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Friday, May 5th 2017

The Third Week of Easter

                                Acts 9:1-20

                                Psalms 117:1-2

                                John 6:56

                                John 6:52-59

Christians, Jesus said, “I am the bread of life!”  Now Christians before Christ Jesus called to Saint Paul and showed him the truth that he was the bread of life, Saint Paul was a zealous and an ambition young man, wanting to please the High Priest and to further his own position, in his life, at the Temple!  Saul, who is Saint Paul, before his conversion, went to the High Priest to obtain letters, credentials, so he could go to Damascus to find any men and women, who belonged to the Way, so he could bring them back, in chains, to Jerusalem.  Now Christians, the things written here, to this point, are recorded historical facts; still, the point of belief and the immensity of the following occasion – expands the mind and affect the heart, of a person, in an incredibly spiritual way: a person may be filled, with complete disbelief and scoff at the following account, of what happened to Saint Paul on the road to Damascus or perhaps: a person will be filled, with awe, and wonder at the marvelously intense happening that was reported to have happen to Saint Paul, on his journey to Damascus.  Christians, meditate upon this happening, this account: place yourselves in a similar, setting – travelling from, a familiar, point A to, a familiar, point B, and then on this journey, a light, from the sky suddenly flashes around you – you pull your car over, to a rest stop, for safety sake and then you fall to the ground.  Now, all the people around you are dumbfounded; for they can hear a voice speaking to you, but cannot see anyone speaking!  Yet, Saint Paul was well aware of the “Someone” speaking to him, and asked the question; “Who are you, sir?”  Still, the men travelling with Saint Paul stood speechless and could not believe their eyes or ears, to what was happening; it is likely some of these men denied, anything happened, and were reticent of manner; perhaps, out of fear or disbelief or some other fleshly bound obligation…?  Now Christians, the Risen Savior Jesus, the Christ, told Saint Paul, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting!”  Now, although, it does not say in this account, of the Acts of the Apostles; it seems likely that Saul may have had more of a conversation than just saying, “Who are you, sir?”  …Whatever may or may not have passed, in conversation, between Saint Paul and Jesus is a pedantic concern and does not change the account that Jesus told Saint Paul, to get up and go into the city and there – he would be told what to do.  Now Christians, as well as we know men and women, another attribute that must be meditated upon in regard to Saint Paul being felled to the ground, by the sudden flash of light, and Christ Jesus’ speaking, to him, is: when Paul picked himself up, dusted himself off, and opened his eyes: he was blind, he had to be led by the hand, and he was then brought to Damascus.  Now, perhaps this blinding occurred so Paul, himself, could not deny what happened to him, on the Road to Damascus, as something less than that, which actually did happen?  To further reinforce Christ Jesus’ hand, in Saint Paul’s conversation, a disciple, in Damascus, named Ananias had a vision, and the Lord said to him, “Ananias, Get up and go to the Street called Straight and ask at the house of Judas for a man, from Tarsus, named Saul.”  Now Ananias went to the Street called Straight and laid his hand… upon Saul, of Tarsus, and things like scales, fell from his eyes; then Saint Paul regained his sight – something that Saint Paul and Peter, and the rest of the Heavenly Hosts, likely, talk about, even today, in Christ Jesus’ heavenly kingdom.  Now Christians, whether Ananias told Saint Paul that he would be an instrument for the Lord Christ Jesus or not – cannot be known, but we do have this suggestion, which tells us, “That Saint Paul learned about the sufferings he must endure, from the resurrected Christ Jesus, himself: “The Lord Christ Jesus saying to Ananias in a vision – ‘I will show him what he must suffer for my name sake!’”  Now Christians, during this time, in Damascus, Saint Paul was opened to the truth of life / Christ Jesus, in a way that is unparalleled in human history.  Saint Paul became, more fully aware of the meaning of Christ Jesus’ teachings, than any other man or woman has in history: for Saint Paul was a true scholar of the Talmud; he was a man of practical knowledge, too – working as a tent constructor; and most significantly, he had a blindingly-intense-personal relationship with our Lord Christ Jesus and Jesus, himself – through the Holy Spirit -- taught Saint Paul and made him aware, of his way, truth, and life, in completeness: first at hand, with the Holy Spirit, so to speak.  Therefore, when Jesus taught Saint Paul, “To love his neighbor as he loves himself:” Saint Paul had no misunderstanding of this command; when Jesus told Saint Paul “To love your enemies:” there was no confusion on what this meant and how he, Saint Paul was to love his enemies; when Jesus told Saint Paul “To pray for those who persecute and calumniate you:” Saint Paul knew exactly what this teaching meant; and when Jesus told Saint Paul, “Do good to those who hate you:” Saint Paul was able to be obedient to this command in completeness and faithfulness, because he knew exactly what Christ Jesus meant and he was in complete agreement with this command: in his own spirit, heart, soul, and mind.  Now Christians, Christ Jesus teaches, “Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood remains in me and I in him;” know this then Christians: Christ Jesus' flesh and blood are the words and teachings of his Gospel.  Now Christians in the name of the Lord Christ Jesus pray and be thankful.  Amen.


Friday, May 12th 2017

The Fourth Week of Easter

                                Acts 13:26-33

                                Psalms 2:6-11

                                John 14:6

                                John 14:1-6

Christians, Jesus teaches us not to let our hearts be troubled, but we know very well that we fail at being faithful, to this teaching, day in and day out: we trouble our hearts about our children; we trouble our hearts about our finances; we trouble our hearts with disbelief; we trouble our hearts with horrors happening around us and the injustices we see daily; we trouble our hearts over the slaughter of our brothers and sisters and our fellow humans; and yes we trouble our hearts about many things day in and day out – so how do we move from having troubled hearts, to having faith in God, the Father and the Son, the Lord Christ Jesus; we take our troubled hearts and let them be reborn, into hearts that our faithful to our Lord Christ Jesus’ way, truth, and life.  When our children are ill or are having hard times; we do everything our hearts, minds, and imaginations, can enterprise, and when our work is done, if there is still no acceptable visible means to move forward or resolve a matter of circumstance – we do not choose a troubled heart, but we choose to be faithful to Christ Jesus and believe that nothing in heaven or on earth: not height nor depth; not future things, past things, or present things can keep us from the love that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord and this is our path, our road; it is Christ Jesus’ way, truth, and life….  Christians, Christ Jesus overcame the world; therefore his grace is greater than any of these things in the world, but it takes our faith, to drink of the cup of Christ Jesus, which quenches our thirst and crucifies our flesh, on the cross of Christ Jesus.  Christians, the word of salvation has been sent to us, so are we choosing, to believe in Christ Jesus’ words and teachings or are we choosing: the emotions of the flesh, the desires of the flesh, and the ways and means of the flesh, to be our choices, our way, and our truth of life?  We as humans cannot make, one of our hairs white or black – this is not within our human ability, but we can choose to let our hearts, and minds, reside in Christ Jesus’ words and teachings of salvation; we can choose to be faithful and believe in Christ Jesus and in doing so: we will have the hopes of life and life more abundantly and eternal life, with the winning of our souls.  Now Christians do not let the wiles of temptation, keep you from the peace that is in Christ Jesus – by giving place to human emotion over the spirit and truth of Christ Jesus’ Gospel; it is a choice and it is not a heartless or mindless choice either!  Rather it is taking the human flesh, with all of its emotions and bringing it to new life, in Christ Jesus’ grace and truth: instead of being slaves to the emotion of fear, we choose faith in Christ Jesus; instead of remaining in sorrows, and doubts – by choice, we choose to live in the hope and promise of faith in Christ Jesus; instead of giving ourselves over to immorality, we choose to live in the holiness of Christ Jesus’ way, truth and life; and instead of living with a troubled heart or a mind without peace, we choose to live in faith and belief and in the peace that Christ Jesus did establish and give unto humankind: peace and goodwill towards men!  Now Christians the ways of the flesh brings injustices – like crucifying an innocent man, who happened to be the Son of God, our Lord Christ Jesus.  In the Gospel of John we learn – that light came into the world, but men/humankind preferred darkness because their works were evil; their works were wicked; their works were unjust and immoral; nonetheless, as faithful witnesses of Christ Jesus and seeking to live with untroubled hearts and with peace of mind, we choose to be faithful witnesses of Christ Jesus’ Gospel because it is the only road and way of salvation: do not let your salvation reside in lip service, of belief; rather repent and believe in Christ Jesus’ Gospel – least you perish in the unquenchable fire that await all those who refuse to acknowledge Christ Jesus, as Lord, and refuse to repent – that is turn away from their sins and sinfulness, which is bringing forth good fruits as Jesus commanded the adulterous women, “To go and sin no more!”  Yes Christians, the men of Jerusalem 32 B. C. crucified the Lord Christ Jesus because their works were evil and they preferred the darkness, but God, our Heavenly Father, the God of Abraham raised his Son, the Lord Christ Jesus from the dead for death could not hold him, for his glory overcame death and overcame sin, and Saint Paul speaking to the people of Antioch, in Pisidia said, “These are his witnesses before the people” and we too, Christians are to be faithful witnesses to the way, the truth and the life, the glory of the Lord Christ Jesus in faithfulness of belief and sincerity of heart and mind, of Christ Jesus’ grace and truth.  Now Christians serve the Lord Christ Jesus with fear and rejoice before him; with trembling rejoice.  Yes Christians, when we are faithful to the Lord Christ Jesus, we understand that if we ask, we will receive; if we seek, we will find; and if we knock, the door will be open, but our faith must recognize that, in Christ Jesus, our sinful passion will make war within our members: we covet but we do not possess; we kill and envy but we cannot obtain; we fight and wage war – we do not possess because we do not ask.  We ask but do not receive, because we ask wrongly – to spend on our passions.  Yes Christians, Christ Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and in Christ Jesus all things are possible.  Now Christians in the name of the Lord Christ Jesus pray and be thankful.  Amen.


Friday, May 12th 2017

The Fifth Week of Easter

                                Acts 15:22-31

                                Psalms 57:8-12

                                John 15:15

                                John 15:12-17

Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command you;” this is the stipulation that Christ Jesus puts, on his friendship with us/humankind, but it is not the same kind of stipulation – as if our neighbor said to us, “Do as I command, then you will be my friend!”  For when Christ Jesus says this – he, Jesus is giving us truth and life, for he is truth and life, but when our neighbor says this – they want us to bend and bow to their will, but Christ Jesus wants us: to know, to live and to be in the truth of life and to know true love – by picking up our crosses; for when we pick up our cross; we will find life.  Now Christians, listen to this luxury that the Apostles and the presbyters had; “They were in agreement with the whole Church:” would not that be a luxury for us, today, Christians?  Now Paul and Barnabas were in Antioch and Judas, who was called Barsabbas and Silas were chosen, to be sent to them, to help, in bringing Christ Jesus’ way, truth, and life unto the people, in Antioch, and throughout that region.  Now Christians, in understanding and with scrutiny: the Apostles and presbyters wanted Christ Jesus’ message, to be faithfully witnessed too, and not, the witnessing of some counterfeit or fake message: for some of the Christians of that time were false witnesses and giving false testimony, which was causing disturbances in the hearts and minds to the fledgling Christians.  Christians, this practice of subscribing to counterfeit testimony has been at work, since the beginning, and we must guard ourselves, live with circumspect, and being aware that there are individuals who do preach and give false testimony and prejudice interpretations.  Christians we must consider the entire Gospel and not just certain texts, to hope, to get at a true understanding of Christ Jesus’ Gospel: Jesus is the light that came into the world – he is the light that overcame the darkness; he came, to take away sin, which is reconciling humankind to God, our Heavenly Father; Jesus said, “Unless we repent and believe in his Gospel we will perish;” Saint Paul said, “If you believe in Jesus you will be saved,” but Paul said this, in the context of differentiating and distinguishing between the comparison of faith, to the law, and not by a means: where we do not have to repent of our sins and sinfulness; and Jesus is the blood sacrifice that established his grace and truth, which is a gift we receive, when we repent and believe in his, Christ Jesus’ Gospel of life.  The thing is with this command, of friendship that  Jesus gave and with the Apostles and the presbyters – they are trying to teach us, to live according to the spirit and truth of Christ Jesus’ Gospel and not by, the desires of the flesh: Jesus’ grace does not give us the freedom to live, in unlawful marriages; Jesus’ grace does not give us the freedom to worship idol or subscribe to false doctrines; Jesus’ grace does not give us the freedom to eat meats of strangled animals; and Jesus’ grace does not give us the freedom to live in sin and sinfulness – something the Apostles did not bother to mention, cause how could they fathom that in some of today’s Christians communities this has seemingly become the message, which is of course false and it is idolatry….  Now Christians it must have been something for Judas, who was known as Barsabbas and Silas to travel from Jerusalem to Antioch, today know as Antakya; for they must have travelled by foot or by donkey.  They would have had many days, perhaps months, but for sure weeks, to walk the 400 some miles.  They must have had many nights by the campfire: talking and praying in the Holy Spirit and yet, they knew that they were bringing clarification of Christ Jesus’ Gospel and they were seeking that our Heavenly Father’s will would be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Now Christians, give praise among the people and let your hearts be steadfast.  Sing and chant praise; awaken your souls.  Yes Christians, give praise and thanks to our Heavenly Father; for God so loved the world that he gave to us his only begotten Son, and whosoever believes in him, the Lord Christ Jesus, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.  Yes Christians, the Lord our Heavenly Father’s mercy towers to the heavens and his faithfulness spread across the skies.  Yes Christians, exalt the Lord God our Heavenly Father for his glory -- is above all the earth.  Now Christians God has given us, life, but we as humans have lives to live: we have seeds to plant so crops of food will grow and so we, humankind may harvest them for our mortal lives; still God, our Lord Christ Jesus will not plant these seed nor will he harvest the grains, for this is the work of men/humankind: being born again and living in the spirit and truth of Christ Jesus does not make us immortal; for we are still responsible for doing the things humans must do: plant seeds for the grains we need; feed cows for the beef we need; harvest beans for the food we may eat; build roads for the transportation of our needs; yes God, our Heavenly Father has given us -- life, but he will not live our lives for us; he has given us free will and we will receive our just desserts for the choices of life that we make.  As Christians, it is, not, our hope that unrepentant -- will be thrown into the unquenchable fire that awaits them; rather our hope is that none will be lost and all will repent of their sins, so they will not be lost.  Now Christians, Jesus commanded us to love one another as he loves us: this is command; it is not an option, but it does not make us slaves to one another; rather it make us brothers and sisters.  Christians, Jesus told his Apostles; “It was not you, who chose me, but it was I, [Jesus], who chose you and it was Jesus, who appointed the Apostles to go and bear fruit that will remain!”  Jesus said to his Apostles, “Whatever you ask the Heavenly Father in my [his] name he may give to you.”  Again Jesus commanded the Apostles to go out and bear fruit, commanding: love one another.  Now Christians in the name of the Lord Christ Jesus pray and be thankful.  Amen.


Friday, May 26th 2017

Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, Priest

                                Acts 18:9-18

                                Psalms 47:2-7

                                SEE Luke 24:46

                                John 16:20-23

Christians, Jesus said, “Your grief will become joy!”  Christians, this statement, taken, on its own – may sound unbelievable and yes – may sound like it is uncaring, but when you understand it, with the explanation Christ Jesus gives – a women, in labor, suffers the pains of labor, but forgets that pain when her baby is in her arms, then we should see and understand that being born again into Christ Jesus’ spirit and truth: allows us to see grief, live in grief, and experience grief and yet know that grief is part of life, and it is a joy to love … so much that you may grieve; fundamentally the grief becomes joy, if we are in Christ Jesus’ spirit and truth; however, if we remain in the human emotion, of grief, and choose grief, then we are not acknowledging Christ Jesus’ truth and spirit of life and truth; still, if in your relationship, of grief, if there is a repentance or a forgiveness needed, then both these: forgiveness and repentance must be made, a confession, or an acknowledgment must be done, for the grace of Christ Jesus to flow into, our being, and then the Holy Spirit will comfort us and our grief will become joy.  Now Christians, it is highly unlikely that any of us, and probably, almost, none of us will have a vision like Saint Paul did, when he was at Corinth; still, in our belief and faith of Christ Jesus and also, these things, towards Saint Paul’s testimony of Christ Jesus, we can gain assurance and confidence in our own belief, in Christ Jesus – for Jesus told Saint Paul, “Do not be afraid.  Go on speaking and do not be silent for I am with you.  Paul was assured in his vision that no one would attack him or harm him – for many people in Corinth believed in the Lord Christ Jesus.”  In Saint Paul’s life, he lived in Corinth for about a year and a half…!  Now Christians, Our Lord Christ Jesus told Saint Paul on the road to Damascus, experience, that he would instruct him, Paul on the things that he must suffer for the sake of his, the Lord Christ Jesus’ Gospel.  Now, with Paul being in Corinth here are some of the occurred suffers that Christ Jesus did instruct Paul, which would be forth coming: Gallio was the proconsul of Achaia, and the Jews, some of them, rose up together against Saint Paul.  The Jews, sought the proconsul, Gallio and they, the Jews brought Paul to the tribunal; accusing Paul of worshiping God in a contrary way to the law, the Law of Moses?  Christians, be aware, for a similar thing happened with Our Lord Christ Jesus, when he was sent to Pilate: the High Priest, and priests, of Jerusalem were actively seeking ways to kill off the Lord Christ Jesus; because their works were wicked and evil, and they preferred the darkness.  Here again, with Saint Paul, the Jews were not considering Paul’s teachings – to whether they were in accordance with the Heavenly Father’s way, truth and life, but, they were seeking to stop Paul from teaching our Heavenly Father’s way, truth and life, that is Christ Jesus: because of economic reasons and because, some of the Jews were listening to Christ Jesus’ Gospel and they, the Jews living in Corinth, recognized the Heavenly Father in these teachings and then, these Jews no longer were bond to the priests, but lived according to faith, in Christ Jesus and not by the law.  The Jews were trying to get the proconsul to do their bidding because they had no argument that would stand to the way, truth, and life of Christ Jesus, for it is our Heavenly Father’s New Covenant with humankind….  Now Christians, the Jews were turned away by the proconsul, Gallio and since he did not fulfill their wishes and hopes some certain Jews beat Sosthenes, who was a Christian Brother of Saint Paul: showing the wickedness and the preference to evil rather than seeking to live in liberty, justice and the truth of life.  Incidentally, the proconsul Gallio took no interest in the Jews beating Sosthenes; this shows the lack of concern for liberty, truth, and justice by the Roman authority or perhaps, it was reasoned or justified that holding the Jews, who beat Sosthenes would only further upset domestic tranquility; therefore he, Gallio pragmatically chose to be unconcerned…?  Now Christians, awake: God our Heavenly Father is to be feared and loved with all our hearts, minds, soul, and strengths, for unlike reincarnation or other ideas of eternal life – Christ Jesus rose from the dead; he raised Lazarus from the dead and he did other various things, which shows to those, who have eyes to see and ears to hear that he is God, the Son of God, and only through the Lord Christ Jesus do we have life eternal and enlightenment, for nothing can be more enlightening than the truth and Christ Jesus is the truth.  Now Christians in the name of the Lord Christ Jesus pray and be thankful.  Amen.