Archive for June 11th, 2014

I came across this meme in preparation for Pentecost. This saying has it wrong.  Pentecost is not about “reclaiming your passion”. My passion needs forgiving.   Pentecost is all about the Holy Spirit reclaiming the Lord Jesus’ Passion to forgive our wayward  passions and in His grace and peace direct our passion in the paths of the Lord for His Name’s sake. 

Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

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What does a dog do on its day off?  A cat?  Their job is lying around.  Sometimes we may even desire a dog’s life especially in the helter skelter of the everyday, restless, moving from one thing to another.   There’s been more than one time when we have prayed the confessions of sins with the phrase, “those things I have done and left undone”,  that it crossed my mind, ohh, what did I forget to do this past week.  Of course, superficially, that has nothing to do with the fact that I have not loved God with my whole heart, no matter how many times I’ve given my heart to the Lord, nor  loved my neighbor as myself. The old Adam looks for love in all the wrong places and Mick Jagger of the ancient Rolling Stones got it right, I can’t get no satisfaction, and I’ve tried and I’ve tried.

But I’ve jumped the gun.  The serpent’s offer of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil had to do with food.  Food and drink.  Food and drink are the sure signs that we are utterly dependent creatures.  We can not live without food and water.  We are not self-watered nor self-fed.  All creatures look to You for their food in due season and You open Your hands and satisfy the desires of all the living. (see Ps. 145: 15-16)  Food and drink are the natural sacrament for which we thank the Lord.  The serpent offered the forbidden food with the false promise, you’ll be like God, then you will really be satisfied. This is the food of which we are to fast but we don’t.  The ancient foe knew what he was doing:  he wanted Adam and Eve to thirst and hunger, not for the Lord, trusting Him alone, trusting You Lord Jesus,  but for that which does not satisfy, looking to themselves and anyone but the Lord.

Is. 55:  

  “Come, everyone who thirsts,                                                                                  come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
   and delight yourselves in rich food.

And  as the Lord  poured out His blood upon the Cross, He now poured out the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, to refresh and renew people who in themselves are never satisfied.  Streams of living water, the baptized, all cleaned up, by His Blood shed, forgiven and free, dining at His Table.  

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This past week Sunni militants have taken over the 2nd largest city in Iraq.  The following quote is from a recent letter from Roman Catholic priest, Fr. Najeeb who lives in Mosul.  The full article is in First Things and can be found with this link.  As he asks:  pray for them.  

Bad news. I write you in a situation of violence in Mosul that is very critical and even apocalyptic. Most of the inhabitants of the city have already abandoned their houses and fled into the villages and are sleeping in the open without anything to eat or drink. Many thousands of armed men from the Islamic Groups of Da’ash have attacked the city of Mosul for the last two days. They have assassinated adults and children. The bodies have been left in the streets and in the houses by the hundreds, without pity. The regular forces and the army have also fled the city, along with the governor. In the mosques, they cry “Allah Akbar, long live the Islamic State.” Qaraqosh is overflowing with refugees of all kinds, without food or lodging. The check points and the Kurdish forces are blocking innumerable refugees from entering Kurdistan. What we are living and what we have seen over the last two days is horrible and catastrophic. The priory of Mar Behnam and other churches fell into the hands of the rebels this morning. . . . and now they have come here and entered Qaraqosh five minutes ago, and we are now surrounded and threatened with death. . . . pray for us. I’m sorry that I can’t continue . . . They are not far from our convent. . . . Don’t reply. . . .

“We are not protected by anyone, just the prayers . . . we need your prayers . . . I believe in the power of prayers . . . they can change the mind of persons . . . I ask in the name of all Christians in Iraq . . . to pray for us.”

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