Posted by: reveriewithgod | October 1, 2019

227 – One Body

      “I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one Father and God of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:1-6 (NAB)

     We are entreated in Scripture to be of one body, one faith, with one Spirit, and thus one Church. It is the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised to send to guide and protect the Church from all error, not human opinion.

“…Scripture certainly recognizes but “one body” of Christians as explicitly as ‘one Spirit, one faith, one Lord, and one God and Father of all.’ As far as the text of Scripture goes, it is as direct a contradiction of it to speak of more than one body as to speak of more than one Spirit.”[1]

     Christ by His passion, death, and resurrection created His body the Church, “We did not make the Church, we may not unmake it.”[2] Each one of us is an intricate part of His body, we are the individual cells, the living truth in love, “…we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, with the proper functioning of each part, brings about the body’s growth and builds itself up in love.” Eph 4:15b-16 (NAB) We are not to be cancers that attack the body by building into it individual churches. Christ intended us to be one body of individual cells united in supporting each other, “striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace” in his Church.

[1] John Henry Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, volume III, sermon 14 (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, reprinted 1997) pp. 605

[2] Ibid, pp. 611.

Dennis Higgins (26 September 2019)

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Posted by: reveriewithgod | September 1, 2019

225 You Hypocrites

     In chapter 23 of Matthew’s gospel, he deals with Christ’s denunciation, the woes, of the Scribes and Pharisees for their actions.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.” Mt 23:14 (NAB)

    He accuses the scribes and Pharisees of barricading the gates of heaven by the imposition of strict regulations, which they do not adhere to themselves. These regulations do not make the path toward God easier but give scribes and Pharisees the opportunity to appear more important and better than those they govern.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside may be clean.” Mt 23:25-26 (NAB)

     Here Christ is using the appearance of the scribes and Pharisees who flaunt the outer appearance of their garments of office and ignore the inner trappings of their souls. He has stated before, it is not what is outside the human being that defiles a person, what determines how you get to heaven is what is inside your soul. If you take care of what is inside, the outside will take care of itself. Has He not taken care to see the birds of the air are clothed? Are we not more important to God as His children? Woes to you hypocrites who think you are better than anyone else. We all have the right to be God’s children, no matter who we are. You would do better to help all people have faith and trust in the creator of all, who loves all and wishes all to be with Him in eternity.

Dennis Higgins (21 August 2019)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | August 15, 2019

224 – Hear And Understand

“He summoned the crowd and said to them, “Hear and understand. It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles that person; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.” Then his disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offence when they heard what you said?” He said in reply, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides [of the blind]. If a blind person leads a blind person, both will fall into a pit.” Mt 15:10-14 (NAB)

         “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.” Words spoken that are not true will be uprooted and cast into the fires of hell along with those who pronounce them. “Let them alone,” they have made their choice, and they will be punished for leading themselves and others astray. Whatever we put in our mouth is mortal and affects our mortal body. The words that come out of our mouth affect what happens to our soul. It is the words we use and the spirit in which we use them that will affect where our soul spends eternity. Whoever hears these words should understand the effects that words have on their eternity.

      Christ often taught the importance of the love of neighbor, and how it affects our relationship with God. Hatred is never acceptable; no matter how much we think a person deserves it. This does not mean that we ignore justice. God is both all justice and all-merciful at the same time, He cannot be separated into two Gods, one of justice and one of mercy. Compassion without justice is just us trying to make ourselves appear to be important. We are responsible for all our actions and will be judged by God with justice and mercy for them. God, who wishes us all to be with Him, asks us all to hear and understand and to acknowledge what He asks of us.

Dennis Higgins (10 August 2019)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | August 1, 2019

223 – Seek His Kingdom

“As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not worry anymore. All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides. Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” Lk 12:29-34 (NAB)

         Christ’s discourse about how God has fed and clothed nature in beauty, tells us how much more God will take care of us, His children. God knows our needs and will take care of them, but we must seek His kingdom in return. If we seek our treasure on earth, then we have no treasure in heaven, for we cannot take our earthly treasure with us to heaven. Earthly treasures are mortal, and eternity is immortal. Our treasure in eternity can be inexhaustible, read no limit, and no thief can touch it and it will not decay, as does all things that are of this earth. Yes, this takes a great act of faith in the all just, and an all-loving God, but we are talking about eternity, and He has proven His love for us.

      There are those who think that when we say “He knows our needs and will take care of them,” that this means we can dictate our needs to God and He will give us our needs as we think fit. He can read into the depths of our heart and knows our true needs. This does not necessarily mean the fantasies we dream for ourselves. Remember Job and all that happened to him, he kept his faith in God and sought His kingdom, and look at how God rewarded him (Job 42:12-17). If we seek His kingdom, that is where our hearts will be, with the house, our heavenly treasure, that He has prepared for us.

Dennis Higgins (16 July 2019)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | July 1, 2019

222 – Everyone Who Listens

There is much discussion about what it takes to enter into God’s kingdom in heaven. Some believe that all you need to do is profess a belief in Jesus Christ. But Jesus taught a different sermon; yes, He said you needed faith, but He also said:

      “…‘Not everyone who says to me “Lord, Lord,” will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. …

       Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on a rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.” Mt 7:21, 24-27 (NAB)

      Jesus wants everyone who listens to His words to do more than just acknowledge His words. He very specifically states that He wants the listener to act on those words, “the one who does,” “and acts on them.” Jesus reminds us that it takes more than a statement of faith alone to get into His kingdom. It is “the one who [takes action on] the will of my Father” who will be the one to enter the Kingdom of heaven. If we act on the words of Christ, the foundation of our faith will grow and be stronger and remain firm, by virtue of the grace His Father bestows on us for doing His will. We can stand firm, and weather any storm that will come into our life. If we are not living Christ’s words, then we have not reinforced the foundation of our faith, and it will be in danger of collapsing by the force of any crisis that would come into our life. Actions speak louder than words. It is by our actions that we practice and live our faith. Therefore, everyone who listens to His words should heed and act on them. 

Dennis Higgins (29 June 2019)

 

Posted by: reveriewithgod | June 15, 2019

221 – Light Of The World

Jesus as part of His Sermon on the Mount discourse stated that:

      “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” Mt 5:14-16 (NAB)

      Jesus very specifically states, “that they may see your good deeds,” to remind us that it takes more than a statement of faith alone to glorify His heavenly Father. If we are the light of the world, we have to turn that light on so that others may see. Turning the light on is an action; our faith requires us to take action in addition to professing it. Simply saying that we own Christ’s lamp does not admit us into God’s kingdom. We have to turn it on and put it where people can see it.

      Jesus even gives us a deeper look at what it means to be a lamp of His word:

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.” Mt 6:22-23(NAB)

      Being a lamp of His word for the world to see starts with our living with that light in us. No matter what we say, our actions are very important in turning that lamp on. If the eye is sound it will let in God’s light and an informed soul will reflect that light out to the world. If we have damaged our eye with sin, it will block God’s light from entering to enlighten the darkness in our soul. We must first take the log of sin out of our eye, to let God’s light in so we can see the speck in someone else’s eye (Mt 7:3-5). Then by our example, we can shine God’s light into another’s darkness. This is known as evangelization; it is the way, with God’s grace, we can become His light to the world.

Dennis Higgins (10 June 2019)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | June 8, 2019

220 – The World Hates You

Jesus in His Last Supper discourses states that:

     “If the world hates you, realize it hated me first. If you belong to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I have spoken to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. …But in order that the word written in their law might be fulfilled, ‘They hate me without cause.’” Jn 15:18-21, 25 (NAB)

     If you believe that there is a higher power, God the almighty, then the world hates you because the world is secular. The secular world does not recognize that there is a power higher than its own self. If they admit to a higher power, that higher power only serves them; they don’t serve it. Anyone who acknowledges and serves God, the higher power, they hate. Many in today’s secular world tout hatred as a virtue, but hatred is not a virtue. It is a tool used by Satan to turn mankind away from God. To be truthful, Satan is not concerned with our wellbeing. Those who claim to know better than God or even deny His existence, show their naiveté and lack of good judgment, in contrast to God who is all knowledgeable and all just.

     If we do nothing to combat the hatred of the world around us, we are just as guilty in the promotion of that hatred. Satan calls us his slaves and “No slave is greater than his master.” But God does not call us slaves but friends:

“You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.” Jn 15:14-17 (NAB)

Do not ask God for things that would make you belong to the world, unless you intend to use them to bring the world to God. The world will hate you as long as you love God more than the world.

Dennis Higgins (6 June 2019)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | May 20, 2019

219 – All Good Things

     Thomas a Kempis in his book The Imitation of Christ, has Jesus telling us that all good things come from God and must return to God:

“All people, small and great, rich and poor, draw living water from me as from a quick-springing well, and they who serve me freely and of their own accord shall receive grace upon grace. But the person who seeks fulfillment in anything but me, of who seeks happiness in some private good of his own making, will not find true joy nor a heart overflowing with love; instead, he will encounter a mountain of obstacles and anxieties. Therefore, you should not take credit for any good qualities that you might have nor should you attribute any special depth of character to anyone else; instead, give God credit for everything, for without him we have nothing. If you are truly wise, you will find joy in me alone and hope in me alone, for no one is [truly] good but God alone. Praise him and bless him in everything you do.”1

     God is the source of all things good, for He alone is all good, all justice, and all love. Mankind is not all perfect; putting mankind above God is stupid. If we thank God for all things, we will “receive grace upon grace”. Those who are positive about God will attract more positive graces from Him. No good will come from being negative about God. Negative attracts negative. Does not God clothes the birds of the air splendidly? How much more will He take care of His children? He knows us better than we know ourselves, He knows our true needs, and will give us all that we truly need. His judgment is far better than ours of what we need, and we must have faith and trust in His judgment. All that He has ever done for us has been in our best interest, for all that He has done has been out of love for us. If God does not exist, we do not exist. Satan does not do anything out of love for us, only out of rebellion against God, and for that he lives in Hell. Why would we want to join him there? All good things belong to God and if we return our love to Him, we too can be with Him in eternity in heaven.

Dennis Higgins (18 May 2019)

            1. Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, trans. William C. Creasy, comm. by Dennis Billy (Indiana: Christian Classics/ Ave Maria Press, 1989) p. 120.

Posted by: reveriewithgod | May 1, 2019

218 – Father Of Lies

“Why do you not understand what I am saying? Because you cannot bear to hear my word. You belong to your father the devil and you willingly carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe me. …Whoever belongs to God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not listen, because you do not belong to God.” Jn 8:43-47 (NAB)

     Jesus was talking to the scribes and the Pharisees who kept trying to trip Him into saying something they could use against Him. They could not see past there own hatred of Him. No amount of signs would have satisfied them, they would have always want one more. Thus, we once more have an example of the influence of Satan’s hatred.

     We hear a lot of unabated hatred in the discourse of today. Let us remember, there is only one God of truth; and the father of lies, Satan, with his tactics of tricks and lies has been around since the beginning when God created Adam and Eve. There is no limit to the empty lies that appeal to his unsuspecting follower’s. For he has convinced them that they can be gods and infallible. He has convinced these unsuspecting followers that only they know the truth; but hatred is not truth or a virtue, it has never been nor will it be. The sad thing is that some of them are good people but Satan has mislead them with his earthly appeal to their mortal comfort and the supposed superiority of the human race, for Satan says we rule the universe; this has been his rhetoric throughout the centuries. Satan has no love for God or the human race. As the father of lies, his only goal is to separate us from the joy of being with God. “Why do you not understand what I am saying? Because you cannot bear to hear my word.” Concern for the here and now is more important to us than our eternity. How short sighted are we. Beware, the father of lies and deception has been practicing them for centuries and is very good at it. But listen to God’s word if you wish to live in joy with Him in eternity.

Dennis Higgins (30 April 2019)

Posted by: reveriewithgod | April 16, 2019

217 – Atoning Sacrifice

“[It] must be ever remembered, that Christ’s death was not a mere martyrdom. A martyr is one who dies for the Church, who is put to death for preaching and maintaining the truth. Christ, indeed, was put to death for preaching the Gospel; yet He was not a Martyr, but He was much more than a Martyr. Had He been a mere man, He would have been rightly called a Martyr, but as He was not a mere man, so He was not a mere Martyr. Man dies as a Martyr, but the Son of God dies as an Atoning Sacrifice. …There was a virtue in His death, which there could be in no other, for He was God.”1

     Adam and Eve disobeyed God and were thrown out of eternity; their sin gained them the knowledge of mortality, which they have passed down to all of us along with the effects of their original sin. Restitution calls for reparations to be done by a human being, for he committed the sin, but a mere human cannot overcome death and restore us into eternity. It takes the stature of someone who is divine to do that. God so loves us that He sent His only begotten Son to redeem us. Christ, who is eternally divine, was incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary and became man, but not a mere man, a man with two natures, divine and human. Thus, only He could die for us in restitution for Adam and Eve’s sin, so that we might become eternal again. But the onus is on us, there are only two eternities, Satan and God’s; we have to choose to be with God. We do this by obeying His commandments, which are not restrictions but ways of showing our love for God and our neighbor. In this Lenten season we have forty days to examine our conscience to prepare us for the ultimate “Atoning Sacrifice” that Jesus Christ made for us, so that at His resurrection when He defeats mortality by rising from the dead and reopens the gates of heaven, we are worthy of the sacrifice he mad for us.

Dennis Higgins (16 April 2019)

  1. John Henry Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, volume VI, sermon 6 (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, reprinted 1997) pp. 1231

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