Tuesday, October 23, 2018
FEAST OF ST. JOHN OF CAPISTRANO
Proverbs, Chapter 1, Verse 28-29
28 Then they will call me, but I will not answer; they will seek me, but will not find me, 29 because they hated knowledge, and the fear of the LORD they did not choose.
Wisdom is personified in this proverb; and she proclaims the moral order, threatening to leave to their own devices those who disregard her invitation. Wisdom comes to those who make their hearts ready.
The Beginning of Knowledge
· The Book of Proverbs begins with a short mission statement. It says that it's here to instruct people in—wisdom.
· But it'll also take time to drop some knowledge about justice, equity, shrewdness, and stuff like that. It's targeting this wisdom at an audience including the young and the simple—people who really need it—as well as the wise, so they can kick their wisdom up to Dragon Ball Z levels of firepower.
· It states that wisdom begins by fearing (and revering) God.
Shun Evil Counsel (Media?!)
· As the actual dispensing of wisdom begins, the author speaks like a parent urging a son to obey his mother and father, since they've got good advice to give.
· If sinners try to get you to go and ambush innocent people and kill them and steal all their stuff, the author says you should walk away and avoid them.
· These evil robber-murderers are actually going to kill themselves (because their sins will come back to get them). They are like hunters setting a net while the bird they're trying to catch is watching them (kind of like Wile E. Coyote stalking the Roadrunner).
· This is what happens to people who are greedy—they lose their lives.
The Call of Wisdom
· The author imagines Wisdom as being a person—specifically, a woman—who walks through the streets calling out to the ignorant and simple people, asking them how long they'll remain without wisdom.
· She says that she'll pour out her insights to anyone who pays attention to her. But she'll mock the people who refuse to listen, and who bring disasters and panic on themselves by their willful stupidity.
· They'll try to find her once they've fallen into calamity, but they won't be able to, because they failed to fear God and heed wisdom's advice earlier. It'll be too late.
· So, Wisdom says, if you pay heed now, you'll be fine.
Wisdom is the true goal of good leadership, rather self or leading a group. Without leadership and wisdom everything stops; kinda like congress. Wisdom eludes the selfish and Godless. True wisdom is an act of faith. John Maxwell gives us the following guidelines as outlined in this proverb.
1. The foundation of every decision is to honor and revere God (v.7).
2. We must build of our heritage and conscience: what values are we to embrace? (v. 8-9) (Life, Liberty, Legacy)
3. We must avoid the counsel of the ungodly (v. 10-19) (cnn?)
4. We must pursue wisdom. What are the facts? What are the options? (v.20-13)
5. We must move toward inward peace (v. 32-33).
Near indeed is his salvation for those who fear him; glory will dwell in our land.
· The world at the time was in need of strong men to work for salvation of souls.
· Thirty percent of the population was killed by the Black Plague, the Church was split in schism and there were several men claiming to be pope.
· As an Itinerant priest throughout Italy, Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Russia, St. John preached to tens of thousands and established communities of Franciscan renewal.
· He reportedly healed the sick by making the Sign of the Cross over them. He also wrote extensively, mainly against the heresies of the day.
· He was successful in reconciling heretics.
Things to Do
· St. John struggled with finding his vocation. Younger people can pray to St. John for help in discerning God's will for their lives.
· Learn more about the times that St. John Capistrano lived, such as the Crusades, the Black Plague, anti-popes.
· St. John is the patron of jurists. We can turn to him to help discern major decisions. We can also follow his example of strict self-discipline in order to think more clearly.
· In 1776 in Southern California, Father Junipera Serra founded the Mission of San Juan Capistrano, named for St. John, for mission work to the Indians. The mission is a historical site and has both a Catholic Basilica and the original smaller chapel that are still used for Catholic liturgy. See the Wikipedia page. There is also a tradition of the swallows returning to San Juan every March 19. Find out more about this annual event.
John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.
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