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I found this in a PDF and am passing it on. 

St. John Chrysostom on Keeping a Fast

We have this fast too as an ally, and as an assistant in this
good intercession. Therefore, as when the winter is over
and the summer is appearing, the sailor draws his vessel
to the deep; and the soldier burnishes his arms, and
makes ready his steed for the battle; and the husbandman
sharpens his sickle; and the traveler boldly undertakes a
long journey, and the wrestler strips and bares himself for
the contest.
So too, when the fast makes its appearance, like a kind of
spiritual summer, let us as soldiers burnish our weapons;
and as husbandmen let us sharpen our sickle; and as
sailors let us order our thoughts against the waves of
extravagant desires; and as travelers let us set out on the
journey towards heaven; and as wrestlers let us strip for
the contest.
For the believer is at once a husbandman, and a sailor,
and a soldier, a wrestler, and a traveler.
Hence St. Paul saith, “We wrestle not against flesh and
blood, but against principalities, against powers. Put on
therefore the whole armour of God.” Hast thou observed
the wrestler? Hast thou observed the soldier? If thou art a
wrestler, it is necessary for thee to engage in the conflict
naked. If a soldier, it behooves thee to stand in the battle
line armed at all points.
How then are both these things possible, to be naked, and
yet not naked; to be clothed, and yet not clothed! How? I
will tell thee. Divest thyself of worldly business, and thou
hast become a wrestler. Put on the spiritual armour, and
thou hast become a soldier. Strip thyself of worldly cares,
for the season is one of wrestling. Clothe thyself with the
spiritual armour, for we have a heavy warfare to wage with
demons.
Therefore also it is needful we should be naked, so as to
offer nothing that the devil may take hold of, while he is
wrestling with us; and to be fully armed at all points, so as
on no side to receive a deadly blow.
Cultivate thy soul. Cut away the thorns. Sow the word of
godliness. Propagate and nurse with much care the fair
plants of divine wisdom, and thou hast become a
husbandman. And Paul will say to thee, “The
husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the
fruits. He too himself practiced this art. Therefore writing
to the Corinthians, he said, “I have planted, Apollos
watered, but God gave the increase.” Sharpen thy sickle,
which thou hast blunted through gluttony–sharpen it by

fasting. Lay hold of the pathway which leads towards
heaven; rugged and narrow as it is, lay hold of it, and
journey on.
And how mayst thou be able to do these things? By
subduing thy body, and bringing it into subjection. For
when the way grows narrow, the corpulence that comes of
gluttony is a great hindrance. Keep down the waves of
inordinate desires. Repel the tempest of evil thoughts.
Preserve the bark; display much skill, and thou hast
become a pilot. But we shall have the fast for a
groundwork and instructor in all these things.
I speak not, indeed, of such a fast as most persons keep,
but of real fasting; not merely abstinence from meats; but
from sins too.
For the nature of a fast is such, that it does not suffice to
deliver those who practice it, unless it be done according
to a suitable law. “For the wrestler,” it is said, “is not
crowned unless he strive lawfully.” To the end then, that
when we have gone through the labour of fasting, we
forfeit not the crown of fasting, we should understand
how, and after what manner, it is necessary to conduct
this business; since that Pharisee also fasted, but
afterwards when down empty, and destitute of the fruit of
fasting.
The Publican fasted not; and yet he was accepted in
preference to him who had fasted; in order that thou
mayst learn that fasting is unprofitable, except all other
duties follow with it. The Ninevites fasted, and won the
favour of God. The Jews fasted too, and profited nothing,
nay they departed with blame.

Since then the danger in fasting is so great to those who
do not know how they ought to fast, we should learn the
laws of this exercise, in order that we may not “run
uncertainly,” nor “beat the air,” nor while we are fighting
contend with a shadow. Fasting is a medicine; but a
medicine, though it be never so profitable, becomes
frequently useless owing to the unskillfulness of him who
employs it.
For it is necessary to know, moreover, the time when it
should be applied, and the requisite quantity of it; and the
temperament of body that admits it; and the nature of the
country, and the season of the year; and the
corresponding diet; as well as various other particulars;
any of which, if one overlooks, he will mar all the rest that
have been named. Now if, when the body needs healing,
such exactness is required on our part, much more ought
we, when our care is about the soul, and we seek to heal

the distempers of the mind, to look, and to search into
every particular with the utmost accuracy.
I have said these things, not that we may disparage fasting,
but that we may honour fasting; for the honour of fasting
consists not in abstinence from food, but in withdrawing
from sinful practices; since he who limits his fasting only
to an abstinence from meats, is one who especially
disparages it.

Dost thou fast? Give me proof of it by thy works! Is it said
by what kind of works?

If thou seest a poor man, take pity on him!

If thou seest an enemy, be reconciled to him!

If thou seest a friend gaining honour, envy him not!

If thou seest a handsome woman, pass her by!

For let not the mouth only fast, but also the eye, and ear,
and the feet, and the hands, and all the members of our
bodies.

Let the hands fast, by being pure from rapine and avarice.
Let the feet fast, but ceasing from running to the unlawful
spectacles.

Let the eyes fast, being taught never to fix themselves
rudely upon handsome countenances, or to busy
themselves with strange beauties.

For looking is the food of the eyes, but if this be such as is
unlawful or forbidden, it mars the fast; and upsets the
whole safety of the soul; but if it be lawful and safe, it
adorns fasting.

For it would be among things the most absurd to abstain
from lawful food because of the fast, but with the eyes to
touch even what is forbidden.

Dost thou not eat flesh? Feed not upon lasciviousness by
means of the eyes.

Let the ear fast also. The fasting of the ear consists in
refusing to receive evil speakings and calumnies. “Thou
shalt not receive a false report,” it says.

 

Fasting is about more than food.  Fasting is about saying no to that which will harm our souls.  Fasting is about doing good works and reconciling relationships.  Lent is a time to grow in our faith. 

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I attended classes at Franciscan University and earned my associates degree from there. I spent a couple of summers there and thoroughly enjoyed attending the conferences. There are conferences for adults and teenagers. If you haven’t attended at least one conference I highly recommend you attend one. The atmosphere is amazing. Something I will never forget. Franciscan University helped me to become closer to God. Here are the different conferences: Defending the Faith,Summer Youth, Catholic Charismatic, Applied Biblical Studies, Priests Deacons and Seminarians, and St. John Bosco. Here is the site that has information on the various conferences — http://www.franciscanconferences.com/. I truly believe that Franciscan University is a special place. The video is of Life On The Rock spending a weekend at a Franciscan University Youth Conference.

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Peter_AdamAndEveInTheGardenOfEden

 

I am planning on having a series of posts where various issues are going to be debated between atheists and Christians, or people of faith.  Before I start a series debating theological topics with atheists/agnostics/skeptics I have some questions on the Creation Story for people of all faiths.

I believe that God is the Author of all of creation from the heavens, earth, fish, birds, humans – male and female, light, darkness, sky, animals, trees, plants, sea, other creatures and much more.  Do you believe that God made everything within 6 days, what we think of as 6 days? Or do you think that what the Bible calls “days” may be representative of a different time period, different from the time period we attribute to a day at present day?

In 1981 then Cardinal Ratzinger , now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, gave four homilies on Creation in which he identified three principles that the exegete needs to consider when reading the Creation Story.  While defending exegetes that go beyond a literalist reading of  Genesis, Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco explains how to interpret the Creation Story using Cardinal Ratzinger’s (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) homilies.

First Principle — The difference between form and content:

First, he proposes that the exegete “must distinguish between the form of portrayal and
the content that is portrayed.”
He must keep in mind that the Bible is, first and
foremost, a religious book and not a natural science textbook. Thus, Cardinal Ratzinger
concludes that Genesis does not and cannot provide a scientific explanation of how the
world arose. Rather, it is a book that seeks to describe things in such a way that the
reader is able to grasp profound religious realities. It uses images to communicate
religious truth, images that were chosen from what was understandable at the time the
text was written, “images which surrounded the people who lived then, which they used
in speaking and in thinking, and thanks to which they were able to understand the
greater realities.”  In other words, the Catholic exegete is called to respect the text as it
is. He is called to read Genesis as its human author wished it to be read, not as a
scientific treatise, but as a religious narrative that communicates profound truths about
the Creator.

Cardinal Ratzinger’s first criterion for exegesis echoes the teaching of the Second
Vatican Council. In Dei verbum, the Dogmatic Constitution on Revelation, the Council
Fathers taught that,

Those who search out the intention of the sacred writers must, among other things,
have regard for “literary forms.” For truth is proposed and expressed in a variety of
ways, depending on whether a text is history of one kind or another or whether its form
is that of prophecy, poetry, or some other type of speech. The interpreter must
investigate what meaning the sacred writer intended to express and actually expressed
in particular circumstances as he used contemporary literary forms in accordance with
the situation of his own time and culture.

Moreover, though Cardinal Ratzinger does not provide a theological justification for this
criterion, the Second Vatican Council did. According to the Council, we need to respect
the form of the text because “God speaks in sacred Scripture through men in human
fashion.”
Thus, the exegete “in order to see clearly what God wanted to communicate
to us, should carefully investigate what meaning the sacred writers really intended, and
what God wanted to manifest by means of their words.”10 In other words, the Catholic
exegete should respect the form of the Sacred Scriptures because in doing so, he
respects the action of God who authored the sacred text without violating the freedom,
identity, and idiosyncrasies of the human authors who wrote in different forms.

Second Principle — The unity of the Holy Bible:

“In his Lenten homily from 1981, Cardinal Ratzinger brings up the same question asking, is the distinction
between the image and what is intended to be expressed only an evasion, because we
can no longer rely on the text even though we still want to make something of it, or are
there criteria from the Bible itself that attest to this distinction?” In response, he
proposes a second criterion for sound Catholic exegesis — the exegete should interpret
a text from within the context of the unity of the Bible. Applying this criterion to the
interpretation of the six-day creation account, we discover that the creation accounts in
the Old Testament — the Hexaemeron is only one of several found in Genesis and in
Psalms — are clearly “movement[s] to clarify the faith” and are not scientific or
historical narratives. For instance, Cardinal Ratzinger notes that a study of the origins of
the creation texts in the Wisdom literature especially reveal that they were written to
respond to the Hellenistic civilization confronted by the Israelites. Thus, it is not
surprising that the human authors of these accounts did not use the image of the six
days to assert their faith in the one Creator God. This image would not have been
appropriate for their time and would not have been understood by their Greek
contemporaries. In contrast, a study of the origins of the Hexaemeron, the six-day
account of creation, found in the first chapter of Genesis reveals that it was written to
respond to the seemingly victorious Babylonian civilization confronted by the Israelites
several centuries before their encounter with the Greeks. Here, the human author of the
sacred text used images familiar to their pagan contemporaries to refute the Enuma
Elish, the Babylonian creation account that claimed that the world was created when
Marduk, the god of light, killed the primordial dragon.Thus, as Cardinal Ratzinger
points out, it is not surprising that nearly every word of the first creation account
addresses a particular confusion of the Babylonian age. For instance, when the Sacred
Scriptures affirm that in the beginning, the earth was without form and void (cf. Gen.
1:2), the sacred text refutes the existence of a primordial dragon. When they refer to the
sun and the moon as lamps that God has hung in the sky for the measurement of time
(cf. Gen. 1:14), the text refutes the divinity of these two great celestial bodies believed
to be Babylonian gods. These verses, and they are only two of many examples,
illustrate the intent of the human author of the Hexaemeron. He wanted to dismantle a
pagan myth that was commonplace in Babylon and assert the supremacy of the one
Creator God. Cardinal Ratzinger concludes: Reading Genesis with Cardinal Ratzinger
Thus, we can see how the Bible itself constantly readapts its images to a continually
developing way of thinking, how it changes time and again in order to bear witness, time
and again, to the one thing that has come to it, in truth, from God’s Word, which is the
message of his creating act. In the Bible itself the images are free and they correct
themselves ongoingly. In this way they show, by means of a gradual and interactive
process, that they are only images, which reveal something deeper and greater.

Third Principle — Christ as the interpretive key of the Holy Bible: 

Finally, the second criterion raises another important question: Why should the Sacred
Scriptures be treated as a unity? What is the source of this unity? In response, Cardinal
Ratzinger provides his third and final criterion for interpreting the sacred text: We are to
read the Sacred Scriptures “with Him in whom all things have been fulfilled and in whom
all of its validity and truth are revealed.” It is Christ who unifies the Bible. The entire
Bible is about him. Thus, Genesis has to be read in the context of its fulfillment in Christ.
Therefore, the Holy Father asserts that the first creation account cannot be read without
reference to the conclusive and normative scriptural account of creation which begins:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God …
All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was
made” (John 1:1;3, Revised Standard Version). For Cardinal Ratzinger, it is Christ who
sanctions readings of the sacred text that move beyond a strict literalist reading
because it is Christ who wishes to communicate profound theological truths that
penetrate the human heart and soul: “Christ frees us from the slavery of the letter, and
precisely thus does he give back to us, renewed, the truth of the images.”

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In “Song of the Sparrow” Fr. Murray Bodo O.F.M. explained that “the Franciscan charism is intimately tied up with loving those who are seemingly unlovable or who return love with hatred and contempt.”

It is easy to love our friends, family members who are easy to get along with, and those who share our same beliefs. It can be extremely tough to love people who trust us horribly, people who are insensitive, those who are grumpy or angry, someone who holds opposite beliefs as we do, and family members who are rub you the wrong way.

Expressing our love through actions is very important.  Helping the needy, visiting the sick, being friendly to cantankerous relatives who you may not see eye-to-eye with, and teaching the Faith to kids in Faith Formation or adults in RCIA are all ways to show love for others.

We are called to follow The Golden Rule, treating others as we would want others to treat us.

Loving individuals doesn’t mean abandoning Truth to please others. It does mean loving the person as a human being while also being respectful if there is a disagreement.  We are called to teach the fullness of the Faith: from the Sacraments, Saints, the Mass, the Ten Commandments, Catechesis, Catholic Social Teaching, Catholic Doctrine, Morality, to Respect for Life.

 

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Apparently there has been some hullabaloo about news sites claiming that Pope Francis as Cardinal Bergoglio endorsed civil unions back in 2010. That’s a bunch of hooey. According to one of the Pope’s confidants Francis was faced with gay “marriage” being thrust upon citizens in Argentina so he offered the lesser of two evils as to have further discussion on the matter. It is the same when voting for a piece of legislation. Canon law allows for the politician voting for the legislation that is the lesser of two evils when there is no good option.

Woites’s statements contradict a New York Times article published yesterday stating, “Faced with the near certain passage of the gay marriage bill, Cardinal Bergoglio offered the civil union compromise as the ‘lesser of two evils,’ said Sergio Rubin, his authorized biographer. ‘He wagered on a position of greater dialogue with society.'”

Here is the article http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/bergoglio-didnt-suggest-endorsing-homosexual-civil-unions-in-2010-says-conf

Fr. Orsi at Ave Maria is taking bishops to task for being unwilling to refuse Holy Communion to politicians who are in grave sin those who support abortion and euthanasia.  I’d add being in support of same-sex marriage to the list. Both Biden and Pelosi received Communion at Pope Francis’ installation mass. These type of politicians have been obstinate for so long and the bishops’ pastoral approach hasn’t worked over a lengthy period of time that a more visible act of standing for the faith and against scandal is necessary.  Here is a bit of what Fr. Orsi has to say:

Politicians such as Biden and Pelosi have been stubborn and contumacious in their pro-abortion policies and in presenting themselves for reception of the Eucharist. They know that the American bishops, for the most part, prefer a “pastoral approach,” which means basically let’s talk to them and help them to see the error of their ways. It has not worked, and there is no indication that it will. The topic of this essay is proof enough! They also know that Catholic priests are instructed not to cause a scene on the Communion line and that the person be permitted to receive. Thus, they opt to take advantage of these charitable loopholes.

There is a solution and perhaps some hope for stronger enforcement of Church policy on offending pols. The Vatican should clearly state that politicians who promote a culture of death, abortion, and euthanasia, are subject to excommunication by their bishop. Pope-Emeritus  Benedict XVI  made an unofficial statement on a trip to Mexico, in 2007, stating  that excommunication for pro choice legislators was not arbitrary and is part of canon law.  This would strengthen Canon 915 and some bishops’ backbones.

It is well known that Pope Francis forbade pro- choice politicians from receiving Holy Communion in his diocese, in Argentina.  Perhaps the new Pope can move this project along?

By the bishops refusing to take strong action, such as excommunication, politicians will continue their “in your face” attitude toward the church and her leaders. Such a failure will also continue to allow Catholics and people of good will to be scandalized. Even worse, it gives the impression that others may follow the behavior of wayward  politicians with impunity.

Biden and Pelosi only did at the Vatican what they have been allowed to do at home.  As the great Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonheoffer stated so well, dear bishops;  Not to act is to act!

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/ave-maria-law-priest-takes-bishops-to-task-for-failing-to-deny-communion-to?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=80c9604d99-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines_03_20_2013&utm_medium=email

Dang those sequester cuts. Bang. Bop. That hurts… Wait!!! Hold on… stop listening to the MSM meme. Were there really cuts to government agencies because of the sequester? To Find out you can visit The Sequester Lies: Where are the Republicans? at Conservative Hideout. It’s all laid out neatly in a graph.

The Conservative Lady has a post titled A New “Most Dangerous” Man in America?   This person is a mayor of a major city but he has much influence over national politics.  He is a radical who wants to change (er take away) your rights using force.  He is not only against illegal guns but is also against legal guns.

1CatholicSalmon has a good post called Palm Sunday – the day after tomorrow, and Holy Week begins. Doesn’t it seem like Lent has flown by? Hard to believe it’s already almost one day before Holy Week begins.

Biltrix has a great post called Father, Forgive Them!  Fr. Jason Smith explains about having the urge to throw away his anger toward Judas betrayal when he hears the words “Father forgive them.”  This had me questioning, should we really be angry at Judas? Wasn’t he apart of God’s divine plan? An essential part? Without Judas would Jesus have died to save our sins? Possibly…. but since this is what happened in God’s divine plan to save all of humanity from sin wouldn’t giving thanks to Judas be more appropriate?  We all sin and whether the sin be big or small if we ask for forgiveness God will grant His mercy and forgive us. For this reason and with there being conflicting accounts of Judas’ death  I do believe that it is possible that Judas repented before his death. This would mean that Judas would have been forgiven by God just as the rest of us are forgiven when we repent in Reconciliation.

 

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Questioning does not necessarily mean that you don’t believe. But questioning can lead to the sin of unbelief. If the reason why you are questioning is to further understand something about the Faith that is a good thing. But if you are a skeptic of certain teachings questioning those teachings and uncertain whether you should believe this or that doctrinal teaching then you are giving way to the sin of unbelief.

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1 Corinthians 11:17-34

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

17 But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together [a]as a church, I hear that [b]divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become [c]evident among you. 20 Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper,21 for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you.

The Lord’s Supper

23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number [d]sleep.31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

33 So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you will not come together for judgment. The remaining matters I will arrange when I come.

The lesson that I draw from the above scripture passage is that we are to humbly follow Jesus and that no matter what we have done to offend God, if we sincerely repent and ask forgiveness for our sins God will forgive us.  Jimmy Akin references Luke’s Gospel to show that while Jesus eat with and kept company with sinners He did not forget that they had sinned. Jesus led by example so that the sinners would repent.  In this world today we are called to acknowledge our sins, repent our sins, ask God for forgiveness, and not ignore others’ sins or the sins of this world. We are called to speak out in love in order so that sinners will turn towards God, reject sin, repent, ask forgiveness, and follow God’s Commandments. 

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Thank you very much Citizen Tom for bestowing me with The Food For Thought Award.  Citizen Tom created The Food For Thought Award and explains what it entails: “What’s The Food for Thought Award? How can we combine The Super Sweet Blogger Award with The Thought Provoking Blog Award? Well, when a Christian blog offers visitors wisdom from the Word of God, isn’t that blog providing its visitors food for thought? Ah ha! Thus was born a new award.”

 

Here are the rules: 

  1. Post the award on your blog.  Done.
  2. Thank the one who nominated you and link back to their blog. Done
  3. Share seven of your favorite Bible passages. For extra points (Perhaps our Father in heaven will award them.), explain why each these seven passages is a favorite. Done
  4. Nominate seven other bloggers you admire and enjoy! Why seven? In the Bible, seven symbolizes completeness.
  5. Inform each person that you have nominated them.  Will pass on by tomorrow at 8pm.

Here are my seven favorite Bible passages:

Psalm 113: 7-9

He raises up the lowly from the dust;

from the dunghill he lifts up the poor

To seat them with princes,

with the princes of his own people.

He establishes in her home the barren wife

as the joyful mother of children.

This passage is very special to me.  After I returned home from having my hysterectomy  it hit me like a ton of bricks that I know longer had my reproductive organs. I struggled quite a bit due to the fact that Kevin and I don’t have any kids and because having the hysterectomy meant a huge loss, that there was no way I could have kids anymore.  After I prayed to God  and asked for His help to guide me to a scripture passage He led me to this one.  

2 Chronicles 19:7 (RSV)

Now then, let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed what you do, for there is no perversion of justice with the LORD our God, or partiality, or taking bribes.”

This passage reminded of how people pervert justice and/or social justice today.  

Luke 1:26-38 (RSV)

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 he came to her and said, “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.  And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,  and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.”  And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?”  And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.  And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.  For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Mary said the ultimate Yes to God following His will.  She is the perfect example for how we are to follow God’s will.  This is the beginning of Mary’s role as the Mother of God Incarnate. 

Genesis 1:26-27

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

I love the whole creation story but I picked this part of it because this is when God created man in his own image. He created man and woman.  God is the author of all of creation.

Deuteronomy 32:4 (RSV)

“The Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is he.

God is indeed right and just. 

Isaiah 53:5

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.

This is a prefigurement of Jesus dying for our sins.  He made the ultimate sacrifice for us.  

Psalm 30:2

O LORD my God, I cried to thee for help, and thou hast healed me.

Our Lord is the great healer.  This passage really spoke to me because God has healed me. 

 

Here are seven bloggers I am bestowing with The Food For Thought Award: 

SR at Water My Flowers Lord 

The Peanut Gallery 

Biltrix 

Terry at 8 Kids And A Business

A Blog For Dallas Area Catholics 

Barren To Blessed 

Bunkerville 

God Bless everyone!

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Today Kevin and I were talking about justice in the context of getting justice for a wrong.  Then we started talking about both mercy and justice and Kevin asked me if I could think of a time in the New Testament when Jesus displayed both mercy and justice.  My first couple answers were ones that he had not thought of but which fit perfectly.   After a few attempts I figured out the specific instance in the New Testament that Kevin was thinking of.  He was talking about The Parable of the Prodigal Son. 

The Parable of the Lost Son

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

The Father showed his son mercy when he accepted his son back home with open arms.  The father showed his unconditional love to his son in the same manner as our Father in heaven loves each of us unconditionally.  The son repented for his sins and the Father showed him mercy.  

Justice is done when the Father says to the faithful son “everything I have is yours” but does not reward the lost son who spent all of his inheritance and returned home with nothing.  The prodigal son squandered his inheritance and it would not be just to take from the son who has faithfully served his father to give to a son who had already been given his share of the inheritance but wasted it.  

 

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