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The Work of God

 The reality of Hell Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year B

 -  26th Sunday in ordinary time

The reality of Hell

The reality of Hell Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit Mark 9:37-42, 44, 46-47

Mark 9:37-42, 44, 46-47
37 John answered him, saying: Master, we saw one casting out devils in your name, one who does not follow us, and we forbade him.
38 But Jesus said: Do not forbid him. For there is no man that does a miracle in my name, and can soon speak ill of me.
39 For he that is not against you, is for you.
40 For whosoever shall give you to drink a cup of water in my name, because you belong to Christ: amen I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.
41 And whosoever shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me; it would be better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he was cast into the sea.
42 And if your hand scandalizes you, cut it off: it is better for you to enter into life, maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into unquenchable fire:
44 And if your foot scandalizes thee, cut it off. It is better for you to enter lame into life everlasting, than having two feet, to be cast into the hell of unquenchable fire:
46 And if your eye scandalizes you, pluck it out. It is better for you with one eye to enter into the kingdom of God, than having two eyes to be cast into the hell of fire:
47 Where the worm does not die, and the fire is not extinguished.

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

26th Sunday in ordinary time - The reality of Hell How powerful is my name, that even those who were not united to us, but who believed with faith; had the power against the devil. In reality when my name is mentioned, I come immediately to the one who calls me, this is why he who seeks me finds me and I allow him to know me for his own good.

For every activity that you have, invoke my name and allow me to share my presence with you, nothing glorifies me more than to be desired in your lives. Something that I dislike is spiritual jealousy, since many who are close to me believe that they have the right to judge and stop others from coming close to me also. My house is the house of everyone, I do not judge by appearances, I look in the heart of every human being and I see the potential of repentance in each one. My desire for all is that they stay away from evil and come to me, I take care of giving them the transformation to holiness.

Those who work for my Kingdom will be rewarded eternally, since my money is not of this world, and my fortune enriches all those who desire me and make efforts to live holy lives bearing my light to the kingdom of darkness. Those who because of pride fall into error; become the enmity that tries to destroy the efforts of my elected, poor for them if they don’t come to reason and listen to my call.

My Mercy goes beyond the understanding of the human mind, my benevolence goes even to the enemies of my Kingdom, the opportunity to be with me remains open to everyone and the only petition that I make is that you leave your evil ways behind, repent and begin to walk in my way.

I have said, if your hand, your eye or your foot are occasions for sin, cut them off, because it is better to enter heaven without one eye, or one hand or one foot that to be whole but thrown into hell to suffer by the worm that never dies and the fire that is never extinguished. Here I am putting emphasis in the reality of hell, the place of chastisement for all the rebels who do evil and despise my celestial offering. I don’t mean that someone should mutilate his body in order to punish himself; I am exaggerating the mortification that should be taken to avoid hell.

Any good thing from this world requires many sacrifices to be obtained. This is why I want to tell you that it is worth to deny oneself, to take up the cross and to mortify oneself as necessary in order to obtain the riches of eternal life.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary

19 posted on 09/29/2012 10:07:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

The Prophet Is In. A Meditation on the Gospel for the 26th Sunday of the Year

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

In todays readings the voice of Moses echoes throughout, Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets! Would that the Lord might bestow his Spirit on them all! And Moses’ prayer is taken up by the Church, who reminds us all that, by our baptism, Moses prayer is realized. For we are all baptized as prophets, as those who are called to be God’s voice in the world, to be his witnesses unto the ends of the earth.

You might say, “The prophet is in.” And just like “the Doctor,” who “is in,” we who are prophets, have some protocols to observe. Lets observe some of our protocols.

I.  The Point of a Prophet – the Gospel opens with John expressing concern that some one, not of their company, was expelling demons. John says, “We tried to prevent him…”

Say what? They tried to prevent some one from casting out demons? Whats wrong with this picture? The whole point of being a prophet is to rescue souls from the grip of demons like: ignorance, fear, darkness, sin, and confusion, and to bring them to Jesus!

Rule one for prophets, when some one is successfully delivering souls from the Devil’s grasp rejoice, pray, support, and learn, but DON’T prevent! We human beings have a common enemy, the devil, and we need to rescue souls from his grip. To use a football image, there  is no such thing as a “prevent offense.” The whole point is to drive out demons.

To this complete disconnect from the point of being a prophet, Jesus says, simply, “don’t   prevent him!” So the point is, don’t miss the point! Don’t prevent! You get the point?

John seems concerned because the exorcist in question is “not of our company.” Are he and the others perhaps jealous?

But here too the point is being missed. The point of the prophet is not himself, or his own glory and prominence. The  point for the prophet is to be about God’s glory, not his own glory.

Nothing can be so deadly to the work of a prophet as for the work to become about personal glory and recognition, rather than God’s glory. Talk about missing the point!

An old songs says, More, more about Jesus. More of his saving fulness see, more of his love who died for me. Another songs says, Don’t exalt the preacher, don’t exalt the pew, preach the Gospel, simple, full and free. Preach him, and you will find the promise is true I’ll draw all men unto me.”

Yes the Lord is the point. Deliverance is the point.  The prophet is not the point.

And if the prophet is in, like the doctor is in, imagine a doctor who did not want anyone to be healed except by him. Imagine that he refused to refer patients to other experts who were not of his practice. What kind of a doctor is that? He is a bad doctor, a doctor who cares only for himself and his own money and glory. But the point of being a doctor is not to care for yourself, but to care for others.

And if the prophet is going to be in, he or she is going to need to realize that the point is not himself, it is healing, and it is the Lord. And the Lord does not give any one person all the gifts. A good prophet understands the point of it all and is willing to refer.

And that leads us to protocol two.

II. The partnership of the prophet.  In an easily overlooked section of the text, Jesus says, Anyone who gives you a cup of cold water, because you belong to Christ, will surely not lose his reward.  Now recall here, that Jesus is speaking to the Apostles, and he is teaching them in effect, that they’re going to need a cup of cold water. In other words, they’re not self-sufficient, they are going to need help.

Simply put, prophets need partners. I do not have all the gifts. You do not have all the gifts. But together, we have all the gifts. On a Sunday morning, I, as priest and celebrant, there are certain things that only I can do. To this extent, the congregation needs me.

But, in particular, when it comes to being a prophet, and office we all share by baptism,  I am not alone. And I cannot be alone in this task.  I do not personally sit at everyone’s dinner table, I do not know everyone’s children, their grandchildren, their family or friends. I simply cannot, all by myself, reach all the people God’s people can and must reach.

And even within the liturgy, I do not have all the gifts. I may preach with words, but the choir can put a song in people’s hearts, and minister the Word to them in ways often more wonderful and effective. Lectors, and Deacons, as well as the choir are necessary partners in prophetically proclaiming God’s word.

Whatever my gifts, or theirs,  none of us alone have all the gifts. But together we have all the gifts that God intends for us.

And if the prophet is in,  like the doctor is in,  then consider again an analogy from the medical world. All doctors have a certain general medical knowledge. But, that being said, they do not have all medical knowledge. They depend on each other for the expertise of the other. They work together as a team, relying on one another’s expertise, and gifts. Some are good at diagnosing, others are experts in the area of cancer. Still others are surgeons or endocrinologists, or orthopedics. That Doctor would be a foolish doctor who never turned to other doctors to benefit from their knowledge, gifts, and expertise.

And so it is with prophets. We must learn that we do not have all the gifts, that we have many needs which others can help complete. We all need a “cup of cold water,” and all the help that that it symbolizes,  from others who are in with us in this work of being prophets.

The profit is in, but he cannot be in all by himself.  he must be part of a team, just like doctors who are in apart of a  team, or group practice.

III. The practice of the prophets. Just like doctors have what we call “a practice,” so too prophets. And the heart of the ministry, (the practice) of the biblical prophets was to call God’s people to repent from their sins, and base their lives wholeheartedly on God, who alone could save them. This is the “practice” of a prophet.

Jesus in the clear tradition of the prophets began his ministry with the cry, Repent and believe the good news!

Note the balance between the bad news, and the good news. Just like any doctor, who knows the ravages of disease and seeks to warn people to stay away from unhealthy practices, Jesus (and every prophet) cries out “Repent!”  from the disease of sin.

But doctors do not warn of disease and unhealthy practices to discourage people, but, rather to draw them to seek help and be serious about health and well being. And so it is with prophets who must often speak powerfully of the disease of sin. They do not do this to discourage, but, rather,  to draw people to salvation and healing.

No true prophet, can avoid this proper balance. The good news of healing only makes sense, in the light of the bad news of sin. The good news of healing can only come when the bad news of sin is dealt with by God’s grace.

There are some today who seek to silence prophets in terms of the call to repent. Some, even in the Church, want only to accentuate the positive and scold those who speak openly of sin and the need to repent. “Honey not vinegar!”  is their cry.

But again, the analogy with the doctor is helpful. What would we think of the doctor who, when people come to him was serious, even deadly conditions, never spoke to them of these things,  but always said to them “You are fine!” What would we think?  We would think of this doctor as a bad doctor, even guilty of malpractice. For the heart of a doctor’s work, his practice, is to be sober and serious about the reality of disease. A good doctor must speak clearly and honestly with his patients about what ails them, and point them to curative and healing medicines.

It is the same with prophets who must take sin seriously, be sober about it, and speak honestly and clearly to God’s people about the reality of it. They must also, earnestly, and with love draw people to the medicine of the sacraments, to the power of prayer and praise, the study of God’s Word, and to the Lord who alone can ultimately heal them.

We see Jesus at work in the practice of a prophet in today’s Gospel. Observe  that he speaks very provocatively and was great sobriety about how serious, how deadly serious sin is. He says, regarding those who would lead others into sin, that would be better for them if a great millstone were put around their neck and they be  thrown into the sea! So serious is sin, that if our hand is the cause of our sin we should cut it off, if our eye, we should gouge it out! And while the Lord uses hyperbole here, the point is this, that it is more serious to sin than to lose our hand or foot or eye. Indeed, it would be better to lose our life altogether than  to be the cause of another’s sin.

Now we don’t think like this. Most of us make light of sin. We are somewhat like a patient in the doctors office who thinks of himself as a few pounds overweight. But in reality he is  in category “Obesity 3.” And yet he says to the doctor, “But doctor, I eat like a bird!” Yes, he eats like a bird,  all day long, all night long too!

Doctors deal with the sick all day long as well. And so do prophets. The Lord in this gospel is strong, and unambiguous about sin, about how awful it is, about how deadly. But as a prophet, who does not have a purpose to discourage, he says this only to encourage us, and summon us to sobriety about sin and zeal for the Gospel, wherein we are promised total victory over sin, total victory over the Devil’s holds in our life.

People who are well do not need a doctor. Surely the Lord came to call sinners. And the first stage of our healing, is to admit you’re sick and answer the call  that, the doctor, the Prophet, is in. And then he can go to work. An old song says, “I got it bad and that ain’t good”. But the good news is, there is a doctor in the house.

So, the practice of a prophet  is a balanced one. In a sentence, Repent! And believe the good news!

IV.  The prayer of the prophet.  - And finally, we return to where we began, the prayer of Moses, Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets! Would that the Lord might bestow his Spirit on them all! And here is the prayer of every true prophet: not that he be alone, not that he have all the glory. But rather, that all God’s people be gifted, and take their rightful role in proclaiming God to this world;  that all the gifts necessary for the Church be operative, and fully functioning.  Gifts for the clergy, gifts for the laity. No competition for glory, no competition for praise. But rather,  partnership and mutual appreciation that the task of prophecy is a task for us all.

There’s a song that says, ”You should be a witness! Why don’t you testify? Stand up and be a witness for the Lord!” Another song says, “I thought I wasn’t gonna to testify, but I couldn’t keep it to myself, what the Lord has done for me!”

Yes, here’s every prophet’s prayer, every priest’s prayer, that all God’s people who stand up and testify, and be profits to this world, so much in need of God’s word. The prophet is in, and will see you now.

20 posted on 09/29/2012 10:14:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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