Monday, May 9, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
The Priest's Embolism (expansion of a petition) after the Lord's Prayer
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Evil is real. There’s two main sources of evil: demons and us. Evil is when things are not the way God made them to be. If your leg breaks, that’s evil because you count on your leg to be stable and help you move about. But it’s not as bad as when we choose to do evil. Something bad may have happened to your leg, but when we choose to sin and do evil, we are freely choosing to break our relationship with God. Demons will work hard on us sometimes to push us to sin. They do this because they hate the fact that God chose to become one of us and because we have the freedom to return to God and be forgiven by Him. They are stuck in their evil and hatred and therefore resent us, even though they hate God.
It is important to remember our lesson of justice. Justice is treating each person or group of persons as they should be treated. It is also important to remember that it is justice that leads to peace and not the other way around. You cannot create justice simply by avoiding conflict. Justice is an exercise of love conquering fear. We seem to have an evolutionary push to try and get all we can out of everyone we can. Love for others helps us to get past the fear that we might get hurt or go without and take care of others first. In loving others first, we work to bring justice into our homes, communities, and society.
Only by grace can we do all of these great things. Grace is the life of God shared with us. Grace is God giving us His strength. God is able to give us all the grace we need to love others as we should and avoid sin because God IS Goodness and Love.
It can still be hard to trust in God, though. We know how weak we are, and it’s hard to accept that even God can make us strong enough to be a saint. Even so, it is never good to spend time worrying about something difficult in your life and whether you will be able to overcome it. Rather, take that anxiety and channel it into preparing for trials and struggles. Prepare for the hard things in life like Noah prepared for the flood, but know that God is your strength and protector like David did when he faced Goliath.
Faith, hope, and love are what we call the “theological virtues.” We call them this because they deal with God. We have faith in the one true God. We hope in Him to deliver us from evil and into the heavenly kingdom. And we strive to love Him and love our neighbor as Jesus commanded.
For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day, He rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end.
Even though He was betrayed, tried, convicted, and executed by earthly authorities (the Romans, Pontius Pilate specifically, King Herod, the Jews of Jerusalem in general, and the Sanhedrin and Judas Iscariot in particular), these parties are not the only ones involved in the death of Jesus.
Firstly, Jesus freely offered Himself. Jesus had within Himself the power to escape, but He chose to endure His sufferings so that He might redeem us. It is in this that the awesome power of God becoming man is shown. As a man, Jesus is able to be truly obedient and sinless but is able to suffer the evil and die the death that all of us sinners are due. As God, His self-sacrifice is an infinite gift: to all men in all places at all times.
If sacrifice is the main principle of worship, then the main principle of priesthood is offering the sacrifice for the people and sharing the grace of the sacrifice with them. Jesus is our great highpriest. He is our greatest teacher, He is our greatest king, and He offered the greatest sacrifice, His own life, and continues to share with us the grace of that sacrifice.
When Jesus appointed His twelve disciples (Apostles) to continue His ministry on Earth, He did so at the Last Supper. In blessing the bread, He said that it was now His Body, given up for us. In blessing the wine, He said that it was now His Blood of a new covenant. He then told His disciples to do the same. Jesus sacrificed His Body and Blood to make a new covenant with us. The Eucharist that we celebrate at Mass is that sacrifice brought into our lives, to each one of us in churches throughout the world for the last two thousand years and on into the future.
Even despite all the miracles Jesus worked, we might still doubt Him if not for one thing. Jesus rose from the dead. He showed us that He is truly from God, and, then, at His Ascension into Heaven, He showed us where He is going. Remembering that Jesus is man, we see as well that if we accept that He died in our place, we can rise to new life with Him and find our destiny in Heaven as well.We must commit ourselves to Him and to righteousness, however. We all have some guilt for His death because He died for all our sins. As such, our lives are His alone to judge.