What we shall be has not yet been revealed

Thursday, 11/1/18

Today we honor all those who have died in God's
friendship. The Gospel identifies.

The Gospel identities them as all those who
copied Jesus in being clean of heart, meek,
strivers after goodness.

In the first reading St. John gives us his very
artistic vision of what heaven.

In the second reading Paul tells us no one
knows what kind of existence God has
planned for those who died loon him. He has
only let us know that we will become like him.

Strive to enter through the narrow gate.

Wednesday, 10/31/18

In Our Lord's time almost every town was a walled one.
The exit way from each town was outfitted with benches
where the town-leaders could meet, deciding on the steps
to take for the town's safety. Foremost among their decisions
were those to close the gate when the town was threatened
by robbers or  disease.

It sometimes happened that someone on a journey or out
working in the fields would return to find the town gate
firmly shut and barred. For such ones, the leaders provided a
narrow gate, hidden around the town's hill side. They also
stationed a gate-keeper who would only open to those who
were familiar to him.

Metaphorically, we strive to open through the narrow gate
when, instead of leaving our salvation open to chance, we
work at it day and night.

Where the Bible follows customs of th times it may change with time.


Tuesday, 10/30/18

Our readings today give us two examples of the
Bible following our customs.

While Paul speaks the need for wives to obey
their husbands Vatican II has greater respect for
wives as persons made in God's image

Where Exodus 21 says that God punishes the
offspring of evil-doers down to the fourth
generation,  Ezekiel says that God rewards
or punishes us only fo our own deeds.






  00

Paul wrote that Jesus sacrificed himself as a fragrant aroma.

Monday, 10/29/18

Paul spoke of Christ's suffering death as giving off a fragrant
aroma. Taking the phrase "fragrant aroma" in any recognizable
sense, it certainly could not be applied to the cursing Jesus received
from one of the thieves crucified with him, nor to any smell
coming off the tearing of those nails into his ankles and wrists.

Taking the phrase "fragrant aroma" in a metaphorical sense it
would  be an excessive description of the warmth of the
handshake of old friends.

In the matter of Christ's death, the"fragrant aroma" phrase
has meaning as a description of the complete sacrifice of himself
brought on by hi excessive  love for us.      

"Lord. I want to see,"


Sunday, 10/28/18

Sunday, 10/2818

When I came to St. Paul's as pastor thirty-six
years ago I met almost every day with a man
named  Peter and his sister Mary.

In 1946  the Israelis,  taking over Jerusalem,
drove them from the family property known
for its giant plum trees.

Peter had owned an automobile agency that had
him driving customers all around the Holy
Land. He particularly hated driving through
Jericho that was very hot, and infested with
flies.

Every time I heard today's Gospel I found myself
sharing the misery of blind Bartimeus passing the
years squatting in the dust, sweating at flies. I also
shared his joy when Jesus made him see.0

We need time and ingenuity for making students do their best.

Saturday,10/27/18

In the Gospel three years after a landowner planted
a fig tree, finding no fruit on it,  he told the gardener to
cut it down. The gardener, however, asked for a few
years to bring the tree around to bearing fruit.

The lady answering the phone for us has a daughter
who hasn't learned how to read. The other kids call
her stupid; but her mother, while building the child's
courage, has placed her with specialists who have
brought the child around, helping her to read,

Do we, agree with Paul in seeing ourselves as one body and spirit?

Friday, 10/26/18

Do we go along with Paul's command that
we see each other as all one body, one person?

Don't we follow a more  ordinary course by which
we look after our individual selves? Might
not our them song be: "You go your way, I'll go 
mine." 

Do the Scriptures call on us to make any
specific changes in the way we regard
and behave with each other?

We look at the beauty of Paul's words.

Thursday. 10/25/18

I suggest that we dwell on the beauty of Paul's words.

That God 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.

Paul's special calling and what we are called to.

Wednesday. 10/24/18

Today's readings should set you to wondering what special
deeds God wants you to accomplish.

The Gospel is not specific about what God's requires of you.
It simply alludes to your duties to your calling, your health,
your neighbor, your family.

Paul was far more specific, telling us that to him was left 
the duty of revealing God's plan for summing up all 
things in Christ. To him was left the apostleship of revealing to the
whole Gentile world God's plan to sum up all in Christ. 


Together with the saints of the Old Testament we have become one people in Christ.

Tuesday, 10/23/18

As Paul went from town to town preaching the Gospel of Christ, he was
followed by Judaizers telling the new Christians that to be saved they
needed to be circumsized, and to follow the whole of the Judaic Law, and
bybobserving kosher. 

,In this Letter to the Ephesians, while insisting that we need not give
up Christianity to become Jewish, Paul was sayjng that as Christians
we need not give up the beauties of the Old Testament.

We are invited to take the best of both, as John points out in Chapter 21
of Revelation. There he described the New Jerusalem with gates inscribed
with he names of the twelve Patriarchs, and twelve rows of foundation
stones, marked with the names of the Apostles.

Our ability to converse with God comes to us at the first moment of our being.

Monday. 10/22/18

Writing to the Ephesian Cristians, Paul said that before
they came to Christ they were a people incapable of
anything but sin. It might be completely foolish of
me. but I don't feel  that Paul was being fair with the
ordinary Ephesians.

Against that view I quote from paragraph 18 of the
Constitution on the Non-Christian World that states.
"The dignity of man consists above this, that
he converses with God; and this ability to converse
with God comes to  him at the first moment of his
being."

All men and women are for as children of God.

Although Paul had never been to Ephesus, he spoke as God's minister to the whole's Gentile world.

Saturday, 10/20/18

Paul had never visited this crossroads city of Ephesus,
but as the appointed Apostle to the Gentiles. he feels
it necessary to sum the Christian message.

Luke tells us that every sin will be forgiven us with the
exception of sins against the Holy Spirit. By that sin
Luke was speaking of sins when we are certain we
are sinning against the light, and we deliberately go
against our loving God.
Sunday, 10/21/18

Jesus said. "You know how among the Gentiles those who
exercise authority make their importance felt, but it cannot
be that way with you."

Now it so happened that after the year 550 a.d. our Church
leaders came to feel obliged to make threir importance felt.

The way it happened was that before the year 550 a.d. our
genuine Christians came to be out numbered by Arians who
 were saying that Jesus was only a  good man, but not the
Son of God.

Genuine Christianity was rescued when the king if a new
tribe, the Francs, married a Christian girl. She convinced
him that if he and his nobles became Christians he
could become a new Emperor Constantine; with that, the
king and his nobles were baptized Christians in the year
497 a.d..

That should have settled things, but it didn't. Through an
ancient custom of the Francs, only a man with an inheritance
related him to the king, was considered a real person. That
left the bishops and priests only fit to sleep with the pigs.

To rectify matters, for the priests and bishops.  The king had
each of them  come before the assembly, solemnly swearing,
"I have an inheritance, my inheritance is the Lord.

Trouble arose for the priests and bishops when the nobles insisted
they have titles of their new dignity. They had ti be addressed as
"My  Lord or your eminence."
 


We honor the Jesuit priests who were put death by the Iriqois.

Friday, 10/19/18

From 1675 on the French gave the Jesuits a free hand to
set up missions among the Hurons who were an Indian
nation in constant state of war with the Iriquois who were
supported by the English and the Dutch.

St. John de Brebeuf  thrilled the Hurons with a written
language that allowed them to communicate between
them selves.

Between 1646 and 1649 the Iriquois put eight Jesuits to
death, burning them at the stake after forcing them to run
the gauntlet between screaming inhabitants of several
Iriquois village.

St.Luke, composed his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles after checking our his resources

Thursday, 10/18/18

Luke was an outsider who fell in with St. Paul twenty-five years Our
Lord's death and resurrection. He  dedicated both the Gospel according
to Luke to Theophilis, which translated meant "Friend of God,"

His works are loved for his stories about women: about the Angel appearing to
Mary, about one Mary leaving the work to her sister Martha, About Mary
Magdalen ate cross and at the Resurrection.    

Ignatius of Antioch is said to fav followed Peter as bishop of Antioch

Wednesday, 10/17/18

Toward the end of the first century, Ignatius, bishop ofAntioch was found guilty of refusing to burn incense to  the Roman gods. and he was sentenced to be bought to Rome where he would be thrown to the lions.

Put in the care of a platoon of soldiers who were retuning to Rome after service in the East. with them he was brought on a slow boat that stopped in every port in Asia Minor. And afterwards. he wrote
appreciation letters to seven groups that welcomed him along the way.

Writing ahead to the Christians in Rome, he begged them not to interfere with his being thrown to the lions. H wanted to be ground into wheat worthy of being one with Christ.

Religion pure and simple is keeping oneself untainted by tis world

Tuesday, 10/16.18

In the first reading Paul tells us that being circumcised
does not justify us in God's eyes.

In the Gospel Jesus says that observing rituals for
cleaning and eating do not justify us


Religion pure and simple is keeping yourself untainted by thist world.

Tuesday, 10/16/18

In the first reading Paul tells us that circumcision does not
Justify us in God's eyes.

Then, in the Gospel Jesus tells us that observing rules for
eating and cleansing do not make us good in God's eyes.

Sunday, 10/14/18

We had a ninety-eight year old woman in our parish, and
as a former president of the Jacksonville Women' Club,
she was invited to speak to their membership, and she
asked me to listen in,

The ladies in attendance were outstanding for their high
government and scholastic achievements, and I suspect
that may of them had come to secretly compare  to
their own self-sufficiency to what the old lady had
accomplished. (I might have had the intention of
comparing my achievements to  what the old lady could
boast of.)

The hostess invited the old lady to the speaker's podium,
handing her the mike. But brushing all that aside, the old
lady, like a football coach, thrust one fist then the other
across her middle. And, with each thrust, she joyfully
exclaimed, "Ive got my mind! I've got my mind."

 

Christian women in Galatia were taught how to write

Saturday. 10/13/18

In the year. 100 Ignatius, bishop of  Antioch, was brought
to Rome to be fed to the lions.

Emperor Trajan was reluctant to put the holy old man to
death, but Ignatius refused to burn incense to honor the
gods of Rome.

After traveling around Asia Minor in a slow boat Ignatius
wrote letters back to the Christians he visited with on the
way, and those letters have become treasured Christian
documents,  

For writing his letters in those years, Trajan had
a  Christian girl from Galatia. The girl was
unique in her ability to read and write,  One year our
Eighth Grade put on a play about those events, and,
we had Trajan's secretary singing.

"Christians in Galata taught me to write, but I was
made  slave by thugs who turned my days to night"

Today's readings do not move us, so we will look at Justin's 160 A.D description of the Mass.


Friday, 10/12/18

In 160 a.d. Justin ave the Roman senate this description off the Mass.


On that day that us called after the sun, all who are in the towns
and in the country, gather together for a communal celebration. And
then the memoirs of the Apostles or the writings of the Prophets
are read as much as time permits.

After the reader has finished his task, the one presiding give an
 address, earnestly admonishing his hearers to practice those
beautiful teachings in their lives.

Then, together all stand and recite prayers, and bread and wine
mixed with water are brought , and the president offers up prayers and
Thanksgivings as much as in him lies. The people chime in with Amen.

Then takes place the distribution to all attending of the thing over
which the Thanksgiving has been spoken, and the deacons bring
a portion to thr absent. Besides, those who are well-to-do give
whatever they will. What is gathered is deposited with the one
presiding who therewith helps widows and orphans.
















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Paul and Jesus recommend prayerful lives.

Thursday, 10/11/18

In the first reading Paul calls the Galatians stupid for thinking
their lives would be complete by their observing dietary laws
instead of their living in union with what is right and wrong in
God's eyes.

Likewise, it would be foolish of you to think God would
give you anything you ask for. God made us as mortals,
and it would be going against him to think prayer could
reverse that set plan of God by asking him to cancel out
the threats to our mortality.

A better type of prayer is asking God to shake up our
motivation to bring us to accomplish all we need do to
become all we can.
.  

Paul earned his fine Christian insights through fourteen years of prayer.

Wednesday, 10/10/18

None of us "though we speak with tongues of angels and
men" could express our Christian beliefs as clearly as Paul did,
but in today's first reading he tells us that his beautiful fluency
came to him through fourteen years of silent conversations with
 the Lord.

Paul achieved such a grasp of proper Christian behavior  that
when Peter went astray, Paul was capable of setting him straight.

Imagine sitting through a long evening chatting with Jesus.

Tuesday. 10/9/18

Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to him. is something
you could duplicate.

I come at it from a different Bible story, the one where John
the Baptist points out the Lamb of God, causing John and James
to follow Jesus.

They then sat though the evening, discussing
their concerns. Your memory of their long evening with Jesus
invites you to spend time with Jesus, chatting about your concerns.

We all are able to take the role of the Good Samaritan.

One Summer day, dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, I was spinning down U.S. 9 5 when I spotted a young man stranded with a U-Haul. Pulling over., I found he had run of gas. While taking him down to the next Easy-Off, I got his story. He and his wife, both from Cuba, but meeting in Miami. had three children; and they had trouble living on what he could make in Miami.

He had got a better paying job near Boston where they had a fourth child. But then, when his wife came down with great cancer, their parents in Miami promised to take care of their little family if they could make it own there.

Selling what they could, they had plane free for the women and her kids, and they put the rest of their furniture in a U-Haul. Lacking money for a Motel, the man tried driving non-stop from Boston to Miami.

I paid for the gas, telling him to send on the money when he could. I wished him goodbye when he had poured it into his tank; and as I was leaving I heard him say. "I don't have to ask who you are."

Often people can pick out  a priest even when he is in old clothes, so I said, "Alright, who am I"
And he answered. "Why you are the Good Samaritan."    

A stable marriage is an invaluable thing for its children.

Sunday, 10/7/8

God said a man and his wife should cling together, so that
they become one flesh. Since they know that marriage is
for ever they take their time about coming together.

My four older sisters shopped around some, finding a
man they could stay with. That was a  and that was a
good thing for their children, giving all twenty nine of them
lasting stability.

However, if Moses saw circumstances that called for them
to split, sadly such circumstances could arise today. No one
is bound to stay with a union that would lead to an early
death.

Many prophets and kings hav longed to know what we know.

Saturday, 10/6/18

Jesus said, "Many ptophets and kings have longed to know what
what we know." And he said. 'No one knows the Father, except
the Son and the ones his Son has sent."

The followers of Buddha see God as all demanding, but not as kind
or understansibg, ststng.  Jesus is alone in calling God "Our Father who
gives us our daily bread."


We know mysteries of the Universe hidden from Job.

Friday, 10/5/18


Today's first  reading from the book of Job was composed 
twenty-five hundred years ago. In it God speaks of the mysteries of our universe that were known to him but 
not to Job. Job knew nothing about the size of our earth. about where the sun goes when it sets, about our distance from the stars.

Reading these words now, in October 2017, it strikes us that 
our scientists have cleared up some those ancient mysteries.
We now know the circumference of the path our earth takes around the sun, our distance from even the farthest stars.

We should rejoice in having so  many mysteries cleared up for us. 

We know many 

Francis of Assizi saw the beauty in individual poverty/

Thursday, 10/4/18

Francis, the son of a wealthy cloth merchant  was born
in Assizi  in 1181. His mother had him baptized John, but
his father, who was off in France, selling fine brocades,
had so fell enamored by French chivalry that when
he returned he had the boy renamed Francis.

Francis, at nineteen, was fighting in a boarder war with
Perugia, when he was captured and imprisoned for a year.
He filled that year with prayer and serious thoughts, and .he
emerged completely absorbed in a desire to relieve the misery of
the poor .

A  love for the poor caused Francis to sell some of his
father's fabrics to feed the destitute.When his father
brought him to court, Francis stripped himself of
everything he had from his father, and the Lord used that
example to bring tens of thousands of young  people to
give their lives as Franciscans.
 







Francis of Assizi inherited a love for chivalry from his father.

Wednesday, 10/4/18

The father of Francis was a dealer in fine fabrics woven
from silk smuggled out of China. Born in 1181 while his
father a selling in fine cloth in Francis, his mother had him
baptized John; but his father  had become so  enamored
 by French chivalry, that he had his son renamed
Francis.

A teenaged Francis was imprisoned for a year while
fighting against Perugia, and the year turned Francis into
a man of deep spirituality.

Released from prison, and burning in love for God's poor,
Francis sold some of his father's wares to feed the poor,
bringing his father to take him to court. Before the judge
and the people or Assizi, Francis stripped himself of all
the clothing he had from his father.

Carrying on with that, Francis adopted a life of complete
poverty. passing that love for simplicity on to his thousands
of followers, Francis enriched the world with the simple
life.

imomg j
 

It is God alone who treads upon the crest of the waves,

Wednesday, 10/3/17

Our first reading gives us the story of Job, a good man suffering
every kind of hardship, including the death of his children and a
skin disease that left him in misery.

His friends came to him, insisting that these misfortunes could
only come as punishments from God for his sinful ways.

In reply, Job insists that no one could know the mind of God. no
one could know the reasons for which God allowed his children
to suffer sadness.

In his defense of God's independence, Job insisted, "It is God 
alone who stretches out the oceans, he alone who treads upon 
the crest of the waves.'    

Tobit's guide, Azariah, was his angel Raphael in disguise.


Tuesday, 10/2/18

Although we are trained to pray to our Guardian Angels, they do not reveal themselves to us.

We see an exception to that in the Book of Tobit where Tobit's guardian angel,  Azariah, reveals himself to actually be the angel Raphael; Raphael, one of seven who 0000000serve before God'000s throne.