Oracle of the Lord and His Promises

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that Father gave us a new study Bible during class that we will be using for the duration. The other night we started that journey. He showed us that there is a reading guide section at the beginning of this Bible that is about 574 pages. When you go to a Book inside the Bible, at the heading of each chapter there is a grey box that tells you what pages in the reading guide correspond to what you will be reading. It’s an extremely helpful tool. At the same time though, at the beginning of each book, there is an excerpt explaining that book, so it’s almost like having two reading guides!

In order to show us how this worked, and to stay on topic of the Old and New Covenants, Father gave us a passage in the Bible that he wanted us to read allowed. It was in The Book of Jeremiah, Chapter 31:35-37 (Certainty of God’s Promise)

35 – Thus says the Lord,

Who gives the sun to light the day, Moon and stars to light the night; 

Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar, whose name is the LORD of hosts.

36 – If ever this fixed order gives way before me – oracle of the Lord – 

Then would the offspring of Isreal cease as a people before me forever.

37 –  This says the Lord:

If the heavens on high could be measured, or the foundations below the earth be explored,

Then would I reject all offspring of Isreal Because of all they have done – Oracle of the Lord.

Well, what in the world is this ORACLE OF THE LORD? My Zelda playing self-was thinking orbs and such so having this reading guide certainly helped lol!

Oracle of the Lord means = “It is the Lord who speaks.” Thank you, Father, for explaining that to me because it made NO SENSE at all. The book of Jeremiah has this phrase throughout, and I just could NOT make sense of it. Once he told me, everything was now in perspective and made much more sense. So in this passage, God is basically telling Isreal that if you break my covenant you’re done, don’t bother calling on me because I have you on auto-ignore, these are My words, period end of story. Whew, got it… Glad it wasn’t only me though, my classmate was about as clueless as I was! lol! Between Father and the reading guide, I think I got this!

Moving on to the new covenant.

Before I get started I need to preface by saying I’m blonde and I never put two and two together that there are TWO covenants and they correspond with the TWO Testaments, the Old, and the New.

I mentioned above that back in the Old Testament God was the Punisher. If Isreal disobeyed then it was lights out for them and their future generations. But with the NEW testament that all kinda changed as explained in Hebrews Chapter 8:7-12:

7 – For if that first covenant had been faultless, no place would have been sought for a second one.

8 – But he finds fault with them and says:

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord,

when I will conclude a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

9 – It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers

the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt;

for they did not stand by my covenant

and I ignored them, says the Lord.

10 – But this is the covenant I will establish with the house of Israel

after those days, says the Lord:

I will put my laws in their minds

and I will write them upon their hearts.

I will be their God,

and they shall be my people.

11 – And they shall not teach, each one his fellow citizen

and kinsman, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’

for all shall know me,

from least to greatest.

12 – For I will forgive their evildoing

and remember their sins no more.”

With this declaration, the Lord made obsolete the Old Covenant as Jesus’ death marked a new beginning thus the New Covenant.

To most of you, you already knew this, but to me? The blonde over here? It never clicked or connected, EVER, until my last RCIA class. I feel as if it’s all starting to make sense and connect now. The Bible doesn’t seem as daunting to me as it did a little over a week ago. The reading and the Book guides certainly help and they have a lot of cross-references with other books and even the CCC (Catechism of the Catholic Church).

I started to read the Book of Matthew the other night, my dining room table literally looked like a mad scientists table. I had bibles all over, my laptop, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and papers everywhere all because of these guides. They helped me cross-reference and understand point by point what was going on in the Book of Matthew, and I have to say I have a new found appreciation for The Bible because I have more of an understanding of how to navigate it.

So tell me! Did you ever have an A HA! moment when it came to the Bible? are you still waiting for yours? Please tell me in the comments below! I would love to hear your story!

 

Reading for Nov. 14, 2018

Wednesday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 493

Reading 1 TI 3:1-7

Beloved:
Remind them to be under the control of magistrates and authorities,
to be obedient, to be open to every good enterprise.
They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate,
exercising all graciousness toward everyone.
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded,
slaves to various desires and pleasures,
living in malice and envy,
hateful ourselves and hating one another.But when the kindness and generous love
of God our savior appeared,
not because of any righteous deeds we had done
but because of his mercy,
he saved us through the bath of rebirth
and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
whom he richly poured out on us
through Jesus Christ our savior,
so that we might be justified by his grace
and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

Responsorial Psalm PS 23:1B-3A, 3BC-4, 5, 6

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Alleluia 1 THES 5:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
In all circumstances, give thanks,
for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”

Reading for Nov. 13, 2018

Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin
Lectionary: 492

Reading 1 TI 2:1-8, 11-14

Beloved:
You must say what is consistent with sound doctrine,
namely, that older men should be temperate, dignified,
self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and endurance.
Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior,
not slanderers, not addicted to drink,
teaching what is good, so that they may train younger women
to love their husbands and children,
to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers,
under the control of their husbands,
so that the word of God may not be discredited.Urge the younger men, similarly, to control themselves,
showing yourself as a model of good deeds in every respect,
with integrity in your teaching, dignity, and sound speech
that cannot be criticized,
so that the opponent will be put to shame
without anything bad to say about us.For the grace of God has appeared, saving all
and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires
and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,
as we await the blessed hope,
the appearance of the glory of the great God
and of our savior Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness
and to cleanse for himself a people as his own,
eager to do what is good.

Responsorial Psalm PS 37:3-4, 18 AND 23, 27 AND 29

R. (39a) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart’s requests.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted;
their inheritance lasts forever.
By the LORD are the steps of a man made firm,
and he approves his way.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
The just shall possess the land
and dwell in it forever.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

Alleluia JN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 17:7-10

Jesus said to the Apostles:
“Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’?
Would he not rather say to him,
‘Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished’?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded, say,
‘We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.'”

RCIA – Communion of Saints and an Ugly Cry

 

I believe in God,
the Father Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended into hell;
on the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from there He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of Saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.

Amen

If you believe in the communion of Saints you better believe we are!

At least that’s what I was told during RCIA class on Monday. Again, *mind blown*.

I’ve been reciting the Apostles Creed since I can remember (but I still need it in front of me to remember it word for word, don’t ask me why). I’ve always understood the Communion of Saints to mean THE SAINTS – the ones that are canonized already. Such is not the case apparently. We are saints, just not canonized yet. If we did not believe in the communion of saints we would most likely believe we are all sinners that aren’t going anywhere but hell. That Jesus died for absolutely nothing.

We are all sinners. There isn’t one perfect person that walks this Earth at the moment (that we know of). With that being said even the Saints who have been Canonized were also sinners… There hasn’t been (with the exception of Our Blessed Mother) nor is there one perfect person among us, we are who He died for to save. So when we say Communion of Saints we mean us so that we may pass over into Heaven. I’m a believer! Though I do struggle with the whole Purgatory thing, I’m sure that will also come up in class eventually.

After reflecting on this and thinking about purgatory this week (for some reason) I felt drawn back to my Rosary. I’ve been away from the Rosary since the time of the Ugly Cry and the pain I felt while I was reciting it. Well, that didn’t really change much. Last night I decided to get back to my Rosary and it happened all over again. The UGLY CRY sans the pain this time. I thought that maybe if I took a break I would disconnect my emotions, but such was not the case. It was INTENSE, but not as intense as the last time, and It only happens when I reserve a Decade to the Church. When I reserve a Decade for the homeless, or people with illnesses and their caretakers I don’t get that. ONLY when it’s for The Church. It’s very surreal and interesting at the same time. If I remember, I’ll talk to Father at the next class.

So tell me! Have you ever had a surreal Rosary experience? Do you interpret the Communion of Saints the same as I did prior to being taught what it really means? Please let me know int he comments! I would love to hear your story.

 

 

Reading for Nov. 12, 2018

Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr
Lectionary: 491

Reading 1 TI 1:1-9

Paul, a slave of God and Apostle of Jesus Christ
for the sake of the faith of God’s chosen ones
and the recognition of religious truth,
in the hope of eternal life
that God, who does not lie, promised before time began,
who indeed at the proper time revealed his word
in the proclamation with which I was entrusted
by the command of God our savior,
to Titus, my true child in our common faith:
grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior.For this reason I left you in Crete
so that you might set right what remains to be done
and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you,
on condition that a man be blameless,
married only once, with believing children
who are not accused of licentiousness or rebellious.
For a bishop as God’s steward must be blameless, not arrogant,
not irritable, not a drunkard, not aggressive,
not greedy for sordid gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness,
temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled,
holding fast to the true message as taught
so that he will be able both to exhort with sound doctrine
and to refute opponents.

Responsorial Psalm PS 24:1B-2, 3-4AB, 5-6

R. (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Alleluia PHIL 2:15D, 16A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Shine like lights in the world,
as you hold on to the word of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 17:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples,
“Things that cause sin will inevitably occur,
but woe to the one through whom they occur.
It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck
and he be thrown into the sea
than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
Be on your guard!
If your brother sins, rebuke him;
and if he repents, forgive him.
And if he wrongs you seven times in one day
and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’
you should forgive him.”And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree,
‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

Reading for Nov. 11, 2018

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 155

Reading 1 1 KGS 17:10-16

In those days, Elijah the prophet went to Zarephath.
As he arrived at the entrance of the city,
a widow was gathering sticks there; he called out to her,
“Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink.”
She left to get it, and he called out after her,
“Please bring along a bit of bread.”
She answered, “As the LORD, your God, lives,
I have nothing baked; there is only a handful of flour in my jar
and a little oil in my jug.
Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks,
to go in and prepare something for myself and my son;
when we have eaten it, we shall die.”
Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid.
Go and do as you propose.
But first make me a little cake and bring it to me.
Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son.
For the LORD, the God of Israel, says,
‘The jar of flour shall not go empty,
nor the jug of oil run dry,
until the day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.'”
She left and did as Elijah had said.
She was able to eat for a year, and he and her son as well;
the jar of flour did not go empty,
nor the jug of oil run dry,
as the LORD had foretold through Elijah.

Responsorial Psalm PS 146:7, 8-9, 9-10

R. (1b) Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 HEB 9:24-28

Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands,
a copy of the true one, but heaven itself,
that he might now appear before God on our behalf.
Not that he might offer himself repeatedly,
as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary
with blood that is not his own;
if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly
from the foundation of the world.
But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages
to take away sin by his sacrifice.
Just as it is appointed that human beings die once,
and after this the judgment, so also Christ,
offered once to take away the sins of many,
will appear a second time, not to take away sin
but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.

Alleluia MT 5:3

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 12:38-44

In the course of his teaching Jesus said to the crowds,
“Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes
and accept greetings in the marketplaces,
seats of honor in synagogues,
and places of honor at banquets.
They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext
recite lengthy prayers.
They will receive a very severe condemnation.”He sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.
Many rich people put in large sums.
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
“Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood.”

Or MK 12:41-44

Jesus sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.
Many rich people put in large sums.
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
“Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood.”

What Distracts us from Christ?

Do not love the world or the things in the world.

If anyone loves the world,

the love of the Father is not in him.

1 John 2:15

In my last post regarding RCIA, I mentioned our assignment was to answer the question: “What distracts us from Christ?”

I didn’t jump on this assignment right away. I wanted to sit back and watch daily life a little and REALLY pay attention to what some of my distractions, and those of people I know, are. We didn’t get to review the distractions this past week because we ran out of time, but here’s a small list of what I feel the distractions are:

      1. TV/Celebrity/Sports
      2. Internet/Socia Media
      3. Jobs/Career/Money
      4. Family/Relationships
      5. Friends
      6. Hobbies
      7. Ourselves
      8. Church

Most of them are self-explanatory; the two that might be a little hard to grasp at first are:

      1. Ourselves &
      2. Church

Ourselves: We are our own distraction from Christ. We have our own personal wants and desires and sometimes that means being so self-absorbed in thought that we don’t take into consideration our actions and thoughts that don’t include Christ. Take for instance you are in a hurry to go somewhere for whatever reason and you either get stuck in traffic or someone is driving slow in front of you. What would some of your thoughts and/or actions be? I am so guilty of this myself but I can imagine, if you’re like me you’re deeply and loudly sighing, maybe cursing, throwing hands in the air etc etc. Instead of being content with where God has you right at that moment, you are thinking about how late you are running and everything that goes along with that. Case-in-point one rainy day I had to pick my son up from school, and afterward, I had to run to the grocery store to get a rotisserie chicken because I had to make an early dinner bc hubs had to go to work. WELL, they dismiss at 3pm, this day they didn’t dismiss until 3:09. Here I am standing in the pouring rain wonder what the F*@#% is going on! Where are they! I have to get dinner ready! AAAAAHHHHH!!! I didn’t say these things out loud, but I wanted to! I noticed that while walking to the car I was snippy with my son, I shouldn’t have been as it wasn’t his fault I was reacting to this change in plans the way I was, so I tried to calm myself to no avail. I hit so much unnecessary traffic going to the grocery store and people driving 15 miles UNDER the speed limit I lost my shit. I was yelling at everything, I was snapping at the kid, and for absolutely NO reason at all other than the fact that I wasn’t keeping myself Christ-focused. If I WAS Christ-focused I would have noticed immediately that if I left at exactly 3pm for the store the chickens wouldn’t have been ready yet as they take them out at 3 and they have to be packaged and put under the heat lamps. They were JUST putting them out when I got there. I immediately saw how my actions were WAY off base. I apologized to my son for the way I was acting, and to never act like me because I’m embarrassed. He, of course, forgave me, but the mom-guilt was heavy for the rest of the night. Bottom line is we ate dinner as a family on time and he got to work without rushing.

Church: I know a few people that are heavily involved with their parishes. So much so that it consumes them and their time. While I agree people should volunteer and be a part of their parishes, this can also become so much in one’s life that they don’t really pay attention to Christ and his teachings. Instead, they neglect either themselves or their families or other obligations. Just because it’s with the Church doesn’t mean it’s ok to have it consume us. The quote “Everything in moderation” rings a bell with me regarding this.

I found myself becoming this very person back when I felt THE PULL. I was reading the Bible, going to Mass, reading and listening to everything I could ALL OF THE TIME. My family was being left behind. I had to moderate or I was going to be too far gone into this new life that’s calling me that my family life was going to take a serious hit.

The rest of them are very self-explanatory. From TV to social media, from jobs to hobbies, from friends to relationships and then some they all take up our time, and none of them are focused around Christ at all… Our job is to make sure we “drink in moderation”. Keep Him front and center in all of the things we do (and don’t do) to keep it all balanced. It’s hard, and I fall CONSTANTLY, but I’m trying. I fall and I brush myself off and keep on trying, one day I’ll hopefully get it right.

So tell me! Besides what I mentioned, what are some other things that might be a distraction from Christ? Please tell me in the comments! I would love to hear your point of view!