Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Anthony Mary Claret, October 24,2014

Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Anthony Mary Claret, October 24,2014

Ordained in 1835, Anthony Claret was appointed  apostolic missionary to his native Catalonia region, where he founded the Missionary Sons of Immaculate Heart of Mary (the Claretians) for the work of evangelization. Shortly thereafter he was appointed archbishop of Santiago, Cuba, an assignment he did not want. “My spirit goes out to all the world,” he told the apostolic nuncio. Yet, after prayer, discernment, and consultation with friends, Anthony accepted. At his episcopal ordination, he added “Mary” to his name: “She is my Mother, my Protector, my Teacher, my all, after Jesus.” After six years of fruitful work in Cuba, he was recalled to serve Queen Isabela in Spain. He died in 1870 A.D.

AMDG+

Opening Prayer

“Lord, change my heart and my life that I may fully live for you. Help me to choose what is right and to turn away from every sin and from every attachment to worldliness which keeps me from loving and serving you wholeheartedly.” Amen.

Reading 1
Eph 4:1-6

Brothers and sisters:
I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the spirit
through the bond of peace;
one Body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 24:1-2, 3-4ab, 5-6
R. (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face

Gospel
Lk 12:54-59

Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west
you say immediately that it is going to rain–and so it does;
and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south
you say that it is going to be hot–and so it is.
You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky;
why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

“Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?
If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate,
make an effort to settle the matter on the way;
otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge,
and the judge hand you over to the constable,
and the constable throw you into prison.
I say to you, you will not be released
until you have paid the last penny.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection 1 – How to interpret the present times?                                                                                                                                                                                                 Let us imagine a young teenage girl who is alone by herself in her parents’ home in the middle of the night when suddenly the fire alarm goes off. Instead of reacting positively and checking what was wrong, she decides to pretend that she is not hearing the loud noise. She buries herself under the comforter and places her two pillows on her head.  The signs of trouble and a big fire in their home were so prominent yet she never reacted to them. One can only conclude the consequence of such reaction. If she does not move fast enough, total destruction will be upon their home. Death would also not be too far behind.

During the time of Jesus, the people whom he ministered to were like this young teenage girl, they were naïve and callous to His works and teachings. Despite the exhortations and invitation of Jesus, they appeared to be deaf. They never listened to Him neither did they have the heart to accommodate and listen to what He had for them. Their eyes were blind to every miracle and to every good thing He did. They seemed to have tucked themselves tight in their blanket of arrogance and covered themselves with too much pride, that to see and hear Jesus was quite impossible, much more follow Him.

“Why do you not know how to interpret the present time? Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?”

Today’s gospel invites us to meditate and reflect on our very own attitude and disposition towards God’s word and the coming of His kingdom.  It alerts us on how we have responded to the teachings of our Lord Jesus. Have we been faithful to our covenant relationship with our God that should death come upon us in the middle of the night, would we be ready to face our Creator? Or are we living a life of sin that death could catch us unprepared?

As we journey back home, it is quite necessary that as we abide by our Lord’s will for us. We also need to settle every account that separated us from Him. In the context of community life, our Lord is asking us to confront and address community conflicts which have polarized the general membership.

Let us then be encouraged by the closing exhortation of today’s gospel. ”If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate, make an effort to settle the matter on the way; otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the constable, and the constable throw you into prison. I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD? or who may stand in his holy place? He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain.

Direction

Live in a manner worthy of the call you have received.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, remove every stain of sin in my soul so that I may always see You, hear You and abide in You. In Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Reflection 2 – St. Anthony Claret (1807-1870 A.D.)

The “spiritual father of Cuba” was a missionary, religious founder, social reformer, queen’s chaplain, writer and publisher, archbishop and refugee. He was a Spaniard whose work took him to the Canary Islands, Cuba, Madrid, Paris and to the First Vatican Council.

In his spare time as weaver and designer in the textile mills of Barcelona, he learned Latin and printing: The future priest and publisher was preparing. Ordained at 28, he was prevented by ill health from entering religious life as a Carthusian or as a Jesuit, but went on to become one of Spain’s most popular preachers.

He spent 10 years giving popular missions and retreats, always placing great emphasis on the Eucharist and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Her rosary, it was said, was never out of his hand. At 42, beginning with five young priests, he founded a religious institute of missionaries, known today as the Claretians.

He was appointed to head the much-neglected archdiocese of Santiago in Cuba. He began its reform by almost ceaseless preaching and hearing of confessions, and suffered bitter opposition mainly for opposing concubinage and giving instruction to black slaves. A hired assassin (whose release from prison Anthony had obtained) slashed open his face and wrist. Anthony succeeded in getting the would-be assassin’s death sentence commuted to a prison term. His solution for the misery of Cubans was family-owned farms producing a variety of foods for the family’s own needs and for the market. This invited the enmity of the vested interests who wanted everyone to work on a single cash crop—sugar. Besides all his religious writings are two books he wrote in Cuba: Reflections on Agricultureand Country Delights.

He was recalled to Spain for a job he did not relish—being chaplain for the queen. He went on three conditions: He would reside away from the palace, he would come only to hear the queen’s confession and instruct the children and he would be exempt from court functions. In the revolution of 1868, he fled with the queen’s party to Paris, where he preached to the Spanish colony.

All his life Anthony was interested in the Catholic press. He founded the Religious Publishing House, a major Catholic publishing venture in Spain, and wrote or published 200 books and pamphlets.

At Vatican I, where he was a staunch defender of the doctrine of infallibility, he won the admiration of his fellow bishops. Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore remarked of him, “There goes a true saint.” At the age of 63, he died in exile near the border of Spain.

Stories:

Queen Isabella II once said to Anthony, “No one tells me things as clearly and frankly as you do.” Later she told her chaplain, “Everybody is always asking me for favors, but you never do. Isn’t there something you would like for yourself?” He replied, “that you let me resign.” The queen made no more offers.

Read the source: http://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1178

Comment:

Jesus foretold that those who are truly his representatives would suffer the same persecution as he did. Besides 14 attempts on his life, Anthony had to undergo such a barrage of the ugliest slander that the very name Claret became a byword for humiliation and misfortune. The powers of evil do not easily give up their prey. No one needs to go looking for persecution. All we need to do is be sure we suffer because of our genuine faith in Christ, not for our own whims and imprudence.

Focolare Movement in Jordan: The faith of persecuted Christians is moving

Focolare Movement in Jordan: The faith of persecuted Christians is moving

Published on Oct 23, 2014

Click here to receive the latest news: http://smarturl.it/RomeReports
Visit or website to learn more: http://www.romereports.com/

The nightmare thousands of Middle Eastern refugees face, is far from over. After triggering a wave of destruction in Syria and Iraq, Muslim extremists are now near the Turkish border. In the meantime, just a few miles away, hundreds continue to escape on a daily basis.
FARAH
Syrian Refugee
“We walked over here and faced many challenges along the way. It was difficult for me to get here. We fled by foot. I swear, it was not our decision to leave. We walked for three days. With all the problems we’re very tired.”
Pope Francis has called for peace in the region many times. He called a meeting with Cardinals to hear the testimonies of Middle Eastern patriarchs.
POPE FRANCIS
“Recent events, especially in Iraq and Syria, are very worrying. We are witnessing a phenomenon of terrorism of previously unimaginable dimensions.”
In just two days, around 70,000 refugees made their way from Syria to Turkey.
The country of Jordan has a reputation for welcoming persecuted people from different cultures and religions. The Catholic Church also has a presence there thanks to religious movements like Focolare.
MARIA VOCE
President, Focolare Movement
“God is not far from those who suffer.  God suffers with the people who suffer. That’s why we must alleviate suffering and love each person. We must reach to those suffering and heal them with love. Most of times just one word is enough. Sometimes, with material support, or with just being there.”
RITA MUSALLEM
Focolare Movement, Jordan
“At first, we welcomed 20 people. Many families of our Movement welcomed 30 or even 40. A priest told us that since ‘there was no more room left in our house, I ended up sleeping in the car.”
The movement has helped out with food, shelter and medicine. They’ve also prayed together. Many say what’s surprised them most, is the faith of the persecuted.
RITA MUSALLEM
Focolare Movement, Jordan
“They don’t want any revenge, because they firmly believe in love. They suffer because they were targeted…but they don’t hate. They ask themselves why it happened, they shout and wonder about the state of humanity…but they don’t feel any hate.”
The Middle East is home to more that two million Iraqui refugees. Plus, an estimatedthree million  Syrians have found refuge in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. In all these countries the Catholic Church works to give material and moral support to all those who, like them, are trying to start over.

ChurchMilitant.TV News 10-23-2014

ChurchMilitant.TV News 10-23-2014

Published on Oct 23, 2014

Top Stories:
1. Archbishop Of Atlanta Tolerates Parish’s Gay Rights Lobbying
Contact Archbishop Gregory
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 404-920-7300
Fax: 404-920-7301

2. USCCB Promotes Scandal-Ridden CCHD
Contact the USCCB: http://www.usccb.org/about/contact-us…

3. Catholic University Hosts 8th Annual ‘Drag’ Show
Loyola University Chicago, Dean of Students Office
Damen Student Center
Suite 300, 6511 North Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60626
Phone: 773-508-8840

Most Reverend Archbishop Zenon Grocholewski
Prefect, The Congregation for Catholic Education (of Seminaries and Institutes of Studies)
Piazza Pio XII 3
00l93, Rome, Italy, Europe
Phone: 011.3906.6988.4167

4. Homosexuality Wasn’t Approved by the Synod Says Prominent Cardinal

5. Raunchy “Sex Ed” Film Shot At Catholic School In Florida
http://bishopsblog.dosp.org/?p=6207

Resource Page:
http://cmtvnews.com/2014/10/23/top-st…

Vortex:
http://cmtvnews.com/2014/10/23/the-vo…

The Iraqi Christian who told ISIS: ‘If you want to kill me for my faith I am prepared to die here now’

The Iraqi Christian who told ISIS: ‘If you want to kill me for my faith I am prepared to die here now’

By on Friday, 3 October 2014

Islamic State fighters stand guard at a checkpoint in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul (CNS)

Islamic State fighters stand guard at a checkpoint in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul (CNS)

When Christian villagers from the Iraqi town of Caramles fled advancing IS forces, 80-year-old Victoria was among a dozen or so unable to leave. The widow, a Chaldean Catholic, knew nothing about the sudden evacuation that had suddenly emptied this ancient village she had known for so long. Next morning she went to church – St Addai’s – as she did every day. She found the place locked; the streets deserted. She knew IS had come.

We met Victoria on our first evening in Erbil at the start of a fact-finding and project assessment trip for Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need. She wanted to tell us the story of how she and her friend and neighbour Gazella survived.

For four days, they locked themselves in their home, not daring to venture out. “Prayer sustained us,” said Victoria. But they needed food for the body as well as food for the soul and when supplies ran dangerously low they went in search of water and other basics.

Inevitably they ran into IS forces. Explaining their situation, they asked for help and to their surprise IS gave them water even after they refused a request to abandon their faith.

A few days later, IS found them in their homes and rounded them up at St Barbara’s shrine just on the edge of Caramles. There were about a dozen of them there, the last remaining Christian inhabitants of the village.

“You must convert,” IS forces told them. “Our faith can promise you paradise,” they added.

Victoria and Gazella responded: “We believe that if we show love and kindness, forgiveness and mercy we can bring about the kingdom of God on earth as well as in heaven. Paradise is about love. If you want to kill us for our faith then we are prepared to die here and now.”

IS forces had no answer. The dozen Christians, who included many elderly and infirm, were let go. One of them had a battered car. Other transport was also arranged and they made it to safety.

Victoria and Gazelle are still neighbours. But they no longer live in two homes side by side but two mattresses in a room they rent courtesy of the Church in Ainkawa, near Erbil, the capital of Kurdish northern Iraq.

There on the mattresses they told their story. Completing it, Victoria had tears in her eyes. “Ebony”, she said, reaching out her arms to me.

After we embraced, her bishop, Amel Nona of Mosul, himself a refugee too, told me that “Ebony” is Arabic for “my child”. I went away thinking that I was indeed a child sitting at the feet of women of great fortitude, faith and friendship.

To read the source and make comments, please click this link: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2014/10/03/the-iraqi-christian-who-told-isis-if-you-want-to-kill-me-for-my-faith-i-am-prepared-to-die-here-now/

COMMENT POLICY

The Catholic Herald comment guidelines
At The Catholic Herald we want our articles to provoke spirited and lively debate. We also want to ensure the discussions hosted on our website are carried out in civil terms.

All commenters are therefore politely asked to ensure that their posts respond directly to points raised in the particular article or by fellow contributors, and that all responses are respectful.

We implement a strict moderation policy and reserve the right to delete comments that we believe contravene our guidelines. Here are a few key things to bear in mind when commenting…

•Do not make personal attacks on writers or fellow commenters – respond only to their arguments.
•Comments that are deemed offensive, aggressive or off topic will be deleted.
•Unsubstantiated claims and accusations about individuals or organisations will be deleted.
•Keep comments concise. Comments of great length may be deleted.
•We try to vet every comment, however if you would like to alert us to a particular posting please use the ‘Report’ button.

Thank you for your co-operation,
The Catholic Herald editorial team

 

The Top 10 Koran Verses that Will Help You Understand ISIS or Islamic State better 

Please click this link to watch the video on The Top 10 Koran Verses that Will Help You Understand ISIS or Islamic State better

Ex-gay man: ‘Homosexuality is just another human brokenness’

Ex-gay man: ‘Homosexuality is just another human brokenness’

Dean Bailey, 50, is not afraid to tell anyone he is living proof that ‘sexual orientation’ can in fact be changed. But he prefers to use the word ‘restored’ rather than ‘changed.’

Bailey remembers how from an early age he felt different from other boys. He felt he did not fit in and thought of himself as awkward, out of place. He remembers never feeling treasured or affirmed by his dad who was an alcoholic and who consumed pornography. Bailey believes this began a pattern of turning to other males to find the affirmation he never received from his dad.

When a new outgoing boy began to attend school when Bailey was in grade three, he remembers trying hard to become the boy’s friend. It was during a sleepover at the boy’s house that Bailey was introduced to sexual play, including streaking and oral copulation. The experience not only robbed him of his childhood innocence, but awakened in him a sense of sexual curiosity.

From here, Bailey became preoccupied with images of male nudity and with taking more daring sexual risks with different boys. As he grew older, the sexual acts Bailey performed with other boys became as a source of comfort to him, making him believe he was being loved and accepted. But while such acts would make him feel good for a while, he says they were never able to help him overcome the constant theme of emptiness and brokenness he felt inside. The sexual activities quickly became addictive.

When a schoolgirl refused to go on a date with him that seemed to signal to the now-teenage Bailey that he was not a normal guy. Then, a few years later, a sexually awkward one-night stand with a woman seemed to confirm to him that he did not have what it took to be a man.

Image
Dean Bailey as a young man in the military.

Bailey was now a young man in the military. Although in the meantime he had gotten married, he continued to crave male intimacy and experience gripping same-sex attractions. An intimate but non-sexual encounter with a military male friend whom he greatly admired eventually led to explicit homosexual behaviors.

The encounter severely damaged the relationship Bailey had previously enjoyed with his wife as she felt she could no longer trust the man she had married.

Having experienced homosexual acts, Bailey now struggled inwardly with intense homosexual desires that could only be allayed through carnal gratification, or so it seemed to him. Feelings of insecurity only intensified these inclinations.

His previous homosexual experiences drove him to seek answers to his insecurities through further homosexual encounters. A downwards spiral ensued as Bailey attempted to satisfy his desires, but only saw them grow in intensity the more he indulged them. Looking back, Bailey now realizes how homosexual acts had become an addiction for him.

Bailey credits God for acting powerfully in his life to save him from himself, change his life for the good, and ultimately bring about his deliverance from homosexual attractions. God led him on a journey of trust that ultimately led to the heart of Jesus Christ. Here Bailey experienced the love, acceptance, and affirmation he had always craved.

To put it simply, says Bailey, he fell in love with the person of Jesus. He experienced Him through prayer and through reading the Bible. All Bailey wanted now was to become more like Jesus, more Christ-like. As he began acting more and more on this desire, Bailey noticed a transformation begin to take place in his sexual desires. The homosexual desires began to decrease. For the first time in his life, Bailey began to see himself differently, this time through the eyes of a Savior who — he now realized — loved him unconditionally.

Looking back on his past, Bailey says he now sees that he has been brought out of what he calls the “sexual confusion of homosexual behaviors” to a sexual clarity in mind and heart. He has left behind what he calls the “self-defeating environment of my own, very negative self-image” and moved into an unshakable understanding of his value and self worth as a beloved child of God.

Image
Dean Bailey with his wife Della and daughters Amber and Amanda.

Bailey wrote about his entire journey in his 2011 book titled “Beyond the Shades of Gray.” Most of the book is available online at his website. He speaks publicly about his struggle with homosexuality, telling audiences that homosexuality is a “sexual addiction and dependency,” not a condition to be socially accepted and celebrated. “It is merely one of the many evidences of the broken, spiritual condition of our human race,” he tells people.

In an interview with LifeSiteNews from Texas where he lives with his wife Della and his two college-aged daughters, Amber and Amanda, Bailey spoke about what he has gained by leaving behind the homosexual identity, the role of God in bringing about sexual healing, about his views on the Christian understanding of homosexuality, and about why stories like his are shunned by the mainstream.

The following interview has been condensed.

LifeSiteNews: What happens to someone when they abandon a gay identity? Is the pain, the loss of friendships, and the total switching of inner gears worth it?

Bailey: When a person abandons their inward belief that it was homosexual behaviors that define them as a person, then they must set out to rediscover what it is that actually does define their personhood. They must learn to embrace and give those higher human ideals a greater value and meaning within their own character and existence, than they gave to the homosexual addictions which they allowed to dominate their thinking and reasoning in the past.

Is it all worth it? I would answer with an emphatic “Yes, of course it is!” But not everyone will agree with me.

Gay activists, for example, vehemently insist that this journey I’ve taken is harmful. They have even managed to get bills passed in California and New Jersey which outlaw counseling for persons desiring help toward becoming free from their homosexual behaviors and addictions.

I freely admit that this freedom I’ve found is a journey that could very well involve a lifetime, rather than a simple transition of just a few short years. “We didn’t end up in this mess overnight, and we shouldn’t expect to remove ourselves from it overnight, either,” I will often tell people.

I also acknowledge that this journey will cause some inward conflict, pain and emotional discomfort at times, even when it is chosen as a path. But I do believe that sexual restoration is ultimately a very healthy choice in the end, and not a harmful one. Nothing of extraordinary value is ever going to be easy to achieve, after all. So it is on purpose that I call this journey a “restoration” rather than a change or a conversion.

There is no way to fully comprehend or predict the personal cost, effort and sacrifice involved for any individual, until that person embarks upon this journey by personal choice, by his or her own free will. Society should not be expected to make any accommodations for those who therefore refuse to take this journey, and remain trapped in the self-serving cycle of their own dysfunctional sexual behaviors. Nor should responsible parents be denied the lawful ability to seek out the professional help that their children may desperately need and desire. The reality of this entire issue is that homosexuality is a harmful behavior pattern, and not a human identity or a human “right.”

People often wonder why would the gay activists be trying to outlaw professional means of therapy and counseling for the pursuit of freedom from unwanted homosexual behaviors, if they truly embrace the “tolerance” that they preach? What is it that they are actually so afraid of? I will tell you that what they fear the most is the breakdown and destruction of the inward lies that form the foundation of their own “gay” identity, and everything that the “gay rights” movement has been built upon. That is why gay activists will always insist that this form of dysfunctional sexual behavior is “who” they are. It is the only way for them to remain secure in the falsehood.

LifeSiteNews: What does someone who leaves the gay lifestyle have to look forward to in the years to come? What have you gained the most?

Bailey: I see myself differently. I see other people differently. And I see the world around me quite differently. That doesn’t mean that everything in my life is now blissful and stress-free. And it doesn’t mean that I don’t still feel the human pangs of loneliness and depression on occasion.

But I see my insecurities as identifiable weaknesses that can all be understood and overcome with time, in light of my own proper acknowledgement and truthful recognition of my individual human weaknesses. I now understand that homosexual behavior is not the legitimate answer for the pain that I may still feel inside of myself during rough or low times.

Every human being goes through challenges and pain. But the homosexual ideology seems to reason that this particular challenge makes a person different from everyone else in some way, in much the same way that a person diagnosed with bipolar disorder will often see the world around them as the real problem — rather than themselves — and choose to stop taking their prescribed medication because of that false and distorted reasoning. That is where this whole “gay identity” thought process evolved from.

LifeSiteNews: Your journey seems inherently linked to discovering the person of Jesus Christ in Christianity. People in the culture will tend to write you off as a Christian nutcase because of this. What role has Jesus played in your journey away from same-sex attraction? Do you think Jesus has a role to play in the life of anyone seeking to leave the gay identity behind?

Bailey: Most people assume that, because I do support counseling and professional “conversion therapy” as avenues to consider within this journey, I myself have been through some sort of therapy. But that is not the case. Jesus Christ was my counsellor in every aspect of my own journey. After all, he is referred to as “Wonderful Counselor” in the biblical writings that tell us about him.

God desires to have a personal relationship with me — with each of us — and to become involved in every intricate detail of our lives, in our daily walk and fellowship with him. Christianity is a way of life that reveals God as a loving Father who deeply cares about all that we do as his children in this earth.

I credit Jesus with lifting my spirits during the low points of my journey, and with sustaining me through the high points of it. I credit him with sending the right people into my life at just the right time, so that they could love and support me along the way. I credit him with leading me to the right places when I had inward questions and confusion that I could not overcome with just the faith of a simple “Christian” prayer – and, by the way, I do believe that Jesus wants to know our deepest questions.

The fact is that I don’t know that I could have made such a journey without Jesus walking beside me through it. And I am still on that lifelong journey with him, in spite of what criticisms people will choose to make toward that statement. But I will say this: Jesus has kept the promise he made his disciples, that he would never leave them alone in the journey. I may have felt alone at times. But looking back, I see today that I was never alone.

LifeSiteNews: How do you now see Christian/Catholic teaching on homosexuality? Is it hateful, discriminatory? Is a Christian being a bigot when he says he loves the same-sex attracted person, but hates what he does when he acts on those desires?

Bailey: If by “discriminatory,” you mean, “to be selective in such a way that maintains the Christian integrity of our faith,” then yes, we are certainly “discriminatory.” In fact, I believe that we are called to be discriminatory in that way. But what we are not is hateful—and certainly not as the gay activists regularly accuse and imply to their own, and to the rest of the world, that we are hateful.

We live in a world today where avoiding offense is given a higher standard than the concept we have of love itself. But that is because we have lost our biblical understanding of love, and we mistakenly think that if we truly “love” people, then we will not risk offending them. And many well-meaning, “born again” Christians have adopted the world’s view of making this mistake within their human reasoning.

The gay activists know all of this, of course, and they play upon it well to further advance their movement. They demand “tolerance,” for example, but then they self-justify their own vehement intolerance of Christian beliefs and views by comparing our Christian beliefs to bigotry, and bringing lawsuits to force Christian business owners to support homosexual events in ways that blatantly violate their faith and beliefs within their Christian business ethics.

What Christians do is point to the truth of our broken and sinful human nature, not out of condemnation but because of the depth of Christ’s love within us. Christians can look to Jesus for an example. Was Jesus suddenly being unloving toward the woman caught in the sin of adultery, for example, when he plainly told her, “go now, and sin no more” (John 8:11)? The truth will not always be pleasant to hear or to stomach. But that does not make us bigots for pointing out the obvious.

People need to better understand what biblical “love” actually is. And, as Christians, we need to also offer the solution. We can’t just say, “Homosexuality is a sin,” and then leave it at that. To be honest, I believe that every homosexual already inwardly knows that what they are doing is inherently contradictory to “who” God created them to be. But they need to be reminded of that fact along with the genuine hope that Christ also offers to each one of us, as we turn to him to overcome all of our human weakness and brokenness, not just the homosexual brokenness.

LifeSiteNews: What is the one thing faithful Christians need to keep in mind when dealing with the issue of homosexuality?

Bailey: Christians need to know that this is by no means an uncomplicated issue. But that is no reason to fear engaging it purposefully and directly either. This idea of “live and let live” is not how Christ was in the business of loving people. He engaged them directly, and he never avoided talking about the real “issues” that were involved.

For those people like myself who see the clear distinction between what we were doing, and “who” we are or desire to be, there is a very present guilt and fear of rejection when turning to ask people in the Christian community to help us — to help us to understand our own brokenness and sin in a biblical way that leaves a person feeling loved by Christ, rather than condemned by his followers.

Christians should do this by realizing that homosexuality is just another human brokenness, just like our own individual brokenness in so many ways. There should not be this stigma where some “sins” are acceptable to talk about openly and deal with, while things like homosexuality are not. The Body of Christ should be a place of healing for issues like homosexuality, not a place of fear.

LifeSiteNews: Why do so many people — especially those engaged in the gay lifestyle and those representing left-leaning media — loathe to hear about people like yourself who have left same-sex attraction behind? Do they fear something about your experience? What?

Bailey: What they fear about people like me is that our existence and credibility only destroys the very foundation of their own beliefs about themselves, and the reasons behind their own immoral behaviors.

LifeSiteNews: What do you think is really at the heart of the push for homosexual “marriage.” Who is behind this push? Is it really same-sex attracted persons fighting for ‘equality’ or do you think this group is being used by someone else for some other purpose?

Bailey: It is clear to me that a seeming majority of homosexuals actually do believe and adhere to a personal inward ideology that they are fighting for some sort of distorted “equality.” Albeit, their idea of equality could more accurately be described as homo-fascism, because of the way it has become an agenda of forced acceptance and inclusion within our society.

Spiritually speaking, however, I believe that Satan is the ultimate deceptive force and mastermind behind not just the marriage aspect of their agenda, but also behind the entire distortion that somehow managed to turn a dysfunctional human sexual behavior into a “civil rights” cause.

FBI Homosexuality.

Many believe the Freemasons are simply a centuries-old charitable fraternity. However, the Catholic Church has consistently condemned Freemasonry more than any other error in its history because it promotes indifferentism, naturalism, communism, and other dangerous philosophies.

Please click this link to watch the video on FBI Homosexuality by Michael Voris

Homosexuality, the Grave Evil Presented as Good, Part 1

Please click this link to watch the video on Homosexuality: Grave Evil Presented as Good, Part 1

Homosexuality, Question and Answer Part 2

Please click this link to watch the video on Homosexuality, Q & A

Homosexuals and Freemasons inside the Church

Please click this link to watch the video on Homosexual and Freemasons inside the Church by Michael Voris

“The Rite of Sodomy” Homosexuality in the Roman Catholic Church

Please click this link to watch the video on “The Rite of Sodomy” Homosexuality in the Roman Catholic Church

Mic’d Up “Pink Money and the Homosexual Mafia” 

Please click this link to watch the video on Mic’d Up “Pink Money and the Homosexual Mafia”

Michael Voris gives a series of short talks, answering questions coming in response to his talk on homosexuality in Nigeria.

In this talk from Nigeria, Michael Voris speaks about the grave evil presented as good – homosexuality. “Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity (cf. Gen 19:1-29; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10), tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intinsically disordered” (CDF, Persona humana 8). They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved” (CCC: 2357).

6 Biblical Reasons Mary Is the “New Eve”

Listers, Mother Mary is the New Eve. Through St. Paul, Holy Scripture tells us that Christ is the New Adam, and where all died in Adam, all may be made alive in Christ. The comparison between Adam and Christ revealed a parallel in salvation history between the story of humanity’s first parents and the story of humanity’s salvation. Within this parallel, the Virgin Mary plays a role that rightfully entitles her the New Eve.

4 Teachings: The Immaculate Conception
Rejoice Ye Angels: 19 More Rosary Quotes
All SPL Lists on Mother Mary

Our Lady and the Serpent

Please click this link to watch the video on Our Lady and the Serpent

Michael Voris, S.T.B. gives this wonderful and passionate talk, part of the Saint Michael’s Media Spiritual Warfare Conference 2009

An SPL Introduction: The Necessity of a New Adam & New Eve

The New Adam and the New Eve are not poetic titles given to express a certain biblical view. They are necessary roles in salvation history that speak to the recreation of mankind and offering of salvation to all men.

Why did the sin of the First Parents affect humanity?
Many often ask why the seemingly simple sin of eating of a tree has condemned humanity to suffering in a fallen world. The truth is that humanity is one body, and Adam is the head of that body – and as the head goes, the body must follow. In being one body, all humans share the same human nature, and that human nature has been suffering a privation ushered in by the First Parents. Sin is nothing more than a privation of the good: it is a corruption, a lacking, a malformation of God’s good creation – and since the First Parents’ betrayal, humanity has had to deal with this privation in all human nature, this Original Sin.

What is recapitulation?
Here we arrive at St. Anselm’s Dilema: humanity is responsible to repay and satisfy the debt of sin, however, only God, as the Creator, has the power to pay the debt. In this light, the Incarnation of God as fully man and fully God was the perfect answer: Christ as a man was a valid sacrifice for the sin debt owed, and Christ as God granted him the perfection, power, and authority to do so. Still, the Incarnation of God did not immediately solve everything. What humanity needed was a “new head” or a recapitulation. Humanity needed to be brought out from under the original sin of Adam and placed under a new head with a new body. Here we see the “body of Christ” and Christ as the “New Adam.” Christ’s death offers forgiveness to humanity, satisfies the debt owed, allows humanity to become “new creatures,” baptism removes the stain/guilt of Original Sin, and the Church becomes the Body of Christ.

A simple comparison of Adam and Christ is incomplete. What is needed is a holistic comparison between the original creation and the recreation: Adam to Christ, Eve to Mary, Fall to Salvation, and Tree to Cross. The following list explores the role of Eve in the Fall to the role of Mother Mary – the New Eve – in the Salvation of the World.

1. An Intimate Relationship

Eve From Adam
New Adam from New Eve

In the story of Creation, Eve is pulled from the flesh of Adam.1

“So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the LORD God had taken from man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.”

In the story of the Recreation, the New Adam comes from the New Eve.2

“And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”

Why is the order reversed? 
The most logical answer is that it follows the natural progenitorial method of human reproduction. However, it is also noted that in the Jewish tradition women were often mistrusted due to the belief that Eve had sinned first and had tempted Adam to sin as well. Allowing Mary to come first and be the virgin vessel of God’s Incarnation removes that traditional mistrust. The Early Church thinker Tertullian (c. 160) comments on how Eve – a female – sinned and brought about the Fall; thus, there is a certain justice in God’s providence allowing someone of the same sex – Mary – usher in the salvation of humanity. In how own words:

Into a virgin’s soul, in like manner, must be introduced that Word of God which was to raise the fabric of life; so that what had been reduced to ruin by this sex might be the selfsame sex be recovered to salvation.

Moreover, Mother Mary did not simply undue the sin of Eve. In a full understanding of her biblical roles in salvation history – the New Eve, the New Ark of the Covenant, and the Queen of the Eternal Davidic Kingdom – Mary is seen as the highest created being. She was the pure and perfect vessel for Christ’s Incarnation, i.e., the Theotokos, the Mother of God. No other created human being will ever have such an elevated role.3

Why the difference in relations?
Another notable difference beside the progenitorial order is the difference in relation between Adam and Eve and Christ and Mary. A quick answer would be that Adam and Eve’s romantic/sexual relationship had nothing to do with the Fall. Most all Early Church commentators hold that sexual relations occurred after the Fall, and the biblical tradition – at least as far as bearing children – supports this claim; thus, the need for a recapitulation focuses the roles played in the overall context of the Fall and Recreation.

2. Recipients of Supernatural Messengers

A Virgin Listens to the Serpent
A Virgin Listen to the Angel

Leading up to the Fall of Mankind, Eve listens to the sordid words of the serpent.4

“But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.”

Paving the way for the Recreation and Salvation of Mankind, the New Eve is visited by the Angel Gabriel.5

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greetings this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.”

Mary Untied the Knot of Eve’s Disobedience:
The Early Church Father and Bishop of Lyon, France, Irenaeus (d. 202) wrote the following famous phrase:

The knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. The knot of which the virgin Eve tied by her unbelief, the Virgin Mary opened by her belief.

The Virgin Mary is the Advocate of the Virgin Eve:
It was Bishop Irenaeus who more fully developed St. Paul’s concept of recapitulation. He goes on to say:

If the former [Eve] disobeyed God, the latter [Mary] was persuaded to obey God, so that the Virgin Mary became the advocate of the virgin Eve. And thus, as the human race fell into bondage to death by means of a virgin, so it is rescued by a virgin.

An Edifice of Death, An Edifice of Believing:
Further exploring the Early Church, the western thinker of North Africa, Tertullian (c. 160)  states:

For it was while Eve was yet a virgin that the ensnaring word had crept into her ear which was to build the edifice of death. Into a virgin’s soul, in like manner, must be introduced that Word of God which was to raise the fabric of life; so that what had been reduced to ruin by this sex might be the selfsame sex be recovered to salvation. As Eve believed the serpent, so Mary believed the angel. The delinquency which the one occasioned by believing, the other effaced by believing.

3. Bearers of Universal Change

Eve Gives Birth to Sin & Death
New Eve Gives Birth to Grace & Salvation

Eve listens the words of the serpent and sins against God: sin and death enter the world. It should be noted here that Eve’s sin did not immediately cause the Fall, but rather she was able to find Adam – who had presumably not been standing there the entire time – and offer him the fruit as well.

Mother Mary, the New Eve, literally gives birth to the Incarnate God, Jesus Christ, who is the grace and salvation of humanity. Again, the point of interest here is that Christ’s Incarnation did not immediately resolve the problem of a fallen humanity. Humanity was under the sinful head of Adam, and a recapitulation was needed to usher in grace and the New Creation.

The Words of a Serpent & of an Angel:
In AD 135, the Early Church Father Justin Martyr said the following in a diloague with a rabbi in Ephesus.6

For Eve, who was a virgin and undefiled, having conceived the world of the serpent, brought forth disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy when the angel Gabriel announced the good tidings to her that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her, and the power of the Highest would overshadow her: wherefore also the Holy Thing begotten of her is the Son of God.

4. Together They Change Creation

Eve & Adam Together Cause the Fall
New Eve and New Adam Together Cause Salvation

Creation does not fall until both Adam and Eve have taken of the fruit. Here, under the shadow of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Creation falls.7

“Then the eyes of both were opened, and they know that they were naked.”

The Recreation of the world, the recapitulation of mankind, also did not happen immediately, but rather happened when the New Eve, the New Adam, and the Tree – the Cross – were together. Though all the disciples eventually abandoned Christ, the New Eve did not. She remained at his side as he offered forgiveness and satisfaction for humanity. Christ, being the New Adam, became the head of a new humanity of a redeemed and recreated world.

Was Mary necessary? 
Still, Mary’s partnership in salvation goes beyond simply remaining by Christ’s side. As shown by Anselm’s dilema, the Savior of Mankind needed to be fully human and fully divine. Christ being born of a woman was a necessary step in his Incarnation and validity in being the Savior; thus, Mary, as the New Eve, as the Theotokos, the Mother of God, the Mater Dei, was the necessary perfect and pure vessel of Christ’s Incarnation. Just as the Ark of the Covenant was where God came down in the Old Testament to speak to his people, so too was Mother Mary the Ark of the New Convenant where God came down to his people.

5. Universal Maternity

Eve Becomes the “Mother of All the Living”
New Eve Becomes the “Mother of All Who Live in Christ”

Before the Fall, Adam simply referred to Eve as Woman. However, after the Fall, Adam names his wife Eve, because she is the “mother of all living.”8

It follows that if Mary is the New Eve, then she would be the “Mother of All Who Live in Christ,” or the “Mother of All Who Truly Live.” There are however several biblical traits to support this logical assumption. The first is that like Adam, Christ does not refer to Mary as “Mary” or even “Mother,” but refers to her as “Woman.”9 The most important circumstance in which this title “Woman” was used was when Christ was on the Cross.

When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold you son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

It is extremely important to observe that when Christ refers to his relationship with Mary he says “Woman,” which invokes Adam’s pre-Fall title for Eve, but when he refers to the disciple’s relationship with Mary he uses the title “Mother.” Tradition tells us that St. John took Mother Mary into his home in Ephesus and cared for her until the Assumption. Christ called the disciples “brothers,” he told them that God was their “Father,” and he gave Mary to them as their “Mother.” Though popular, it is absurd to believe that Christ gave us a Father, gave himself as the Son or our Brother, and completely left out any maternal figure.10

6.Enmity

Enmity Between Eve & the Serpent
Enmity between the New Eve and Satan

After the Fall, the first messianic promise is given to humanity:11

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

The latter part of the verse is certainly referring to the penultimate bruising of Christ upon the cross, and then the ultimate bruising of Satan and his roaming spirits by the Harrowing of Hell and the Resurrection. As the New Eve, Mary gains enmity between her and the serpent even more so than Eve, because she is the very vessel by which the victorious “seed” becomes Incarnate. While the enmity between Mary and Satan is certainly not an outrageous claim, it should be noted that Scripture is much clearer about the enmity between her “seed” and Satan. However in St. John’s book of Revelation12, a certain pericope grasps speaks to this special:

The Woman Bears a Son:

Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which to be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

Traditionally the “ark of the covenant” and the “woman” are considered the same portent. During Christ’s time on the earth, the Ark of the Covenant was not in the Temple; in fact, it had been missing for a few hundred years. As aforementioned, Mary was seen as the New Ark of the Covenant, because like the old ark, she was the vessel wherein heaven and earth met. The “woman” is obviously Mary, as she gives birth to the “male child” that is hostile to the “red dragon,” and that child “is to rule all nations with a rod of iron” – which is a allusion to King David who ruled with a “rod of iron.” At the end of this passage, the woman, Mary, is safeguarded from the dragon by God.13

Enmity Between the Woman and the Dragon:
The next passage describes a war in heaven between the Archangel Michael and the Dragon.14The passage invokes the notion of Satan being thrown from heaven. However, it is the following passage that returns to the aforesaid woman:

And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had borne the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river which the dragon had poured from his mouth. Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.

After failing to conquer her son, the dragon then turns to the woman, Mary. The specifics of the hostility between Mary and Satan have always been a point of intrigue for biblical scholars, but it is clear the woman is protected by God. Foiled by God’s protection of Mary, the dragon then turns to her “offspring,” i.e., Christians.

Mother to All Christians: Why Mary Is Important to All Believers in Christ

Every single unique grace and role given to Mother Mary is anchored in Jesus Christ. All her honor and due veneration rests on understanding Jesus Christ as the Savior of Mankind. Due to this connection, the Marian doctrines of the Church help articulate the truths of Christ, e.g., theTheotokos or Mater Dei shows Christ to be God and Man, the New Eve shows Christ to be theNew Adam, the New Ark of the Covenant proclaims Christ’s divinity, the Queen of Heaven title calls to mind Christ as the Son of David and his eternal Davidic throne, and much more. As the scholar and popular author Scott Hahn has intimates, Mary, like all good mothers, continually points to her Son.

  1. Gen 2:21, 22 []
  2. Luke 2:6, 7 []
  3. Christ not the “highest created being”? – Christ’s human nature was created, but Christ the person, the second person of the Trinity, certainly existed before the creation of his human nature; thus, his mother, Mary, the Mater Dei, is considered the highest created being. []
  4. Gen 3:4-6a []
  5. Luke 1:28-31 []
  6. Dialogue with Trypho; For further reading on this document, Hail Holy Queen by Scott Hahn, 40. []
  7. Gen 3:7a []
  8. Gen 3:20 []
  9. Mary as Woman: cf. the Wedding at Cana & Christ on the Cross, St. John 2:1, 19:26, 27 []
  10. Protestant Error on “Woman” – The fact that Christ calls his own mother “woman” is not common. In fact, it can be considered rude. However, it is beyond comprehension that Christ would dishonor his own mother while telling others to honor theirs. Protestant scholarship has attempt to use the title “woman” as a way of Christ belittling his own mother and thus belittling her role. Again, to assert Christ would diminish his own mother’s role in salvation history by criticizing her is absurd. In the greater context, the term “woman” is referring to her role as the “New Eve” in salvation history. []
  11. Gen 3:15 []
  12. Rev 11:19; 12 []
  13. The Woman as Israel: Interpreting the “woman” as a generic Israel is not necessarily wrong, but it is a more ambiguous interpretation that does not itself exclude a more specific reading of the woman as Mary; especially considering the dragon then goes after “her children” which are not the Jews, but the followers of her child, Christ. []
  14. The War of the Child and the Dragon: Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world — he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Rejoice then, O heaven and you that dwell therein! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” [

Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time & St. St. John of Capistrano, October 23,2014

Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time & St. St. John of Capistrano, October 23,2014

In the United States, the name Capistrano evokes the celebrated story of the swallows that return yearly on March 19 to nest in the California Mission name after the Franciscan Saint John. Born in Capistrano, Italy, in 1385 A.D., John was trained in civil and ecclesiastical law. He left behind a promising career to enter the Franciscans. He preached to great crowds throughout Europe before he was tapped to serve in a series of diplomatic roles for the Holy See. At the age of seventy, he helped to plan a crusade against the Turks who threatened Belgrade, leading soldiers into battle under a standard bearing the holy name of Jesus. He died a few months later.

AMDG+

Opening Prayer

“Lord, may your love consume me and transform my life that I may truly desire nothing more than life with you. Make me strong in love and fidelity that nothing may hinder me from doing your will.” Amen.

Reading 1
Eph 3:14-21

Brothers and sisters:
I kneel before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory
to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self,
and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
that you, rooted and grounded in love,
may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine,
by the power at work within us,
to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus
to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19

R. (5b) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten‑stringed lyre chant his praises.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
For upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
But the plan of the LORD stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
But see, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Gospel
Lk 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection 1 – I have to set the earth on fire

Peace and reconciliation are God’s will and plan for all of us, not conflict and division.  But being at peace and reconciled is more than just the absence of conflict and goes far beyond being one with neighbor.  It is being one with self and with God.

When Jesus spoke about father against son, and two against three, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law, He was not encouraging us to build our world on conflict and division but He was calling us to face up to the lack of oneness that may exist inside us and in our relations.

This can be in our society, in our families and even within His very own flock, within our hearts and with Him as our God. He is calling us to address not only our conflicts with our neighbor but especially those that are deeply hidden in our hearts, our own internal conflicts that are imbedded in us. He is asking us not to hide from them nor keep them from being exposed. He is telling us that to be blind to our conflicts can be destructive. Being oblivious to the truth will never bring us healing and wholeness. It will never get us where we want to go but can only bring us bitterness and pain.

Jesus, said: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” If we are to live in peace and be reconciled, we certainly need the Lord to set us on fire with His grace, so that whatever that is not of Him in us, may be burned and cast aside.  We need the fire of His grace so that His love may freely flow into our hearts and through our relationships.  As such there is nothing in our hearts that we cannot confront, no inner disagreement we cannot face, no failure we cannot deal with.

With God’s burning grace, we will have all the understanding, the love and the forgiveness that we need in our strained relationships, the wisdom we need in order to change. With God’s holy fire and grace, there is no person – man, woman, or child – to whom we cannot speak the whole truth without fear or shame as we can speak it in love.  Likewise, with his grace, we will have the light to see our true selves and be able to change.

If we have God and His grace mightily working in us, if we carry His truth not as a weapon that destroys but as a gift that unites, God in His goodness will set us free!   Certainly He will use us to set people free!

In Romans 6 Saint Paul said: “The wages of sin is death.” He was saying that sin pays big or in lay man’s terms, he meant, “Crime does not pay.”  Doing what is wrong may at times be nice to our lustful spirits. It may temporarily benefit us and even win for us the whole world. We could be on top of it and not even feel that death is just around the corner. Death to our soul and spirit could be a slow process and most often hardly noticeable.

It is a regret that most often one is only able to realize the lethal effect of sin when one is confronted with no other choice but to accept DEATH, both spiritual and physical.  The effects of adultery, stealing, murder, character assassination and everything that runs against the will of the Lord become so pronounced that somehow nothing in life will work out for the good of one who lives in sin.

The fruits of sin are enormous and they all culminate into the sinner’s death.

One may believe that sinning and going against God may bring us “something good.”  But they are all transient and deceitful as anything evil can only bear an evil fruit.  The evil effects of sin will always drag us down and the pain of sin never stops, even unto death and can flow from one generation to another.  Affections prostrated, faculties and senses abused, time and talents squandered, influence and power misused, friends and family wronged, own personal interests violated, love of neighbor and God lost, are only the few and more noticeable evil results of sin that our limited mind can bring to light.

Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

Who are we going to choose amidst the choices available to our ambivalent hearts, God or the prince of darkness and deceit? Are we more inclined to pay the high wages or receive God’s free gift of grace? Are we going to embrace death or welcome life eternal in our Father’s heavenly home?  Brethren, “those who practice sin are slaves of sin but those whom the Son sets free are free indeed.”  John 8:34, 36

Jesus came to divide…to separate the good from the bad.  What will be our choice?  Are we going to count ourselves as among those He has redeemed…among those in the Light? Or among those in darkness?

Let us pray that we may continue to experience God’s love, be strong and choose God and His ways. Let St Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3 be our prayer today: “Brothers and sisters: I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Direction

To be reconciled with God and is to be reconciled with man and self.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, always keep me reconciled with myself, my neighbor and with You.  In Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Reflection 2 – Divider Of People

Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. –Luke 12:51

The Boston Red Sox were battling the rival New York Yankees for the division title during the 2001 baseball season—and the race was tight. So when Boston lost six games out of eight, the manager was abruptly fired and his job was given to the pitching coach. Some players and fans applauded the move; others felt it was a terrible mistake. Both sides were very vocal with their opinions.

Whoever said “a call for a decision is a cause for division” was right. Choice involves change, and change makes some people uncomfortable.

Jesus said that a decision to follow Him would mean changes in relationships. “From now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son . . . , mother against daughter” (Luke 12:52-53).

Your friends or family may misunderstand you after you start living for Christ. Some may accuse you of thinking you’re too good for them. Others may shun you.

In that way, Jesus is a divider of families, friends, and co-workers. It hurts to be ridiculed or rejected by those close to you, but Jesus said it would happen.

Yes, Christ is a divider of people—but you are united with Him, and He will never leave you.  —DCE  — David C. Egner

Your choice to follow Jesus Christ
Some people will not understand;
Still others will resent the change—
But have no fear, He’ll hold your hand. —Egner

When we walk with the Lord, we’ll be out of step with the world (Source: Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries).

Reflection 3 – For better or worse

It is so nice to get good feelings from religion. It is such a relief when religion gives us consolation, hope or a sense of self-worth. Today’s first reading (Eph 3:14-21) is like that. This passage is filled with wonderful wishes that the best gifts of God be given to all disciples of Christ. We are wished the height and breadth and depth of Christ’s love and the fullness of God. What more could a Christian want?

Today’s gospel (Lk 12:49-53), on the other hand, is not so pleasant to hear. Jesus announces that he has come to bring not peace but division. Following Christ, according to this passage, is not a smooth, easy path filled with good feelings. Instead, it entails threats of fire on the earth and separation from family. This apparent contradiction is very much like the imagery – as well as the reality – of Christian marriage. In marriage, wife and husband are united “for better or worse.” They “leave their father and mother” and “forsake all others.” Previous bonds are broken, and new ones are forged. The result is a new way of being, a new symbol of God’s faithful love. The challenges of maintaining the marriage bond are many, but the result is an experience of human love and of God’s own love in all its fullness.

So it is for all who follow the gospel. When we embrace the challenges and allow the fire of Christ’s message to burn in our lives, we leave behind old lifestyles and old ways of being in relationship with one another. The new bonds that are forged with the body of Christ, though, allow us to enter into that “love that surpasses all knowledge,” the fullness of God himself. This fullness of God includes suffering and even the cross, but this is a small price to pay to share in the promised glory. (Source: Cecilia Felix, Weekday Homily Helps. Ohio: St. Anthony Messenger Press, October 23, 2008).

Reflection 4 – Divine Fire and Jesus’ Baptism

Today’s Gospel is not easy to understand: if Jesus is the “prince of peace” (Isaiah 9:6) and gives the gift of peace to his Apostles after the Resurrection, why does he say in today’s Gospel that he came not to give peace, but to bring division? How can we reconcile this with his message of love, communion, mercy, eternal life, salvation, and the Kingdom of love, justice and peace?

To answer these questions, it is good to look at other expressions of Jesus’ mission. For example, Jesus came to fulfill the Father’s will, to gather the lost tribes of Israel, to gather all men to himself, to inaugurate the Kingdom of God, to bring the Old Law to fulfillment in the New, to establish a New Covenant in his blood, to teach us the way to life, to forgive sins by offering himself, to bring us into communion with the Father, and to send the Holy Spirit, who will guide us to all truth.

Jesus tells us today that he came to cast fire on the earth. Fire is an image of God’s presence and love; it is an image of God’s judgment of sinners; it is also an image of divine purification. Jesus brings us the fire of God’s love, he invites sinners to repent and he purifies us from our sin. Jesus then refers not to his Baptism by John in the Jordan, but to his future Baptism on the Cross. He desires to save us, loves us, and is willing to be sacrificed for our sins.

Jesus began his public ministry proclaiming that the Kingdom of God is at hand. At the Last Supper and on the Cross, the Kingdom is inaugurated. And so, when Jesus speaks about the division he will bring, he is saying that the “time of tribulation is at hand, and I have come to unleash it”. He says this because the heart of his mission is to inaugurate the coming of the Kingdom of God. The exile is over, but this means inaugurating the tribulation, characterized by a time of interfamilial strife and division within, Israel, that precedes the coming of the kingdom and the New Exodus (see B. Pitre, Jesus, the Tribulation, and the End of the Exile, Baker Academic, 216).

When Jesus begins his ministry the people of Israel are in exile; they are waiting for the Shepherd who will restore them and bring them into one flock. With Jesus, the Good Shepherd and the royal descendant of David, the exile is over and a New Exodus is begun. This New Exodus leads not to an earthly promised land, but to a heavenly one. We, then, are walking with Jesus, the New Moses or the prophet-like-Moses, and are lead by the cloud and fire of the Holy Spirit to our heavenly home.

Saint Paul also speaks about very deep mysteries in his prayer for the Ephesians. He kneels before God the Father in prayer and makes five petitions for his readers (see P. Williamson, Ephesians, Baker Academic, 96-101). First, he asks that they be strengthen with the power of the Holy Spirit. Second, he asks that Jesus may dwell in their hearts. This is where Jesus wants to dwell and reign. As Christians, we live in Christ and he lives in us. Third, Paul asks that they may understand. This could refer to God’s loving plan of salvation and the wisdom of the Cross. Fourth, Paul wants his readers to know the love of Christ. Each day, we have to experience Christ’s merciful love. Lastly, Paul wants the Ephesians to be filled with the fullness of God. This sums up the other petitions. For, through grace, the Trinity dwells in us, and we share in the wisdom of the Son and the love of the Holy Spirit. Through grace, we are granted the wisdom to see things from God’s perspective and we are enabled to love God and our neighbor.

As we journey through the desert to our heavenly home, we are lead by Jesus and the Spirit, sustained with the New Manna of the Eucharist, guided by the New Law of charity and enjoy the peace of the New Covenant. We are called to invite all men and women to share in these riches and journey with us to heaven, where every tear will be wiped away and where death and sin are no more.

Read the source: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/daily-homily-divine-fire-and-jesus-baptism

Reflection – “I have come to set the earth on fire”

Reflection 5 – St. John of Capistrano (1386-1456 A.D.)

It has been said the Christian saints are the world’s greatest optimists. Not blind to the existence and consequences of evil, they base their confidence on the power of Christ’s redemption. The power of conversion through Christ extends not only to sinful people but also to calamitous events.

Imagine being born in the 14th century. One-third of the population and nearly 40 percent of the clergy were wiped out by the bubonic plague. The Western Schism split the Church with two or three claimants to the Holy See at one time. England and France were at war. The city-states of Italy were constantly in conflict. No wonder that gloom dominated the spirit of the culture and the times.

John Capistrano was born in 1386. His education was thorough. His talents and success were great. When he was 26 he was made governor of Perugia. Imprisoned after a battle against the Malatestas, he resolved to change his way of life completely. At the age of 30 he entered the Franciscan novitiate and was ordained a priest four years later.

His preaching attracted great throngs at a time of religious apathy and confusion. He and 12 Franciscan brethren were received in the countries of central Europe as angels of God. They were instrumental in reviving a dying faith and devotion.

The Franciscan Order itself was in turmoil over the interpretation and observance of the Rule of St. Francis. Through John’s tireless efforts and his expertise in law, the heretical Fraticelli were suppressed and the “Spirituals” were freed from interference in their stricter observance.

He helped bring about a reunion with the Greek and Armenian Churches, unfortunately only a brief arrangement.

When the Turks captured Constantinople in 1453, he was commissioned to preach a crusade for the defense of Europe. Gaining little response in Bavaria and Austria, he decided to concentrate his efforts in Hungary. He led the army to Belgrade. Under the great General John Hunyadi, they gained an overwhelming victory, and the siege of Belgrade was lifted. Worn out by his superhuman efforts, Capistrano was an easy prey to an infection after the battle. He died October 23, 1456.

Read the source: http://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1177

Comment:

John Hofer, a biographer of John Capistrano, recalls a Brussels organization named after the saint. Seeking to solve life problems in a fully Christian spirit, its motto was: “Initiative, Organization, Activity.” These three words characterized John’s life. He was not one to sit around, ever. His deep Christian optimism drove him to battle problems at all levels with the confidence engendered by a deep faith in Christ.

Quote:

On the saint’s tomb in the Austrian town of Villach, the governor had this message inscribed: “This tomb holds John, by birth of Capistrano, a man worthy of all praise, defender and promoter of the faith, guardian of the Church, zealous protector of his Order, an ornament to all the world, lover of truth and religious justice, mirror of life, surest guide in doctrine; praised by countless tongues, he reigns blessed in heaven.” That is a fitting epitaph for a real and successful optimist.

ChurchMilitant.TV News 10-22-2014

ChurchMilitant.TV News 10-22-2014

Published on Oct 22, 2014

Top Stories:
1. Kenyan Bishops Fear Vaccinations Sterilize Women
2. Bishop Condemns Notre Dame’s Policy Toward Gays
3. Iraqi Patriarch Issues Ultimatum to Runaway Priests
4. Dignity Blasts US Bishops
5. Newborn Left in Dumpster to Be Raised by Couple Who Found Her!

Resource Page:
http://cmtvnews.com/2014/10/22/top-st…