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Archive for May 22nd, 2020

M.V.P.D.

It seems that Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory (BBT) foretold the covid lock down and the ultimate way of surviving:

Sheldon did this, after a few physical mishaps, in order to prolong his life. Maybe we should all have mobile virtual presence devices and stay in bed, like Sheldon? With this political lock down, we are doing the about the same, except it does not work. The Lord has made us body/soul to live in His creation and yes death is there. This BBT episode is a reductio ad absurdum argument* for us. This very funny clip shows us the fallacy inherent in the lock down. By artificially prolonging our lives by sequestering ourselves, we’re actually not living as the Lord intended. We are actually committing a slow individual and societal suicide. Death may be near, and the risen Lord is nearer still.

*Reductio ad absurdum, (Latin: “reduction to absurdity”), in logic, a form of refutation showing contradictory or absurd consequences following upon premises as a matter of logical necessity and so showing the theory/practice is a fallacy, e.g. artificial prolongation of life or even a lock down, a ‘quarantine’ of well people.

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The Acts of the Apostles 1:  …they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers,(emphasis my own)

In the Roman Catholic Church, a “novena” is any designated 9 day period of prayers for “special intentions”. “Novena” is a Latin cognate of the number 9 for the number of the days of prayers  from Ascension Day to Pentecost:  nine days.  The Apostles, the women, Jesus’ brothers and the Mother of Jesus “…with one accord devoting themselves to prayer”.  “Novena” describes this special period prayer before the 3rd great Feast Day of the Church, Pentecost, the first two being Christmas and Easter. On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit poured out onto the Church in her mission to follow the Savior’s outstretched arm as His witnesses, “…  in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1: 8b)  In, with and under the Name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit the Church lives and points to Christ.

We are within the novena before Pentecost.  The world needs, “…light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).   We need to pray for Christ’s Bride the Church.  The Lord sent out the Apostles into the world. He full well knew what they would be against.  He sent them out into the world but not to be of the world nor “out of this world”, so that the world hear the saving Word. 

Let us pray…Lord Jesus, Your Kingdom continues to be in our midst as You come to us now through holy water, holy words, and holy food.  Help us to see that Your Kingdom is a kingdom of suffering, but that through suffering, we will be prepared to enter into glory when You return on that final day, for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

A Reflection:  Part of today’ Old Testament Reading is Numbers 11: 24-29. The Lord’s concern in response to the disciples’ question about the man casting out demons in Christ’s Name is like Moses’ response about Eldad and Medad receiving the Holy Spirit outside the Tent of Meeting:  Would that all people be prophets and the Lord’s Spirit be upon them! The Lord’s will is all people to be saved in the sheer gift of Himself to know Him and love Him and love our neighbors aright. 

“As a true servant of God, who was not jealous for his own honor, but desired only the extension of God’s influence and power, Moses wished only for a further extension of the Lord’s gift of grace. A little more of this same Spirit in our days would help to solve many of the problems of the Church.” (From The Popular Commentary (1924), by Dr. Paul Kretzmann, Lutheran Pastor and Scholar)

The Lord’s solution of political problems is not pastors, ministers and priests offering political solutions to people who suffer from the spiritual problem of sin.  The Lord’s solution is salvation in teaching and preaching Christ, His Cross, His resurrection and ascension, His Word of Law and Promise. Not a pope nor a president telling us pollution is bad, or abortion for that matter, but God’s Word and teaching thus sayeth the Lord from the  Bible.  The greatest apostolic ministry is not first casting out demons, that is, rare, but receiving a cup of water because, beloved in the Lord, “you belong to Christ”.  You belong to Christ. This means the person giving the cup of water to one of Jesus’ own, is beginning to believe through the grace of God in, through and with His Son Jesus Christ and that is quite a reward.

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