On this day in 1846, the Donner Party of pioneers departed from Springfield, Illinois for California, on what will become a year-long journey of hardship, cannibalism, and survival. The group was mostly comprised of Mormons looking for a place of religious liberty.
Today’s reflection is Gods reason for sending Jesus.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.” – Rabindranath Tagore
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. But I told you that although you have seen (me), you do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it (on) the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him (on) the last day.” (NAB John 6:35-40)
Jesus came for a purpose. The world was going to hell (literally) in a hand basket! The Jewish leaders and teachers: the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, and even the past Kings, had distorted the teachings of the Old Testament and verbal traditions to one of “the law ITSELF is the important (or maybe not important at all)” instead of “the REASON for the law” being of paramount concern. The average Jewish person, in general, was not necessarily sinning in this practice: after all, it was what they were taught. The greed, lack of respect, lies, and deceptions by the temple elders were the sins; condoned and rationalized by varying how the Jewish laws were interpreted.
With the magnificence of a great leader, friend, and advocate; God decided to come to earth in the human form of Jesus Christ, in order to not only save His chosen people, but to redeem the entire world from its transgressions, for all generations to come. The wisdom of our divine Father is beyond anyone’s greatest imagination. To come in human form, in the status of a poor laborer; and then to live with and teach to the unwanted: the lepers, sinners, lame, and tax collectors, are not the thing any other ruler would have ever done. No military, no violence towards others, no talk of overtaking the government; and yet, this one divine man, with a handful of devout followers, created a church that literally spread over the entire known world in less than a few decades.
Jesus came to save everyone, and not just the Jewish people. Even the disciples were confused about this concept. The first “Council” dealt specifically with the issue of what non-Jews had to do in order to enter the Church. I wonder if the apostles forgot that Jesus said, “I will not reject anyone who comes to me!” If Jesus felt so comfortable with the unfortunate and the sick, why would he not welcome “heathens” to His table? I don’t believe He would.
Jesus was born to a teenage virgin, thus fulfilling the Old Testament prophesies. He came down from heaven, taking the body of an infant and growing as any other human, in order to take on the sins of the world, and to pay for those sins though His suffering. Jesus was born a human, “not to do His own will,” but to do the will of His heavenly Father. NO human would wish to suffer as Jesus did bodily, but the divine Jesus knew this was the way to redeem His people. The human Jesus suffered so the divine Jesus could save us. I love Him so!
Jesus is anticipating the day He returns for His final judgment. No one knows when this is to be but Him. We DO know that when He returns, in His full and glorious body, He will “raise him [believers] on the last day.” He further stated that “everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life.” As a past Boy Scout, I am taking their motto, “Be Prepared” very seriously. I don’t want to be left on the wrong side of the tracks. Frequent reception of the Eucharist at Mass, and regular Sacraments of Reconciliation are on my calendar. I am trying to live as Jesus is looking over my shoulder (and He is), and I am not planning on messing things up.
“Lord, I believe in your divine will to want all to come to you. I love you and wish to bring as many souls as possible to you as well. Please help me to succeed in this plan, as you wish. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Catholic Saint of the Day: St. Lydwine
St. Lydwine is the patroness of sickness Lydwine of Schiedam was born at Schiedam, Holland, one of nine children of a working man. After an injury in her youth, she became bedridden and suffered the rest of her life from various illnesses and diseases. She experienced mystical gifts, including supernatural visions of heaven, hell, purgatory, apparitions of Christ, and the stigmata. Thomas a Kempis wrote a biography of her. She was canonized Pope Leo XIII in 1890. Lydwine suffered a fall while ice skating in 1396, when a friend collided with her and caused her to break a rib on the right side. From this injury, she never recovered. An abscess formed inside her body which later burst and caused Lydwine extreme suffering. Eventually, she was to suffer a series of mysterious illnesses which in retrospect seemed to be from the hands of God. Lydwine heroically accepted her plight as the will of God and offered up her sufferings for the sins of humanity. Some of the illnesses which affected Lydwine were headaches, vomiting, fever, thirst, bedsores, toothaches, spasms of the muscles, blindness, neuritis and the stigmata. Her feast day is April 14.
(From http://www.catholic.org/saints/ website)
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #14:
Secular Franciscans, together with all people of good will, are called to build a more fraternal and evangelical world so that the kingdom of God may be brought about more effectively. Mindful that anyone “who follows Christ, the perfect man, becomes more of a man himself,” let them exercise their responsibilities competently in the Christian spirit of service.