Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

Finkelstein and Jesus

Jesus was wandering around Jerusalem when he decided that he really needed a new robe.

After looking around for awhile  he saw a sign for Finkelstein, the Tailor.

So, he went in and made the necessary arrangements to have Finkelstein prepare a new robe for him. A few days later, when the robe was finished, Jesus tried it on — and it was a perfect fit!

He asked how much he owed.

Finkelstein brushed him off: “No, no, for the Son of God there’s no charge!  However, may I ask for a small favor. Whenever you give a sermon, perhaps you could just mention that your nice new robe was made by Finkelstein, the Tailor?”

Jesus readily agreed and, as promised, extolled the virtues of his Finkelstein robe whenever he spoke to the masses.

A few months later, while Jesus was again walking through Jerusalem , he happened to walk past Finkelstein’s shop and noted a huge line of people waiting for Finkelstein’s robes.

He pushed his way through the crowd to speak to him, and as soon as Finkelstein spotted Jesus he said: “Jesus, Jesus, look what you’ve done for my business!  Would you consider a partnership?”
“Finkelstein & Jesus.  After all… I am the craftsman.”

“I understand, Mr. Finkelstein.. but I am the son of God,” Jesus replied. 

The two of them debated this for some time.
Their discussion was long and spirited, but ultimately fruitful. They finally came up with a mutually acceptable compromise. A few days later.. the new sign went up over Finkelstein’s shop:
 
 

Lord and Taylor

You know you’re going to pass it on.

~Steve~                                  H/T  I_Man

Three little trees — and their dreams

Are you, like me, feeling glum because of the daily onslaught of depressing political news?

If so, here’s a reminder to “Look Up!” and to fix our eyes on what really matters.

The beautiful little essay below is from FOTM’s beloved pnordman’s blog, Light For the Way.

Tears rolled down my face as I read it.

Good tears. Soul-cleansing tears . . . .

~Eowyn

drizzle2

Three little trees and their dreams

By Anonymous

Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they  wanted to become when they grew up. 

The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: “I want to hold treasure.  I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones.  I’ll be the most beautiful treasure in the world!” 

The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on its way to the ocean. “I want to be traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I’ll be the strongest ship in the world!” 

The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. “I don’t want to leave the mountain top at all.  I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me, they’ll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God.  I will be the tallest tree in the world.” 

mossy2

Years passed. The rain came, the sun shone, and the little trees grew tall.

One day three wood cutters climbed the mountain. The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, “This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me.” With a swoop of his shining axe, the first tree fell. “Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest, I shall hold wonderful treasure!” the first tree said. 

The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, “This tree is strong.  It is perfect for me.” With a swoop of his shining axe, the second tree fell. “Now I shall sail mighty waters!” thought the second tree. “I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!” 

The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looked  her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven.  But the woodcutter never even looked up. “Any kind of tree will do for me,” he muttered. With a swoop of his shining axe, the third tree fell. 

The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought her to a carpenter’s shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feedbox for animals. The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, nor with treasure, she was coated with saw dust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals. 

The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took her to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made that day. Instead the once strong tree was hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and too weak to sail to an ocean, or even a river; instead she was taken to a little lake. 

The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard. “What happened?” The once tall tree wondered. “All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God….” 

 Many, many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. 

But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feedbox. “I wish I could make a cradle for him,” her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and sturdy wood. “This manger is beautiful,” she said. 

And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.

One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose. 

The little tree shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through with the wind and the rain. 

The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, “Peace.” The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the king of heaven and earth. 

One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man’s hands to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel.

But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God’s love had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong.

And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world. 

So next time you feel down because you didn’t get what you want, just sit tight and be happy because God is thinking of something better to give you.

Do This in Remembrance of Me

“This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” ~Luke 22:19

Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi.

Today is a day of joyous significance when we commemorate and celebrate the institution of the Holy Eucharist, which is the definitive meaning of the Jewish Passover.

The word “Eucharist” is an action of thanksgiving to Our Lord, from the Greek words, “eucharistein and eulogein.” (Lk 22:19, 1 Cor 11:24; Mt 26:26; Mk. 14:22) As such, “Eucharist” recalls the Jewish tradition about the blessings that are announced particularly during a meal regarding God’s works of creation, redemption, and sanctification.

The following dialogue took place while Jesus was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum, which is set forth in John 6: 22-71. It is the occasion of the first announcement of the Holy Eucharist — Corpus Christi or the Body of Christ.

Jesus says in John 6:48-58:

“I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever, and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. The Jews quarreled amongst themselves saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.  For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

John continues in 6:60-69:

“Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it.?” “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.” As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. 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.”

Accordingly, Jesus chose the time of the Passover, the eve of His Passion, to fulfill what he had announced previously when he was teaching at the synagogue in Capernaum – giving His Body and His Blood to His disciples.

In Luke 22:7-8, we are told, “Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us that we may eat it.”

With this command, the disciples did as Jesus had commanded and made the necessary preparations. Then it is revealed in Luke 22:14-20:

“When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him.  He said to them, I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”  Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying,“This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper saying,“This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my Blood…

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains in 1340-1344:

“By celebrating the Last Supper with his apostles in the course of the Passover meal, Jesus gave the Jewish Passover its definitive meaning. Jesus’ passing over to his father by his death and Resurrection, the new Passover, is anticipated in the Supper and celebrated in the Eucharist, which fulfills the Jewish Passover and anticipates the final Passover of the Church in the glory of the Kingdom.” 

And, “The command of Jesus to repeat his actions and words “until he comes” does not only ask us to remember Jesus and what he did. It is directed at the liturgical celebration, by the apostles and their successors of the memorial of Christ, of his life, of his death, of his Resurrection, and of his intercession in the presence of the Father.

From the beginning the Church has been faithful to the Lord’s command.  Of the Church of Jerusalem it is written:  “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. . .Day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts.”( Acts 2:42, 46.)

It was above all on “the first day of the week,” Sunday, the day of Jesus’ Resurrection, that the Christians met “to break bread.” ( Acts 20:7.)  From that time on down to our own day the celebration of the Eucharist has been continued so that today we encounter it everywhere in the Church with the same fundamental structure.  It remains the center of the Church’s life.  Thus from celebration to celebration, as they proclaim the Paschal mystery of Jesus “until he comes”, the pilgrim People of God advances, “following the narrow way of the cross,” toward the heavenly banquet, when all the elect will be seated at the table of the kingdom.” 

Jesus came to make a new Covenant with not just Jews, but with all who believe in Him — Jew and Gentile. On this wonderful Feast of Corpus Christi, we are reminded that the manna given by God to the Israelites while they were trying to survive in the harsh desert is replaced by Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ.

“This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” ~Luke 22:19

The Holy Eucharist is our manna which the Lord Jesus has chosen to feed and nourish us, through which He gives Himself to us, during our remembrance of His sacrifice, in Mass.

~Joan & Eowyn

To the Greatest Mother of All

Thank you for saying “Yes” to God when the angel Gabriel visited you on that day so many years ago.

Happy Mother’s Day!

With gratitude and love,

~Eowyn & Joan

How White House & Google celebrate Easter 2013

Other than Christmas, Easter is the most important day for Christians.

Despite the POS’s proclamation on June 28, 2006, that America was “no longer a Christian nation,” Christianity remains the most popular faith in the United States, with around 73% of polled Americans identifying themselves as Christian in 2012. In the mid-1990s the United States had the largest Christian population on earth, with 224 million Christians.

To the 73% of Americans who are Christians — and especially if you had voted for Obama in 2008 and/or 2012 — here’s something to think about:

Obama will be celebrating Easter tomorrow with a “Yoga Garden” for children and their parents attending the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll. Yoga is one of the six orthodox schools of Hinduism — the predominant and decidedly nonChristian religion of India.

Newsweek ShivaObama as Shiva, the supreme god in Hinduism

Charlie Spiering reports for The Examiner that the White House issued an announcement that President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will include a “Yoga Garden” for children and their parents who attend the traditional Easter Egg Roll festivities on Monday.  “Come enjoy a session of yoga from professional instructors,” the announcement reads. The event’s theme is “Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You!”

Meanwhile, if you had used the Google search engine today, you would have seen this ↓ instead of the traditional logo:

cesar_chavezs_86th_birthday-1114005-hp

So who is that man?

On the Google search results page, if you place your cursor on the second “o” of “Google,” you’ll see this:

Cesar Chavez’s 86th Birthday

Yes. Instead of remembering the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Google chooses instead to commemorate what would have been the 86th birthday of a Marxist union organizer (United Farm Workers Union). Chavez died 20 years ago, in 1993.

Some Christians are calling for a boycott of Google.

Seriously, if you’re still Googling, you should know that Google not only keeps track of all your searches, the company also “helpfully” makes its data available to the feral [sic] government.

Please use these alternatives to Google instead:

  1. Ixquick
  2. DuckDuckGo
  3. Bing

Both Ixquick and DuckDuckGo are “private” search engines that don’t track your Internet searches. Bing is owned by Microsoft.

America is still a Christian nation.

But America’s political and cultural elites are not just no longer Christian, they are virulently anti-Christian.

~Eowyn

The Empty Tomb

It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb,” she said, “and we don’t know where they have put him.” So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They…saw the linen cloths lying on the ground…and…believed. Till this moment they had still not understood the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. -John 20:1-9

Here’s a reconstruction of what happened from the book The Truth About the Shroud of Turin (Regnery, 2010), pp. 189-191, by my friend Robert K. Wilcox. No matter how many times I read this, it never fails to move me to tears.

The tomb, a rocky chamber carved out of a hillside, a stone rolled against the door, is dark and silent. Lying on a slab is a long, rectangular cocoon, the hills and valleys of which are clearly the contours of a human body. The body of Jesus lies there, face up, a ribbon around the head and chin to keep the mouth closed, packed on all sides with bags of spices.

At some unknown moment in the dead of night, the air in the tomb becomes electric.

At first the vibrations are minute, the sort that could be detected by sensitive twentieth-century instruments; then they dramatically increase until they shake the ground and blow the boulder from the door.

A glow, faint at first, emanating from the shroud suddenly intensifies until rays of light shoot through the threads, star-filled golden rays filling the tomb and pouring out the door.

For thirty seconds — no more — the blinding, pulsating movement continues.

The source of the activity is the corpse, the body, somehow being revitalized, dematerialized, its mass being converted into energy, pure energy, which in the material world is radiant white light.

The body rises from the slab through the cloth, hovers for a moment in midair, then disappears.

The cocoon collapses. Darkness returns. Shouts of “Earthquake! Earthquake!” diminish as the guards run for their lives. And in the air, the distinct odor of scorched linen.

When dawn comes, the women in Jesus’ life draw tentatively toward the tomb, look in the opening, and see the shroud unopened, still wrapped, but definitely deflated. The body is gone. At sunrise the disciples come. John enters the tomb, puts his hand on the cloth, and presses it to the slab. Jesus is there no longer. The disciples and the women quickly gather up the burial garments — the chin band is still in the shroud — and the spice bags and leave before the Romans can return.

At another time, in another place, when they have a chance to gather their wits, they will discover the figure of their master imprinted on the inside of the shroud. The images would be faint, probably not as dark as the passage of time and exposure to air have made them; and the images would be negative ones, a phenomenon that would also become clearer with the passage of time. Regardless, they would view these images as holy — imprints of their precious Lord. The disciples would pay more attention to the images on the shroud if they weren’t already waiting, with the greatest anticipation, for Jesus himself, who, before his death, had promised to visit them after he rose from the dead.

lilies

Our Lord is Risen!

A Joyous Easter to all!

~Eowyn

Sunday Devotional

Whoever is in Christ is a new creation

liliesClick pic to enlarge

Brothers and sisters:
Whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.
And all this is from God,
who has reconciled us to himself through Christ
and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely,
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
not counting their trespasses against them
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

So we are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake
he made him to be sin
who did not know sin,
so that we might become
the righteousness of God in him.

-St. Paul, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Letter From Jesus About Christmas

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don’t care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on.

If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn’t allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn’t be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 – 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don’t have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing the President complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don’t you write and tell him that you’ll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up with your prayer. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can’t afford and they don’t need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don’t know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile. It could make the difference between life or death.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren’t allowed to wish you a “Merry Christmas,” that doesn’t keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn’t make so much money on that day, they’d close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary — especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

9. Here’s a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no Christmas tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don’t know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, or some other charity that believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don’t do things in secret that you wouldn’t do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don’t forget: I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I’ll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I’ll help you, but the ball is now in your court.

And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love.

I love you,

Jesus

The Woman Conceived Without Sin

“A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and … gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne.” -Revelation 12:1-2, 5

Mary clothed with the sun

Yesterday, December 9, the universal Church celebrated the feast day of the Immaculate Conception. Since Mary is the patron saint of the United States of America, yesterday was also the feast day of our country!

Protestants, my brothers and sisters in Christ, are allergic to Mary, insisting on their mistaken notion that Catholics “worship” Mary when in fact we don’t. But Catholics do honor, revere and love Mary for she is the Mother of Jesus the Christ, as she rightly should be. Imagine how we hurt Him when we dismiss and disregard His mother. He respects her so much that, even though it wasn’t yet time for Him to begin His public ministry, He performed His first miracle changing water into the finest wine because His mother asked Him to.

As the mother of God, Mary must have been a very special and remarkable woman. Scripture tells us she was a virgin (see also “The Christmas Miracle: Scientific Evidence of the Virgin Birth”) and that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Still, it took the Church more than 1,800 years to definitively determine another of her special and wholly remarkable attributes.

On December 8, 1854, in the Constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December, 1854, Pope Pius IX pronounced and defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary “in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.”

In other words, Mary was conceived without sin — thus, the Immaculate Conception.

But you don’t have to take Pius IX’s word on this. We can deduce this ourselves, with the help of science.

Are you ready to put your thinking caps on and take a trip in logic, reason, and science with me?

Here we go . . . .

1. Scripture tells us that, as a result of our first parents’ disobedience of God’s explicit command because they wanted to be “as gods,” Adam and Eve’s offspring — all human beings — are born with the Original Sin. We are each born with concupiscence — an inclination toward evil, which renders us “tinder for sin” (fomes peccati).

2. Translated into the language of modern science, “born with the Original Sin” can only mean this concupiscence is biologically INHERITED. That in turn means it is transmitted from parents to child through all the generations via some genetic code or DNA.

3. Jesus, being God Himself (Son of the Father and the Second Person of the Trinity), by definition is without sin and without the Original Sin, for He is all good.

4. But the Second Person of the Trinity so loves us that He chose to become incarnate as a human being, to be born of a human mother, and to suffer and die for our redemption and salvation.

5. Since a baby is formed in the mother’s womb out of her very blood and tissue, the human mother of the incarnate God must be free of the primeval stain of Original Sin that is the genetic inheritance of every human. That means Mary could not have transmitted the concupiscence DNA to Jesus, which implies she herself did not have the Original Sin genetic marker, which is another way of saying she was conceived without sin.

Now we come to the Science part of our exercise in reasoning….

6. In 1979, researchers at Stanford University made a shocking discovery: They found a pregnant mother’s blood containing cells with Y sex chromosomes. Since women only have X chromosomes, they concluded that the cells must have entered into her body from the male baby she carried within her. That discovery began a new field in science — the study of fetal cell microchimerism.

As recounted by science writer Jena Pinctott in her October 2011 book, Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?: The Surprising Science of Pregnancy, “During pregnancy, cells sneak across the placenta in both directions. The fetus’s cells enter his mother, and the mother’s cells enter the fetus.” How amazing is that?

More amazing still is that one kind of fetal cells that enter into the mother’s body is the baby’s stem cells, which can “morph” into other types of cells through a process called differentiation. The baby’s fetal stem cells can actually become the mother’s own cells that make up her liver, heart, or brain. More than that, there is evidence that fetal cells may offer the mother increased resistance to certain diseases. (Read more about this in my post of Jan. 15, 2012, “Baby in womb protects mom from disease.”)

There you have it: During her pregnancy, across the placenta Mary’s cells entered into baby Jesus and baby Jesus’ cells entered into Mary, and baby Jesus’ stem cells became the cells of Mary’s liver, heart, and brain.

God and woman became one.

That is why I honor, revere, and love very much our Blessed Mother Mary with all my heart.

“Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus.” -Revelation 12:17

~Eowyn

Why obesity offends God

Have you noticed how in old television shows from the 1960s, ’70s, and even ’80s, everyone looks thin?

Americans are too fat. Despite that, we are getting fatter.

A new study warns that at the rate we’re going, in 18 years, by the year 2030, more than 4 of every 10 (42%) Americans may become obese and 11% could be severely obese.

Obesity is more than being over weight. These terms are defined by the body mass index (BMI), a measurement that is closely related to both percentage body fat and total body fat:

  • “Normal weight” means a BMI of 18.5–24.9
  • “Over weight” means a BMI of 25.0–29.9
  • “Obesity” means a BMI of 30.0–34.9
  • “Severe obesity” means a BMI of 35.0–39.9
  • “Morbid obesity” means a BMI of 40 or over

BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s mass (weight) by the square of his or her height, typically expressed either in metric or US “customary” units of lbs. and inches. This is the formula:

BMI = mass (lb) ÷ (height in inches)² x 703

There’s an easier way to calculate your BMI. Click here!

Nanci Hellmich reports for USA Today, May 7, 2012, that the obesity rate was relatively stable in the USA between 1960 and 1980, when about 15% of people fell into the category. It increased dramatically in the ’80s and ’90s and was up to 32% in 2000 and 36% in 2010, according to CDC data.

As of 2010, more than 1 of every 3 U.S. adults (about 36%) were obese, which is roughly 30 pounds over a healthy weight, and 6% were severely obese, which is 100 or more pounds over a healthy weight. Those percentages qualify as an epidemic.

According to CDC data, in 2010, the South has the highest prevalence of obesity (29.4%) followed by the Midwest (28.7%), Northeast (24.9%) and the West (24.1%). Mississippi has the highest obesity rate of all 50 states, at 34%. Colorado has the lowest obesity rate, at 21%.

Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest rates of obesity (44.1%) compared with Mexican Americans (39.3%), all Hispanics (37.9%) and non-Hispanic whites (32.6%).

Between 1988–1994 and 2007–2008 the prevalence of obesity increased in adults at all income and education levels

According to a new study led by Eric Finkelstein, a health economist with Duke University Global Health Institute, 42% of Americans may end up obese by 2030, and 11% could be severely obese, adding billions of dollars to health care costs. That means 32 million more obese people within two decades, on top of the almost 78 million people who were already obese in 2010.

The analysis was presented at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Weight of the Nation” meeting. The study is being published online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Extra weight takes a huge toll on health, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, many types of cancer, sleep apnea and other debilitating and chronic illnesses. (Read more on obesity-associated morbidity here.)

The latest finding is that obesity also increases the risk of senile dementia! A new study published in the journal Neurology found that people who are obese in middle age are at almost four times greater risk of developing dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease in later life than people of normal weight.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that medical-related costs of obesity may be as high as $147 billion a year, or roughly 9% of medical expenditures. An obese person costs an average of $1,400 more in medical expenses a year than someone who is at a healthy weight, they found. Other researchers have estimated the costs may be even higher.

If the obesity rate stays at 2010 levels instead of rising to 42% as predicted, then the country could save more than $549.5 billion in weight-related medical expenditures between now and 2030, says study co-author Trogdon.

More than medical costs, obesity-related heath problems also mean a reduced life expectancy. Obesity is one of the leading preventable causes of death worldwide. On average, obesity reduces life expectancy by six to seven years: a BMI of 30–35 reduces life expectancy by two to four years, while severe obesity (BMI > 40) reduces life expectancy by 10 years.

photo by Fiona Hanson/PA

But there is yet another reason for us NOT to be obese:

Obesity is an offense against God who made us in His own image.

The following is taken from an essay, “Food Is Sacred,” written by Fr. Joseph Illo, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Modesto, California, May 8, 2012:

“Supersize it.” If one, six-dollar burger is good, two is better, and best of all when they are on sale, two for ten dollars! We love to eat. [...] Food is essential for human life. But why, then, is food the number one killer in America? Heart disease, due almost entirely to overeating or eating the wrong kinds of foods, is our number one cause of death in America. Actually, food is a sacred gift, and so the abuse of this sacred gift is seriously harmful.

Jesus shows us how to properly order our appetite for food. Consider the Last Supper: Jesus took a little bread, and a little wine. Both are natural, wholesome foods. And this is what we do at Mass: a little bread, a little wine, which is really the very body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus.

How we worship is how we should eat, because food is sacred.

Our market-driven culture teaches us to consume. We are told that food, as much and as often as we can get it, makes us happy. As with all lies, there is a kernel of truth in this: food does make us happy, but in right proportion. Too much food, or the wrong kind of food, makes us bloated, heavy, depressed, and ultimately kills us with every disease from diabetes to cardiac failure.

To be genuinely happy, we must discipline ourselves, as Jesus did. He took only a little baked fish (not fried fish!). He chastised his body; he restrained his appetites.

God made each of us in His own image. We therefore should treat our bodies with respect, instead of abuse. There is a reason why Gluttony is one of the Seven Deadly Sins!

You don’t have to be a Christian or believe in God to recognize that truth.

In his An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751), the great Scottish philosopher David Hume thought hard about ethics and morality. To this day, Hume’s definition remains among the best definitions of what “immoral” is.

For Hume, “immoral” is whatever that does harm or injury to oneself and/or to others.

Obesity, being harmful to our health and a burden in medical costs borne by not just us but the entire medical care system, fits that definition!

~Eowyn