6-17-20 Midweek Musings

“God’s Light vs. Evil’s Darkness”

Isaiah 42:1…7
Acts 10:34-38
Matthew 3:13-17

My Brothers and Sisters in the Lord –

There is darkness in the world. However, that particular darkness is not the absence of daylight. It is the darkness of evil. It is the antithesis of anything good, true, and beautiful. It is a powerful force – But not so powerful that a pinprick of light cannot penetrate it.

One of the ways that this darkness expresses itself is in the violence of our modern society. And of particular note is the way that many people resist something they dislike.

The behavior of many Americans has become increasingly dark and violent in the way that they will demonstrate their protest. Protest is not bad in itself. However, when it becomes violent or destructive – when it disrupts free speech – it does more harm than good.

Our First Amendment protects the freedom of speech. But this does not mean violently demonstrating or violently counter-demonstrating when someone else has a legitimate forum from which they speak!

Moreover, we can usually judge any cause or idea by the behavior of those who champion it. If they use violent or destructive means to get a hearing, then there is something wrong with what they espouse.

Jesus Christ was sent into the world to liberate the human race from the darkness of sin, ignorance, and the power of evil. Several hundred years before Jesus came, Isaiah prophesied the behavior Jesus would exhibit and the kind of person he would be. He would bring justice to the nations and to the world. Yet, he would do this in a non-violent way: “not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street”! He would be especially mindful and patient with the wounded and the vulnerable. He would be full of care for those who were trying to overcome their brokenness – or only beginning to grasp the goodness, the truth, and the beauty of God’s plan and will.

Isaiah goes on to prophesy that Jesus would be a light for the nations – He would also bring light for our personal blindness, freedom from the prison of our fears – and liberation from the guilt and despair of our sinfulness!

Then Jesus finally came. He was all that Isaiah said he would be – and even more than Isaiah could have imagined. Isaiah only knew and thought of our limited, material world and our life here. Whereas, Jesus came from and operated on behalf of that other dimension which is eternal life with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

In the Gospel passage, we learn that Jesus came to John to be baptized. Jesus had no need to be repentant, because he had lived a perfect life without sin. However, Jesus wanted to give us an example of humility and complete submission to the will of the Father.

Submission to God can be a struggle. It means opening ourselves to God’s plan and will. Often it means giving up our preconceived plans and ideas. It means admitting our sins and breaking with the evil, the lies, the grotesqueness of our personal darkness – all of which we may be only vaguely aware.

Nevertheless, if we do so, then wonderful things can begin to happen. For then, we live up to our dignity and potential as God’s son or daughter who was chosen like Jesus. We also come to understand that, like Jesus, we are beloved by God – and that we have a purpose and a mission during our life here under the direction of the Holy Spirit!

Brothers and Sisters, if God made us to show forth His goodness – then we all have a vocation to manifest God’s goodness wherever we find ourselves. We must bring goodness, truth, and beauty into the lives of those throughout our sphere of influence. We must demonstrate with quiet power in our actions and lives against those forces of darkness and evil which are everywhere. Because in the non-violent way of Jesus, we help him deliver others from the darkness, the blindness, and the chains which will destroy them.

So, let us pray, today, that we will never falter in this endeavor. And may we always be pleasing to God as His beloved children!

Amen.

Msgr. Russell G. Terra, Parish Homilies, February 16, 2020
Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Redding, CA


God’s Orchard

Our world is an orchard God planted and grows,
With deep, dark, rich soil and water that flows.
We are His trees, all growing in God’s fields,
And each is unique with different yields.

God gave us His Spirit to show us the way
To grow fruit for Him, each and every day.
This isn’t just for you, it’s also for me,
But I have to ask, what’s growing on your tree?

Love is he foremost of God’s fruit.
Love God, and our neighbors: all hate refute.
Love the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul,
And love our neighbors – those must be our goals.

Joy is the fruit to make our poor hearts glad.
God plan is our happiness, not to be sad.
Believing in Him, inexpressible joy,
Now and forever, His presence to enjoy.

Peace, God’s peace, a harmony of mind,
A fruit to be treasured for all of time.
Let the peace of Christ rule in our heart
And our fears and worries will all depart.

Patience we show when we wait on the Lord;
Waiting and trusting are special rewards.
Goals, plans and steps are all made by man,
But all will be done by God’s perfect plan.

Kindness to others, as shown through our life,
Is our protection from discord and strife.
For just as God gave His kindness to us,
We can give others our kindness plus.

Goodness is uprightness of life and heart,
One of the things setting Christians apart.
The world might call it having a good name,
But we credit God, from Whom goodness came.

Faithfulness leads to God’s blessings, it’s true,
A faithful servant, the best we can do.
For Jesus was faithful, in life and death,
There, on the cross, to His very last breath.

Gentleness and meekness should grow on our tree,
As we walk with our God in humility.
Though we crave honors, it must be reversed.
Forever in God’s eyes, the last will be first.

Self-control will keep us on God’s path,
Not seeking the world and incurring His wrath.
The Kingdom of God is not worldly pleasure,
But righteousness, peace and joy in good measure.

Hate, anger, impatience, cruelty and strife
Are what the world will chain to us in life.
Wickedness, betrayal, wantonness, and pride
Will be bound to us, so we must decide.

Will we live life for Him, for all of our days,
Praising and thanking and walking in His ways?
It is for freedom that Christ set us free,
So search your heart now, what’s growing on your tree?


6 thoughts on “6-17-20 Midweek Musings

  1. Ahhhh, Bakocarl—–truly the Banquet Table you have laid for us today is heavily, and richly, laden. Such delicious (spiritual) food for our journey!! I am reading and re-reading….have saved —and am printing this one out for one population in particular in my life .

    [Funny how God works—[stray musings here….]–He whispers on one person’s ear, who puts it all together in a sermon preached in his church, which catches the eye/ear of a seeker, who includes it in a weekly offering meant to uplift—-there to be savored by a reader—–who prints it out for distribution in reader’s local food market (!)
    Such is the determination of our (very) loving Creator to reach His beloveds all over (underlined) and remind them: “Love one another. No rocks, stones, harsh words… Cultivate kindness and grow THIS kind of fruit in your tree…. And remember (no matter what/all the time) I am with you to help you do so,”

    Thank you Bakocarl. Rich eats indeed!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Bako…

    No wonder I miss you so much from OT!

    You hit a heavenly grand slam out of the park with this one.

    Love you, brother!

    Shalom…always and forever!

    PS: As it normally happens, I am the most thrown into the bin in all of the sites I attempt to post on. But I know, I got Wheatie and Wolfie who do their best to rescue me outta ‘da cursed bin of Akismet…same thing over on Marica’s blog.

    I’m used to it.

    Well heck, I had to do a stretch in Moscow’s Kremlin “bin” in the 70s…and it was only God Who blessed with a miraculous intervention…so I can deal with an online bin.

    But seriously, I have appreciated your wonderful posts…over on CTH…and here.

    Keep it up brother…to the max of the power and eternal purpose of God and the Kingdom of Heaven…

    You ARE!!! one His voices that He has chosen as the elect of the Body of Jesus Christ to speak and publish real, holy Truth and the will of God.

    Shalom! My good and faithful brother of our Lord’s Body, the real, uncompromised truth of the Word of God!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. And this is the very thing the Archbishop’s letter was that was sent to POTUS DJT!

    I am not Catholic and I do not espouse the Catholic religion…

    But what this Archbishop said in his letter to POTSUS-DJT…contrary to much so-called Catholic doctrine…

    Was spot on…true…and he is now taking a beating from the false, apostate Catholic church…just one more empty, godless organization today!

    And if any of you have followed the hatred of the corrupt, deceived so called Catholic church…and others…Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopalian, whoever…by now, you should begin to realize the evil of all of this that is nothing but one cult of false religion!

    Let us wake up from this false premise of man-made religion!

    Damn it!

    We need to wake up and give up our false and foolish hope in worthless religions!

    I would say, sorry for offending some here…

    Nope!

    Jesus said…

    Blessed are those who are not offended in and by Me.

    People…

    Make your choice…online here and other wise…

    For God’s First Word of Truth…against…

    …whatever foolish thing who weak and mortals choose to believe!

    One decision, one choice, one life instead of death!

    I could say…

    Sorry if I offend some…

    Hell fucking no!!!

    I have stood up against the pre-1989 Soviet Bloc countries! 4 of them of bastard governments!!!!…and barely survived…

    I am not about to break down before this God-damned socialist-marxist-BLM/Antifa shit of our day happening in our nation!!!

    Remember where and you heard these words from here on Wolfie’s blog.

    I’ve been to the bowels of communistic hell and torture where most pd you have never had to go.

    Most of you…yes…

    Maybe none of you know what water, electrical, drug and knifing torture is. Thank your God that you don’t!

    That some of us survived…

    Is only by the greatest grace of God.

    And Hell shit no!

    John McSatain…

    Was was a military embarrassment to all the rest of us.

    Our God does know the difference between the holy and the profane…

    And John Mcstain and filthy, insane John Kerry were 2 of the worst traitors in the history of the United States of our wonderful Republic of America.

    I would say sorry for my long rant…

    But not really.

    At this point, having gone through all the shit and hell I have lived through for decades…I don’t care if anybody thinks I am an extremist!

    Been there many times, and even in my older age, ready to be going back there again…to my death and end if that is what it takes!

    So I hope there are those of you with the same heart and willingness to sacrifice yourselves…

    Give up and sacrifice what you must when comes the time…

    You won’t be the first and you won’t be the last!

    Liked by 2 people

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