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quod pro nobis traditum est

Friday, November 30, 2012

religion in a spiritual age

In our "spiritual" world, that is, one in which we hope to go directly to God with no one in between (or, for Christians, only Jesus), it is a wonder why Jesus approaches fishermen such as Simon, who is called Peter, Andrew, James, and John, and makes them his disciples.

Does Jesus need them to come between him and the people? Sounds like "religion" as we hear it criticized. The Apostle thinks and says otherwise. He says faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ. How can they hear without a preacher? "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, of them that bring glad tidings of good things."

For the sake of faith priests and pastors preach and forgive our sins. After Jesus rose from the dead he approached the Apostles and sent them to forgive and retain the sins of people. Can priests and pastors forgive sins?

Can priests and pastors forgive sins? A different question may be, why did Jesus choose men to do his work? Did he use these men to get between him and the people? Jesus is indeed looked up to as a spiritual leader even by non-Christians. Believers and non-believers alike admit that he started a Church and a religion.

Baptized believers say the Our Father where we pray to receive God's forgiveness as we forgive others. If we can forgive the sins of others, how much more those who are called by Christ to do this work for the sake of His Church, who received His Holy Spirit. Visibly it appears that regular men are getting between us and Christ or God. Rather, this is forgiveness, the gospel of peace, glad tidings of good things. This is the word of Christ for us to hear.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

the economy of the saints

The election this year was quite brutal. That is, it hinged on economic issues as if nothing else mattered. On this focus the disputants were united. A couple of days prior to the election the Feast of All Saints snuck in, almost unnoticed in the ongoing fray.

The homily on November 4 briefly touched on the attention paid to the economy and then quickly switched to the "economy" of the saints. This economy is the communion God has created and given to man in Christ Jesus and His salvation, which is something of incarnation, cross, resurrection, ascension and altar. This communion is of one holy church in heaven and on earth. God is not only afar off awaiting the Final Judgement.

The economy is a real issue, there's no denying it. Still there is a point where both "CEO leadership" and "class warfare" end and neither side has the final say. Maybe this is why Sunday, November 4, was such a contrast this year to Tuesday, November 6.

I voted twice in the first week of November. First, in coming to the altar and then in coming to the poll booth in honor of national freedoms such as the freedom of religion and the right to life we enjoy. For sinners who are brought to holy things, Sunday puts the rest of the week in perspective no matter what lies ahead, in both the short term and in the long term. Sunday, and whenever God's Word and the Holy Supper are faithfully given, are when people receive the greatest benefits in the divine economy of things.