This blog is based on references in the Bible to fear. God wills that we “BE NOT AFRAID”. Many theologians state that the eighth deadly sin is fear. It is fear and its natural animal reaction to fight or flight that is the root cause of our failings to create a Kingdom of God on earth. By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7 8). This blog is dedicated to Mary the Mother of God.
As early as the second
century, this treatise, which is of great rhetorical power and force in its
admonition to faithful pilgrimage under Christ’s leadership, bore the title “To
the Hebrews.” It was assumed to be directed to Jewish Christians. Usually
Hebrews was attached in Greek manuscripts to the collection of letters by Paul.
The main theme is the priesthood and sacrifice of Jesus as a means of restoring
their lost fervor and strengthening them in their faith. Another important
theme of the letter is that of the pilgrimage of the people of God to the
heavenly Jerusalem. This theme is intimately connected with that of Jesus’
ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. This work is a “message of encouragement”. Hebrews
is probably therefore a written homily, to which the author gave an epistolary
ending. The author begins with a reminder of the preexistence, incarnation, and
exaltation of Jesus that proclaimed him the climax of God’s word to humanity.
He dwells upon the dignity of the person of Christ, superior to the angels.
Christ is God’s final word of salvation communicated not merely by word but
through his suffering in the humanity common to him and to all others. This
enactment of salvation went beyond the pattern known to Moses, faithful prophet
of God’s word though he was, for Jesus as high priest expiated sin and was
faithful to God with the faithfulness of God’s own Son. Just as the infidelity
of the people thwarted Moses’ efforts to save them, so the infidelity of any
Christian may thwart God’s plan in Christ. Christians are to reflect that it is
their humanity that Jesus took upon himself, with all its defects save
sinfulness, and that he bore the burden of it until death out of obedience to
God. God declared this work of his Son to be the cause of salvation for all.
Although Christians recognize this fundamental teaching, they may grow weary of
it and of its implications, and therefore require other reflections to
stimulate their faith. Therefore, the author presents to the readers for their
reflection the everlasting priesthood of Christ, a priesthood that fulfills the
promise of the Old Testament. It also provides the meaning God ultimately
intended in the sacrifices of the Old Testament: these pointed to the unique
sacrifice of Christ, which alone obtains forgiveness of sins. The trial of
faith experienced by the readers should resolve itself through their
consideration of Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary and his perpetual
intercession there on their behalf. They should also be strengthened by the
assurance of his foreordained parousia, and by the fruits of faith that they
have already enjoyed. It is in the nature of faith to recognize the reality of
what is not yet seen and is the object of hope, and the saints of the Old
Testament give striking example of that faith. The perseverance to which the
author exhorts the readers is shown forth in the earthly life of Jesus. Despite
the afflictions of his ministry and the supreme trial of his suffering and
death, he remained confident of the triumph that God would bring him. The
difficulties of human life have meaning when they are accepted as God’s
discipline, and if Christians persevere in fidelity to the word in which they
have believed, they are assured of possessing forever the unshakable kingdom of
God. The letter concludes with specific moral commandments, in the course of
which the author recalls again his central theme of the sacrifice of Jesus and
the courage needed to associate oneself with it in faith.
FEAST OF ST. LAWRENCE
Hebrews, Chapter 2,
14 Now since the
children share in blood and flesh, he likewise shared in them, that through
death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and free those who through fear of death had been subject to
slavery all their life.
On today’s date science by the use of a heart and lung
transplant was able to save the life of Jamie Gavin who was recorded as the
youngest transplant patient.
Jamie Gavin made
headlines worldwide in 1985 when he became the world's youngest heart and lung
transplant patient in Harefield hospital, Middlesex. Jamie's surgery was
regarded as a success and he returned to Dublin to his brother John and his
three sisters Leslie, Katie and Melanie. He was able to live a normal life to a
certain extent and attended school with his friends, despite having to
regularly return to England for tests and checkups, as well Crumlin hospital in
Dublin. The bravery of Jamie was recognized a year after his surgery when
Princess Diana presented him with a child of courage award. Tragedy
struck the household when Jamie passed away from lymphoma at the age of 11.
Science is a great gift to
mankind, yet it does not erase the fear of death; only Christ can do this. In fact,
we are engaged in a great spiritual battle where our fears are the very chains
that enslave us. Napoleon Hill writes in
his tale “Outwitting the Devil”
his thoughts on fear during an imaginary interview with the devil to obtain his
Go ahead and describe your clever tricks, Your Majesty.
A. One of my cleverest
devices for mind control is fear. I plant the seed of fear in the minds of
people, and as these seeds germinate and grow, through use, I control the space
they occupy. The six most effective fears are the fear of poverty, criticism,
ill health, loss of love, old age, and death.
Which of these six fears serves you most often, your majesty?
The first and the last-poverty and death! At one time or another during life I
tighten my grip on all people through one or both of these. I plant these fears
in the minds of people so deftly that they believe them to be their own
creation. I accomplish his end by making people believe I am standing just
beyond the entrance gate of the next life, waiting to claim them after death
for eternal punishment. Of course, I cannot punish anyone, except in that
person's own mind, through some form of fear-but fear of the thing which does
not exist is just as useful to me as fear of that which does exist. All forms
of fear extend the space I occupy in the human mind.
thoughts may not be theologically correct; he still makes a strong case as does
our God that fear is the root of
is the patron of cooks-today, have a BBQ in honor of his death for the faith.
This young deacon and
heroic martyr is numbered among those saints who were most highly venerated by
the ancient Roman Church. Even though we have no genuine account of St.
Lawrence's martyrdom, we do possess considerable evidence from most ancient
times regarding the particulars of his passion. Legendary Acts tell how
Lawrence was a disciple of Pope Sixtus II (257-258), who dearly loved him
because of his special talents, but principally because of his innocence; in
spite of his youth, the Pope numbered him among the seven deacons of Rome and
raised him to the position of archdeacon. As such, Lawrence had the immediate
care of the altar and was at the side of the saintly Pope whenever he offered
the holy Sacrifice; to him also was confided the administration of the goods of
the Church and the responsibility of caring for the poor. During the
persecution of Emperor Valerian (253-260), Sixtus II and his four deacons were
martyred. Lawrence was dispersing items in the house of a certain Narcissus, a
blind man named Crescentius asked for healing help by the imposition of hands.
The holy deacon made the Sign of the Cross over him and the man began to see.
From his relations with Pope Sixtus, it was known that he acted as the steward
over the Church's property. He was arrested and while in prison Lawrence cured
the blind Lucillus and several other blind persons. Ordered by the authorities
to surrender the treasures of the Church, Lawrence asked for two days’ time
during which to gather them. The request was granted and he brought together
the poor and the sick that he had supported. These he led to the judge.
"Here are the treasures of the Church!" Lawrence was tortured,
scourged, and scorched with glowing plates; in
other words Barbequed alive. In the midst of excruciating pain he prayed:
"Lord Jesus Christ, God from God, have mercy on Your servant!" And he
besought the grace of faith for the bystanders. At a certain point the soldier
Romanus exclaimed: "I see before you an incomparably beautiful youth.
Hasten and baptize me." He had observed how an angel dried the wounds of
Lawrence with a linen cloth during his passion. Again during the night he was
dragged before the judge and threatened with immediate death. But he replied:
"My God I honor and Him alone I serve. Therefore, I do not fear your torments; this night shall
become as brightest day and as light without any darkness." When placed
upon the glowing gridiron, he jested with his executioners and the cruel
tyrant. "Now you may turn me over,
my body is roasted enough on this side." Shortly after this had been
done, he cried again: "At last I am finished; you may now take from me and
eat." Then turning to God in prayer: "I thank You, O Lord, that I am
permitted to enter Your portals." To comfort him during his torments God
said to him: "My servant, do not be afraid.
I am with you." He was put to death upon the Viminal Hill and buried on
the Tiburtinian Way.
the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commands.
these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things
that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a
father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will
only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so
you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in
the end you will be a more worthy soul."
40.That pose and that self-satisfied manner don't suit you at all:
they are easily seen to be affected. Try, at least, to use them neither with
God, nor with your Director, nor with your brothers: and between them and you
there will be one barrier less.