Christianity is going to continue to dissolve.”

The Truth About Muhammad – Robert Spencer

Please click this link to watch the video on The Truth About Muhammad – Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer speaks in Los Angeles on Did Muhammad Exist?

Please click this link to watch the video on Robert Spencer speaks in Los Angeles on Did Muhammad Exist?

Robert Spencer vs. David Wood: Did Muhammad Exist

Please click this link to watch the video on Robert Spencer vs. David Wood: Did Muhammad Exist

Did Muhammad Exist? Robert Spencer & David Wood vs. AnjemChoudary & Omar Bakri

Please click this link to watch the video on Did Muhammad Exist? Robert Spencer & David Wood vs. Anjem Choudary & Omar Bakri

“Does Islam Teach Violence?” (Robert Spencer) vs (Nadir Ahmed)

Please click this link to watch the video on “Does Islam Teach Violence?” (Robert Spencer) vs (Nadir Ahmed)

Islam: Threat or Not?

Please click this link to watch the video on Islam: Threat or Not?

Freedom Fest 2008 Debate between Dr. Daniel Peterson of BYU and Robert Spencer. Moderated by Matt Sanchez.

Mic’d Up with Robert Spencer “Banned by Bishops and the Truth About Islam

Please click this link to watch the video on Mic’d Up with Robert Spencer “Banned by Bishops and the Truth About Islam

Robert Spencer, Director of JihadWatch.org, goes into detail about his clashes with many Catholic Bishops both here in the States and abroad; as well as the many myths, lies and dangers surrounding the world’s fastest growing religion; Islam.

Readings and Reflections with Cardinal Tagle: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time July 27,2014

Readings and Reflections with Cardinal Tagle: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time July 27,2014

God says to Solomon, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.” “The Lord was pleased that Solomon” asked for an understanding heart instead of for long life or riches. For with such a request, God can work miracles. “All things work for good for those who love God.” The desire of Solomon is what characterizes the heart of the man who sells all he has to buy the treasure-bearing field. The desire of Solomon is what sets apart the merchant who risks his whole livelihood to buy what he judges to be the “pearl of great price.” They can make these sacrifices with certainty because that treasure, that pearl corresponds to the deepest longings of the “understanding heart “ – it is Christ himself.

AMDG+

Opening Prayer

“Lord Jesus, reveal to me the true riches of your kingdom. Help me to set my heart on you alone as the treasure beyond compare with any other. Free my heart of any inordinate desires or attachment to other things that I may freely give to you all that I have in joy and gratitude for all that you have given to me. May I always find joy and delight in your presence.”  In your Might Name, I pray. Amen.

Reading 1
1 Kgs 3:5, 7-12 – You have asked for wisdom.

Please click this link to watch the video on Reading 1 1 Kgs 3:5, 7-12 – You have asked for wisdom by Cardinal Chito Tagle

The LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night.
God said, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.”
Solomon answered:
“O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, king
to succeed my father David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act. I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen,
a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted.
Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart
to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong.
For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?”

The LORD was pleased that Solomon made this request.
So God said to him:
“Because you have asked for this—
not for a long life for yourself,
nor for riches,
nor for the life of your enemies,
but for understanding so that you may know what is right—
I do as you requested.
I give you a heart so wise and understanding
that there has never been anyone like you up to now,
and after you there will come no one to equal you.”

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-128, 129-130
R. (97a) Lord, I love your commands.

I have said, O LORD, that my part
is to keep your words.
The law of your mouth is to me more precious
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
R. Lord, I love your commands.

Let your kindness comfort me
according to your promise to your servants.
Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
for your law is my delight.
R. Lord, I love your commands.

For I love your command
more than gold, however fine.
For in all your precepts I go forward;
every false way I hate.
R. Lord, I love your commands.

Wonderful are your decrees;
therefore I observe them.
The revelation of your words sheds light,
giving understanding to the simple.
R. Lord, I love your commands.

Reading II
Rom 8:28-30 – God predestined us to be conformed to the image of his Son.

Please click this link to watch the video on Reading II Rom 8:28-30 – God predestined us to be conformed to the image of his Son by Cardinal Chito Tagle

Brothers and sisters:
We know that all things work for good for those who love God,
who are called according to his purpose.
For those he foreknew he also predestined
to be conformed to the image of his Son,
so that he might be the firstborn
among many brothers and sisters.
And those he predestined he also called;
and those he called he also justified;
and those he justified he also glorified.

The word of the Lord.

Gospel
Mt 13:44-52 – He sells all that he has and buys the field.

Please click this link to watch the video on Mt 13:44-52 – He sells all that he has and buys the field by Cardinal Chito Tagle

Please click this link to watch the video on Sermon 707: Solomon’s Prayer – 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time A by Fr. Robert Barron

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.

“Do you understand all these things?”
They answered, “Yes.” And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection 1

I have seen a lot of people who  have met the Lord in a very momentous way proclaim that, “The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”   They were converted and have decided to make a complete turnaround in their lives. They have realized their wrongdoings and have repented of their sins and old ways. They have given up all that have separated them from the Lord and have allowed the Spirit to prevail in all their affairs. They have led new lives all for the sake of the kingdom of heaven which they have acknowledged and believed because of their faith in Jesus, as Savior and Redeemer. They have given up their old lives in exchange for what they consider the pearl of great price.

To show their, deep love and appreciation for all that the Lord has poured into their lives they have committed to abide by His Word and have obeyed Him unconditionally.

In their lives there has been nothing more important and of great value than reaching their true home with the Father. In their dealings with others, there is nothing more important than Jesus that no amount of differences or conflict can ever isolate or separate them from God’s Church. They have found the hidden treasure of being with Christ.

Truly they have found the very essence of their existence. They have the pearl of great price and will never part with it. They have decided never to turn back as they taste and experience the kingdom of heaven!

Order

“Ask something of me and I will give it to you.”

Direction

Jesus is the only treasure we should all have. To keep the pearl of great price, we need to re-align our lives to Christ!

Promise

“I give you a heart so wise and understanding that there has never been anyone like you up to now, and after you there will come no one to equal you.”

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we praise and thank you for the imperishable treasure you have given us in the gift of your Son Jesus.

“Lord Jesus, may your word take deep root in my heart and transform my way of thinking, discerning, and acting. May your Spirit open my ears to hear and understand the word of God in the Scriptures that I may revere and treasure both the Old and the New Testaments which God has prepared for all who desire to enter his kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. Help me to be a diligent student and faithful disciple of your word.” We pray this in Your Name.  Amen.

Reflection 2 – A Taste of Heaven

The first words we utter in the morning can be a very effective way of knowing our mental and emotional condition. If we wake up in the morning and we say, ‘Good morning, Lord,’ we have a peaceful and happy disposition for the day. But if we say, ‘Good Lord, it’s morning,’ that means a rough day is ahead of us.

Every morning we have every reason to thank and praise God. This is easy to see for those people who are simple and humble, the child-like – people of the Beatitudes. Jesus praised the heavenly Father for them: “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for what you have hidden from the clever and the learned, you have revealed to the merest children”(Mt 11:25). These are the ones who have discovered the mysteries of the Kingdom and who clearly see the wonders that God does at every moment of every day.

But for people who are steeped in selfishness and worldly attractions, unfortunately, that is not the case. Their greed for material things, and their insatiable egoistic desires made their eyes blind to the supernatural and heavenly realities, which are the true and lasting treasures. This is what Saint Pope John Paul II referred to when he said, “The greatest misfortune of this age is that people consider money as the highest good.” The scourge of this present humanity is materialism. When it rules, the spiritual matters invariably disappear, and the true and lasting treasures lose their value.

Last Sunday, we reflected on the terrible reality of hell, the unquenchable fire of eternal punishment. For this Sunday, let us fix our eyes on the infinitely priceless treasure of heaven. The Gospel gives three parables of the Kingdom of God, about heaven. Just as hell is not only a geographical place, but is rather “the state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed” (CCC, no. 1033), so also is heaven not really a physical place. Indeed, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness” (no.1024). In other words, if hell is the state of being away from God, heaven, on the other hand, is the state of being in the presence of God, being with God.

The good news is that even though we are still on earth, it is possible for us to have a taste and a glimpse of heaven. This happens in and through Jesus, the true God in human flesh. The early Fathers of the Church loved to refer to Jesus as the “autobasileia.” “Auto” means “self” and “basileia” means “kingdom.” Jesus is himself the Kingdom of God. To enter the Kingdom of God, therefore, is to enter into a relationship with Jesus. When we are with Jesus, we are in a state of supreme happiness for we are with God. We are in heaven, our greatest treasure.

How do we come into direct contact with God while on earth? How do we get some taste and glimpse of heaven on earth? Pope Benedict XVI said, “The Liturgy is the act in which we believe that God enters our lives and that we touch Him…We come into contact with God. He comes to us – and we are illumined by Him” (“Light of the World”, p. 155). In a very unique and special way, Jesus is really present in the liturgy, especially in the Eucharist. Saint Pope John Paul II said, “The liturgy we celebrate on earth is a mysterious participation in the heavenly liturgy” (Angelus, Nov. 3, 1996). He further said that, in fact, “It is the eternal worship of Heaven, but it is also steeped in time.” (Address on Liturgy to the US Bishops,1998). A famous biblical scholar in the US, Dr. Scott Hahn, said, “When Jesus comes again at the end of time, he will not have a single drop more glory than he has right now upon the altars and in the tabernacles of our churches. God dwells among mankind, right now, because the Mass is heaven on earth” (The Lamb’s Supper, p.116). St. John Chrysostom attested to this truth: “When Mass is celebrated, the sanctuary is filled with countless angels who adore the Divine Victim immolated on the altar.”

In the Gospel this Sunday, the man who found the buried treasure in a field sold everything he had in order to buy that field. The merchant who found the pearl of great price sold everything in order to buy it. Jesus is talking about the priceless value of heaven that one can readily sacrifice everything just to possess it. Can we let go of our valued possessions in favor of heaven? Are we willing to invest all our hard-earned savings of a lifetime on the Lord’s promise of eternal glory in heaven?

But heaven is not just some abstract idea. Heaven is real, for it is Jesus himself. And Jesus is here with us in the Mass! Are we ready to leave behind our tasks at home just to be here at Mass on Sunday? Are we ready to sacrifice that baseball game, or forget about that cold beer with our friends and taste the sweetness of heaven here in the Mass with Jesus? Is that beach party next Sunday more interesting than the experience of heaven on earth in the Mass?

This is something we have to think about very seriously. We are Catholics. We have the fullness of the Truth. We have all the sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ. And we encounter and receive Jesus really present in the Eucharist. Unfortunately, many of us take our Catholic faith for granted. We often tend to neglect Sunday Mass. This is very sad.

St. Anselm said, “A single Mass offered for oneself during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same intention after death.” St. Margaret Redi of the Sacred Heart bewailed the people’s lack of reverence towards the Eucharist: “Ah, what continual irreverence he receives from man in his own house! In his humility, he deigns to dwell in our midst, yet how often is he neglected and forgotten, left in empty churches, while in his turn, he never grows weary of this lonely vigil. Truly ‘Love is not loved!’”

Let us ask God to continually grant us the gift of wisdom, like the one granted to Solomon, and to open the eyes of our faith so that each time we come to Mass, we will be able to see the infinite beauty and priceless value of heaven – despite the distractions and limitations of this material world. May we eagerly look forward to every Sunday as a great blessing and a precious opportunity for us to encounter Jesus in the Eucharist, have a taste of “heaven on earth”, and begin to enjoy eternal happiness now and for eternity (Source: Fr. Mike Lagrimas, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Palmera Springs 3, Susano Road, Camarin, Novaliches, Caloocan City 1422).

Reflection 3 – The kingdom of heaven

King Solomon, the son of David, was established in his kingdom and built the temple for God. The Book of Chronicles “portrays this as the culmination of biblical history, a recapitulation not only of the tabernacle built by Moses in the wilderness but also of creation itself. The Kingdom of Solomon is the new people of God, a liturgical empire called to bring the blessings of God to all nations through its temple and law” (S. Hahn, The Kingdom of God as Liturgical Empire, Baker Academic, 106).

As Solomon begins his reign, God comes to Solomon in a dream and tells him to ask something of him and he will give it to him. Instead of asking for a long life, riches, or victory over his enemies, Solomon asks for an understanding heart. Solomon knows that he is a servant of God and that he needs to be able to distinguish right from wrong in order to govern the people of God. God grants him his request and the words of the Psalmist are placed on Solomon’s lips: “The law [of the Lord] is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces”.

Solomon’s life has a sad ending. The prudence and wisdom with which he governed the people at the beginning of his reign, failed him in his personal life towards the end. He allowed his heart to be turned to false gods. The Book of Sirach praises the wisdom of Solomon’s youth, but points out the folly of his old age. The Kingdom was divided and a disobedient kingdom arose out of the North (Sirach 47:12-22). Solomon’s son Rehoboam was ample in folly and lacking in understanding and caused the people to revolt. Jeroboam, the King of the North, caused Israel to sin.

After the exile of Israel and Judah, the prophets began foresee the restoration of the Kingdom promised to David. God will raise up a new Davidic king to lead the people out of exile and restore them in a unified Kingdom (Hosea 3:5; Amos 9:11; Jeremiah 23:5-7; 30:9; Ezekiel 37:22).

Jesus, the son of David (Matthew 1:1), was anointed by the Holy Spirit in the Jordan and began his public ministry proclaiming that the Kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus promises the Kingdom to the poor in spirit, to those who mourn, to the meek, to those who seek righteousness, to the merciful, to the pure, to the peacemakers and to the persecuted (Matthew 5:3-10). The greatest in the kingdom of heaven follow the law and the prophets and teach them to others.

Today, Jesus’ parables of the kingdom compare it to a hidden treasure, a merchant in search of fine pearls, and to a net thrown into the sea. The first two parables encourages us to seek the kingdom tirelessly and sell everything we own to obtain it. We hear the words Jesus said to the rich young man: “If you would be perfect, go sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21). The third parable tells us that good and evil will co-exist side by side until the end of time. There will be good wheat and bad weeds; there will be those who welcome the kingdom of heaven and those who reject it.

Saint Paul assures us today that God is watching over us during our time on this earth. God will lead us to the kingdom and brings us into the kingdom. First, Paul teaches that God knows each one of us from all eternity. His plan is to unite all things in Christ, things in heaven and things in earth. Second, God ordains (predestines) each one of us to eternal salvation. We have been destined in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ. His plan is that we live for the praise of God’s glory. Third, the Father calls us and chooses us in love to be his adopted children.

Fourth, the Father justifies those who respond to his call and believe in his Son. The grace of the Holy Spirit has the power to justify us, that is, to cleanse us from our sins and communicate to us the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ and through Baptism (CCC, 1987). We die to sin by sharing in Christ’s Passion and we are born to new life through his Resurrection (CCC, 1988). The first work of grace is conversion; moved by grace, we turn toward God and away from sin. “Justification is not only the remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man” (CCC, 1989) Finally, those he justifies by grace, he glorifies, for grace is the beginning of glory. In the Kingdom of heaven, we will contemplate the glory of the Trinity.

Read the source text: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/sunday-homily-the-kingdom-of-heaven

Reflection 4 – How do we respond to God’s love?

The parables of Jesus were meant to catch us off guard. How is it that the kingdom of God is never quite what we make it out to be? The parables challenge us to look at life in a new way, and to probe the places in our lives where we are called to love.

Try to reflect this story. Last spring was a rainy season in much of the United States. In one area, small creeks became roaring rivers, and rivers overflowed their banks. Basements, of course, were flowing! A cross-country coach was out with his girls’ team, when two runners, who were ahead of the group, tried their usual shortcut across a normally small creek bed. They straddled a drainage pipe that crossed the creek. As the waters roared only inches away, one girl slipped and fell in. Her teammate held onto her and slipped into the waters as well. The coach, coming up the trail, saw what had happened and leapt into the waters, helping the girls stay afloat until help arrived. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

The coach was put into the moment of crisis when he saw his students fighting for their lives. What would he do? That’s the question that today’s Scripture asks each of us.

God’s love is there for the taking. Paul (Rom 8:28-30) tells us that love starts with God. It is God the Father who calls us to love, who has always called us to love, who always will call us to love. It is our duty to respond to God’s love. God makes us all things work for the good, but we need to cooperate in order for love to be made manifest in our lives.

The moments of crisis in our lives – not the dramatic crises, but, rather, those everyday moments when we can either choose the good or ignore the good – are when we have the strongest chance to cooperate with God’s love. Crisis here is not life-and-death emergency; rather, it has the ancient Greek sense, a moment of choice. Our lives are full of that kind of crisis.

Faithfulness to our families is the stage of our faithfulness to God. Although many look for the dramatic opportunities to do good, in truth, we encounter hundreds of choices each day. Jesus’ parables (Mt 13:44-46) are about the mysterious presence and growth of the kingdom of heaven – guess what, it’s in your midst! How would we translate these parables in today’s world? How about the one who found a buried treasure, or the pearl of great price? Could the love of a spouse, or children, or other family or friend not be the pearl of great price? (Yes, we know that love in the home often comes at great price!). Jesus tells us these pearls are worth putting aside everything else? The field of treasures doesn’t stop at our homes. Indeed, any place where we can put the values of the kingdom of God into action is the field where the treasure lies. We read elsewhere in the Gospels about acts of charity and justice as ways that Jesus wants us to love. The parables challenge us to take another look at the everyday. The deepest treasure of love is often right under our noses! We are challenged to wake up to the treasures in our midst.

Judgment is a time for hope. The final parable in today’s Gospel (Mt 13:47-50) talks about a net thrown into the waters. All sorts of things were collected, but what was useless was discarded. Does this parable foretell our own doom? Pope Benedict XVI, in his 2007 encyclical, “Save in Hope,” talks about judgment for the Christian. He acknowledges some theologians’ description of judgment as Christ himself, “the fire which both burns and saves us.” It’s a heavy, even academic idea, but his point is that judgment is a moment for each of us to hope. Yes, the good is separated from the bad, as in the parable, but Christians, save in Christ, have cause to be hopeful. With that insight, we can look at all of the elements of our lives that compete for our attention. What is worth saving? Where ought we to focus our attention. Today’s gospel encourages us to look beyond the surface. Let’s look to the deeper meaning of the events, the people, and the places of our lives.

Therefore the mystery we experience in our lives, the beauty of life’s greatest treasures being close at hand, are all pointed at by the Eucharist. As we gather today, let us look beyond the Bread and the Wine and see the work of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives. Let us look through the immediate in our lives – with all of its troubles and concerns – and see “with the eyes of faith” the mystery of life, the hope of Jesus, all around us.  Let us turn now to this mystery of life, at the Table of Our Lord (Source: Fr. Hilarion Kistner, OFM, editor, Homily Helps. Ohio: St. Anthony Messenger Press, July 27, 2008).

Reflection 5 -Divine wisdom, the kingdom’s greatest treasure

Purpose: The ensemble of readings today invites a homily that brings out the contrast between earthly, material riches and the only true and lasting treasure: the supernatural gift of wisdom by which we come to know and love God above all things. Jesus’ Gospel parables skillfully bring out this contrast by making worldly wealth itselfthe treasure hidden in a field, the pearl of great pricea symbol of that real treasure which we find only by entering God’s kingdom, by faith, and making it our priority. Jesus also likens the kingdom to a heavily-laden fishing net, from which inedible refuse will be cast away at the end of time. In doing so, he reminds us not only that we should refrain from premature judgment of other professed believers, but also that we ourselves can lose the saving gift of wisdom by foolishly letting down our guard and giving way to sin.

Readings: 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12 ● Rom 8:28-30 ● Mt 13:44-52 
http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072714.cfm

Today’s Gospel concludes a three-week series of parables in which our Lord speaks of that mysterious realitywhich in St. Matthew’s version is translated literally as “the kingdom of the heavens”of God’s loving rule over ourselves, and the whole creation. In light of the preceding readings, a central theme in the three short parables we hear today is about that priceless treasureindeed, it is the only true and lasting wealth there iswhich we discover and receive by entering God’s kingdom. This treasure is the divinely-bestowed wisdom (the ensemble of faith, hope, and charity) by which we come to know and love God as our King, as well as to love his commands (response to today’s Psalm).

King David’s son, Solomon, living a millennium before our Lord came to proclaim God’s kingdom, was already seeking it in his own way. In the first reading, we meet Solomon as he begins his reign over the house of Israelthat ancient root from which, under the New Covenant, the universal Kingdom of God announced by Jesus, will grow, spread and, finally, triumph. When God invites the young monarch to ask confidently for whatever he most longs for, his response seems politically incorrect. Solomon is no Machiavelli. He requests none of the specific diplomatic, military, financial, or other power-clinching benefits that preoccupy most rulers. Instead, he paradoxically shows wisdom beyond his years by acknowledging his lack of wisdom for the huge task now confronting him. Since he makes the acquisition of that virtue his one great priority, the Lord blesses him in an exceptional way with “an understanding heart” and the capacity “to distinguish right from wrong.”

Of course, it is not only kings and rulers that God wants to bless. In the second reading, St. Paul assures us that for all those who make God their true priority in life, “all things work for good,” since that free decision on our part is, at the same time, made possible by a loving God’s calling, foreknowledge, and predestination. He eternally sees the end of each Christian’s vocationwhich is nothing less than our conformity to the beautiful image of Christin its very beginning.

These first two readings, with their call to set our hearts on the spiritual treasure of God’s love, rather than the transient, but alluring, riches of this world, can help us penetrate more deeply the message of the first two Gospel parables we hear today.  Jesus brings out the contrast between earthly riches, and the priceless treasure of God’s kingdom, precisely by making the first a symbol of the second. But it’s the kind of symbol which, like a signpost on the highway, points beyond itself to a greater destination: “Wouldn’t you be overjoyed to find a treasure-trove buried in a field, or the most magnificent pearl that ever came out of an oyster? Well, that’s nothing compared to the lasting joy that will be yours if, through faith, you discover Christ as God dwelling with us in human flesh, and become a citizen of his kingdom! And indeed, not just a citizen, but the adopted son or daughter of the divine King himself!”

These little parables also recall the different ways in which we can find the kingdom. For some, its discovery comes without any deliberate search, like unexpectedly unearthing that buried treasure. We’re reminded of St. Paul on the road to Damascusthrown off his horse by a sudden and, literally, blinding encounter with the risen Christ. For others, the treasure of faith may come only after years of groping and searching for meaning in life, like the merchant who has spent years in endlessly scrutinizing pearl after pearl.

Jesus’ last parable reminds us again that, even though its final victory is assured, God’s kingdom is still in a state of war with Satan throughout this present life. The enemy’s agents, and fellow-travelers, can often infiltrate the temporary, earthly structures of the kingdomthe Church Militantjust as the big fishing net inevitably scoops up a lot of noxious creatures and trash, as well as good fish. Many sects have failed to understand this parable. They have denounced (sometimes with good reason!) the “worldliness” they see in the visible Roman Catholic Church,  but have chosen the false solution of trying to set up “pure” alternate churches in which membershipor at least, first-class citizenshipwill be reserved for a holy, devout élite. These folks, conscious of being “true believers”(i.e., “saved” or “born again”), distinguish themselves clearly from those they see as “unconverted non-Christians,” even though the latter may sometimes profess the faith, and attend church. Jesus warns us here that this kind of judgment is to be left up to God at the end of history. For we may err gravely, not only in judging others to be outside the kingdom, but in smugly presuming ourselves to be permanent insiders! The sad example of Solomon, who eventually lapsed from his initial zeal and wisdom into worldly sensuality and decadence, reminds us that our joy in being sons and daughters of God’s kingdom must, in this life, be accompanied by constant vigilance against the enemy’s wiles.

Saturday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time & Saints Joachim and Anne July 26,2014

Saturday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time & Saints Joachim and Anne July 26,2014

AMDG+

Opening Prayer

“Lord, may your word take deep root in my heart and that I may bear good fruit for your glory. May I hunger for your righteousness now that I may look forward to the day of judgment with joy rather than with dismay.” In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.

Reading 1
Jer 7:1-11

The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
Stand at the gate of the house of the LORD,
and there proclaim this message:
Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah
who enter these gates to worship the LORD!
Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel:
Reform your ways and your deeds,
so that I may remain with you in this place.
Put not your trust in the deceitful words:
“This is the temple of the LORD!
The temple of the LORD! The temple of the LORD!”
Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds;
if each of you deals justly with his neighbor;
if you no longer oppress the resident alien,
the orphan, and the widow;
if you no longer shed innocent blood in this place,
or follow strange gods to your own harm,
will I remain with you in this place,
in the land I gave your fathers long ago and forever
.

But here you are, putting your trust in deceitful words to your own loss!
Are you to steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury,
burn incense to Baal, go after strange gods that you know not,
and yet come to stand before me
in this house which bears my name, and say:
“We are safe; we can commit all these abominations again”?
Has this house which bears my name
become in your eyes a den of thieves?
I too see what is being done, says the LORD.

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 84:3, 4, 5-6a and 8a, 11
R. (2) How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young—
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
Blessed the men whose strength you are!
They go from strength to strength.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

I had rather one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I had rather lie at the threshold of the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

Gospel
Mt 13:24-30

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.
“The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man
who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection 1

Today’s gospel speaks to all of us in regard to the wheat and the weeds that are trying to simultaneously populate our hearts, our lives and our total beings. Both weeds and wheat find their home in us as our resistance to conversion continues, as our unwillingness to take on a new leaf, a new life takes hold of us.

Whenever our comfort zones are touched, we wake up to the reality that we are not ready to give up our old selves, our old ways. All we can say is…”to err is human” and that God will understand and lovingly forgive us. We continue on with our lives centered on the world. We wade in the dangerous shores of pleasure, flesh and lust that in time we are carried on by the waves. We are overwhelmed and find ourselves gasping for air and dear life. We seek God and pray endlessly to save us once more!

This is what happens to us when we allow the weeds some space in our hearts. The wheat slowly dies as we fall short of perfection, as we become disciples of our own selves and are not moved to change but insist on our old sinful lives.

Most of our most offensive weeds can be dealt with while we live, some easy, some more difficult, others we think are quite impossible to get rid off as they are so tightly integrated with our personalities. Perfection will always elude even the just. None of us will ever reach the point while we live when we can say “I have done everything that the LORD has told me.” The weeds of our hearts may never be pulled without causing harm to the wheat in our hearts, the fruit of our goodness. Some say that we may have to await the last judgment for their final culling and extinction but nothing is impossible with God.

If we remain focused on Him and be consistent in our prayers, our praise and worship will never cease to follow our Lord and His Word. One day we will find ourselves a new creation in Christ. His grace, full of love and power, shall find us not only rescued but forgiven and transformed. “Offer to God praise as your sacrifice and fulfill your vows to the Most High; Then call upon me in time of distress; I will rescue you, and you shall glorify me.”

Order

“Reform your ways and your deeds, so that I may remain with you in this place.”

“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.”

Direction

We always need to follow God and His will for us and persevere in giving our best-prayers, worship and sacrifice of praise.

“All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do.”

“Offer to God a sacrifice of praise”

When Moses came to the people and related all the words and ordinances of the LORD, they all answered with one voice, “We will do everything that the LORD has told us.”

Promise

Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds… will I remain with you in this place, in the land I gave your fathers long ago and forever.”

Prayer

Heavenly Father, bless me with your transforming grace so that one day, the weeds that have illegally declared ownership of my heart may all be extricated, so that I may live my life totally for you, so the thoughts and meditations of my heart may give you glory, so I may offer you my never ending sacrifice of praise. In the Mighty Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Reflection 2: Let us praise Joachim and Anne

Today we celebrate the memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They were chosen by God to conceive and raise the mother of his only-begotten Son. As grandparents of our Savior and the parents of the Mother of our Redeemer, they were participants in the great mystery of our salvation. The child whom they conceived, Mary, was preserved from the stain of original sin and was redeemed from the moment of her conception. Today we venerate, Anne, the one chosen by God from all eternity to conceive Mary, the Immaculate Conception.

Joachim and Anne educated and raised Mary and introduced her to God’s Word, the Word that she responded to generously each day and that one day she would conceive by the Holy Spirit. In fact, the home of Joachim and Anne in Nazareth was most likely the place of the Incarnation. In this way, they too welcomed God’s Word in their hearts and in their home.

The first reading, chosen for today’s memorial, draws our attention to the covenant that God made with the ancestors of Israel. Through this covenant, the family of the godly men of Israel endures. Their fidelity and virtues have not been forgotten. God fulfills the promises made to Abraham, the covenant he made with Israel through Moses his servant, and the covenant he made with David, his chosen one, through Joachim and Anne.

It is not easy to sort through all the different stories that have come down to us about the early life of Mary and her parents. Some of the writings we have about Joachim and Anne make an attempt to give Mary both a kingly genealogy (through Joachim, a descendant of David) and a priestly genealogy (through Anne of the tribe of Levi). This is because the promised Messiah is both priest and king.

In any case, the first reading speaks about how the descendants of God’s faithful ones will endure, how their glory will never be blotted out, how their name lives on and on, and how they are praised in the assembly long after they pass away. All of this applies to Joachim and Anne. On the one hand, their descendants – Mary, the New Eve, and Jesus, the New Adam – endure. We form part of that new humanity redeemed in Christ. On the other hand, even today we sing their praises in the liturgical assembly.

The Psalm today focuses our attention on the covenant promise that God swore to King David, the promise that one of David’s descendants would reign without end: “I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son; I will not take my merciful love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom for ever and his throne shall be established for ever” (1 Chronicles 17:11-14). The history of Israel sees the kingdom divided and sent into exile. God, though, is faithful to his promise: Jesus Christ is the son of David, and the grandson of Joachim and Anne, and his kingdom is without end.

It is possible that Joachim and Anne saw Jesus for the first time when the Holy Family returned from Egypt. We can read the Gospel in this light. Their eyes were blessed because they saw the child Jesus, the Son of God. They probably didn’t hear him preach the Gospel of the Kingdom during his public ministry; but they might have heard some of the words of Jesus’ hidden life. And when they heard him, they were amazed at his understanding and his answers to their questions. They saw and heard what the prophets and righteous people of Israel longed to see and hear. In particular, they saw Jesus atone for our disobedience, by his submission to Mary and Joseph (CCC, 517). It is possible that in Nazareth they saw the child Jesus grow in wisdom and strength, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52).

Today, we praise God’s faithful and merciful love, for he fulfilled his promises and, through Joachim and Anne, prepared mankind to receive Mary, the All-holy One and Immaculate Conception. Today, we venerate Joachim and Anne, for their fidelity to God and for the way they raised Mary, our Mother. They are models of kindness, love, and joy for grandparents everywhere. In heaven, they intercede for us so that we may attain the salvation God promised to his people (Collect). Like grandparents waiting for the visit of their children and grandchildren, they are eager to welcome us to our heavenly home.

Reade the source text: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/daily-homily-let-us-praise-joachim-and-anne

Reflection 3: St. Joachim and St. Anne

In the Scriptures, Matthew and Luke furnish a legal family history of Jesus, tracing ancestry to show that Jesus is the culmination of great promises. Not only is his mother’s family neglected, we also know nothing factual about them except that they existed. Even the names Joachim and Anne come from a legendary source written more than a century after Jesus died.

The heroism and holiness of these people, however, is inferred from the whole family atmosphere around Mary in the Scriptures. Whether we rely on the legends about Mary’s childhood or make guesses from the information in the Bible, we see in her a fulfillment of many generations of prayerful persons, herself steeped in the religious traditions of her people.

The strong character of Mary in making decisions, her continuous practice of prayer, her devotion to the laws of her faith, her steadiness at moments of crisis, and her devotion to her relatives—all indicate a close-knit, loving family that looked forward to the next generation even while retaining the best of the past.

Joachim and Anne—whether these are their real names or not—represent that entire quiet series of generations who faithfully perform their duties, practice their faith and establish an atmosphere for the coming of the Messiah, but remain obscure.

Comment:

This is the “feast of grandparents.” It reminds grandparents of their responsibility to establish a tone for generations to come: They must make the traditions live and offer them as a promise to little children. But the feast has a message for the younger generation as well. It reminds the young that older people’s greater perspective, depth of experience and appreciation of life’s profound rhythms are all part of a wisdom not to be taken lightly or ignored.

Quote:

“…[T]he family is the foundation of society. In it the various generations come together and help one another to grow wise and to harmonize personal rights with the other requirements of social life” (Vatican II, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, 52).

Read the source text:

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The above are statements made by would-be and successful jihadists to explain their motivations for planning or executing acts of terror in America. Jihadists in other parts of the world say much the same thing. Where, then, do they get the idea that this is what Allah wants them to do?

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“May Allah accept this from me.”“I’m doing it in the name of Allah.”“To establish Islamic law—Allah’s law on earth.”

The above are statements made by would-be and successful jihadists to explain their motivations for planning or executing acts of terror in America. Jihadists in other parts of the world say much the same thing. Where, then, do they get the idea that this is what Allah wants them to do?

Please click this link to continue reading the article A Critical Look at the Koran by WILLIAM KILPATRICK

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Abraham: Father or Master?” Dr. Scott Hahn

Please click this link to watch the video on “Abraham: Father or Master?” Dr. Scott Hahn

Dr. Scott Hahn, Fr. Michael Scanlan Chair in Biblical Theology, spoke to Franciscan University of Steubenville’s 2011 Defending the Faith Conference “Ambassadors for Christ.” This is a 20 minute excerpt from the larger talk “Abba or Allah:The Difference it Makes” “For the last quarter of a century,” said Dr. Hahn, “I have shared a conviction with a growing number of people that Islam really does represent the single greatest force of the third millennium and also the single greatest challenge and threat to Christianity worldwide.” Dr. Hahn explains the very different conceptions of God in Islam (as Allah, Master) and in Christianity (as Abba, Father) and their consequences for life, religion, and interreligious encounters. “There’s a profound difference between slavery and sonship,” Hahn declared. “Until the sons of God outserve the slaves of God, Christianity is going to continue to dissolve.”

The Truth About Muhammad – Robert Spencer

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Robert Spencer speaks in Los Angeles on Did Muhammad Exist?

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Robert Spencer vs. David Wood: Did Muhammad Exist

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Did Muhammad Exist? Robert Spencer & David Wood vs. AnjemChoudary & Omar Bakri

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“Does Islam Teach Violence?” (Robert Spencer) vs (Nadir Ahmed)

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Islam: Threat or Not?

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Freedom Fest 2008 Debate between Dr. Daniel Peterson of BYU and Robert Spencer. Moderated by Matt Sanchez.

Mic’d Up with Robert Spencer “Banned by Bishops and the Truth About Islam

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Robert Spencer, Director of JihadWatch.org, goes into detail about his clashes with many Catholic Bishops both here in the States and abroad; as well as the many myths, lies and dangers surrounding the world’s fastest growing religion; Islam.

Dr. Nabeel Qureshi: Critical Issues in Islamic Studies – Apologetics to Islam

Dr. Nabeel Qureshi: Critical Issues in Islamic Studies – Apologetics to Islam

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Islam as a Christian Heresy: 8 Quotes from St. John Damascene A.D. 749

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The Islam Study: The Muslim Worldview – Adam Francisco, PhD

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Published on Feb 1, 2013. Adam Francisco (who has a PhD in Islamic Studies) speaks on the Muslim Worldview.

Islamic Theology (1 of 2) – Adam Francisco, PhD

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Published on Feb 2, 2013. Adam Francisco (PhD in Islamic Studies) lectures on Islam and Muslims.

Islamic Theology (2 of 2) – Adam Francisco, PhD

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Published on Feb 2, 2013. Adam Francisco (PhD in Islamic Studies) lectures on Islam and Muslim.

Islam in America – Adam Francisco, PhD

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Published on Feb 2, 2013. Adam Francisco (PhD in Islamic Studies) lectures on Islam and Muslims.

A Critical Look at the Koran by William Kilpatrick

“May Allah accept this from me.”“I’m doing it in the name of Allah.”“To establish Islamic law—Allah’s law on earth.”

The above are statements made by would-be and successful jihadists to explain their motivations for planning or executing acts of terror in America. Jihadists in other parts of the world say much the same thing. Where, then, do they get the idea that this is what Allah wants them to do?

Please click this link to continue reading the article A Critical Look at the Koran by WILLIAM KILPATRICK

The Origins of Quran (To Know Islam) – Robert Spencer

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Robert Spencer – The Politically Incorrect Guide To Islam

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Islam’s View of Christianity – Robert Spencer at Franciscan University

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Robert Spencer: “Evangelization and Islam”

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Franciscan University Presents: Catholics and Islam

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“Blasphemy with Breakfast” Dr. Scott Hahn

Clip from “Abba or Allah: The Difference it Makes” with a Muslim Scholar.

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Abraham: Father or Master?” Dr. Scott Hahn

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Dr. Scott Hahn, Fr. Michael Scanlan Chair in Biblical Theology, spoke to Franciscan University of Steubenville’s 2011 Defending the Faith Conference “Ambassadors for Christ.” This is a 20 minute excerpt from the larger talk “Abba or Allah:The Difference it Makes” “For the last quarter of a century,” said Dr. Hahn, “I have shared a conviction with a growing number of people that Islam really does represent the single greatest force of the third millennium and also the single greatest challenge and threat to Christianity worldwide.” Dr. Hahn explains the very different conceptions of God in Islam (as Allah, Master) and in Christianity (as Abba, Father) and their consequences for life, religion, and interreligious encounters. “There’s a profound difference between slavery and sonship,” Hahn declared. “Until the sons of God outserve the slaves of God, Christianity is going to continue to dissolve.”

The Truth About Muhammad – Robert Spencer

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Robert Spencer speaks in Los Angeles on Did Muhammad Exist?

Please click this link to watch the video on Robert Spencer speaks in Los Angeles on Did Muhammad Exist?

Robert Spencer vs. David Wood: Did Muhammad Exist

Please click this link to watch the video on Robert Spencer vs. David Wood: Did Muhammad Exist

Did Muhammad Exist? Robert Spencer & David Wood vs. AnjemChoudary & Omar Bakri

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“Does Islam Teach Violence?” (Robert Spencer) vs (Nadir Ahmed)

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Islam: Threat or Not?

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Freedom Fest 2008 Debate between Dr. Daniel Peterson of BYU and Robert Spencer. Moderated by Matt Sanchez.

Mic’d Up with Robert Spencer “Banned by Bishops and the Truth About Islam

Please click this link to watch the video on Mic’d Up with Robert Spencer “Banned by Bishops and the Truth About Islam

Robert Spencer, Director of JihadWatch.org, goes into detail about his clashes with many Catholic Bishops both here in the States and abroad; as well as the many myths, lies and dangers surrounding the world’s fastest growing religion; Islam.