“Be Holy for I am Holy” 1 Peter 1:16 A Holy week suggestion

Holy Week Readings and
Thanksgiving Prayers

by Marcellino D’Ambrosio, Ph.D.
http://www.crossroadsinitiative.com

Christ Crucified Holy Week, the annual remembrance of the Lord’s suffering, death, and resurrection, has always been the most important event of the Christian calendar right from the beginning. The early Christians observed the special days of Holy Week in a spirit of prayerful gratitude, overwhelmed by how far God was willing to go to bring us back to Himself. They were particularly amazed by the way the events of Jesus’ death and final victory were so mysteriously prefigured in the Old Testament.

In order to enrich our own Holy Week prayers, we’ve printed selections below from two ancient Holy Week homilies, followed by a special Holy Week thanksgiving prayers appropriate for either personal or corporate use. May these resources serve to deepen our appreciation of the wisdom and love displayed in the Father’s marvelous plan of salvation! For more free Holy Week/Triduum resources, visit the Lent and Holy Week section of The Crossroads Initiative Library.

Saint Ephrem on Holy Week, Early Church FatherSt. Ephrem (A Syrian deacon who wrote around 360 A.D.)

Our Lord subjected his might, and they seized him,
so that through his living death he might give life to Adam.
He gave his hands to be pierced by nails
to make up for the hand which plucked the fruit.
He was struck on his cheek in the judgment room
to make up for the mouth that ate in Eden.
And while Adam’s foot was free, his feet were pierced.
Our Lord was stripped that we might be clothed.
With the gall and vinegar he sweetened
the poison of the serpent which had bitten men.

St. Melito (a Holy Week sermon from the Bishop of Sardis given around 170 A.D.)
Holy Week remembers the Passion of Jesus Christ Crucified
This is the one who patiently endured many things in many people:
This is the one who was murdered in Abel, and bound as a sacrifice in Isaac,
and exiled in Jacob, and sold in Joseph,
and exposed in Moses, and sacrificed in the lamb,
and hunted down in David, and dishonored in the prophets.

This is the one who became human in a virgin,
who was hanged on the tree, who was buried in the earth,
who was resurrected from among the dead,
and who raised mankind up out of the grave below to the heights of heaven.

The one who hung the earth in space, is himself hanged;
the one who fixed the heavens in place, is himself impaled;
the one who firmly fixed all things, is himself firmly fixed to the tree.
The Lord is insulted, God has been murdered,
the King of Israel has been destroyed by the right hand of Israel.

This is the lamb that was slain. This is the lamb that was silent.
This is the one who was taken from the flock, and was dragged to sacrifice,
and was killed in the evening, and was buried at night;
the one who was not broken while on the tree,
who did not see dissolution while in the earth.
who rose up from the dead, and who raised up mankind from the grave below.

Thanksgiving Prayers For Use During Holy Week

Adam, Jesus, Holy Week, EasterFather of Mercy and Salvation,

As you planted the tree of life in the Garden of Eden, so you have planted the cross of your Son in the New Paradise, replacing the tree that brought us death with the gracious tree that brings us life.

Response: Glory to you, O Lord.

As you judged the earth by water and saved Noah by means of the ark, so you judged the world in the water of your Son’s pierced side, and saved a remnant through the wood of his cross.

Response: Glory to you, O Lord.

As Abraham’s only son, the son he loved, bore to Moriah the wood of his sacrifice, so your only Son, the beloved Son, bore his cross to Golgotha, that the blessing of Abraham might be given to the world.

Response: Glory to you, O Lord.
Jospeh Coat of many colors
As Joseph was sold by his brothers and reckoned as dead, yet was raised in glory to the King’s right hand, so you Son was delivered to death by his brothers and raised in glory by your Spirit to rule at your side.

Response: Glory to you, O Lord.

As the blood of the lamb turned away the angel of death and delivered Israel from Pharaoh’s reign, so the blood of your Son has saved us from death and delivered us from bondage to Satan and the world.

Response: Glory to you, O Lord.

As the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies with blood to atone for the sins of the people, so your Son entered the true Holy Place and presented the blood that atones for the sins of the world.

Response: Glory to you, O Lord.
Moses, Exodus, 40 Days of Lent
As Moses raised the serpent in the wilderness to heal those who suffered for their sin, so the Son of Man was lifted up on the cross to bear our sin and make us whole.

Response: Glory to you, O Lord.

As Jonah lay three days in the belly of the whale, and was raised from death to preach repentance to the Gentiles, so your Son was raised from the bowels of the earth to reconcile all nations to yourself.

Response: Glory to you, O Lord.

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the 8 Attributes of God by Matt Fried [reposted]

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Posted : March 14, 2015 at 6:38 pm
Author : mattfradd
Categories : Apologetics

St Thomas Aquinas, in the first part of his Summa Theologica, after having enumerated five proofs for the existence of God, proceeds to outline and explicate his attributes, of which Thomas says He has eight:

1) Simplicity, 2) perfection, 3) goodness, 4) infinity, 5) ubiquity, 6) immutability, 7) eternity, and 8) unity.

This is the order in which he deals with them and I thought I would provide a quick summary of each in the same order for those that are interested.

To Read what Thomas himself says, start here ( http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1003.htm ) in the Summa.

1. The Simplicity of God.
The Simplicity of God means that God has no parts, that He is not composed in any way. He is not, as we are, the composition of body and soul, nor is He the composition of essence and existence. One of Thomas’ arguments for this is the following: 1. Bodies, by necessity, move. 2. God is the unmoved mover. 3. Therefore God does not have a body. Nor is God a composition of essence (what a thing is) and existence (that a thing is). Rather, in God, essence and existence are the same thing. We see Biblical evidence of this in the book of Exodus where God responds to Moses’ request for a name, “I am who I am” (3:14). If essence and existence were not the same in God, if what he was was not the same thing as that he was, then there would exist outside of God the reason for his existence, which is absurd.

2. The Perfection of God
The perfection of God means that God lacks nothing. He is the the fullness of being. As St. Thomas says, “to be the first principle for others it is necessary to be maximally in act, and as such the most perfect being.” The more a being is like God, the more perfect it is. The fact that we can even say that one being is more perfect than another implies a most perfect being, and this, of course, is the crux of Thomas’ fifth proof for the existence of God.

3. The Goodness of God
God, who is the greatest conceivable being, is also goodness itself, since being and goodness are really convertible. A being, in so far as it is like God, is good, and a being, in so far as it is unlike God, is not. Given that all creation is ordered to this good, one might reasonably ask, “If all creation is ordered toward the supreme good, who is God, to what good may we say that God is ordered? To none other than the supreme good who is himself. The only appropriate finality for an infinite being is infinite being.”

4. The Infinity of God
the infinity of God refers to the fact that God is in no way limited. He is Subsistent being itself. “God is,” in the words of D.Q. McInerny, “without limits because He is Himself the inexhaustible source of all the riches of being.

5. The Ubiquity of God
The ubiquity of God means that God is everywhere. Not that God has a body and is “in” each and every place—God is not inside of my glass of milk in the sense that he has extension of space. Rather, what we mean when we say God is everywhere—including my glass of milk—is this: “wherever something is operating, there it is.” Since God is operating everywhere, he is everywhere. The sentiment “God is closer to you than you are to yourself,” is not just a feel-good sentiment, it’s true.

6. The Immutability of God
The sixth attribute put forward by Aquinas is His immutability, that is, his unchangeableness. If a thing changes it changes for better or for worse. If God was mutable, therefore, his changing would make him better or worse. If he made him better then he wasn’t perfect to begin with. If it made him worse, then he isn’t perfect now.

7. The Eternity of God
The philosopher Boethius, in The Consolation of Philosophy defines eternity thusly: “Eternity is the everlasting, totally simultaneous and perfect possession of life.” And this is the definition St. Thomas adopts when speaking of God’s eternity. God is eternal because he immutable. “If we are right in describing time as the measure of motion,” writes, McInerny, “we are equally right in describing eternity as the measure of permanence.”

8. The Unity of God
Unity, like goodness, and beauty, is a transcendental of being. It is because God is being that he is simple, that he is perfect unity. St. Thomas writes, “that which is simple, is undivided both with respect to act and potency.” And since it is not possible to divide God in anyway (matter/form; essence/existence, etc.) then it follows that God is perfect in unity.

———-

Quotes from D. Q McInerny were taken from his book, Natural Theology (2005).

Add a comment to this post: http://mattfradd.com/the-8-attributes-of-god/#respond

Our God; His Church and Her Authority from the bible by Pat Miron

2Pet.2:1 “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.”

Psalms 127:1
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”

Nowhere, not One Time does or has God ever permitted any set of beliefs other than HIS-OWN! Usurpation of GOD”S POWERS in not the way to heaven.

Deut.30: 15, 19 “See, I [Your God] have set before you this day life and good, death and evil. I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, “ It’s OUR Choice!

Acts.20: 28 “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God [SINGULAR] which he obtained with the blood of his own Son.”

Jesus Tells the Apostles: John.14: 26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

Romans 13: 2 “Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”

ONLY the CC, Only the Apostles and there successors have the AUTHORITY to TEACH; because THEY ALONE are protected by God Himself. Jn. 14:16-17; Jn.20:19-22; Jn.17:15-19.

Only the CC is GRANTED the MANDATE to Teach from Jesus Christ Himself.

Mt. 10:1-8 “And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity.
The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zeb’edee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And preach as you go, saying, `The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.”

Mt. 16;18-19 “And I [GOD] tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock [You Peter Singular] I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Mt. 28:16, 18-20 “ Now the eleven disciples [Apostles] went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

10 Proofs that Christianity is GROWING [reblogged]

Christianity is a dying relic of an ancient past. The Internet is killing it. Science is killing it. Western sophistication is killing it. Right?
WRONG!
Tom Hoopes is writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.

In many ways, Christianity is on the rise as never before—worldwide, and in America. Here are the ways we can tell:

1. Christianity is growing by leaps and bounds worldwide.

The research shows Christian numbers rising, not falling worldwide. “Christianity should enjoy a worldwide boom in the coming decades, but the vast majority of believers will be neither white nor European, nor Euro-American,” writes Philip Jenkins of Baylor University, author of The Next Christendom.

In America, this will mean that as white descendants of Europeansfall off a demographic cliff, they will be replaced by the growing Southern Christian and Catholic populations.

2. Nominal Christianity is dead—and that’s a good thing.

Meanwhile, in America, research showing that Christian numbers are tanking is a little misleading. What it really shows is a fall in the number of people who call themselves Christians but have never darkened the door of a Church. We no longer feel we have to dishonestly mark the “Christian” box, and we now feel it’s okay to be honest and mark the “atheist” box—but this shows health rather than weakness.

It is an interesting dynamic: In the West, the nominal Christianity that was inherited unthinkingly is disappearing and in the East and South, real Christianity is a rapidly growing grassroots movement. Books like God’s Century by Monica Duffy Toft of Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and God Is Back by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge of The Economistare trying to figure out what that will mean.

3. The Church is promoting the sacraments.

But the nominal Catholic rate still causes problems. We know various polls place Mass attendance at various small percentages. What we don’t know is the extent to which they merely show that nominal Catholics still mark “Catholic” on polls.

Another thing we also know is that the Church is promoting the first necessary step to increased Mass attendance: Confession. The Vatican’s 24 hours for the Lord March 13-14 is doing this church-wide, seeing promotions pay off in Great Britain, while events such as Chicago’s Festival of Forgiveness and Philadelphia’s confession push are doing the same in America.

4. Eucharistic Adoration is on the rise.

A good measure of whether Catholics are more than nominal is Eucharistic adoration. To spend time with Jesus Christ is the very definition of a Christian, after all. Adoration is offered at 7,094 U.S. parishes as listed by RealPresence.com. In 2005, that website’s president, Mike Mortimer, estimated that there were 715 perpetual adoration chapels in America. The Vatican now estimatesthat there are 1,100 perpetual adoration chapels in America.

The worldwide church is led by a man who prays a daily Eucharistic hour and the Church in America is actively promoting Eucharistic adoration through events like the Eucharistic Adoration Novena.

5. Catholic youth movements have never been stronger.

A movement’s future is only as strong as its next generation, and so for Catholicism to have a future it has to have a youth movement. Catholicism does. Our most recent World Youth Day attracted 3.7 million—one of the 30-year event’s largest gatherings ever.

At home, we see a pro-life force largely led by young American Catholics, which dwarfs almost every other activist movement. Tens of thousands of Catholic young people descend on Washington each January for the March for Life, and you can add to that the young people at the 115 smaller marches for life throughout the United States and the nationwide life chain events in October.

6. … and the Catholic youth movements are linked to higher education.

When I went to college, people referred to “the hardcore four” or “thriving five” Catholic colleges faithful to the magisterium. Now I work at a college and we continually hear new stories of schools trying to reclaim their Catholic identity in order to compete. Today, the National Catholic Register’s latest Catholic Identity Guide listsmore than 30 schools that are promoting the strength of their Catholic identity.

At the same time, new Catholic centers at state schools are trying to make inroads in hostile environments that dismantle students’ faith: The Seek 2015 conference of FOCUS (The Fellowship of Catholic University Students) attracted nearly 10,000 college students this year.

7. New, young vocations.

Another phenomenon you can’t help but notice in Catholic circles is hidden from official numbers: The new young vocations. We see them at Benedictine College all the time—in our classrooms, in our Abbey, and among our alumni. But because of the huge numbers of elderly priests and nuns, the total numbers of priests and nuns keeps dropping in America.

Research does show that millennials are “even more likely” to consider vocations than the generation before them, and anecdotal evidence shows that there was a Benedict Effect before there was any Francis Effect in vocations, and that priests under 35 represent a sign of hope in the Church.

8. Strong, engaged Bishops.

Complaining about bishops is a pastime as old as the Church itself. It can be done in a helpful way (see the letters of St. Paul in your New Testament) and in an unhelpful way (as in the joke about the part of the bishop-making ceremony where the candidate’s spine is removed).

But the 21st century has seen a huge change in the way American bishops engage the world. It first became noticeable with the candidacy of John Kerry, a radically pro-abortion politician whose nominal Catholicism forced bishops to take a stand. Then came the rise of Obama and the HHS mandate—which every U.S. bishop denounced. Finally, new strong bishops are emerging from what Thomas Peters calls the “Benedict Bishop Bump.”

9. A new interest in Scripture.

Many people predicted when the Da Vinci Code was popular that the long-term effect of the novel’s crazy anti-Scriptural premise would be to increase interest in Scripture. That paradoxical prediction has proven true. In the wake of the Da Vinci Code, a new interest in Scripture can be seen in popular books, television miniseries, and major Hollywood movies.

10. The witness of the martyrs.

Last but not least by a long shot is the witness of the martyrs. The beautiful way Christians are showing their deep faith and love for Jesus Christ, as I’ve said before, will grow the Church just as it did in the former atheist communist bloc, and indeed as it did in the early Church.

The bottom line is that if Christianity is true, then we can expect it will continue to rise and not die. If it’s not true, then it will certainly die—and the sooner, the better. But since Jesus Christ really did die and rise and leave us the sacraments, don’t expect it to go away any time soon.

Tom Hoopes is writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.

The Tale of the Bare Bush & the Great Maps by Pat Miron

The Tale of the
“BARE bush” and the Great “maps” Race

Another I AM a Catholic Lesson

by Patrick Miron

A long, long time ago [Before the invention of GPS] in sometimes never, never land ; a Great Race from the far East Coast to the far West Coast took place with the prize being “Winners take All.”

The race had a boodle of entrants, with a wide variety of vehicles and drivers, each thinking they had “Thee winner”; the right and necessary winning combination. And each having to “map-out” their own path; their own way to win the race, each one mapped out with what they knew [or thought they knew] or relying on what they had been told was the surest way to win.] … However for our story we’ll concentrate on the two best known personages. The “have” and the “have-not’s”. … Both having equal access to freely choose the one true and right map book; which was offered [in a recent innovation] in two versions: the Old Original in a tattered sheepskin cover, while the “New & Improved” version was bound up in dazzling colors and covers of user’s personal choice. The latter most certainly being the most fun and thus a very popular version.

The “have-not’s” drive a bright red Ferrari; while the have’s drive a plain white Chevy-Nova. [Not as flashy and fast but far better mileage] for this long trip. … Both are given sufficient time to get from one Coast to the other Coast. But remember it’s a “Winners Takes All” contest.

Obviously the Ferrari is much more fun to drive, or even to ride in. But the Chevy Nova has been tested under the most outrageous conditions, over a very long period of time and has proven its worth time and time again. It may not be flashy as and fun; but it is been proven to be darn reliable.

Much ado is made of the wagers bets. Some, even most have placed their life savings on the line; all with equal expectations of winning the much sought after prize. Some betting foolishly, while others seem to have an insider’s knowledge and a high degree of confidence; being more conservative in placing their bets. The “KEY” ” is to know the best route among the many seemingly obvious options. After all; there can be only one “best way.” But then again the cars themselves have to be factored in [or so we’d expect].

Here are the instructions, and guidelines given in 3 parts, for the Great Race: Both of our chosen racers receive the same essential instruction, which may have been updated with new and “improved maps” in the Cover color of choice versions; while the well-worn [from a lot of use] sheepskin versions remains the less flashy, but tried and true version.

Jeremiah 17:5-10 “Thus saith the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like tamaric in the desert, and he shall not see when good shall come: but he shall dwell in dryness in the desert in a salt land, and not inhabited. Blessed be the man that trusteth in the Lord, and the Lord shall be his confidence. And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture: and it shall not fear when the heat cometh. And the leaf thereof shall be green, and in the time of drought it shall not be solicitous, neither shall it cease at any time to bring forth fruit. The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable, who can know it? I am the Lord who search the heart and prove the reins: who give to every one according to his way, and according to the fruit of his devices.”

Psalm 1: 1-4 ,6 “Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the chair of pestilence. But his will is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he shall meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree which is planted near the running waters, which shall bring forth its fruit, in due season. And his leaf shall not fall off: and all whatsoever he shall do shall prosper. Not so the wicked, not so: but like the dust, which the wind driveth from the face of the earth. Therefore the wicked shall not rise again in judgment: nor sinners in the council of the just. …For the Lord knoweth the way of the just: and the way of the wicked shall perish”

These last directions being slightly modified to fit our Race Story:

John 8:12 Cf.“I am the light of the world: he that [really] follows me, drives not in darkness, but shall have the route to win” … & John 14:6 Cf. “Jesus said to them: I am the way, and the true way, to win. No man can win, [except by following me [and my one right set of directions.]”
The drivers of the Chevy Nova Team choose to take the path less worn; traveling over much rocky terrain; Great Mountain’s and wide deserts. Enduring much but knowing this was the most direct route, and the surest way. … While the Ferrari Team choose the New Super Express Ways loaded with comfort stops, and great places to eat and relax, knowing they had the fastest vehicle. Self-assured and even cocky is their attitudes of “certainly” having the winning combinations of best route and vehicle. They knew what THEY KNEW!
The Nova Team had prepared well, having conditioned their minds and bodies; and having stocked up on all the food, drink, and other necessary supplies; knowing if they were going to win, that would have to go “non-stop.” Over Rocky terrain, and deserts, forgoing creature comforts and rely on stamina in order to make up the difference of speed by long -tested reliability and personal sacrifices.

The Ferrari Team was also prepared, given what was at stake in winning or losing the race, by having a lot of charge cards, much cash and planning out where they would spend their nights in creature comfort so they would be rested for the following day, and also to avoid the darkness, not wanting to risk an accident.
Well the Race seemingly took a life time; but like the tale of the Tortoise and Hare; the right map book, combined with personal sacrifices of the Nova Team WON THE RACE. Nothing in life comes without a price to pay. We can choose to “pay now”, or to “play now” and pay later. The Nova Team took shortest but far more demanding route; choosing to “pay now” in order to WIN the Race of Life.

Dear friends, which team do you want to be on?

It is NOT about us, and what WE like, what WE want, what WE prefer. In the “game” of life or death it’s all about GOD! What does God want, what does GOD command; what does GOD actually Teach and expect? And the answer is quite simple. God want’s YOU to Hear and Obey Him, which is precisely why He choose to establish just One True Church; today’s Catholic Church.

Duet. 30: 19-20 “I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose therefore life, that both thou and thy seed may live: And that thou mayst love the Lord thy God, and obey his voice, and adhere to him (for he is thy life, and the length of thy days,) that thou mayst dwell in the land, for which the Lord swore to thy fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that he would give it them.”
Take Up your Cross and Follow Me

Phil.2: 8 “And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross Luke.9 :23 And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.Mark.8: 34 And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Luke.9: 23 And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke.14: 7 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” Matt.5: 19 “Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. “ Matt.19: 17 “And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”

“Some truths are so obvious that only experts can deny them”
C.S. Lewis
God Bless one and all,
Patrick

St. John Sin & the Bible by Pat Miron

Some Teachings of … Saint JOHN on SIN
by Pat Miron

John.8: [3] The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst [4] they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. … [10] Jesus looked up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.” [BECAUSE OF her Faith in Jesus he forgives her the sin and tells her not to sin again.]

[12] Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” … [13] The Pharisees then said to him, “You are bearing witness to yourself; your testimony is not true.” … [17] In your law it is written that the testimony of two men is true; [18] I bear witness to myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness to me.” …[24] I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.”

[25] They said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Even what I have told you from the beginning. …[28] So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me.

[31] Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, [which MEANS TO LISTEN; TO HEAR; TO ACCEPT AND TO LIVE ACCORDINGLY …ONLY THEN] you are truly my disciples, [MEANS “THE new ‘Chosen-people’ of God”] [32] and you will know [BELIEVE What I Teach] …the truth, and the truth will make you free.” [ALL SINGULAR]

[34] Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin.
[35] The [SINNER] slave does not continue in the house for ever [means: DOES NOT MERIT ETERNAL LIFE]; [BUT] the son continues for ever. [36] So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. [SAVED].

[43] Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. [44] You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. [45] But, because [AND] I tell the truth, [BUT] you [STILL] do not believe me. [46] Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?

[47] He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” [48] The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” [49] Jesus answered, “I have not a demon; but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. [50] Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it and he will be the judge.

[51] Truly, truly, I say to you, if any one keeps my word, he will never see death.”

[54] Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say that he is your God. [55] But you have not known him; I know him. If I said, I do not know him, I should be a liar like you; but I do know him and I keep his word.

[56] Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad.”
[57] The Jews then said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”
[58] Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

John.1:1-5 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

1John.1 Verses 8 to 10 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

1John.5 Verses 16 to 17 “If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.

John.20 Verses 20 to 23” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained”

Heb.5 Verses 1 to 6 “For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was.” John.15: 16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

Bible passages that reference CONFESION OF SINS

THE OLD TESTEMANT / OLD COVENANT WAY: … Lev. 16: 20-22 OT Forgiveness of sins: [20] “And when he has made an end of atoning for the holy place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall present the live goat; and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins; and he shall put them upon the head of the goat, and send him away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities upon him to a solitary land; and he shall let the goat go in the wilderness.”

I confess my iniquity, I am sorry for my sin. Psalm 38: 18

Do not be ashamed to confess your sins, Sir. 4:26

When a man is guilty in any of these, he shall confess the sin he has committed Lev. 5:5

he shall confess his sin which he has committed; and he shall make full restitution for his wrong Num. 5:7

Proverbs 28:13 “Those who conceal their sins do not prosper, but those who confess and forsake them obtain mercy.”

Sirach 4:26 “Do not be ashamed to acknowledge your sins, and do not struggle against a rushing stream.”

I acknowledged my sin to thee, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; then thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:5

Heb. 8:13 In speaking of a new covenant he treats the first as obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

And here is Christ, who is God, NEW COVENANT WAY of Forgiveness of sins

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Mt. 16:19

Jesus said to them [the Apostles] again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” Jn .20:021-23

1 Jn. 1:8-10 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

Eph. 4: 17 “Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; 18 they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart; 19 they have become callous and have given themselves up to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of uncleanness.”

First Peter 2: “So put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander. Like newborn babes, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation;

Romans 1: 24 ”Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.”

Romans 2: 13 -16 “For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. “

Matthew 11: 25 ”At that time Jesus declared, “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.

1: John 5: 16 If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal. [Mortal sin is so grievous that it completely separates us from a personal relationship with God until we BOTH repent and Confess! Pjm]

Acts.8:22 Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.

http://www.agapebiblestudy.com

The Old Covenant people of God understood the necessity of confession and repentance of sins to remain in fellowship with God. All sin sacrifices began with confession of sin and all peace offerings (communion sacrifices) with a confession of praise. These Old Covenant animal sacrifices prefigured the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Heb 10:1-10).

1Tim.6: 12 “Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

2 Cor. 7: 10 “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death.”

Matt.9 [6] But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — he then said to the paralytic — “Rise, take up your bed and go home.” [8] When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

Matt.10: [1] And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity

Matt.28: [18] And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. This authority was given by the Father to the HUMAN NATURE of Jesus. Christ as God always possessed it. It was given in conjunction to the merits of Christ earned by His passion and death.

James 4: 7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind.” All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him”

Mt. 7: 21 “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.”

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” Mt. 19: 17our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 Jn. 1: 9

Heb. 9: 15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred which redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant.

Heb. 3: 1 “Therefore, holy brethren, who share in a heavenly call, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession”

Dear friends in Christ, if your method of personal sin forgiveness differs from this, WHICH IS GOD’S PRECISELY TAUGHT AND DESIRED MANNER; you would be well advised to consider that TRUTH is and must be singular. God used priest in the Old Testament times; WHY would He not follow his own Tradition and do so now under the New Covenant? The Sinners Prayer and Altar Calls are BOTH recent man-made innovations; neither is GOD approved. Amen!

Lenten Fasting or Feasting by Dr. M. Ambrosio

Lenten Fasting or Feasting?
By: Marcellino D’Ambrosio, Ph.D

Is Lent about fasting or feasting? Maybe the two are related, says this commentary on the story of the barren fig tree from the gospel of Luke chapter 13. Prayer. Fasting. Almsgiving. Three inter-related fertilizers for Roman Catholics and all Christians which help barren fig trees bear fruit.

Fig Tree, Lent, Catholic Church, Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio
Some think Lent is a time for fasting. I see it as a time of feasting.

I come to this conclusion based on the story of the fig tree in Luke 13. Three years without bearing fruit. What could be the problem? The owner figures that it is simply a dud and wants to cut it down. The vinedresser, a little more in touch with nature, comes to a different conclusion. Maybe all that is needed to turn things around is a bit of fertilizer.

As we look at Christians in America, we have to be honest. A full 82% of us say we are Christians. So where’s the fruit? We’re certainly feeding ourselves often enough, with about 67% of us overweight. Obviously what we’re consuming is not quite the right nourishment to produce the desired results.
Junk Food, Obesity, Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio, Lent

So Lent is a time to examine our diet and make some changes. First, let’s cut the junk food from the diet so we are not so bloated. It could be the chips, fries, burgers, and cokes that drain our pocketbooks and make us lethargic. Or it could be too many hours of radio, TV, and the web which fill our heads with so much noise that we can’t sit still, quiet down and listen to God. Let’s turn it all off for a while.

Yes, this is fasting. But the goal is to save our appetite so that we can feast on other things such as the Word of God. When’s the last time you sat down and read an entire book of the bible, from start to finish? (If not all in one sitting, over the course of a few days). Exodus makes for a good Lenten read, since I Cor 10 tells us that Israel’s odyssey was for our sake, to provide an example. When was the last time you identified a short, poignant Bible text and memorized it, repeating it daily, even several times a day, meditating on it, applying it to various aspects of your life?

How about the Eucharist, the greatest nourishment of all? Lent is a great time to go more often, even daily. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass is like stimulating the appetite before the meal (aperitif) or taking time to digest it afterwards (digestif). Either way, adoration helps us derive more benefit from our Eucharistic feast.

Franco Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth, Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio, Lent, Catholic ChurchThen there is the time we devote to entertainment. Could we not redirect some of those hours to entertainment that nourishes our spiritual life? Mel Gibson’s film on the Lord’s passion was released on Ash Wednesday, 2004 for a reason. It is offered as a Lenten meditation to help us understand the shocking consequences of sin and the astounding Love that lays down his life for his friends. Get some folks together and watch this powerful film on DVD. If you fear the violence of The Passion of the Christ would be too much for you, rent Franco Zeffirili’s “Jesus of Nazareth” and watch it with family and friends. If you prefer books, read the life of a saint or the provocative religious fiction of an author such as C.S. Lewis.

Finally, one of the most spiritually nourishing and energizing experiences of all is giving of ourselves. We call it almsgiving. It is in giving that we receive, says the Prayer of St. Francis. If we save money from fasting, let’s give it away. There are the corporal works of mercy such as feeding the hungry. Then there are the spiritual works of mercy, such as feeding the spiritually hungry, the millions of inactive and nominal Christians and unchurched people that starve to death for lack of the Word of God. Soup kitchens and evangelization ministries both need our support.

Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving, Lent, Catholic Church, Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio
Prayer. Fasting. Almsgiving. Three inter-related fertilizers to help the barren fig tree bear fruit. But keep in mind the owner’s directive– fertilize it for a year, and if we see no results, fetch the axe. So no more excuses. No more procrastinating. Let’s vow to make this Lent count. There may not be another.