It is an absolutely beautiful Tuesday morning. Sun is out, and the air smells clean and crisp. It is going to be warm, making it enjoyable to sit on the front porch later. I cannot wait. Carpe Diem.
Today’s reflection is about where Jesus belongs in our lives!
Quote or Joke of the Day:
“If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.” – John D. Rockefeller
He said to them again, “I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” So the Jews said, “He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?” He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.”
(NAB Jn 8:21-24)
Jesus is an ambassador from God. His origin is from God; and he can reveal God through Himself. Unbelief is a sin according to John, the writer of this gospel. When he writes Jesus said, “You will die in your sin,” he is writing about disbelief. The only way we can go to where Jesus is going, is through a faith in Jesus’ passion and resurrection saving us.
There is a sharp separation between heaven and earth addressed in this gospel reading. The ability of Jesus being from both “spheres,” points to a further proof of Him being divine. The only way we can live with Him in this other “sphere,” is to follow in His shoes and to die in Him, and through Him.
The Jewish people with Him at this time suspect that he is referring to his death, and wonder if He is going to commit suicide. This obviously is far from the truth, but with an apparent irony; Jesus’ death will not be self-inflicted, but is destined by God, and also foretold by the prophets. Jesus does not commit suicide. Instead He freely gives up His life for all of us sinners. Our Savior’s death was a martyr’s death, that saved all that believe in Him.
I love the phrase “I AM” used here. This phrase was used as God’s name, as given to Moses. It can be found in Exodus 3:14, “God replied, “I am who am.” Then he added, “This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you.” “I AM” is an expression of Jewish tradition used to understood Yahweh’s self-designation. Jesus, in using the phrase “I AM” here, places Himself on a par with Yahweh; on a par with God.
As I stated yesterday, and am repeating here again, Jesus makes it very clear, and in no uncertain terms that your salvation is through Him and through Him only! The only way to know God is through Jesus, and only through Jesus! And, the only way to salvation is through Jesus, and only through Jesus! I pray you are getting the theme here? If not, let me know.
“Lord, I AM in love with you. I AM wishing to live in paradise with you. Please help me to meet this goal you have made possible for me. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Franciscan Saint of the Day: St. Catherine of Genoa
When Catherine was born, many Italian nobles were supporting Renaissance artists and writers. The needs of the poor and the sick were often overshadowed by a hunger for luxury and self-indulgence.
Catherine’s parents were members of the nobility in Genoa. At 13 she attempted to become a nun but failed because of her age. At 16 she married Julian, a nobleman who turned out to be selfish and unfaithful. For a while she tried to numb her disappointment by a life of selfish pleasure.
One day in confession she had a new sense of her own sins and how much God loved her. She reformed her life and gave good example to Julian, who soon turned from his self-centered life of distraction.Julian’s spending, however, had ruined them financially. He and Catherine decided to live in the Pammatone, a large hospital in Genoa, and to dedicate themselves to works of charity there. After Julian’s death in 1497, Catherine took over management of the hospital.
She wrote about purgatory which, she said, begins on earth for souls open to God. Life with God in heaven is a continuation and perfection of the life with God begun on earth.
Exhausted by her life of self-sacrifice, she died September 15, 1510, and was canonized in 1737.
(From http://www.americancatholic.org website)
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #23:
Requests for admission to the Secular Franciscan Order must be presented to the local fraternity, whose council decides upon the acceptance of new brothers and sisters. Admission into the Order is gradually attained through a time of initiation, a period of formation of at least one year, and profession of the rule. The entire community is engaged in the process of growth by its own manner of living. The age for profession and the distinctive Franciscan sign are regulated by the statutes. Profession by its nature is a permanent commitment. Members who find themselves in particular difficulties should discuss their problems with the council in fraternal dialogue. Withdrawal or permanent dismissal from the Order, if necessary, is an act of the fraternity council according to the norm of the constitutions.