God says, “His number is six hundred and sixty-six.”

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Sorry, I started to write this post on Saturday, and for some reason it was a struggle to get it done.  When I got back to it late Saturday evening, I couldn’t even find it on my phone or my tablet to finish writing it.  In addition, when I got home I tried to finish it and the post disappeared off the edit page.

The title says it all, but God revealed to me again this morning that the gist of what God is saying through his prophet, John, is that the person who is marked with the number of the beast may not be so clear as we originally thought.  The first reading today from the Office of Readings is a reading from the 13th chapter of the book of Revelations, and that translation says, “The man’s number is six hundred sixty-six.”  To me, the revelation is telling us that anyone who denies the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is leading people to follow the beast that is explained in this chapter of revelation.

I don’t pretend to know how to interpret all the revelations that we are given in this book written by John the Apostle, but this one is so clear to me, it keeps coming back.  Remember the gospel I wrote about on Friday was describing the real nature of what Jesus is doing in the sacrifice of the Eucharist until the end of the world.  In the 66th verse of the 6th chapter of John’s gospel, I believe he is revealing the true nature of what the devil is doing in the world until Jesus returns to bring the last judgement.  This was in the gospel reading from Saturday’s Mass.  The devil is saying, like the first disciples who left Jesus said, that the fact that Jesus is truly present, body, soul spirit and divinity in the Eucharist, and he wants us to consume him, is just to difficult to accept.

So, I will say it again, like I have said so many times before.  If we believe Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist, shouldn’t we be screaming from the rooftops for everyone to come to the altar and receive his body and blood with us, so that we can be converted and be made whole and have eternal life.  If you are Catholic, how could you ever miss Mass, for any reason?  If you are not Catholic, how could you not put the rest of your life on hold until you could start receiving him.

Psalm 43:3-4

Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!

Gather with us or scatter…Your choice!

A child must crawl back into his mother’s womb!

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As I heard the gospel proclaimed today by our pastor this morning, and during his homily I made an interesting observation. I thought about the story for the 3rd chapter of John’s gospel, after being prompted to by the explanation of today’s gospel. The story tells how Nicodemus questioned Jesus about being born again. He uses a strange reference to a full-grown person going back into the womb of his mother. Jesus quickly clarifies that he is not talking about physically going back into the womb, rather it is a spiritual rebirth that he is speaking of.

However, when questioned about the fact that he said that his disciples would eat his flesh and drink his blood by saying that eating his flesh and drinking his blood is exactly what he expects them to do. It would be as if he said to Nicodemus that he would have to physically enter the womb again to be reborn. The idea of eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking his blood is as ridiculous as going back into the womb. Again, he does say that eating his flesh and drinking his blood is exactly what needs to done to be to live forever. It is not practical to enter a womb to be reborn again, but eating the flesh of Jesus, in the form of Eucharistic bread is a very practical thing that has become the source and summit of our faith as Catholics. More on the disciples reaction to this troubling revelation of Jesus about what kind of sacrifice he would offer for us once for all time in the Eucharist tomorrow…Stay tuned and God bless you!

What are we hiding from?

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During my morning routine, I came across a story about a Saint that we are celebrating today in the Church, his name is Saint Peter.  No, it is not the Saint Peter that Jesus stole away from a potentially fulfilling life as a fisherman in Galilee.  He was a monk from the 12th century who actually hid from the church for a while in order to not be called into service.  They eventually found him hiding in a monastery, he was a bishop at the time, and he was pretending to be a lay brother in the monastery.  After he went back to work as a bishop, the Church sent him to reconcile the kings of France and England, and he failed.  The funny thing is, regardless of how God calls us into service, he still decides whether we are successful or not, and it is not dependent on our acceptance of his calling.  It is dependent on his will.  After hearing this story of the bishop, who disappeared for a year, only to be called back into service.  I am left with the distinct impression that it isn’t worth it trying to hide from God.  He will be with you during the good and the bad times, and all of them will be worth living, if we let him have the reigns and be in control of every aspect of our lives.  Saint Peter of Tarentaise, pray for us!

 

Are there people given in return for you?

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Isaiah 43 4From Isaiah 43:4, we hear God say, “Because you are precious in my eyes and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you and nations in exchange for your life.”  Verse 5 continues, “Fear not, for I am with you;  from the east I will bring back your offspring, from the west I will gather you.”  I heard the beginning of verse 4 read on the radio this morning, by a priest who was leading some type of retreat somewhere in the Tampa, Florida area today.  Anyway, as I heard it read, I was motivated to spend some time in the chapel reading the rest of it, after our normal morning prayer with a few fellow parishioners.  So, I read it and started to realize that God really loves me, which is awesome, but that God has given people in return for me sounded pretty amazing.  As I sat there and finished the Office of Readings that I wasn’t able to get to at home this morning, this was really all I got.  However, as I drove home I realized that there are people who have come before me that have been offered by God in exchange for my life.  I don’t think that my being here on earth has more value than those that were offered for me.  Rather that I am so precious to God that he would do this for me, made me stop the car for a moment and contemplate the awesome responsibility this puts on my shoulders to live out my faith more fully.

As I read the fifth verse of the 43rd chapter of Isaiah, before I copied it on to this post, I realized that God reminds me not to fear this awesome responsibility.  I should know that he feels the same way about all of his children and anyone who realizes the truth of God’s love for them.  He will be faithful to bring them back from wherever they may have wandered.  My hope, as always, is for everyone who reads this today will be brought to a greater understanding of God’s love for them and thereby want to join me in the daily battle against sin in our own lives and in the whole world.  We can partner with God in dispelling evil with the good works we do in spreading His good news and … Prayer-Fasting-Almsgiving, not just a Lenten observance…Keep the faith!

If you see my dad, take him to church to see my Father!

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I had a conversation with some parishioners yesterday about how the Baptist church has so much better music than our church does, and that is why so many people are leaving the Catholic church and going over there to worship.  It happened while I was showing them my post from yesterday, because I wanted them to see the music that came to me yesterday as I was writing my blog.  It is funny how I don’t remember a time that I was writing and a really good chant or liturgical piece came to my mind to share.  I think the point is, that this blog is not for me, it is for the people that may one day read it, and for that reason I am led to share the music that God thinks will move others.

For me, I must remember that even though I do not think that we should see the Mass as a performance that needs to cater to the needs of those that need to be entertained, it is incumbent on me to make sure that the worship space is a place of transcendence.  The liturgy is not meant to be a performance piece that appeals to the masses, excuse the pun, but a living part of the revelation of Jesus.  What I mean is, the Mass is an extension of Jesus that should transform us, and it can do that through the grace of God in any space.  However, if the space we worship can transport the people who worship there to another place, it may be easier for them to give up their will in favor of letting God do his trans formative work in them.

Photo: First Friday Adoration yesterday was a success for those that were able to schedule some time to enjoy the company of their Savior!

As for the title of my post, if you made it this far you probably want to know why I chose to write that title, when I clearly wrote about the appearance of the sanctuary in the church vs. the music and sounds of the church.  Well, I guess I am still holding out hope that someday my dad will make the short but painful trip from his heart to his head and make a decision to follow Jesus in more than just words, but in deeds too. I pray for my salvation too, and I would very much appreciate your prayers, as well…God bless you!

Our flesh is incorruptible…Do you believe?

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Reading the Office of Readings this morning, especially the second reading from a discourse from Saint Athanasius, I realized that the fact that we see our bodies as corruptible, and our flesh as weak for that matter, is that we forget that we have a savior in Jesus Christ.  He conquered death and corruptibility. Therefore, if we give in to despair about what will happen to our bodies or how our minds can be corrupted in the flesh by temptations that come from the devil, we are forgetting that Jesus came, in our flesh, to convert it from a corruptible flesh into a flesh that is incorruptible.  Insert video here:

It still boggles my mind how we struggle with miracles like the one in the first video, but we are totally fine with the fact that Jesus made fish and loaves of bread materialize out of thin air in the multiplication of the loaves and fishes in today’s gospel.  If we recognized how God loves us so much that he sent His Son to save us from everything that could corrupt our mind, we would leave it alone for good.  Pray for me to leave my sin behind and I would be honored to pray for you as well…God bless you!

I can’t wait to see the movie, “God’s Not Dead” this weekend, and I pray that God enters into everyone’s life who reads this in a way that convinces them that not only is He not dead, but they have eternal life with Him too.  If we only let go of our fear and let Love enter into our lives in the person of Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can have a body and soul that is never corrupted by this world!

Holy Spirit working through #Blackberry…

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Inspiration was said to only come from perspiration.  I don’t know who said it, but I remember reading it or hearing it somewhere.  I guess if you really want to know, you could “google” it.  Anyway, the truth is that “real” inspiration comes from the Holy Spirit.  Yes, I said it.  God is the key that inspires everything.  A couple of days ago, I read a post that was tweeted by Blackberry, because I follow them on Twitter to make sure that I am up to date with the latest news about my smartphone and my several Playbook tablets.  The blog that they tweeted about was talking about the time of day that we are most inspired to write, and that time was the morning.  The funny thing is, I knew it already, but I needed the knowledge that came from that article to reinforce it in my head.  I believe that God used that blog to inspire me to write more on my blog and I hope that God will continue to use my blog to inspire others to write or do whatever it is that God is calling them to.  The point of this short post today is that if we are looking to be inspired by God to action, we need not look any further than the things that he put right in front of us.  We need to take some time to discern the truth in what we read or see, but that time of discernment could be the thing that God is trying to build in us, patience.