Posts Tagged ‘scripture’

Today is Ash Wednesday and the Beginning of Lent.

As we enter this Holy Season at a time of tumult and war let us remember today’s first reading at Mass and approach the day with hope:

Even now, says the LORD,
            return to me with your whole heart,
            with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
            and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
            slow to anger, rich in kindness,
            and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
            and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
            for the LORD, your God.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
            proclaim a fast,
            call an assembly;
Gather the people,
            notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
            gather the children
            and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
            and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
            let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people,
            and make not your heritage a reproach,
            with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
            ‘Where is their God?’”

Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
            and took pity on his people.

There are many great word in the Old Testament but for my money there are no words more meaningful and more hopeful for all of mankind than these words from the 2nd Chapter of the book of Joel

May we take them to heart

Courage is the first of human virtues because it makes all others possible.

Aristotle

If you are a Roman Catholic who went to mass Sunday you heard the readings from Lectionary 122 for the 21st Sunday in ordinary time. and if you paid attention to your Missal you might be subject to an Irony overload.

Everywhere that mass took place the faithful heard the same reading from the Book of Joshua 24:1-2, 15-18 where Joshua gives the people a choice to follow God or no declaring: “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord”.

And also everywhere that mass took place that reading from Joshua was followed by the same responsorial Psalm verses from Psalm 34 (Ps 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19, 20-21) with the refrain: “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.”.

But depending on where you went to mass and the choice of the Pastor the next reading might have been different. The Lectionary calls for the 2nd reading to be from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians 5:21-32 which goes like this:

Brothers and sisters:

Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.  Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body.  As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. 

He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.

    For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother

        and be joined to his wife,

    and the two shall become one flesh.

This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.

However an option is given to reduce this reading to Ephesians 5:2a, 25-32 adding the 1st part of verse 2 which looks like this (omitted verses in strikethrough, added verse in underline)

Brothers and sisters:

Live in love, as Christ loved us.

Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.  Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body.  As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. 

He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.

    For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother

        and be joined to his wife,

    and the two shall become one flesh.

This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.

So as you can see rather than both Husbands and wives being subordinate to one another and each having duties the duties of the wife are omitted while the duties of the Husband are retained. This is done to avoid the anger of feminists within the church which is very ironic given that once you have exercised your option on the 2nd reading all congregations are given the same final Gospel reading, the end of Jesus the bread of life discourses in the Gospel of John 6:60-69 begins:

Many of Jesus’ disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”

However Jesus rather than equivocating or ducking the issue or offering an alternate teaching challenges his disciples:

Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them,

“Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.”


Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said,

“For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”

Jesus doesn’t back down one jot and because of this some of his disciples leave

As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.

At this Jesus turns to the twelve. Rather than having second thoughts about his teaching he doubles down and gives the same option to the apostles who come back with the right answer


Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” 

Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

So think about that for a second. The very week that Jesus in the Gospel stands up for his teaching even if it costs him many disciples the US Bishops precede that critical moment with the option for the local pastor to run for cover in case anyone might be offended by divinely inspired scripture. This is a shame because the church teaches us that courage is one of the four cardinal virtues.

The irony is palatable, but not as palatable as the cowardice

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”

He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

Matthew 16:21-23

On the Chosen Youtube page there is a video up about having to re-record lines in studio due to a plane flying over. In the video the creator of the series Dallas Jenkins had the actress playing the Blessed Virgen Mary re-record a line for episode one of Season two after it had already been broadcast.

It’s a flash forward scene long after the crucifixion  & ascension where John writing recollections from the Apostles, Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of God of their time with Jesus.

In the existing scene Mary asks John why he is doing this now John replies:

Because everyone is here, I need to get their memories.

and Mary answers:

You need to mourn your brother.

Jenkins notes that a lot of people didn’t realize this meant James or as he called in the show: Big James as opposed to the much shorter James (James the lesser) so the line has been changed to:

You need to mourn Big James.”

In the context of the scene it makes absolutely no sense to say “Big James”, both of them know who has died and even if she didn’t say, “Your brother” she would say “James” not “Big James”. After all Zebedee didn’t take after George Foreman and name all his sons George and nowhere in the series does John call his brother “Big James”

Artistically this change is awful but religiously it is very good news for Dallas Jenkins because while he wanted to make a high quality program I suspect he had a different goal in mind.

You see his goal is to introduce the story of Jesus and his disciples to people who are not familiar with it.

Now for anyone who has read the New Testament, this line would not be necessary because they would know that James the Greater the brother of John is who they are talking about:

About that time King Herod laid hands upon some members of the church to harm them. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword, and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he proceeded to arrest Peter also. (It was (the) feast of Unleavened Bread.)

Acts 12:1-3

James is not only first of the apostles martyred but he’s the only one, other than Judas, whose fate is explicitly stated in scripture even a person with a passing knowledge of scripture knows this.

But while commercially the faithful might be the target audience of this series the real target are those who have likely never cracked open a bible in their lives, whose knowledge of Jesus in general and the tenants of Christianity in particular have been shaped by a world and a culture that at best is indifferent to them and at worst hates both.

This edit which I presume is based on the feedback from viewers means he is over the target that he needs to reach who are now seeing Jesus and his disciples closer to their actual context then they ever likely have.

He should rejoice and be exceeding glad.

You don’t really understand the costs of a Post Christian society until it arrives here are a few thoughts on the subject.

The scientific community was once one of the most trusted communities in the country, because it was based on the process of observation, theory experimentation and results, that is truth. This is a Christian basic principle:

You will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

John 8:32.

But once “science” became all about pleasing the money men or advancing an ideology, truth was not a goal and once that was recognized trust in scientific institutions disappeared.

Haven’t you ever wondered why so many totalitarian counties were behind scientifically or needed to steal secrets from the west? When truth is suborned to fear it’s hard to generate accurate results.


One of the most critical principles of Christianity is equality before God and equality before the law You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment. Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty, but judge your fellow men justly. Leviticus 19:15 That was a radical idea when God gave this law to Moses and it was of the things that Jesus called out the Pharisees for:

The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens (hard to carry) and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them.

Matt 23:2-4

The blatant double standards we have seen from Hunter Biden and his “Art” sales , to official flaunting the lockdown & mask rules they foist on others, to the treatment of rioters who burn cities vs those who sit on desks and take laptops enrages people. Furthermore the unwillingness to allow those who wish to actually enforce the law as written to do so in cities has led to the exodus of police and the turning of parts of those cities into ‘no go” zones.

The idea that an American could not walk safely in an American city is a concept that was so foreign in my youth that the tolerance of such things today completely puzzles me.


One of the basic principles of Judeo-Christian culture is the caring for others as yourself both in the Old Testament:

You shall not go about spreading slander among your kinsmen; nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor’s life is at stake. I am the LORD.  

Leviticus 19:16

And the New

One of the scribes, when he came forward and heard them disputing and saw how well he had answered them, asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.

Mark 12:28-31.

However the Marxist left biggest goals have been to divide us. Punish those who protect their neighbor, allow people to rob and steal. The good one one race isn’t the good of another. The law of one race is not the law of another. The damage this has caused is self evident, yet the realization that the reason this has been so easily accomplished has been the withdrawal of Christian principles of society is not. Nothing better illustrates the bankruptcy of a society then when we decided it was licit and even proper to not lift a finger when other is beaten before us.


The audits have been the best example of another Christian Principle that has been completely suborned:

A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thornbushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles.

Luke 6:43-44

Our friends on the left insist that the last election was on the up and up but then do all they can to suppress not only the audits of these count and ballots, audits that would supposedly verify their claims, but suppress any that might question then online, why because the truth is not valued. Their reaction and the “Cancel Culture they promote” is no different than the reaction of the crowd to St. Stephen, the 1st of the Martyrs who called out his accusers by their own history and they killed him for it:

But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, and rushed upon him together. They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him. The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them”; and when he said this, he fell asleep.

Acts 7:57-60.

They are creating digital Martyrs although we have not yet reached the point where they are killing us, well except for Ashli Babbitt whose name must not be mentioned by media but whose mother got a standing ovation at yesterday’s Trump rally.

I suspect this martyrdom will have the same results on the voting community as the church’s martyrs did on the spread of Christianity.


Finally the most destructive of these things has had it seeds planted for the last several decades, the denial of the value of Fatherhood and of discipline:

Besides this, we have had our earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not (then) submit all the more to the Father of spirits and live? They disciplined us for a short time as seemed right to them, but he does so for our benefit, in order that we may share his holiness. At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it

Hebrews 12:9-11

And instead we gave trophies to those wo did not achieve, we indulged when we should not have and we refused to say no. We were warned of the fruits of this in scripture as well:

He who spoils his son will have wounds to bandage, and will quake inwardly at every outcry. A colt untamed turns out stubborn; a son left to himself grows up unruly. Pamper your child and he will be a terror for you, indulge him and he will bring you grief. Share not in his frivolity lest you share in his sorrow, when finally your teeth are clenched in remorse. Give him not his own way in his youth, and close not your eyes to his follies.

Sirach 30: 7-11

The result, we are not only at the point where are children are unsure of what they are, afraid of everything, led like sheep but even worse we are actually giving these kids the right to decide on destructive surgery that will scar them forever and going after their parents if they object!

All of this comes from the rejection of God, the idea that there is nothing greater than themselves and what they feel at any given moment. This is ironically but not surprisingly the very 1st temptation of the Devil to mankind:

But the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad.”

Genesis 3:4-5

It is the primary lie that those who for years told us not to make the cultural fight to protect their own advancement that got us here. Jesus knew these types implicitly & called them out:

Why do you not understand what I am saying? Because you cannot bear to hear my word. You belong to your father the devil and you willingly carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies.

John 8:43-44

The saying goes when you don’t believe in God you’ll believe in anything from people being able to change their sex and gender at will to dark magic as a solution to problems

This was the endgame, and it was always the endgame from the very start, but you couldn’t get to this endgame without creating a post Christian society.