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Those who ride the Megiddo Ark..
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I wholeheartedly invite you to come to mass today, wheresoever you are.

It's an opportunity to praise God for His goodness to you. It's the grace of receiving Jesus Christ so as to grow in unity with God and His Church.

Not going is no detriment to God, but to you, because faith is what sustains us in life through all its travails and difficulties. It helps us keep peace when we are lost and angry, it helps us to forgive when we are slighted, and it helps us to find joy in charity as opposed to hoarding.

Why go after "food" that perishes and lasts only a short while, and we pay for it with our resources and health. Why do so when Christ Jesus offers Himself freely and abundantly?

"Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you" (Jn 6:27).

Most of us have had this experience of going to a grocery store or fruit stand, wanting to buy something. We look at, for example, and apple. It has an attractive exterior and so we go over and pick it up, hold it in our hands, and rotate it. After all, we want to make sure we don't waste our twenty hard-earned cents.

But then, all of a sudden, we feel a soft spot or we notice an imperfection of some sort. So we throw it back on the pile and never look at it again or think of it again.

This is the same image Jesus offers as when he speaks of the Kingdom of Heaven, and in this particular example, we are the apples. At the end of the age God will come by and look at all of us--people in these pews like apples on a rack. From the outside we dress ourselves nicely in business suits, beautiful dresses, habits, chasubles, or clerical shirts. Yet all God has to do is pick us up, run his hand over us, and rotate us, and he'll be able to feel all the imperfections. Then He will decide whether or not He wants to spend His hard-earned twenty cents.

So what are we to do? We look to ourselves and how critical we are of minor imperfections on fruits and vegetables. If God is the same, how can anyone be saved?

Unlike the apple, I would argue that we do have some say in the matter. God has taught us how to be acceptable in His eyes. We can clothe ourselves with fancy things or dress our image with pious words, but it is better than we put the armor of faith (cf., Eph 6:11) and our Lord, Jesus Christ (cf., Rom 13:14). By this I mean we must put on a pious inner conviction. It is my view that we do this by heeding the first words out of Christ's mouth in the Gospel of Mark: "Repent, and believe in the gospel" (Mk 1:15).

It is by putting on a spirit of repentance that we cleanse ourselves of imperfection, asking God always to forgive us our sins and faults. Likewise, we must put on faith in the saving work of Christ, giving thanks to Him always for His goodness.

Humbled by repentance and inspired to love by His goodness, we likewise go out, ready to forgive the faults of others and call them to a better and higher way of life by our words and deeds. In doing so, for "love covers a multitude of sins," (1 Pet 4:8), we may hope with a Christian hope that God, at the end of the age, will walk by and see us. He will hold us in His hand, feel us, and rotate us. He will find that we are good and take us home with him.
The Bad will be Thrown Away
A reflection given on 7/30/2015.

Criticism/critique or discussion welcome.
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On this holy feast of Pentecost I would like us to reflect on the Spirit and His work in our lives, namely that there are two ways which we use one: we can use it to mean “alone” and we can use it to mean “together.”

How is it that we’re alone? Paul in Galatians tells us that the works of the flesh rip us apart and isolate us. The works of the flesh are envy, greed, immorality, immodesty, lack of chastity, wrath and anger, rivalry, and hatred (cf., Gal 5:16-19). We see this in our own lives and we’ve all had these feelings. But we must recognize that these acts are acts of power and control where we seek to impose our will on the world and others, taking from the weak, the helpless, and those we consider less than ourselves. These aspects gather all things to ourselves, but isolate us and make us one and alone.

But the Spirit is something better and greater. Humility, patience, gentleness, faithfulness, and love. Each of these acts, paradoxically, ask us to give of ourselves little by little, lifting the other up in charity and peace.

I find no better example of this notion of alone and together than in families. If a spouse, or even indeed a child, is greedy, jealous, domineering, ungrateful, or mean-spirited, it tears a family apart. But if all members of a family are patient, patient with each other’s shortcomings, humble, knowing that they are not perfect or always right, gentle in chiding them to a better life in Christ, and loving—that is, self-sacrificing—than that family will stand firm for generations, in life and in death. We all know of our weaknesses, whether they are sexual, or matters of pride, jealousy, envy, gossip, or laziness. We all share in these weaknesses of the flesh, but through grace we share in the strength of the Holy Spirit.

It is the Spirit that affords us these graces which God pours out so generously upon us. It is the Spirit that allowed the Apostles to speak many languages, so that all peoples and ages might hear one message. That one message is the love of the Father, the victory of Christ Jesus over sin and death—a victory we baptized share in, the presence of the Spirit of truth, and that the Church, the bride of Christ, shares the glorious work of God on earth.

One more image that I think is useful for us is the very bread that we bless and consecrate at the holy altar. The bread that we use is made of many grains, formed into one with water, and then finally baked by fire.

We too, because of the work of the most blessed Trinity, are made into one. We are gathered, all of us varied and different, by the will of the Father. He calls us together and, through the blood of the Son, we are prepared as one. Lastly, the Spirit, who is rightly symbolized as a holy flame, perfects us in love and grace so that we might become holy, that is like God. Thus we, brothers and sisters, are prepared as a bread pleasing to almighty God, but not merely for Him, but for the whole world. The blood and water that poured from Christ’s side on the Cross prepare us for this task, and the Spirit strengthens us along the way.

Like Christ, we are one Body and one Bread, prepared for the world and given up for the sake of the world. For everyone, not only us Catholics, but for all of our brothers and sisters. We are given up for their sins, their weaknesses, and the evil that they do, for we know that we too share in all the same weaknesses and faults. We, nonetheless, rely on the power of the Trinity to make us an acceptable offering for the whole world so that all of us, so many scattered and alone, may be one in Spirit and in truth.
Pentecost: The Fire of the Spirit
Has it only been months since I posted?

Nevertheless, I'm happy to be back and hopefully, with school over, can write more this summer.

M
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He is risen, allelujah, allelujah!
Hello all,

I know I've updated very sparringly and I apologize. School has been very busy, especially as I prepare my proposal for my thesis:

A pre-Nicene examination of Trinitarian theology as seen through Origen. Exciting, right?

I am also working on learning French and re-learning German. Any help from you blokes and blokettes is always appreciated!

Writing has been tedious as of late. Actually, this is one of the more prolonged writer's blocks I've had in a while.

In that regard, if any of you have come across difficult questions about faith or theology I'm happy to try and address them.

Have a blessed Lent,

M
Hello all,

I know I've updated very sparringly and I apologize. School has been very busy, especially as I prepare my proposal for my thesis:

A pre-Nicene examination of Trinitarian theology as seen through Origen. Exciting, right?

I am also working on learning French and re-learning German. Any help from you blokes and blokettes is always appreciated!

Writing has been tedious as of late. Actually, this is one of the more prolonged writer's blocks I've had in a while.

In that regard, if any of you have come across difficult questions about faith or theology I'm happy to try and address them.

Have a blessed Lent,

M

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TESM
Matthew
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
Current Residence: Chicago

Favorite style of art: Realism, pointillism

Personal Quote: 'To mislead one's friends to the truth is the greatest injustice.' (Plato)
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:iconhamundr24:
hamundr24 Featured By Owner May 16, 2015  Student Writer
Happy birthday! God bless! :)
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner May 18, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
You as well. Thanks!
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:iconhamundr24:
hamundr24 Featured By Owner May 19, 2015  Student Writer
Welcome, and thank you. :)
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:iconneoconvoy:
Neoconvoy Featured By Owner May 15, 2015  Student General Artist
Happy birthday!

God bless you!
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner May 18, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Same. Thanks!
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:iconpk-condor:
pk-condor Featured By Owner May 15, 2015
Happy Birthday :) =P :la: :la: :hug: :hug: :sing: :sing: :icondragonhug: Airborne Airborne 
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner May 18, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much
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:iconpk-condor:
pk-condor Featured By Owner May 19, 2015
You welcome =P
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner May 15, 2015  Student Writer
Happy Birthday!
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:icontesm:
TESM Featured By Owner May 18, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks!
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