FROM BREAD OF LIFE DISCOURSE JOHN:6:48
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died… 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….
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….
Many of Jesus’ followers left him that day. They could not accept what He was saying. They did not have faith in Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man. Jesus did not go after those departing and say wait, I am talking in symbols, using metaphors, I didn’t mean what you think, it’s not real, just some symbol, not really my flesh and blood…
No Jesus did not chase down the unbelieving or water down the truth just to increase the size of His followers. He knew what He said and meant what He said. Say Yes when you mean Yes and No when you mean No. The TRUTH will set you free!
No one likes their material goods watered down like their alcoholic beverage or their hamburger stretched with bread crumbs. Why should we accept our Spiritual goods watered down as some of our church leaders attempt to do. It is no wonder the faithful in the pew are confused and unable evangelize their neighbors..
Our religion and our teachings of Jesus’ Church are so beautiful and abundantly full, of ways to enjoy in this life, relationship with Jesus and prepare to meet Him in the next. Why are those in the Church, particularly, its clergy so willing to compromise on the Truth of Jesus. Are they themselves experiencing crisis of faith or is it something else?
You are fortunate if you are not in a parish of let’s say, “Fr. Ed”, who does his darnest to dumb down Christianity because he is either afraid we won’t get it or we will stop coming to fawn over him. So he continues his “feel good” homilies with hardly any mention of accountability to the Word of God. He may also hint that God did not really mean that scripture passage (if it disturbs you.) It is no wonder those in the pews are under catechized.
For years, many have been told stories by priests that undermine the teachings of the very church they claim to represent. Let me cite some examples.
Here is one of the most notorious. I first heard from my barber who doesn’t believe in the bible because it is just a bunch of fictional stories made up and changed over the years some priest told him..
The feeding of 5000 (Matthew 14:15-20) has been modernized to a story about sharing rather then a spectacular miracle that speaks to Jesus’ divinity. In this age of modernity and moral equivalency so many folks want Jesus to be just another good man and a masterful teacher but not acknowledge Jesus as God, able to forgive sins, and redeem us from our sins in the name of all mankind.
According to this modern rendition of the feeding of 5000, when Jesus took out the food the apostles had given Him, everyone in crowd the idea of sharing and so Jesus taught us to share. Well, hardly, there are already too many references to count in Scripture of Jesus’ teaching about being good to your neighbor.
This spectacular miracle (Divine intervention) is covered in all 4 Gospels. Must have been pretty important to those who were to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ and the reign of God.
Give us some credit who sit weekly or daily in pews at Holy Mass. We come to be fed meat and potatoes not skim milk! We can take the Truth. Stop protecting us from our Savior. He gave His life for me. The least I can do is to follow His example even if it’s tough at times.
Here is another example. The Resurrection of Jesus is often interpreted by pseudo Christians as Jesus did not really rise from dead; his disciples just had such strong memories and they kept those memories alive and even imagined what Jesus would say or do if He had actually risen and appeared to them.
St. Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians, “and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.” (ICor. 15:14) Jesus is not some legendary character that we continue to make up stories about. Jesus lived and died in human history. That history is recorded in Holy Scriptures.
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
106 God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. “To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, as true authors were consigned to writing whatever He wanted written, and no more.”
107 The inspired books teach the truth. “Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.”
Let me cite one more example of distorted twisting of one of the core beliefs of our Catholic Faith. That is the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and Blessed Sacrament. In a sacramental way Jesus, body and blood, Soul and Divinity is truly present. The sense appearances of bread and wine remain, like, sight, taste etc. But the substance is changed. Jesus is truly as present to us who receive Him as He was to his disciples over 2 thousand years ago.
1324 The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it
Those who deny the Real Presence may say any number of things like: Communion reminds me of Jesus. I go to communion to say I am with you Jesus, It’s not really Jesus how could it be? (How did God create from nothing everything????) Oh well, the beat goes on of demystifying the supernatural and pretending that God and His Son are nice stories to help man do good. Such deluded people we are in the pew, what a pity!
I ask then why even bother going to Mass which for believers is the re-presentation of Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary and we are offering Him along with Himself to the Father in atonement and reparation for our sins.
We weren’t at Calvary but now we can be. At every Mass, we can play an active role of cooperation in our redemption. Only Jesus can redeem, but we can say yes by believing and participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Mass is not just a feel good social gathering of kumbaya; it is a Holy Sacrifice.
1356 From the beginning Christians have celebrated the Eucharist and in a form whose substance has not changed despite the great diversity of times and liturgies, it is because we are bound by the command the Lord gave on the eve of his Passion: “Do this in remembrance of me.”
1357 We carry out this command of the Lord by celebrating the memorial of his sacrifice. In so doing, we offer to the Father what he has himself given us: the gifts of his creation, bread and wine which, by the power of the Holy Spirit and by the words of Christ, have become the body and blood of Christ. Christ is thus really and mysteriously made present.
Let us be on our guard not to let FR FRIENDLY rob us of the TRUTH of the Gospel. At Sunday Mass we recite the Creed. Let’s really think about what we are saying and mean what we say despite any distortions or softening of the message from the pulpit. The Creed of our Faith contains the teaching of Jesus and His Church, no ifs, ands, and buts.
When was the last time you heard a homily on call to conversion which should be a daily call. None of us have made it yet. When was the last time you heard about the need of repentance and need for sacrament of confession? When was the last time in a homily you heard about the Real Presence of Jesus in the tabernacle,, His precious blood and body?
Is your pastor a nice guy who asks you all to be nicer to one another and save the planet? All well and good but that will not get us into relationship with Jesus and His Father. Why not start now. We pledge we want to spend all eternity with God in heaven, why wait! Father Friendly, please give us the goods of the GOOD NEWS!
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