All the way back to 1983 things like this were happening…
This was when none of us saw Donald Trump like that.
I’m thinking about this, and hope it is food for thought for all who visit Fellowship of the Minds.
I’m thinking about this, and hope it is food for thought for all who visit Fellowship of the Minds.
Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:
“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 among 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.”
Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi, when we remember and celebrate the new Covenant that our Lord made with His Body and Blood, with all who believe in Him.
[T]he Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
Three Sundays ago, the universal Church remembered our Lord Jesus Christ’s Ascension, when He left this mortal world, not to return until the End Days. In leaving, our Lord bade a last farewell to His faithful disciples and, knowing full well how bereft they would be, He made sure we are not abandoned — that although “the world will not see me anymore . . . I will not leave you as orphans” (John 14:19, 18).
Jesus made two promises to ensure we would not be left “as orphans”:
(1) The Father will send the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Triune Godhead:
“And I will ask the Father,
and He will give you another advocate
to help you and be with you forever —
the Spirit of truth.
The world cannot accept Him,
because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.
But you know Him,
for He lives with you
and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)
(2) We will have His Body and Blood:
“I will not leave you as orphans;
I will come to you.” (John 14:18)
How thoughtful and loving our Lord is!
Our Lord said: “This is my body that is for you.”
Do we doubt His words?
Have you heard of the Lanciano Eucharistic miracle?
18 years ago, knowing that her degenerative spine disease and severe osteoarthritis may someday lead to paralysis, I took FOTM‘s Joan on a pilgrimage to Italy.
Among the places we visited were the Sanctuary of St. Michael the Archangel in Mount Gargano and the Church of San Francesco in Lanciano. In the latter was a glass case containing a brownish substance.
As described by TheRealPresence.org, during the middle of the eighth century, a Basilian monk doubted the Real Presence in the Eucharist — that at consecration, bread and wine become Christ’s true body and true blood.
The doubting monk was celebrating Mass one day. As he intoned the words of consecration, “suddenly the monk saw bread turn into Flesh and the wine into Blood,” according to documents at the Sanctuary of the Eucharistic Miracle in Lanciano, Italy.
Today, more than 12 centuries after the Lanciano miracle, the transformed host and wine are preserved still, despite being exposed to atmospheric and biological agents:
Scientific investigations of Lanciano were conducted since 1575, most notably in 1970-’71 and taken up again partly in 1981, by Dr. Odoardo Linoli, head of the clinical analysis laboratory and of pathological anatomy at Arezzo Hospital, and Dr. Ruggero Bertelli, professor of anatomy at the University of Siena.
Linoli and Bertelli came to the following conclusions:
According to “The True Presence,” in 1973, the UN World Health Organization’s board of governors appointed a scientific commission to investigate Lanciano. After 500 examinations, the scientists verified the 1971 findings and declared the tissue to be human.
There have been other Eucharistic miracles elsewhere since Lanciano. See here, here, and especially the website “The Eucharistic Miracles of the World” that was the work of a devout Italian boy named Carlo Acutis before he died from a brain tumor in 2006 at the tender age of 15.
To conclude, Christ is with us through His Body and Blood and in the Holy Spirit, which makes it all the more terrible and reprehensible that state governments, ostensibly to “contain” the COVID-19 “pandemic,” have barred Catholics and other Christians from attending church service, including the receiving of the Holy Eucharist, which is life itself.
Tell our Lord your troubles and fears.
And tell Him, often and always, that you love Him with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and with all your strength.
Jesus, I love You. ❤️
May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,
Luke 11: 9-10 And I tell you, ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks will find, and to the one who knocks
it will be opened
I know my redeemer lives. May God bless FOTM and all who fellowship on it. And may God especially bless Dr. Eowyn, the kind and generous woman who created our little blog.
‘In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.’
– Mark 11: 20-23
Mark chapter 11 is one of the sharpest challenges to our faith. Jesus had a number of reasons for the curse on the fig tree, one of which was to expand our understanding of the power of faith-filled words. He didn’t just leave us to marvel at his supernatural power, but challenged us to do the same.
If you don’t understand faith, and don’t intend to learn more about faith, then cursing a virus will not work for you. But if you accept the challenge Jesus put out for His followers, then this is for you. Practice it like you would practice shooting a gun at a firing range. Practice until you are good at it.
Speak to the Covid-19 virus something like this:
When you’ve done that, immediately give thanks to God in faith that you have received what you said. Speak it before you see evidence. Remain steadfast in your words, refusing to say anything contrary to the demand of faith you have issued with your words.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” – Proverbs 18:21
‘He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”’ – Mark 4:39-41
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” – John 14:12
Picture the virus withered like this dead fig tree.
~ Trail Dust
That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus’ disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him….
They said to him,
“…Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see.” …
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight….
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the eleven and those with them who were saying,
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
Then the two recounted
what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread.
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
“You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem.
Let this be known to you, and listen to my words.
You who are Israelites, hear these words.
Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God
with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs,
which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.
This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God,
you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.
But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death,
because it was impossible for him to be held by it….
God raised this Jesus;
of this we are all witnesses.
Exalted at the right hand of God,
he received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father
and poured him forth, as you see and hear.”
In law, there’s an important concept critical to the determination of truth.
The concept is “percipient witness”. According to Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary, a percipient witness is “A witness who testifies about things she or he actually perceived. For example, an eyewitness.”
The apostles and disciples were the percipient witnesses of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, but their testimonies are ignored by many to this day.
And yet we believe 100% there was a person named Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher revered as the founder of Western political philosophy, although the time and place of his birth are unknown, and there are varying accounts of when and how he died. Even the origin of his name is unknown. As the Wikipedia entry admits:
Due to a lack of surviving accounts, little is known about Plato’s early life and education…. The exact time and place of Plato’s birth are unknown. Based on ancient sources, most modern scholars believe that he was born in Athens…between 429 and 423 BC…. The traditional date of Plato’s birth…428 or 427 BC, is based on a dubious interpretation of Diogenes Laërtius….
Only the risen Christ could have so convinced sane, rational men such as the eleven apostles and the two disciples in Luke 24, as to completely, with assistance from the Holy Spirit, transform them into men they were not. Only by seeing the risen Christ — by speaking, walking, and eating with Him and in the case of doubting Thomas, by touching the wounds of the risen Christ — could the apostles have changed overnight from being frightened little rabbits into fearless outspoken men whom no one could silence and who went to a martyr’s death, willingly and joyfully, for their risen Lord.
This is how the Apostles — percipient witnesses of the transfigured and later resurrected Christ — died, testifying to the truth they’d witnessed until their last breath:
He was known before the foundation of the world
but revealed in the final time for you,
who through him believe in God
who raised him from the dead and gave him glory,
so that your faith and hope are in God.
Our Lord has risen! — and through His resurrection, we are promised and we know that we, too, will live beyond this mortal life, to be with Him, our Creator, forever.
May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him,
“We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side,
I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas,
“Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him,
“My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him,
“Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Led by Moses, the Israelites witnessed and experienced the following miracles:
Despite having personally seen and experienced the countless AMAZING miracles, not only did the Israelites constantly doubt God, with tiresome repetition they periodically rebelled from God to worship false idols, that is, demons.
But God repeatedly forgave the Israelites.
Imagine, then, how much He loves us — who believe in Him although we haven’t witnessed the Israelites’ miracles nor seen or touched His wounds like doubting St. Thomas, yet we love Him with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind, and with all our strength.
Although you have not seen him you love him;
even though you do not see him now yet believe in him,
you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
So the next time you doubt or falter or despair, take heart.
He loves you very, very, very much.
So much that God Himself did this for you.
May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you!
On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead.
Below is 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.
Scientists at Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) conducted a five-year study of the Shroud of Turin and concluded that the Shroud is not a fake. Their report, in Italian, is here.
Reporting for La Stampa, Dec. 12, 2011, Marco Tosatti quotes from the ENEA report:
The double image (front and back) of a scourged and crucified man, barely visible on the linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin has many physical and chemical characteristics that are so particular that the staining which is identical in all its facets, would be impossible to obtain today in a laboratory, as discussed in numerous articles listed in the references. This inability to repeat (and therefore falsify) the image on the Shroud makes it impossible to formulate a reliable hypothesis on how the impression was made.
In fact, today Science is still not able to explain how the body image was formed on the Shroud … the body image is not painted nor printed, nor obtained by heating….
The blood is human, and there is no image beneath the bloodstains; the gradient color contains three-dimensional information of the body; colored fibers (image) are more fragile than undyed fibers; surface staining of the fibrils of the image derive from an unknown process that caused oxidation, dehydration and conjugation in the structure of the cellulose of the linen….
[T]he origin of the Shroud image is still unknown…. [R]egardless of the age the Shroud, whether it is medieval (1260 – 1390) as shown by the controversial dating by radiocarbon, or older as indicated by other investigations…the most important question…remains the same: how did that body image appear on the Shroud?….
There is no image beneath the blood stains. This means that the traces of blood deposited before the image was. Therefore, the image was formed after the corpse was laid down…. There are no signs of putrefaction near the orifices, which usually occur around 40 hours after death. Consequently, the image is not the result of putrefaction gases….
[The results of ENEA] show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence….
[I]t should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come to several billion watts ).
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem occupies two of the holiest sites of Christianity:
In 1809, during a partial opening of the Edicule by the architect Nikolaos Komnenos, a “sweet aroma” emanated from the tomb, the same “scent of sanctity” that often accompanies Marian apparitions and the tombs of some saints.
Most recently, in October 2016, scientists undertaking restoration work in the Edicule also smelled a “sweet aroma” when they removed the marble slab that covers the tomb. There were also electromagnetic disturbances: some of the measuring instruments used by the scientists, when placed vertically on the stone in which Christ’s body rested, either malfunctioned or ceased to work entirely. (See “Tomb of Christ in Church of Holy Sepulchre surrounded by electromagnetic field“)
According to the ENEA report, the image on the Shroud was left by “a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation” — stronger than could be created by any technology currently available to man. VUV is vacuum ultra-violet, a type of electromagnetic radiation.
Imagine how powerful the radiation burst of the Resurrection must have been to leave electromagnetic traces after more than 2,000 years, which were detected by those scientists restoring the Edicule in 2016.
Brothers and sisters:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.
And so, whatever our troubles, however heavy the burdens that weigh on us, be joyous this Easter Sunday, for our Lord is risen!
Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany,
the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil
and dried his feet with her hair;
it was her brother Lazarus who was ill….
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to his disciples,
“Let us go back to Judea.”
The disciples said to him,
“Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you,
and you want to go back there?”….
He said this, and then told them,
“Our friend Lazarus is asleep,
but I am going to awaken him.”….
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days….
Jesus told her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”….
When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him,
she fell at his feet and said to him,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping,
he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
“Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
And Jesus wept….
So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him,
“Lord, by now there will be a stench;
he has been dead for four days.”
Jesus said to her,
“Did I not tell you that if you believe
you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said,
“Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me;
but because of the crowd here I have said this,
that they may believe that you sent me.”
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands,
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
“Untie him and let him go.”
We don’t need fanciful or elaborate prayers to talk to our Creator, as this humble factory worker named Ben shows. The video made me weep….
So, join me today in saying this simple prayer:
“I just came by to tell you, Lord,
how happy I have been,
since we found each other’s friendship,
and you took away my sin.
Don’t know much of how to pray,
but I think about you every day.
So, Jesus, this is (your name),
just checking in today.”
May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.
The Oxford Dictionaries defines “ephiphany” (with a small “e”) as “a moment of sudden revelation or insight” and “a manifestation of a divine or supernatural being”. The word “Epiphany” (with a capital “E”) refers to “the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi”.
Today is the great feast of the Epiphany, which celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the Magi — an event that had been foretold in Isaiah 60:1-6 some 800 years before the birth of Christ.
Your light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines upon you….
Nations shall walk by your light,
and kings by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about;
they all gather and come to you….
Then…the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.
Caravans of camels shall fill you,
dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;
all from Sheba shall come
bearing gold and frankincense,
and proclaiming the praises of the Lord.
The Magi were wise men — non-Hebrew pagans from the East. Bearing gifts fit for a king — those of gold, frankincense, and myrrh — their coming to Jerusalem to pay homage to “the king of the Jews” shows that they seek in the messianic light of the Christmas star, the one who will be king of all nations.
It is noteworthy that the first creatures to see the newborn Jesus were his human parents, Mary and Joseph; angels on high; humble farm animals; lowly shepherds; and Gentiles — the Magi.
The Epiphany, therefore, signifies the manifestation of Jesus as Son of God and Savior of the world — not just the Old Testament‘s oft-prophesied messiah of the Jews. God is not a tribal deity, exclusive to only the so-called “chosen people”. Jesus the Christ came for Jews and Gentiles. He came for all of us, no matter our race, gender, language, country, or creed.
As St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians 3:6:
[T]he Gentiles are coheirs,
members of the same body,
and copartners in the promise
in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
Noteworthy also is the fact that the Magi, as the first Gentiles to find Jesus, were also the first Gentiles to receive His salvific grace. As recounted in Matthew 2:12:
And having been warned in a dream
not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country
by another way.
By the way, astronomers, using software programs reproducing the night sky exactly as it was thousands of years ago, have determined there really was a Christmas Star or Star of Bethlehem. David Reneke, news editor of Australia’s Sky and Space Magazine, said: “We found out something startling. It looks like the ‘Christmas star’ really did exist.”
It’s generally accepted by most researchers that Christ was born between 3 BC and 1 AD. On 12 August, 3 BC, Jupiter and Venus appeared very close together just before sunrise, appearing as bright morning stars. It would have been visible in the eastern dawn sky of the Middle East from about 3:45 to 5:20 a.m.
But it didn’t stop there. The crowning touch came ten months later, on 17 June 2 BC, Venus and Jupiter joined up again in the constellation Leo. This time the two planets were so close that, without the use of our modern optical aids, they would have looked like one single, brilliant star.
Venus is known as the planet of love; Jupiter as the planet of kings; and Leo denotes royalty and power.
See these other cases of science confirming Biblical accounts:
May the joy of the Epiphany and the peace and love of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, be with you!
Today is the third Sunday of Advent — a season observed by Christians as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the incarnation and birth of the Second Person of the Triune Godhead.
The term advent is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”. And so, this season of Advent is also about a second advent or second coming — His return at the end of all things.
And how do we know that He is the One?
Having created us with the ability to reason, God fully expects us to use our minds — to good purpose.
Did you know that even John the Baptist did not believe blindly, but used his rational faculty to sift through the available empirical evidence and determined that Jesus indeed was whom he was awaiting — “the one who is to come”.
When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ,
he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question,
“Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised,
and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
So, on this third Sunday of Advent, do not be disheartened by the darkness of our culture, polity and society, but take comfort in these words from the Epistle of James.
Be patient, brothers and sisters,
until the coming of the Lord.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient with it
until it receives the early and the late rains.
You too must be patient.
Make your hearts firm,
because the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another,
that you may not be judged.
Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.
Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Love God with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and with all your strength.
May the peace of love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you!