Posts

Showing posts with the label Incarnation

"Do Not be Afraid"

4th Sunday of Advent, 2017

By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas December 24, 2017

Good! Now try to imagine yourself describing the scene in which the Angel Gabriel seeks and speaks to Mary as one that could be played out spectacularly on film or a TV program, it would begin with the panoramic vision or an overall view of the world that solemnly zooms in and spotlights in one tiny little place. We could imagine the overview from the film score to the mission behind Google Earth....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Another Easter

Image
There have been only three to six major events so far, depending on how you count them: the creation of this universe; humanity's creation and fall; and our Lord's arrival, execution, and resurrection.

There's another big one coming, eventually, and I'll get back to that.

Cosmic Scale
I'm a Catholic, so I take Sacred Scripture very seriously,1 including this:
"God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed - the sixth day."
(Genesis 1:31) We've known that God's creation was big and old, and been impressed, for a long time:
"1 Think! The heavens, even the highest heavens, belong to the LORD, your God, as well as the earth and everything on it."
(Deuteronomy 10:14)

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky proclaims its builder's craft."
(Psalms 19:2)

"3 Raise your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth below; Though the heavens grow thin like smoke, the earth…

Joy to the World!

Image
(From Silar, Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)
(Nativity scene at the Christ the King Church in Sanok, Poland, 2010.)

Shepherding is a comparatively new occupation, compared to hunting and knapping.

The earliest evidence we've found so far puts the first shepherds north of Sargon's Akkadian Empire, where the Hittite Kingdom was, a dozen or so centuries later. I've mentioned them before. (August 21, 2015; October 16, 2015)

That was about the time someone carved a bit of siltstone into the Narmer Palette, and folks started building Stonehenge; and that's another topic.

Around the time Emperor Ping died, leaving Wang Mang in charge — he was either a great reformer or conniving scoundrel, depending on who you read, and that's yet another topic — the Roman Emperor ordered an empire-wide census.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

What Christmas Shows Children About Self-Esteem

Image
Children are hungry for affirmation. Children are desperate for love, for family, for an understanding of their place in the world. Children who lack these things grow up hating themselves and wanting to disappear, or forcing others to pay attention to their outrageous displays of addiction or terror. The truth about Christmas provides all the affirmation we need: the only reason we exist is because our God created us out of love; and when we forgot this, God proved his love by becoming one of us.

Relentless headlines tell us about school shootings, suicides, rampant drug use, epidemic STDs, teenagers joining terrorist groups. . . . This is not God's plan for us or for our children. And we don't begin to address the crisis by telling children how great they are. We free our children by showing them how great God is.

Read more at Praying with Grace.

Corpus Christi: "Whoever Eats My Flesh," Two Millennia Later

Image
Earlier this year, someone asked me if I realized that Catholics are cannibals. I responded with something like 'yes, but it wasn't our idea.'

I'm pretty sure that the person wasn't trying to be offensive. I run into odd notions about Catholic beliefs fairly often. I suspect they're often rooted in America's endemic anti-catholicism. (January 6, 2013; February 29, 2012)

Besides: the person was quite right in this case.

Here's part of today's Gospel reading:
"Whoever eats 19 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."
(John 6:54-55)
More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Jesus: Two Millennia of Truth and Alternatives

Image
John the Baptist identified Jesus as the Lamb of God, so quite a few churches display pictures of a young sheep with a halo. That's a visual metaphor, though. WiseGEEK has a fairly painless discussion of visual metaphor, and I'm drifting off-topic.

I don't worship a lamb, of course. Jesus is human, which is how my Lord is often portrayed. Details vary with time and place.

Jesus, All Over the World The artist's image Jesus I've seen most often looks very European, hardly surprising since my native culture is rooted in Europe.

Folks in other parts of the world often show Jesus and Saints as nice, normal people from that region.

We don't know what Jesus looked like, at least not before the Resurrection. My guess is that my Lord's appearance was Middle-Eastern, but that's just an educated guess.

Tradition tells us that Mary is a descendant of David, and Joseph, husband of Mary and foster-father of Jesus, is "of the house of David." That makes Jesus …