‘Mother of Jesus’ Category Archives

17
Dec

CHRISTMAS THEN AND NOW: focussing on what is real.

by Arnold Jago in Contemplation, History, Jesus, Mother of Jesus

The historical Wise Men at first followed human logic, seeking the Child Jesus at the palace of the corrupt King Herod.
From our knowledge of Herod’s recorded life — killer and adulterer — his court was definitely the wrong place.
The Wise Men turned away from all that, to put faith in God’s wisdom and follow his star to Bethlehem.
Saint Matthew’s gospel, chapter 2:
“Seeing the Child with his mother Mary, they bowed down and worshipped him.
“Then opening their treasures, presented him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
“Being warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country a different way.”
We might do the same — at this special time turning for guidance to God, ignoring worldly distractions and focussing our attention on Jesus Christ, who is the reason for the season.

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13
Aug

ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY: can they coexist?

by Arnold Jago in Faith, God, Mary, Mother of Jesus, Multiculturalism

In Pakistan, August 12 is “National Minorities Day”.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani yesterday reaffirmed his government’s “obligation to strengthen the bond of love and promote culture of tolerance”.

He quoted a government decision to reserve a percentage of minorities in the government and said, “Extremism is a serious threat to the fabric of our society . . . perpetrators of crime against minority communities anywhere in Pakistan must be brought to justice, and they will be.”

Sounds pretty good. But is it believable?

Australian politicians also make some hardly-believable claims . . . for example, that Islam is basically a peaceful faith;  that terrorists are the exception – bad Muslims.

Was the Prophet Mohammed himself, therefore, a “bad Muslim”?

He personally ordered the annihilation of whole cities, and the beheading of those who failed to submit to his religion.

Such stories aren’t inventions of enemies of Islam, but are recorded in the writings of traditional Muslim authorities.

* * *

The Catholic faith teaches that there is one God, who is a Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Muslims are angered by such a suggestion.

Catholics believe that Jesus Christ was/is God’s only-begotten Son.

Muslims believe that “Allah has no son”.

So is there any point at which Muslims and Christians can come together?

* *  *

Islam’s holy book, the Qur’an, mentions the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY 37 times. It seems little interested in the mother of Mohammed.

* The Qur’an speaks of Mary as having  unique dignity:  “Remember when the angels said, O, Mary! Verily God hath chosen thee, and purified thee, and chosen thee above the women of the world.” (3:42)

* Mary’s sinlessness is also proclaimed by the Qur’an: “With goodly acceptance did her Lord accept her, and with goodly growth did he make her grow.”  (3:32)

* Islamic writers quote the Prophet saying, “Fatima (his own daughter) would be the chief of the women of Paradise, were it not for Mary, daughter of Imran (i.e. the Mother of Jesus)”.   (Ibn Hanbal, Musnad 3:80)

Something to think about.

 Mary shared in the sufferings of her Son, by which we are redeemed from our sins. That is why Catholics call her our Co-redemptrix.

8
Jun

POPE BENEDICT VISITS CATHOLIC CROATIA: Working towards a Christian Europe?

by Arnold Jago in Faith, Happiness, History, Mary, Mother of Jesus, Truth

Pope Benedict XVI spent last weekend in Croatia.

He made it clear that he favours Croatia entering the European Union.

The Pope sees it as an opportunity for Catholic Croatia to help reverse the drift of Europe towards becoming a dreary flatland of secularism, materialism, relativism and atheism.

And he insists that there can be no absolute separation of religion and political affairs.

* * *

At a prayer vigil attended by 25,000 young people he laboured that very point.

Young friends,” he said, “Do not let yourselves be led astray by enticing promises of easy success . . . putting all your trust in possessions, in material things, while abandoning the search for the Truth that is always greater.”

He reminded those young friends of the words of Saint Paul who wrote to his friends, “Rejoice in the Lord always . . . .”

Reminding them also that Saint Paul wrote those words while in prison — in chains — the Pope proclaimed to those young Croatians that “the Gospel cannot be chained”.

* * *

He kept returning also to the importance of Catholics venerating the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, rightly called “Mother  of God”.

His closing words to the young people were, “I wish to entrust each of you to her, asking her to accompany and protect you and, above all, to help you to encounter the Lord, and in him discover the meaning of life.

“I leave you my blessing, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always!’

“May this joy, the joy of true love, be your strength.

“Amen. Praised be Jesus and Mary!’”

Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Zagreb, Croatia.

28
Dec

DID YOU HAVE A HAPPY CHRISTMAS? Better than Ricky Ponting’s? It is not too late, even now.

by Arnold Jago in Happiness, Jesus, Mary, Mother of Jesus, Sacraments, Suffering

We should all be happy about Christmas, the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The fact is that only Jesus can solve the real problems of mankind.

All real problems of men derive from sin (disobedience to God).

Health disorders, material, economic and political troubles – even bad decisions by umpires – all these are only really problems insofar as they affect our spiritual relationship with God.

* * *

That’s why Christmas is a good thing.

Christmas carries the message that there is a remedy for our troubles — the remedy being God’s forgiveness for our sins.

If we continue in unforgiven sin, we are a waste of both time and space – and can expect God to treat us as such.

So the problem of sin is serious.

Fatally serious.

The answer to that problem is NOT for us to make up our minds to do better.

That way we’ll merely discover that we’re incapable of persevering in “doing better” for any length of time — because we’re spiritually broken, and can only be repaired by supernatural means.

The supernatural means being found exclusively in the confessional at a Catholic Church.

We might think it would be nice if there were some other alternative remedy — but there is none.

* * *

Anyway we don’t need an alternative.

God loves us enough to have given us the way back to him that we need.

Do we hate ourselves so much as to not accept his loving gift?

God will forgive because the sacrificial death of the God-made-man, Jesus Christ, was so infinitely meritorious  . . . .

So meritorious that it more than counterbalances all our attempts to make an enemy of God by disobeying him.

* * *

Let us thank God for his plan for our salvation, and for that first Christmas Day when it began to make itself apparent here on earth.

Let us also thank the Blessed Virgin Mary for her part in the birth — and in the Passion and death — of our Saviour.

Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Co-Redemptrix, Please pray for us..

25
Dec

CHRISTMAS: A time to be thankful and humble.

by Arnold Jago in Contemplation, Family, God, Mother of Jesus, Multiculturalism, Truth

Last year, various political celebrities commemorated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

German chancellor, Angela Merkel, escorted leaders, including the Russian president, the French President, the British Prime Minister and the US Secretary of State, through the Brandenburg Gate.

“Today marks a truly happy moment of German and European history,” she said.

Nicely put.

* * *

Then, would you believe, President Barack Obama made a “surprise” video address to the celebrants.

“This anniversary is a reminder that human destiny will be what we make of it,” he announced.

Plus more of the same, like, “Human destiny is what human beings make up.”

From the sublime to the ridiculous.

To learn anything from the Berlin Wall, let’s start by admitting that human destiny is NOT what we make of it.

Human destiny is what God makes of it.

* * *

Christmas is a good reminder of how absolutely we are dependent on God — for our destiny here on earth — and in the hereafter.

Christmas might be a good time to try to get our minds in tune with reality.

Attend church on Christmas Day.

Start making some kind of personal sacrifices.  Go without some luxury — no sugar in your tea, no junk food, anything . . . .

Any sacrifice, even a small one, can help us to become humble as Our Lord was.

God says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit (the humble who rate themselves insignificant) for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”  (Saint Matthew’s gospel, chapter 5)

Thank God for his love.

22
Dec

WHY THE CHRISTMAS RETAIL SALES SLUMP? Weather? Interest rates? Global economy? Boredom? Who knows?

by Arnold Jago in Australia, God, Mary, Mother of Jesus

The Australian Retailers’ Association reports that the 2010 pre-Christmas spending got off to a slow start.

Consumers simply have not been spending as much as expected.

Many were carefully seeking out discounted items.

Rainy days have been worst — making shop incomes patchy.

Will this apparent downturn be maintained? Or will there be a last minute catch-up?

Tricky question.

* * *

The important thing to remember about the downturn is that it is not very important.

Christmas does not depend for its meaning on buying and selling consumer items.

What Christmas WOULD be meaningless without is the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Many people seem not to really know much about the Mother of Jesus . . . .

Or what the Church really teaches about her . . . .

* * *

For a start, in the Catholic religion, Mary is NOT worshipped.

That would be absurd. Worshipping a human being would be disobedience to the first of the Ten Commandments, and a mortal sin.

But Catholics do honour Mary – in exactly the same way that God honours her.

Mary is a unique human being – but a human being only. There is no notion of her being a “goddess”.

Mary is called “Mother of God” because the Catholic religion accepts that her son, Jesus Christ, is God.

He is both truly God and truly man.

This concept is not as easy to understand as we might like it to be – but that does not stop it being true.

* * *

Catholics address Mary in certain prayers, asking her to pray/intercede to God on our behalf.

In much the same way that you might ask your own mother to pray for you.

Jesus came to us through Mary at the first Christmas.

He wants us now to come to him through Mary today . . . .

Blessed Virgin Mary . . . No Mary, no Christmas.