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Just reminding erryone of my current location #rio #papafrancis #skyline #beautiful

Posted by on 7-22-13

El Jueves salgo para Puerto Rico y estare participando del JMJ en PR. Un Evento unido al JMJ de Brasil. Seran dias de mucha gracia, poder y misericordia. Contamos con sus oraciones! Para mas info porfavor visiten www.jmj2013pr.com #jmj #jmj2013pr #brasil #puertorico #unasolaiglesia #jovenes #catholic #catolico #papafrancis

Posted by on 7-22-13

“Não tenho ouro nem prata.. Vim aqui transmitir o maior presente que recebi nessa vida: Jesus Cristo” – Papa Francisco, no Palácio Guanabara, na sua chegada no Rio de Janeiro

Posted by on 7-22-13

Nada mejor que coger cosas de los hoteles y encontrartelas un tiempo mas tarde #recuerdoson #abril2013 #antequera #campeonatoespañaporescuelas #catalunya #buenequipo #genialrelevo #granada #bocadecaballo #dientesdeleon #mojopicon #bananas #pasajeros #titofrancis #papafrancis #yayofrancis #quierovolver

Posted by on 7-22-13

El papa Francisco acaba de recitar: “Necesitamos santos sin velo, sin sotana. Necesitamos santos de jeans y zapatillas. Necesitamos santos que vayan al cine, escuchen musica y paseen con sus amigos. Necesitamos santos que coloquen a Dios en primer lugar y que sobresalgan en la Universidad. Necesitamos santos que busquen tiempo cada dia para rezar y que sepan enamorar en la pureza y castidad, o que consagren su castidad. Necesitamos santos modernos, santos del siglo XXI con una espiritualidad insertada en nuestro tiempo. Necesitamos santos comprometidos con los pobres y los necesarios cambios sociales. Necesitamos santos que vivan en el mundo, se santifiquen en el mundo y que no tengan miedo de vivir en el mundo. Necesitamos santos que tomen Coca Cola y coman hot-dogs, que sean internautas, que escuchen iPod. Necesitamos santos que amen la Eucaristia y que no tengan vergüenza de tomar una cerveza o comer pizza el fin de semana con los amigos. Necesitamos santos a los que les guste el cine, el teatro, la musica, la danza, el deporte. Necesitamos santos sociables, abiertos, normales, amigos, alegres, compañeros. Necesitamos santos que esten en el mundo y que sepan saborear las cosas puras y buenas del mundo, pero sin ser mundanos”. Amen!!!!!!! (Esta parte la dije yo) :) #santidadenjeans #santidad #PapaFrancis #Iglesia #yes #holiness

Posted by on 7-21-13

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Praying the Psalms...

Posted on Jun 18, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Anyone who prays the Psalms over a period of time is bound to have some favorites. As a Franciscan and a Scripture scholar, I would like to share my personal favorites.

“The Lord is my shepherd.” —Psalm 23

As Christians, we especially think of Jesus. He is our good shepherd and pursues us even when we turn against him. The “still waters” he finds for us remind us of Baptism. The banquet he provides reminds us of the Eucharist. In praying the Psalms, I also like to indulge in some fantasy. The oil reminds me of the oil used in Baptism, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, and Holy Orders.

I find a symbolism in the rod and the staff. The rod chases harm from the sheep. The Sacrament of Reconciliation chases evil from our lives. The staff gives support to the shepherd as he walks through the pasture and covers difficult terrain. Through the Sacrament of Matrimony, Jesus supports the spouses, and the grace of the sacrament enables the spouses to support one another.

“Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness.” —Psalm 51

This is the most famous of what the Church calls penitential psalms. The psalmist recognizes he has committed serious sin. He admits his guilt before God and confidently pleads for forgiveness. Note the beautiful words: “A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit. Do not drive me from before your face, nor take from me your holy spirit.” He recognizes that God is calling him to bring the message of forgiveness to others: “I will teach the wicked your ways, that sinners may return to you.”

As sinners, we can make this psalm our own. I find this psalm an encouragement whenI realize that I have neglected God’s grace. God will not give up on me. He even will allow me to bring his mercy to others.

After failing to help someone in need or fostering a grudge, I can go to God and pray, “Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness. . . . Wash away all my guilt. . . . A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit.” It may take a while for this to sink in, but this prayer may be a start in renewing my life with God. It may even prompt me to seek reconciliation with someone I have hurt (or who has hurt me).

This blog was taken from “Praying the Psalms” in St. Anthony Messenger. To subscribe to this award-winning publication, click here.

*****

Photo by iamfree007 / Shutterstock.com

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Praying the Psalms...

Posted on Jun 18, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Anyone who prays the Psalms over a period of time is bound to have some favorites. As a Franciscan and a Scripture scholar, I would like to share my personal favorites.

“The Lord is my shepherd.” —Psalm 23

As Christians, we especially think of Jesus. He is our good shepherd and pursues us even when we turn against him. The “still waters” he finds for us remind us of Baptism. The banquet he provides reminds us of the Eucharist. In praying the Psalms, I also like to indulge in some fantasy. The oil reminds me of the oil used in Baptism, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, and Holy Orders.

I find a symbolism in the rod and the staff. The rod chases harm from the sheep. The Sacrament of Reconciliation chases evil from our lives. The staff gives support to the shepherd as he walks through the pasture and covers difficult terrain. Through the Sacrament of Matrimony, Jesus supports the spouses, and the grace of the sacrament enables the spouses to support one another.

“Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness.” —Psalm 51

This is the most famous of what the Church calls penitential psalms. The psalmist recognizes he has committed serious sin. He admits his guilt before God and confidently pleads for forgiveness. Note the beautiful words: “A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit. Do not drive me from before your face, nor take from me your holy spirit.” He recognizes that God is calling him to bring the message of forgiveness to others: “I will teach the wicked your ways, that sinners may return to you.”

As sinners, we can make this psalm our own. I find this psalm an encouragement whenI realize that I have neglected God’s grace. God will not give up on me. He even will allow me to bring his mercy to others.

After failing to help someone in need or fostering a grudge, I can go to God and pray, “Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness. . . . Wash away all my guilt. . . . A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit.” It may take a while for this to sink in, but this prayer may be a start in renewing my life with God. It may even prompt me to seek reconciliation with someone I have hurt (or who has hurt me).

This blog was taken from “Praying the Psalms” in St. Anthony Messenger. To subscribe to this award-winning publication, click here.

*****

Photo by iamfree007 / Shutterstock.com

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One of Fr Z’s first reactions to the encyclical ...

Posted on Jun 17, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

The Italian was leaked and now there is an English version out.  There are some good moments in it.  There’s something for everyone.

However, it’s pretty hard on free markets.  I don’t care much for that discussion.

So, here’s an initial approach.

Perhaps we can pay as much attention to the sections on markets and environment, as the catholic Left pays to Humanae vitae.

We will pay as much attention to this as the libs pay to Summorum Pontificum.

UPDATE:

I saw that the über-liberal Robert Mickens, who was fired by The Tablet for his nasty social media comments about the former Pope, opined that the English version was leaked in an effort by “conservatives” to embarrass the Pope!

It is to laugh.

 

 

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Throwing Caution to the Wind...

Posted on Jun 17, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Robert J. Wicks, author of Spiritual Resilience: 30 Days to Refresh Your Soul.

The problems we have on a social as well as on an individual scale can be very great, and it is easy to be overwhelmed by them. We pollute the waters, sky, land, and our foods. We are faced with hunger, violence, terrorism, and the fear of incurable disease. We have been given a beautiful, untamed world and we have frequently responded by destroying much of it in an ill-fated attempt to conquer its possibilities. Too infrequently do we sit with our gifts from God and affiliate with the world in a way in which the plants that grow, the fish that swim the seas, and the animals that populate the earth can flourish with us.

Unfortunately for us, God frequently seems so absent, so unreal in these troubled days. If we are authentic in times as these, we may ask ourselves and our religion again and again: “What possibilities can faith and spirituality really offer us as resources during a time of crisis?”

“People live cautiously because they pray cautiously.” —James Fenhagen

This is where true prayer and a deep, thoroughly challenging sense of spirituality come in and are given the opportunity to surprise us, move us to a new level of personal integration, help us become more spiritually resilient, and of course, lead to essential social action. One of my favorite quotes with respect to this reality is from Jim Fenhagen, who was the dean of General Theological Seminary in New York and the author of Invitation to Holiness. He writes: “People live cautiously because they pray cautiously.”

In a time of crisis or loss, when our lament for a return of the status quo fails, a natural inclination is to be conservative and hesitant in our belief because the results we want, in the way we want them when we want them, don’t seem very visible. As a result, it may not seem sensible to continue to believe. However, we must try not to be sensible, as the world might have us be in this regard, because at times like these, true prayer throws caution to the wind and lets us be open in a way that our faith and spirituality can form a new basis for psychological awareness and growth. And this is exactly what we need to happen—especially during difficult times!

*****

Photo by Eric Isselee/Shutterstock

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No Mercy for Magister...

Posted on Jun 16, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

sandro magister embargo sala stamp letterYesterday I received a copy in Italian of the encyclical that has not yet been officially released, Laudato si’. It turns out that that copy was put on the interwebs by Sandro Magister, vaticanista. HERE

The Holy See’s spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, asked journalists to respect the “embargo”. I note that there was no indication of an embargo on the copy that I saw. That said, having spent a lot of time around the Holy See Press Office, it seems to me a solid and understood expectation not to jump out too far in advance of official releases. We just didn’t/don’t do that. Still, there wasn’t a clear indication of embargo that I could see. Perhaps it was included in some accompanying letter sent to Magister’s editor at L’Espresso.

Meanwhile, according to TIME (which I am not sure should be trusted with the time of day when it comes to what goes on in the Vatican), a Vatican official told Bloomberg News that the leak was a “heinous act.”

“Heinous”?  Like what ISIS does to children and women?

Also, the Holy See is saying that what was leaked is still just a draft.  We’ll see.  I doubt it.

I wrote a bit more about the encyclical yesterday.  HERE

So, Fr. Lombardi has suspended Magister’s press credential for the Press Office.

Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un journaliste pour encourager les autres.

 

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No Mercy for Magister...

Posted on Jun 16, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

sandro magister embargo sala stamp letterYesterday I received a copy in Italian of the encyclical that has not yet been officially released, Laudato si’. It turns out that that copy was put on the interwebs by Sandro Magister, vaticanista. HERE

The Holy See’s spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, asked journalists to respect the “embargo”. I note that there was no indication of an embargo on the copy that I saw. That said, having spent a lot of time around the Holy See Press Office, it seems to me a solid and understood expectation not to jump out too far in advance of official releases. We just didn’t/don’t do that. Still, there wasn’t a clear indication of embargo that I could see. Perhaps it was included in some accompanying letter sent to Magister’s editor at L’Espresso.

Meanwhile, according to TIME (which I am not sure should be trusted with the time of day when it comes to what goes on in the Vatican), a Vatican official told Bloomberg News that the leak was a “heinous act.”

“Heinous”?  Like what ISIS does to children and women?

Also, the Holy See is saying that what was leaked is still just a draft.  We’ll see.  I doubt it.

I wrote a bit more about the encyclical yesterday.  HERE

So, Fr. Lombardi has suspended Magister’s press credential for the Press Office.

Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un journaliste pour encourager les autres.

 

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New encyclical leaked in Italian...

Posted on Jun 15, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

St. Francis Sacro Speco at SubiacoI am reading the Pope’s new encyclical, Laudato si’, leaked in Italian. HERE

You might want to look at Andrea Gagliarduci’ Monday Vatican on this.  He makes the point that everyone will find what he wants in this encyclical… except maybe those who are pro-transgender.

Since it is now getting around, I’ll remind everyone of the fact that “Laudato si’” is the line of a hymn by St. Francis.

But let’s not that Francis’ hymn ends with the real point of everything we do: salvation!

Laudato si mi Signore, per sora nostra Morte corporale,
da la quale nullu homo uiuente pò skappare:
guai a quelli ke morrano ne le peccata mortali;
beati quelli ke trouarà ne le Tue sanctissime uoluntati,
ka la morte secunda no ‘l farrà male.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Bodily Death,
from whose embrace no living person can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those she finds doing Your most holy will.
The second death can do no harm to them.

I direct the readership to par. 155 when you are able to get the text, about “human ecology” and the meaning of differences of sexes.

Also, 120 is very good on abortion.  It is pretty much in your face for those who are worked up about protecting Gaia from global-warming but are not very interested in protecting human life in the womb.

Everyone…

GO TO CONFESSION!

 

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A World of Love...

Posted on Jun 15, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Heather King who resides in Los Angeles and speaks nationwide. This blog is adapted from Heather King’s book Stumble: Virtue, Vice, and the Space Between (Franciscan Media). Her blog can be found at shirtofflame.blogspot.com.

There is no braver, more difficult, or more radical act of countercultural resistance than giving with no expectation of return; than learning, as St. Francis of Assisi did, that it is better to comfort than to be comforted. We’re the ones who devised a world based on rewards and punishments. Christ preached a very different kind of world, one based not on what we deserve—for none of us deserve anything—but on love.

Jesus knew that true love, and therefore true transformation, takes place in the face-to-face encounter. Feeling love for victims of a natural disaster halfway around the world is easier than loving the neighbor whose music disturbs your sleep, or the meter maid who’s just given you a ticket, or the spouse who just ruined your best pair of jeans when you told him not to use bleach. These are tasks requiring superhuman help.

More and more I see the wisdom of St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s “Little Way.” To pray not only for the people I love, but for those who have wronged me, threatened me, disturbed me. To give a portion of what little extra money I have to someone who needs it more. To give thanks at the end of the day, for a thousand more things have gone right, always, than have gone wrong. These practices don’t seem like much, but I have to believe they change the world in a way we’re not given to see. I don’t have any remarkable skills. I am not patient or generous. But I can answer phone calls, show up on time, drive, and tell a joke or two—all you need, really, to perform acts of mercy.

In this world where there’s nowhere to lay your head, no answers, no fixes, quick or otherwise, I, for one, wish we could all have more consolation—and I think Jesus, who in his anguish sweated tears of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before he died, wishes that for us, too.

*****

Photo by Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

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Happy Fathers Day Dad...

Posted on Jun 12, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

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Happy Fathers Day Dad...

Posted on Jun 12, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

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Fr. Sirico on the upcoming encyclical on the “en...

Posted on Jun 11, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Over at Acton Institute, find a post and a short video by Acton’s head Fr. Robert Sirico about the upcoming encyclical on the “environment”.   There is some good, basic information about encyclicals there, too. HERE

Fr. Sirico makes some good points in his 5 minute video.

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Writing as Prayer...

Posted on Jun 11, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Today’s guest blogger is Nick Luken, a fourth-year student at The Ohio State University, majoring in English and minoring in professional writing. Nick graduated from Roger Bacon, a Franciscan high school in Cincinnati, in 2012.

As an English major, I naturally have a deep love for writing.  I’ve enjoyed every kind of writing since I was a little kid, and I’ve even begun to think of writing as a vocation that God has given to me. I love writing poetry, short stories, academic papers, and blog posts like this one, but I have a special love for journaling.

When I was younger, I used to keep daily journals all the time—I still have one that I kept when I was in third grade, as well as several others from later in my childhood. By the time I got into junior high, homework and extracurricular activities had pretty much killed any chances of me keeping a daily journal. Eventually, though, I started to adapt my old journaling hobby into a new form: written prayer. I started addressing my journal entries to God, and writing about my spiritual and emotional concerns, rather than just keeping a log of daily events. I wasn’t writing these entries every day anymore, but I was getting a lot more out of them because they had become a new way for me to communicate with the Lord.

Now, “freewriting” has become one of my favorite forms of prayer. Of course, part of the reason is just that I like writing, but I think there’s more to it than that. In the same way that singing hymns, reciting well-known prayers, and silently praying our own prayers provide unique ways to connect with God, writing offers an experience that no other kind of prayer can.

When I write to God, I have to slow down my thoughts as I put them on the page. This allows me to ponder the words I offer to God so that I can gain a deeper understanding of what I need from God, and what God needs from me. Writing helps me speak and listen to God at the same time, with fewer distractions than other kinds of prayer.

I’m sure that prayerful writing isn’t for everyone, but I’d still encourage people to try it out.  It’s a wonderfully quiet way to connect with our Lord in a fast-paced, noisy world.

***************

Photo: RTimages/PhotoXpress

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What are Beatitudes?...

Posted on Jun 10, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Why do the Gospels according to Matthew and Luke have lists of beatitudes?  What is a beatitude anyway? What did Jesus actually say? Why are there differences between Matthew and Luke?

The short answer is that the words of Jesus in the Gospel are words of God in human terms. The four Gospels started in oral form, then collections of sayings of Jesus, parables, and stories. The variations between the Gospels, depended on the culture of the biblical authors, their sources,  and on the culture of the people for whom they wrote.

First, Jesus used figures of speech–parables, sayings, stories–in his teaching. Jesus was not the first to use the beatitude form. Beatitudes are ways for teaching found in Hebrew, Greek, and other cultures. They point out the path to true happiness in simple, memorable, and surprising ways. True happiness and the path to life are described by beatitudes in many cultures. The term “beatitude” is derived from Latin beatus which translated the Greek term makarios and the Hebrew term asher. Many contemporary readers think of beatitudes as sacramental blessings whenever they read “blessed.” But that is simply not the case. The word means “happy” in its fullest sense.

Second, Jesus used sayings about the path to true happiness that are found in the Hebrew Scriptures. For example, take the first Psalm which starts with the line “Happy are they who do not follow the counsel of the wicked. Nor go the way of sinners. . . . Rather, the law of the Lord is their joy; God’s law they study day and night.” The second Psalm (2:11) concludes with the verse: “Happy are all who take refuge in the Lord.” Psalm 128:1 proclaims “Happy are all who fear the Lord, who walk in the ways of God.”

Beatitudes are also found in the book of Proverbs. Wisdom is described as saying: “So, now, O children, listen to me: instruction and wisdom do not reject! Happy the man who obeys me, and happy those who keep my ways, Happy the man watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts; For he who finds me finds life, and wins favor from the Lord” Beatitudes are used in prophetic books, as well. See Jeremiah 17:7-8. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is the Lord.”

The opposite to beatitude is the form of speech known as a woe. Many woes appear also in the Gospels. Luke has four of them following the four beatitudes. Luke 11:37-54 has seven woes addressed to the Pharisees as Jesus’ way of warning them that they are walking on the path that leads to unhappiness, suffering, death. Matthew 18:7 contains a woe about causing scandal: “Woe to the world because of the things that cause sin. Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come! There are woes addressed to the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23:13-32. Those woes are like the ones in Luke, and both have common roots in Mark’s Gospel.

In Matthew (5:3) the Sermon on the Mount begins when Jesus sits down and teaches like a true rabbi, after he has gathered his disciples around him. The eight beatitudes in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount embody attitudes that are keys to the kingdom. They express the culture and the attitudes that must be part of living as disciples of Jesus; they are part of what the kingdom of heaven demands. Beatitudes and woes are figures of speech in Hebrew culture.

In Luke (6:20) the Sermon on the Plain has a similar function. It embodies the way things are from God’s perspective. “Blessed are you who are poor for the kingdom of God is yours!”  Luke’s four beatitudes are followed by four woes, as follows:
• Blessed are you poor / Woe to you rich!
• Blessed are you hungry / Woe to you who are filled now!
• Blessed are you who weep now / Woe to you who laugh now!
• Blessed are you when people hate you and insult you / Woe to you when all speak well of you!

Luke’s account of Jesus’ teaching does not mean that poverty is a good thing. Rather, Jesus indicates that God has a special concern for those who are in such situations—poor, hungry, weeping, hated—as described in his list of four beatitudes.

So the differences in the lists reflect the audiences addressed by each Gospel narrative. Jesus could have been using such figures of speech frequently. The Gospels, according to Matthew and Luke, were addressed to real people in different contexts and emphasized different aspects of Jesus’ teaching.

Photo:  Shutterstock_110027837

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What are Beatitudes?...

Posted on Jun 10, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Why do the Gospels according to Matthew and Luke have lists of beatitudes?  What is a beatitude anyway? What did Jesus actually say? Why are there differences between Matthew and Luke?

The short answer is that the words of Jesus in the Gospel are words of God in human terms. The four Gospels started in oral form, then collections of sayings of Jesus, parables, and stories. The variations between the Gospels, depended on the culture of the biblical authors, their sources,  and on the culture of the people for whom they wrote.

First, Jesus used figures of speech–parables, sayings, stories–in his teaching. Jesus was not the first to use the beatitude form. Beatitudes are ways for teaching found in Hebrew, Greek, and other cultures. They point out the path to true happiness in simple, memorable, and surprising ways. True happiness and the path to life are described by beatitudes in many cultures. The term “beatitude” is derived from Latin beatus which translated the Greek term makarios and the Hebrew term asher. Many contemporary readers think of beatitudes as sacramental blessings whenever they read “blessed.” But that is simply not the case. The word means “happy” in its fullest sense.

Second, Jesus used sayings about the path to true happiness that are found in the Hebrew Scriptures. For example, take the first Psalm which starts with the line “Happy are they who do not follow the counsel of the wicked. Nor go the way of sinners. . . . Rather, the law of the Lord is their joy; God’s law they study day and night.” The second Psalm (2:11) concludes with the verse: “Happy are all who take refuge in the Lord.” Psalm 128:1 proclaims “Happy are all who fear the Lord, who walk in the ways of God.”

Beatitudes are also found in the book of Proverbs. Wisdom is described as saying: “So, now, O children, listen to me: instruction and wisdom do not reject! Happy the man who obeys me, and happy those who keep my ways, Happy the man watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts; For he who finds me finds life, and wins favor from the Lord” Beatitudes are used in prophetic books, as well. See Jeremiah 17:7-8. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is the Lord.”

The opposite to beatitude is the form of speech known as a woe. Many woes appear also in the Gospels. Luke has four of them following the four beatitudes. Luke 11:37-54 has seven woes addressed to the Pharisees as Jesus’ way of warning them that they are walking on the path that leads to unhappiness, suffering, death. Matthew 18:7 contains a woe about causing scandal: “Woe to the world because of the things that cause sin. Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come! There are woes addressed to the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23:13-32. Those woes are like the ones in Luke, and both have common roots in Mark’s Gospel.

In Matthew (5:3) the Sermon on the Mount begins when Jesus sits down and teaches like a true rabbi, after he has gathered his disciples around him. The eight beatitudes in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount embody attitudes that are keys to the kingdom. They express the culture and the attitudes that must be part of living as disciples of Jesus; they are part of what the kingdom of heaven demands. Beatitudes and woes are figures of speech in Hebrew culture.

In Luke (6:20) the Sermon on the Plain has a similar function. It embodies the way things are from God’s perspective. “Blessed are you who are poor for the kingdom of God is yours!”  Luke’s four beatitudes are followed by four woes, as follows:
• Blessed are you poor / Woe to you rich!
• Blessed are you hungry / Woe to you who are filled now!
• Blessed are you who weep now / Woe to you who laugh now!
• Blessed are you when people hate you and insult you / Woe to you when all speak well of you!

Luke’s account of Jesus’ teaching does not mean that poverty is a good thing. Rather, Jesus indicates that God has a special concern for those who are in such situations—poor, hungry, weeping, hated—as described in his list of four beatitudes.

So the differences in the lists reflect the audiences addressed by each Gospel narrative. Jesus could have been using such figures of speech frequently. The Gospels, according to Matthew and Luke, were addressed to real people in different contexts and emphasized different aspects of Jesus’ teaching.

Photo:  Shutterstock_110027837

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Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones…...

Posted on Jun 9, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Today’s guest blogger is Teresa Tomeo, author of Walk Softly and Carry a Great Bag

If anyone thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is vain.

—James 1:26

Will someone please tell me what happens to our conscience when we decide to lash out at someone online? Come on, we’ve all done it. It’s so easy to hide behind our iPad or laptop and tell a friend, a colleague, and lots of strangers to take a long walk off a short pier. We are convinced it is the right thing to do. We become smug and tell ourselves it’s actually the Christian thing to do because, after all, we’re supposed to admonish one another, right? So much so that sometimes we throw every piece of e-mail etiquette out the window. Well, aren’t we all that and a bag of chips?

What’s even more amazing is that we think our e-mail filled with insults written in capital letters and every color in the crayon box is going to result in fruitful conversation or at least the response we were hoping for. It’s not.

“Overestimating the obviousness of one’s intentions can lead to insufficient allowances for ambiguities in communication—with occasionally destructive results.” So says New York University Professor Justin Kruger. Kruger and his NYU colleagues released a study in 2012 entitled “Egocentrism Over E-Mail: Can We Communicate As Well As We Think?” The authors found that misunderstandings were commonplace, even between people who knew each other. The senders often were overly confident that they were making their points.

Do we really need a study to tell us that we need to back off before hitting that send button? We have plenty of solid instruction from God as to how words—not just sticks and stones—can hurt you and me.

Pray softly…

Lord, have I been using words as a whipping post and hiding behind

technology? Show me how to kindly and constructively express myself.

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."