The translation from yesterday’s Office of Readings from the Divine Office website, had this title from the 2nd letter of John. When I looked it up on the USCCB website for the same reading, the same verse was shown as follows: Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh; such is the deceitful one and the antichrist. (2 John 1:7) It refers to the other verses that I have discussed in earlier posts in the footnotes for this mentioning of the antichrist. As I read it yesterday morning, I realized that John was calling out the antichrist. I understood that he was talking about what I found earlier when comparing his visions from the book of Revelation to his gospel, especially related to the number of the beast and what that refers to in John’s gospel. It is clear to me that even back at the beginning of Christianity, the apostles were dealing with folks that not only wanted to convince people that their version of Christianity was better, but also that the idea of Jesus coming in the flesh and offering that flesh for the life of the world, was not important. Since tomorrow is Pentecost and the end of Easter season in the church, this will probably be the last time I am asked to share this news with you this year. Also, if we are believers than we must believe that we do not have forever to tell others this news and continue to warn others about the antichrist that has been present in the world since Jesus first told them about the offering of his flesh that would be present until the end of the age.
1 John 2:18-23 Children, it is the last hour and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. Thus we know this is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of our number, if they had been, they would have remained with us. Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number. But you have the anointing that comes from the holy one, and you all have knowledge. I write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth. Who is the liar? Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist. No one who denies the Son has the Father, but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well
1 John 5:6,12 This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ, not by water alone, but by water and blood. The Spirit is the one that testifies, and the Spirit is truth.
Whoever possesses the Son has life; whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life.
…is a continuation of John 6:66 (IMO) As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.
John 16:12-15 Jesus said to his disciples: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
and declare it to you.”
Could it be that the person who denies that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist is actually the antichrist? I believe that the Word of God is actually revealing this truth to me and I could easily deny it by saying that I am reading into the scripture something that is not there. However, John says that Jesus told them that there was more that he had to tell them, but they could not bear it now. Is it possible that the first 45 or 50 times I read that scripture, it was the same for me? However, God has chosen this time now to show the truth, so that we can tell the world. I can’t believe that I am the only one to come to this conclusion and I hope that the Holy Spirit will continue to show me ways to share this with more people before it is too late!
So, it struck me this morning as I was reading the Office of Readings after our normal morning prayer that we do in the chapel, that this parenting thing we are doing might just be more important than we originally thought. Not just for our kids, but for us. I don’t think it was a particular reading that came through to me to say this, but the message from God was loud and clear and I have already shared it with a few folks before writing this blog and the reaction is pretty good. The few people I have told this to have agreed that it is pretty deep, but also true. (They may have thought something else, but that was the impression they gave me.)
Anyway, the idea that came to me was that raising our kids is a struggle, because we want them to leave our homes prepared to face the world with the tools that will empower them to live out their faith. When I write that part, it doesn’t seem very deep. However, it struck me that God showed us how he is willing to struggle to raise his children, in order that they are prepared to leave the home he has built for them on earth. How much was he willing to struggle for us?
His struggle ended with dying on the cross in order that we can see that he is willing to suffer the most pitiful disgrace of paying a penalty for a crime that he didn’t commit. Also, so that we can see that at the end of our life, there is life eternal, he was resurrected and ascended to heaven to point us to our eternal destiny. He sent us the Holy Spirit to unite our souls to his, while we are still on earth.
As parents of our children, we must try to live out our lives as redeemed members of the body of Christ to show our children what it looks like if they follow God’s will for their lives. It is not easy, but the best medicine for a broken spirit of a child is parents whose hope is in the resurrection. Parents who show that hope, in their true spirit of repentance for their own past sins and the mercy they freely give to others, including their children, are like gods. The most pitiable people would be Christians, who don’t believe in the resurrection, as Saint Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians. (1 Cor 15:19) The second most pitiable people would be children who have parents who are not being converted and who don’t need a savior. I pray that all parents embrace a humble spirit and a contrite heart, which leads to the conversion of the world…Amen!
As I began to read the first reading from the Office of Readings this morning, I was trying to discern the identity of the place that was being revealed to John by one of the seven angels who were holding the seven bowls. I realize now that the seven angels holding the seven bowls is symbolic for the whole world, and that is why I feel like I see myself as the great harlot. Truth is, as much as I try to shelter myself from the big bad world, I still live in it. Until the end comes, I will live in it. By the grace of God, I will be protected from evil. However, I am still here and for the times that I comply with the things proposed by this world as good, chasing after money, sex or power, I am the great harlot. The prayer that I sometimes see as so simple, it is almost too easy to pray, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner”, is also the prayer that reminds me throughout my day that the mercy of God is what saves me. It is not any good thing that I may do, because it will usually lead me back to money, sex or power, if I am relying on my strength, but it is the grace of God that saves me.
Now, I am sure there are plenty of scholars that could give you a better understanding of the second part of the first reading of today’s Office of Readings, but it is in reading the second reading from a letter to the Corinthians by Saint Clement, that we see that it is only through subordinating our will to that of the will of the Father, and by coming together with all the members of the body of Christ we will realize the last goal of victory over sin and death in our life and our world. To me, it is this fact that gives me hope to join with other people of faith, and at times people of no faith, to bring all people to a greater understanding of God’s hope of salvation for everyone. Now, I may not be experiencing the fruit of following God’s will at this present moment, but by staying connected to other people who are on the same mission of bringing the Good News to the world, I can see their consolation, even in my times of desolation.
I pray that more people today will follow Jesus, because of the truth that he has revealed through me and the conversations that I have with other people today, and by simply follow in His way…Amen!
As I read the articles (2) written by an old friend, Christopher West, who is a well-known author and teacher of the Theology of the Body that was proposed by God and put forth by Saint John Paul II in his many talks on the Theology of the Body and his setting up the Institute on the Marriage and Family Studies, I realized that not only is it connected, it is essential to defeating the lies and misrepresentation of truths in our culture today about sex and marriage. I read, “The Good News About Sex and Marriage” almost 20 years ago, but the truth that Christopher West wrote about then is still true now. The truth that I believe he was talking about, and the truth that was being put forth by Saint John Paul II, as I read it, is that the family and marriage are consequences of fruitful reality of how we are created as human beings, made in the image and likeness of God. These realities can be lived out through a vocation that calls us to be single as well as married, because the ultimate goal is for union with God. If we are ever going to have hope of living out this truth about sex and marriage, we must first die to the truth that this world was made for us to consume, and not respect it as the creation of God, who put all things in an order that is necessary to enjoy them fully.
This is taken from the first reading of the Office of Readings yesterday, which was taken from the 14th chapter of the book of Revelation, verse 8. It says…
“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, which made all the nations drink the poisoned wine of her lewdness!”
Is it a coincidence that this reading is shared with us by the church on the anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima appearance to the children in Portugal in 1917, or the anniversary of the shooting of Saint John Paul II in 1981? The NABRE of the Bible says, “the wine of her licentious passion.” Either way, I see that the angel in John’s vision could be talking about the fact that this misrepresentation of the truth about gender sameness that stems from Marxism, that is the poison that the world has drunk that does not require us to respect the differences that exist between the way a man and a woman are created. There are many reasons that Saint John Paul II is attributed with the fall of Communism, but the bad fruit of that attitude of gender sameness will have to be defeated by the soldiers that Saint John Paul II left behind.
The “Good News” that we see in the world today is that the Theology of the Body is revealing that we can respect the way we are created within the traditional understanding of marriage, but it will require a greater understanding of chastity and purity within our relationships.
The third angel has another message about the mark of the beast that I discussed in my last post. It is truly frightening, so I will include just the beginning of that message, and you can read the rest if you want to…(Revelation 14:9)
A third angel followed the others and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast or its image, or accepts its mark on his forehead or hand.”
I think we know what the mark of the beast looks like now, so we should do well to stay away from it. Today’s message from the gospel reading from Mass is that we should love our friends. My pastor and I just finished discussing that love does not accept that our friends are being misled by our culture to accept things about themselves that are not true. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)
For all my friends, please know that Jesus loves you in ways that I never could, because I am a sinner and I have fallen short of the glory of God. However, I hope and pray that all my friends will be made worthy of the glory of God, by coming to an understanding not only in some ambiguous understanding of who Jesus is in their life, but by actually receiving him in the Eucharist. (Read last post for more clarity on this issue or John 6...)
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.
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!
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!