‘Jesus’ Category Archives
The day to either celebrate — or to deliberately ignore — the birth of Jesus Christ.
Whatever else he was, this Jewish prophet had a message for the whole world that he called the “Kingdom of God”.
He taught us to pray for the coming of that Kingdom:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name,
“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as in heaven.
“Give us today our daily bread — and forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
That was the prayer.
He followed immediately with the comment:
“Yes, if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours;
“But if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.” **
The prayer is 2000 years old.
The commitment is one that we have, so far, not disciplined ourselves to live by.
If, with God’s help, we did live by it, would not the problems of fear, terror, genocide, gossiping, broken homes – all such things going on unchecked in our greedy world – start to give way to a new, better world?
Are you (am I?) willing to start praying it and doing it at the personal level — starting now?
(** source: Saint Matthew’s gospel, chapter 6)
by Arnold Jago in Common Sense, Contemplation, God, Jesus, Politics
September 21 is celebrated in Catholic Tradition as the Feast of Saint Matthew.
Matthew is traditionally considered the author of the 28-chapter account of Christ’s life entitled in printed bibles “The Gospel according to Saint Matthew”.
Saint Matthew’s gospel differs from those of Saints Mark, Luke and John its more Jewish flavour and more detailed account of Christ’s words about what God’s “kingdom” really is and what it might look like if brought into existence on this earth.
A 1964 film based on this gospel called “The Gospel According to Matthew”, directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini can be viewed online.
You’ll need to set aside just over two hours. It might stir up some thoughts.
by Arnold Jago in Faith, Jesus, Persecution
“JESUS my Saviour,
At this holy time
Help me to remember
How you lived your life:
Helping poorest people.
Healing sick and blind.
Plus the things you taught us
And the way you died….”
“MEN crucified you.
Stupid and unjust.
You did not deserve it:
Fills me with disgust.
Yet your death is precious:
Fills my eyes with tears.
You took it out of love for God
And for sinners just like me….”
“SUDDENLY I’m filled with joy:
A different kind of tears.
Whatever be your will for me,
No sacrifice will I refuse:
Rich or poor, just as you please.
There’s nothing I would not attempt.
There’s nothing I would not accept.
To show my grateful love for you.”
by Arnold Jago in Faith, History, Jesus, Persecution
When Iraq was invaded in 2003, there were 1,500,000 million Christians living there. Now it’s 400,000 – and falling.
The city of Mosul alone held 60,000 Christians. Now, since the ISIS takeover, there are none.
Arguably, the USA and friends created ISIS as a result of their backing the wrong side in the civil war in Syria.
Some commentators warned that it would happen. For example, see “Clinton” at: http://marymackillop.org/category/suffering/page/4
It was pretty obvious.
Christian church leaders on the spot where the violence is worst are recommending forgiveness and patience to their followers.
Seemingly quite impractical, even suicidal – yet is it not the way their founder Jesus Christ preached and practised?
Meanwhile many Muslims are converting to Christianity.
One estimate, according to Al-Jazeerah, is 16,000 per day in Africa alone: https://muslimstatistics.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/al-jazeerah-6-million-muslims-convert-to-christianity-in-africa-each-year/comment-page-1/
by Arnold Jago in Faith, God, History, Jesus, Multiculturalism
Today, January 6, is the last of the “Twelve Days of Christmas”.
Tomorrow take down your Christmas decorations. Not before.
If you’ve already taken them down, put them up again.
Then take them down again tomorrow.
Everybody knows that Christmas has twelve days – perhaps from hearing that carol entitled “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.
However, nobody seems sure what that carol is all about. Is it a message in code? Doubtful.
But there’s no doubt why there are twelve days — not just one day — of Christmas.
December 25 traditionally celebrates Jesus’s birth.
January 6 (Epiphany day) celebrates the “Wise Men from the East” paying him their respects.
Twelve days later. As per the Gospel of Saint Matthew.
“Epiphany” means “manifesting” or “show-casing”.
In this case, Jesus’s manifestation to — not only his own race — but also to alien enquirers.
At its simplest, today is a memory-jogger that God loves not only the people we’d expect him to love – those with the “right” religion . . . .
But also those who have the theory arguably wrong but are honestly seeking him and the goodness that belongs to him.
by Arnold Jago in Common Sense, Family, Forgiving, Happiness, Jesus
Every week doesn’t it get worse — the media full of terrible and frightening events?
But this week, let’s focus on something good.
Think back to the life and death of that Jewish baby born on the first Christmas Day.
In that stable where Jesus Christ first saw light of day there were no high-tech toys. Yet there was joy.
His “swaddling clothes” carried no designer-labels. But there was contentment.
No feast, no pudding. Yet there was satisfaction.
No real security or safety. But, miraculously, there was faith.
The Christmas miracle is that God is generous and God is love.
This week, as we gather as families, please share love.
If there are chips on shoulders, forgive.
Offer God our future.
That way, however seemingly bad the news, God will give us loving hearts to work together for a better world.