Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 GAL 5:18-25
If you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are obvious:
immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry,
sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy,
outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness,
dissensions, factions, occasions of envy,
drinking bouts, orgies, and the like.
I warn you, as I warned you before,
that those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, generosity,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Against such there is no law.
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh
with its passions and desires.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.
Responsorial Psalm PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Alleluia JN 10:27
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel LK 11:42-46
The Lord said:
“Woe to you Pharisees!
You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb,
but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God.
These you should have done, without overlooking the others.
Woe to you Pharisees!
You love the seat of honor in synagogues
and greetings in marketplaces.
Woe to you!
You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.”
Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply,
“Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.”
And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law!
You impose on people burdens hard to carry,
but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.”
Early Christians Had Sex Orgies, Celebrated their Genitalia & Practiced Polyamory?
An exciting aspect of communicating with millions of people via the Internet, is connecting with a man who calls himself Goldenrule Name. He’s one of my favorites. As an atheist or I should say agnostic, being presented with this history from a diligent researcher has been thrilling.
I’ve always loved the idea of goddesses and felt I was in their service teaching women sexual pleasures. Still do! I was overjoyed to discover Baubo, the crone or old woman goddess of obscenity and laughter. (She’s still orgasmic like me!) Only recently did I discover Cotytto (pronounced Ko-ti-to) thanks to an email from Goldenname. (He remains anonymous because his life was threatened). Later Biblical translations denounced sex instead of celebrating it making it much easier to control people through sexual repression, guilt, fear and hate:
“The Christian community is huge, and its concealment of my exact information is what’s causing the hate crimes, the hampering of fair LGBT legislation, the prevention of finding STD/AIDS cures, etc., as those think they do God’s service. Why would anyone want to pay to “go against God”? Everyone involved in LGBT and polyamory (and eventually everyone) will be better off when my findings are made public.
The priests of Cotytto, the goddess of promiscuous sex, were called “Baptae,” the same base form of Baptism. Basically hidden for centuries, Jesus ordered this sacrament to bypass Medieval Church corruption for disclosure today.
According to the Romans, Cotytto’s watering ritual “Baptae” priests actually had anal sex (“pathici” in Latin). And, today’s Church condemns the gay community more in sexual controversy than any other. So, the whole thing is very laughable against today’s Church. God/Jesus is very cool.
“Fornication” and “sexual immorality” only meant “prostitution” in the original Scriptures. Prostitution is denounced because it is “selling” something that should be free. Any “conditional” sex would fit in this category. Another reason why marriage is not the ultimate solution.
Regarding Jesus’ “new commandment” in John 13:34, today’s churches stating “agape” love is “non-sexual” love, is a flat-out lie; and therefore proves they are the perfect definition of the “Antichrist” (and/or proved by their ignoring of these now presented facts). Sex is part of the act which Jesus commanded. Jesushttp://www.Goldenrule.name/Septuagint_overview.htm“>instructing His disciples to “(sexually) love one another” sounds pretty gay to me. That’s why they have to remove the sex entirely out of “agape” love.
Jesus and His followers entered Jerusalem naked: Why would Jesus havehttp://www.Goldenrule.name/11-18-08__Bad_boys_bad_boys.htm#The_Triumphal_Entry“>made such a spectacle of His followers removing their clothes, if He was the anti-sex bigot today’s Church portrays? (For me to find today.) See: Matthew 21:6-11; compare Gospel of Thomas 37. (Surely in those days they would have crucified someone who did something like that.)
The earliest known government report about Christians told they “came together to celebrate genitalia,” which included St. Peter and Paul. I’ve found over 30 different accounts of early Christian ritual sex orgies, now indexed on the homepage.
There are nearly 500 cable channels today. Therefore, possibly some of you are also not aware that for hundreds of years, the Church has lied stating if you have ever had any kind of sex other than in heterosexual monogamous marriage, God will condemn you to the worst possible Afterlife torture forever, that will never end. Spend a day listening to Christian radio; then you’ll understand why so many people are against you. You see, they believe their condemnation of LGBT, etc. is their Ticket into Heaven, but those who continue it after my findings are going straight to Hell.
Church leaders need to repent now by exposing the Truth! And the LGBT, polyamory, and media should begin sharing and pressuring these facts as much as possible, for the public to eventually force the Church to admit to my findings. My expertise has taken this to a solid first base by showing the actual conclusive details; but, someone else now needs to take it the rest of the way in dissemination.”
Meditation: Why does Jesus single out the teachers and lawyers for some rather strong words of rebuke? The word woe can also be translated asalas. It is as much an expression of sorrowful pity as it is of anger. Why did Jesus lament and issue such a stern rebuke? Jesus was angry with the religious leaders because they failed to listen to God’s word and they misled the people they were supposed to guide in the ways of God. The scribes devoted their lives to the study of the Law of God and regarded themselves as legal experts in it. They divided the ten commandments and precepts into thousands of tiny rules and regulations. They were so exacting in their interpretations and in trying to live them out, that they had little time for anything else. By the time they finished compiling their interpretations it took no less than fifty volumes to contain them! In their misguided zeal, they required unnecessary and burdensome rules which obscured the more important matters of religion, such as love of God and love of neighbor. They were leading people to Pharisaism rather than to God.
Jesus used the example of tithing to show how far they had missed the mark. God had commanded a tithe of the first fruits of one’s labor as an expression of thanksgiving and honor for his providential care for his people (Deut. 14:22; Lev. 27:30). The scribes, however, went to extreme lengths to tithe on insignificant things (such as tiny plants) with great mathematical accuracy. They were very attentive to minute matters of little importance, but they neglected to care for the needy and the weak. Jesus admonished them because their hearts were not right. They were filled with pride and contempt for others. They put unnecessary burdens on others while neglecting to show charity, especially to the weak and the poor. They meticulously went through the correct motions of conventional religion while forgetting the realities.
Why does Jesus also compare them with “unmarked graves”? According to Numbers 19:16, contact with a grave made a person ritually unclean for seven days. Those who come into contact with the Pharisees and listen to their teaching are likewise defiled by their false doctrine. They infect others with wrong ideas of God and of his demands. Since the Pharisees are “unmarked”, other people do not recognize the decay within and do not realize the danger of spiritual contamination. The Pharisees must have taken Jesus’ accusation as a double insult: They are not only spiritually unclean themselves because they reject the word of God, but they also contaminate others with their dangerous “leaven” as well (see Luke 12:1).
What was the point of Jesus’ lesson? The essence of God’s commandments is love — love of God and love of neighbor. God is love and everything he does flows from his love for us. Love is sacrificial; it both embraces and lifts the burdens of others. Do you allow the love of God to transform your mind and heart? And are you willing to carry your neighbor’s burden?
“Lord, inflame my heart with your love that I may always pursue what matters most — love of God and love of neighbor. Give me wisdom and courage to act with justice, kindness, and mercy in all that I do and say.”
• In today’s Gospel the conflictive relation between Jesus and the religious authority of the time continues. Today in the church we have the same conflict. In a determinate diocese the Bishop convoked the poor to participate actively. They accepted the request and numerous began to participate. A great conflict arose. The rich said that they had been excluded and some priests began to say: “the Bishop is doing politics and forgets the Gospel”.
• Luke 11, 42: Alas for you who do not think of justice and love. “Alas for you, Pharisees, because your pay your tithe of mint and rue and all sorts of garden herbs and neglect justice and the love of God. These you should have practiced without neglecting the others”. This criticism of Jesus against the religious heads of the time can be repeated against many religious heads of the following centuries, even up until now. Many times, in the name of God, we insist on details and we forget justice and love. For example, Jansenism rendered arid the living out of faith, insisting on observance and penance and leading people away from the path of love. Saint Theresa of Lisieux, the Carmelite Sister grew in a Jansenistic environment which marked France at the end of the XIX century. After a painful personal experience, she knew how to recover the gratuity of the Love of God with the force which has to animate the observance of the norms from within; because, without the experience of love, observance makes an idol of God.
The final observation of Jesus said: “You should practice this, without neglecting the others”. This observation recalls another observation of Jesus which serves as a comment: “Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. In truth I tell you, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, is to disappear from the Law until all its purpose is achieved. Therefore, anyone who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but the person who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I tell you, if your uprightness does not surpass that of the Scribes and Pharisees you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 5,17-20).
• Luke 11, 43: Alas for you, because you like to take the seats of honour. “Alas for you, Pharisees, because you like to take the seats of honour in the Synagogues and to be greeted respectfully in the market squares”. Jesus calls the attention of the disciples on the hypocritical behaviour of some Pharisees. They like to go around the squares with long tunics, and receive the greetings of the people, to occupy the first seats in the synagogues and the seats of honour in the banquets (cf. Mt 6, 5; 23, 5-7). Mark says that they lied to enter into the houses of the widows to recite long prayers in exchange for some money. Such persons will be judged very severely (Mk 12, 38-40). This also happens today in the Church.
• Luke 11, 44: Alas for you, unmarked tombs. “Alas for you, Scribes and Pharisees, because you are like whitewashed tombs that look handsome on the outside, but inside are full of the bones of the dead and every kind of corruption” (Mt 23,27-28). The image of “whitewashed tombs” speaks of itself and does not need any comments. Through this image, Jesus condemns a fictitious appearance of persons who are correct, but interiorly there is the complete negation of what they ant to appear to be on the outside. Luke speaks about unmarked tombs: Alas for you, because you are like those unmarked tombs that people walked on without knowing it. “. Anyone who walks on or touches a tomb becomes impure, even if the tomb is hidden under the ground. This image is very strong: on the outside the Pharisee seems to be just and good, but this aspect is deceitful because inside there is a hidden tomb, that without people being aware spreads a poison that kills, communicates a mentality that leads people away from God , suggests an erroneous understanding of the Good News of the Kingdom. It is an ideology which makes of God a dead idol.
• Luke 11, 45-46: Criticism of the Doctors of the Law and response of Jesus: A lawyer then spoke up and said: “Master, when you speak like this you insult us too!” In his response Jesus does not turn back, rather he shows clearly that the same criticism is also for the Scribes: “Alas for you lawyers as well , because you load on people burdens that are unbearable, burdens that you yourselves do not touch with your fingertips!” In the Sermon on the Mountain, Jesus expresses the same criticism which serves as a comment: “The Scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore, do and observe what they tell you, but do not be guided by what they do , since they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on people’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them?” (Mt 23, 2-4).
• Hypocrisy maintains an appearance which deceives. Up to what point does my hypocrisy reach? How far does the hypocrisy of our Church go?
• Jesus criticized the Scribes who insisted in the disciplinary observance of the minute points of the law, as for example the to pay the tithe of mint and rue and all forts of garden herbs and forget the objective of the Law which is the practice of justice and the love. Can this criticism also apply to me?
How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the wicked
and does not take a stand in the path that sinners tread,
nor a seat in company with cynics,
but who delights in the law of Yahweh
and murmurs his law day and night. (Ps 1,1-2)
In the first place, we too can overlook justice and the love of God in our concern for the implementation of rules for the good of order in our community or organization. Rules are of course important to safeguard harmony and order. However, as leaders and teachers, we must ask ourselves each day whether we are more concerned with the rules being kept or whether the spirit of the rules is inculcated. Rules are at best an indication that someone is serious in belonging to an organization, but the reality may not be so. Some parents are more concerned that their children keep the rules than the spirit of the rules in the house. When parents discipline their children without explaining the spirit behind the rules, they will only create resentment against them without any conversion of heart.
Indeed, one of the tensions in life is between law and love; the institution and the Charismatic. There are extremes in approaches. On one hand, there are those who put the laws above everything else. The Pharisaic behavior in Jesus’ time continues very much in our own family and organizations where obedience to the rules and regulations are enforced to the extent that there is no room for compassion, tolerance and forgiveness. Thus, those formed and governed under such situations in turn become wounded and resentful, often lacking in love, compassion, warmth and human feelings in their dealings with others. One can hardly experience the love of God from such communities and people.
But more than rules, we should also be concerned about the fact that sometimes in community life we squabble over minor issues. We fight over petty things which are insignificant and sometimes a matter of personal preference. Some of us can be so picky about rules that, like the Pharisees, we behave like supervisors seeking to find fault in others. By being narrow minded, we forget that rules must always be subordinated to the greater act of justice and love. That is why Jesus said, “Alas for you Pharisees! You who pay your tithe of mint and rue and all sorts of garden herbs and overlook justice and the love of God! These you should have practised, without leaving the others undone.”
In the second place, to live the life of the Spirit is to live a life of authenticity. Quite often, many of us do things to seek approval, like children who are always so desperate to seek their parents’ approval for what they do, lest they lose favour, respect and most of all, the love of their parents. So long as we are like the Pharisees looking for approval from people rather than from God, we live a hypocritical life. Like them, consciously or unconsciously, we seek to be respected and honoured. We want to be addressed with the appropriate titles, but we must ask ourselves whether we are worthy of the titles. Honour gained by virtue of our office is nothing compared to the honour that is gained by the kind of lives we live.
Thirdly, Jesus warns us against loading burdens on others. Very often, as parents and leaders, we tend to tell people what to do. We make rules and teach ideals. But in the first place, do we live them ourselves? It is easy to be a counselor instructing people what they should do, but if we were in their situation, we may fare worse than them. For this reason, as a teacher, we need to be in touch with ourselves. We must face our own brokenness and wounds rather than pretend they are not there. What is not acknowledged will turn out to be the monster that will later be unleashed and attack us when we are least alert. So before we teach others what they should be doing, we must first implement them for ourselves. We cannot underscore the importance of punctuality, responsibility, prayer, etc if we ourselves are always late, procrastinating and not praying. At the end of the day, a true teacher must walk the talk, for no one believes in a teacher who is not at the same time a witness. But if we see our leaders walk that path, then we too can do it, for there is no excuse for us not to observe the life that they have shown us.
However, having spoken about the dangers of falling into legalism, we must not fall into the extreme position of rejecting all laws in the name of freedom. There are some who have been influenced by those who advocate absolute freedom at all costs and without qualification. However, when this principle of freedom is stretched too far, there is chaos. Under the guise of freedom, what we have is laxity and self-indulgence. This is what St Paul condemned in the first reading. “When self- indulgence is at work the results are obvious: fornication, gross indecency and sexual irresponsibility; idolatry and sorcery; feuds and wrangling, jealousy, bad temper and quarrels; disagreements, factions, envy; drunkenness, orgies and similar things.”
For that reason today, the scripture readings remind us of the kind of attitude we should adopt. Undoubtedly, both readings put love and justice before the observance of laws. St. Paul says that if we are led by the Spirit, which is manifested in love, joy, peace etc, then no law can touch us. “What the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control. There can be no law against things like that, of course. You cannot belong to Christ Jesus unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires.” Similarly, Christ indicted the Pharisees for keeping the laws to the minute details but forget the greater responsibilities towards their fellowmen, that of love and justice.
At the same time, Jesus is not against the observance of the laws. Indeed, Jesus requires us to not omit them. In other words, what is required of us is to ensure that laws and rules are good for us. But we cannot remain on this level. Laws and rules are at best only guidelines as to how we should live an orderly life for the sake of harmony in our own lives and that of the community. But these laws cannot be kept unless we have the deeper reality in us, that of love and authentic freedom. Observance of laws must not be done out of force but because we see the value in them. Unless we are convinced of the values of the laws and see that they are good for us, we will not practise them. Otherwise we will be obeying them blindly, reluctantly. Such an attitude will not make us loving people in the end.
Having laid down the principles, we must reexamine whether the rules and laws that have been introduced in our homes or organizations are really for the good of all. One must have the courage to change them if they do not serve the purpose of bringing about love and happiness in the community. If the rules do not achieve the end, then it calls for a revision over the way the rules are implemented. As teachers and guardians, we must not use laws to put pressure and unnecessary burdens on others. As the gospel says, we tend to load on men burdens that are unendurable. So in formulating laws, we have to make sure that they are observable, beginning with ourselves. On the side of those who have to observe the laws, we must seek to understand why certain rules are made in an organization. Unless we understand the background and intent of the rules and policies of an organization, we tend to dismiss them and disobey them. More often than not, we tend to be negative towards laws because they infringe not so much our freedom but our selfish interests.
We must be sincere in seeking to walk in the light if we really want to live a life of the Spirit. The psalmist says, “Anyone who follows you, O Lord, will have the light of life.” Let us take heed of the words of St Paul seriously. To live and be led by the Spirit means that in all things that we do, we must bring joy, love and peace. Following the law is not sufficient. But it must be done as an expression of love and conviction. Ultimately, it must lead to love and for the sake of love. Anything that leads us to self-indulgence is an abuse of authentic freedom.
“You pay God a compliment by asking great things of Him.”
‘One must not think that a person who is suffering is not praying. He is offering up his sufferings to God, and many a time he is praying much more truly than one who goes away by himself and meditates his head off, and, if he has squeezed out a few tears, thinks that is prayer. “
“Suffering is a great favor. Remember that everything soon comes to an end . . . and take courage. Think of how our gain is eternal.”
“Pain is never permanent.”
“Truth suffers, but never dies.”
“I am afraid that if we begin to put our trust in human help, some of our Divine help will fail us.”
“Our greatest gain is to lose the wealth that is of such brief duration and, by comparison with eternal things, of such little worth; yet we get upset about it and our gain turns to loss.”
“We can only learn to know ourselves and do what we can – namely, surrender our will and fulfill God’s will in us.”
“Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that you have only one life, which is short and has to be lived by you alone; and there is only one Glory, which is eternal. If you do this, there will be many things about which you care nothing. “
“Christ has no body now, but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ looks compassion into the world.
Yours are the feet
with which Christ walks to do good.
Yours are the hands
with which Christ blesses the world.”
Let nothing trouble you,
let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing;
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses God lacks nothing:
God alone suffices.
Tags: acts of selfishness, dissensions, Doctors of the Law, don't be Judgmental, drinking bouts, factions, gal 5:18-25, God is love, God's Word, hatreds, He Does The Judgment, hypocritical behaviour of some Pharisees, idolatry, immorality, impurity, inherit the Kingdom of God, jealousy, Jn 10:27, Law of God, Let God be God, Let Nothing Disturb You, licentiousness, living the life of the Spirit, Lk 11:42-46, Lord inflame my heart with your love, love of God and love of neighbor, Nada te turbe, occasions of envy, October 12 2016, orgies, outbursts of fury, Pharisees, Prayer and Meditation, Psalm 1, rivalry, Scribes and the Pharisees, sorcery, spiritual contamination, St. Teresa of Jesus, Teresa of Avila, the way of the wicked vanishes, those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God, unmarked tombs, Woe to you Pharisees, You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk, You love the seat of honor in synagogues