We are beggars. All of us. Only Christ crucified makes sure our bowls are filled.

The Eucharist is the Son of God’s throne upon the earth. His palace is the Mass.
God established an escape route, defined it with holy places, made a map of them and entrusted the map to the Church. The Church is the new Moses, both the leader and the servant of the escape.

What are the holy places that define the escape route from godlessness to paradise?

  • At a holy place, a close encounter takes place between the living God and us.
  • At a holy place, we include God in our lives and God includes us in his.
  • At a holy place, a connection is made between heaven and earth and, through the connection, the light of paradise illuminates the darkness of godlessness.
  • The holy places are jewels in a beautiful necklace that God established in the hostile desert of godlessness.
  • At a holy place, good, not evil, is done. In the cesspools of sin that pockmark the hostile desert of godlessness, evil is done not good. 
The Rule of Survival
Our survival is governed solely by a simple but fundamental principle. Humanity in every place and in every age and of every religion is subject to its command. No exceptions. Only by including God in our lives do we live and only by excluding God from our lives do we die. To include God in our lives in the hereafter, we must include God in our lives now! By excluding God from our lives now, we exclude God from our lives in the hereafter. Take an interest in God and God will take an interest in you. Include God in your life and God will include you in theirs. Ignore your God and your God will ignore you. Absent yourselves from the holy places and the holy places will absent themselves from you.

He erected a door between paradise and godlessness, locked it with His prohibition against using it, and gave Adam and Eve the key of disobedience. The serpent embellished what lay on the other side of the door. Adam and Eve's God given gift of curiosity kicked in so they put the key in the lock, opened the door, and passed through it. Why did God let this happen? Adam and Eve did not realize that the prohibition that locked the door was for their benefit not for God's benefit. Adam and Eve had never encountered a predator so they had not yet developed a defense mechanism against one.  They were defenseless. The good shepherd whose job was to defend the sheep from the wolves was AWOL. Newly minted humanity versus a fallen angel - no contest.  All of the evidence points to the fact that Adam and Eve were doomed to fail. Why?  Why did God not post armed guards at the door instead of a flimsy lock? Why was the good shepherd AWOL during the crisis?  Why erect a door from paradise to godlessness in the first place? It was all done as part of God's plan to get us to keep paradise after the gift of paradise is delivered to us. God does not want us to repeat the mistake of Adam and Eve. God does not want us to repeat the mistake of Lucifer and his gaggle of angels. Adam, Eve, Lucifer and his gaggle of angels abdicated paradise for godlessness after the gift of paradise had already been delivered to them. God does not want this foul fate to befall the children of Adam and Eve.  When God delivers the gift of paradise to us our experience in godlessness will cause rational, self-interested creatures to flee from godlessness as fast as we can. The experience will reduce the likelihood of post delivery paradise opt out to near zero. The prodigal son is never going back to the pig sty and neither are we. Godlessness is harsh but effective medicine. However, God did not close and lock the door after us. God puts his foot in the door to keep it open so we can not just return to paradise but stay there. Godlessness will never tempt us away from paradise again. No longer do we need to choose between God or the serpent as the source of our knowledge about godlessness. We can rely on the knowledge gained by our own awful experience there. Is God a sadist to let us experience godlessness for ourselves? No. God is a philanthropist.  To mitigate the sourness of godlessness, He made life brief. A lifetime no matter how long is but an infinitesimally thin slice of time when we compare it to the thickness of eternity. Moreover, God revealed the sweetness of paradise to give us hope.  We are not doomed. Soon, we shall taste the sweetness of paradise.

 

The gift of paradise was delivered to them simultaneously with the gift of existence.  There was no delay. There was no gap. There was no interlude. Thus, they were always strangers to godlessness. They knew it not. Their only experience was paradise. Yet, they impetuously abandoned the blessings of paradise that they had in hand for an embellished illusion of godlessness. They abdicated paradise for godlessness. They distanced themselves from God. Who were they? They were Adam, Eve, Lucifer and a gaggle of angels led by Lucifer. Their "fall" from paradise to godlessness is irrefutable proof that the gift of paradise is a slippery fish when the possibility of a better existence remains on the table as a viable option. Suppose, therefore, that the purpose of God is to take the possibility of a better existence in godlessness off the table as a viable option. Suppose that the purpose of God is to prevent us from repeating the mistake of Adam, Eve, Lucifer and his gaggle of angels. Suppose that God not only wants to deliver the gift of paradise to us but also wants to make sure that, after delivery, we keep it. Yes, suppose that 'keeping it' is also God's goal. Suppose that God wants us to keep the gift of paradise without having to turn paradise into a prison, themselves into our warden and us into their prisoners. Suppose that God wants us to keep the gift of paradise while preserving our option to reject it, thereby, leaving intact and unencumbered our free will. Suppose that the lesson from the story of Adam and Eve is that our faculty of obedience is broken and, because it is broken, unreliable. Suppose that God, in designing their plan to rescue us from exile in godlessness, bypassed our faculty of obedience because of its unreliability. Suppose that the linchpin of God's rescue plan is our faculty of rationality. Suppose that God holds the opinion that it is possible to move us from godlessness to paradise and to get us to stay there through persuasion. Moreover, suppose that the persuasion that God has in mind is self-persuasion - that rational, self-interested creatures persuade themselves, when freed from illusion and given possession of the truth, to move from godlessness to paradise and to stay there. Moreover, suppose that our God wants to shatter the illusion conjured up by the serpent that induced Adam and Eve to abandon paradise for godlessness. What would our God do to accomplish all of this? He would design a rescue plan whose strategy involves both the carrot and the stick.  On the stick side of the rescue plan, He would tweak the timing for the delivery of His gifts. Instead of simultaneously delivering the gift of existence and the gift of paradise, He would institute sequential delivery. He would insert a short, prophylactic delay, that is, a lifetime, between the gift of existence and the gift of paradise. During the delay, we would experience the sourness of godlessness for ourselves. We would have a source of the truth about godlessness - our own experience - independent of both God and the serpent. We would learn the truth about godlessness for ourselves. Our own experience with godlessness verifies that God tells us the truth and that the serpent is a liar. The prodigal son will never return to the pig sty having experienced the pig sty for himself and neither will we. The truth sets us free. The truth frees us from the pig sty. The prophylactic delay between the delivery of the gift of existence and the gift of paradise during which we experience the sourness of godlessness for ourselves inoculates us against the illusion conjured up by the serpent. The inoculation reduces the likelihood that we would abdicate paradise for godlessness after the gift of paradise is delivered to us to near zero. The sourness of godlessness is harsh but effective medicine. God prescribes it to us to cure us of original sin - the flaw in us that allowed Adam and Eve and allows us to accept the serpent as a superior source of truth than God. By experiencing godlessness for ourselves, the possibility of a reckless adventure into godlessness is removed from our list of options. Isn't this the best explanation for the problem of evil? Doesn't this explain why God plays hide and seek with us? Doesn't this tell us the reason that life on earth is mercifully short? The sourness of godlessness pushes us to its exit. However, the sourness of godlessness is not the only force that God uses to generate the current of salvation. To us in godlessness, God also reveals the sweetness of paradise. The sweetness of paradise pulls us to its entrance. The sourness of godlessness and the sweetness of paradise generate a potential difference between godlessness and paradise. All that was needed to induce the current of salvation to flow was the placement of a conductor between the world of godlessness and the world of paradise. At and about the city of Jerusalem in a region of our planet known as the Middle East more than two thousand years ago, the conductor was put into place. The Son of God placed Himself between the world of godlessness and the world of paradise. He is the bridge over which the current of salvation flows. He is the way, etc. Through the bloody wounds we opened in His Body, with lash, thorns, nails and spear, the new exodus led/served by the new Moses, the Church, is marching to the throbbing beat of His loving heart through the hostile desert of godlessness from slavery under the yoke of Pharaoh to freedom with God and their holy family in the promised land. Listen. Can you hear the beat of the loving heart of God? He has established the escape route, defined it with holy places, made a map of them and entrusted the map to the Church. He is the escape route. At the holy places that define the escape route, we include God in our lives and God includes us in His. These close encounters with the living God transform us. Nobody walks away from a close encounter with the living God unchanged. Nobody walks away from a close encounter with the living God empty handed.  During a close encounter with the living God, a connection is made between earth and heaven. Through the connection, the light of paradise illuminates the darkness of godlessness. At the holy places, we enter into the mystery, majesty and magnificence of God here on earth.

 
 
 

THE PUZZLE OF THE CRUCIFIXION

Can You Solve It?

Preamble:  Many false, inaccurate and conflicting pictures of the nature of God circulate through the minds of the children of Adam and Eve. The multiplicity of pictures creates confusion.  “This is God” some say as they point to their favorite picture of God.  Others point to a different picture and say, “No, this is God.” The controversy goes on ad infinitum. Because of the confusion, the most Holy Trinity desired to set the record straight once and forever. In the Crucifixion, they cleared the air. In the Crucifixion, the Son of God gave us the gift of the definitive picture of the nature of God.

 

The Crucifixion is not a mystery or a secret whose meaning is beyond our understanding. The Crucifixion was revelation and revelation is meant to be understood. The Crucifixion was disclosure. In the Crucifixion, God published their nature to us (and our potential - we have the potential to become godlike). A veil separated the Holy of Holies from the children of Adam and Eve. In the Crucifixion, “[t]he veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom”. God stepped out from behind the veil to reveal the glorious splendor of divinity itself.  “Behold the nature of God” were the words the angels sang during the Crucifixion as the Son of God was showing us His nature. The payload of the Crucifixion was knowledge of God.  “... for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:9). In the treasure chest of the Crucifixion, the knowledge of God was revealed. 

On the canvas of the Crucifixion in the pigments of pain, suffering and death, the Brush of Truth painted a self-portrait of God.  The self-portrait is a high fidelity representation of God.  Its fidelity exceeds the fidelity of all other representations of God made by human hands. Hence, they must bow their knee to it - they must yield to it.  Because it is a self-portrait, it is reliable.  Reject all lesser representations of God as counterfeits. Cling to the self portrait. Let it become your touchstone. Do not let yourself be deceived by those who tout a different picture of God. Measure everything against the self portrait. Reconcile everything against the self portrait. The Crucifixion shows you the truth that sets you free. As a source of knowledge of God, the Crucifixion is infallible. The Crucifixion is the rock on which you can build an unshakable understanding of God (Matthew 7:24-27). 

The Crucifixion was the dramatic and apocalyptic collision between Good and Evil. One revelation was given to us before the collision. Two revelations emerged from the collision itself. Can you articulate all three revelations?

Introduction (The Black Hole of Torture and Death): The story of the Crucifixion begins with brutal ugliness - our brutal ugliness. Our brutal ugliness is the root of the Crucifixion story. While the Son of God - the treasure chest filled with the knowledge of God - was human, alive, tender, vulnerable and our guest, we tortured and killed Him. He suffered and died. We exposed the Son of God to our brutal ugliness. We did evil to Him. What worse evil could we have done to Him than to torture and kill Him? This was the sin of sins. The sin of sins marked the conclusion of the visit that the Son of God paid us. It was over. It had ended in abysmal failure. It had concluded in abject and utter defeat. Or so it seemed on the skin or reality.

Many misunderstand the Crucifixion. They think that Jesus is recommending suffering and death to us. 'Jesus suffered and died, therefore, we must suffer and die' is their primitive, simplistic, superficial, fallacious and hopeless logic. Do this in memory and imitation of Him is their sinister, sadistic and stupid mantra. They took their mantra from its proper context - the perpetual memorial to His victory over the serpent - and inappropriately extrapolated it into an entirely different context - His suffering and death - where it does not belong. God is not a sadist. On the contrary, God is a philanthropist. A philanthropic God acts in accordance with His nature. He does not act contrary to it. 'The tree is known by its fruit' is an aphorism that applies not just to trees but to God as well. God is not a fugitive from this truth. God is subject to the truth as are we. A philanthropic God does not recommend suffering and death to us. Only a sadistic God does. The many who misunderstand the Crucifixion paint a portrait of God that is inconsistent with His sweet yoke and light burden. It conflicts with the self-portrait that the Son of God painted for us in the Crucifixion. Therefore, it must yield to the self-portrait.

The black hole of torture and death made its appearance in the life of Jesus to open bloody wounds in His body. The bloody wounds are windows. They were opened not for us to look at them but for us to look through them. When we look through them, we see the sublime victory of the Son of God that took place on the subcutaneous layer of reality during which He crushed the head of the serpent with His heal. On the skin of reality, abysmal failure and abject and utter defeat appeared. But on the subcutaneous layer of reality, we see His glorious victory.

When a person sees a half of a glass of water, he or she can declare that it is half empty or half full. When a person sees the Crucifixion, he or she can declare, "Ouch! Look how He suffered!" or "Wow! Look how He loved!". The many who misunderstand the Crucifixion never declare, "Wow! Look how He loved!". They always declare, "Ouch! Look how He suffered!".

In the Crucifixion, the Son of God Himself presented to us the ultimate graduate school class in the management of evil. Evil, like cancer, is more managed than cured. Jesus in the Crucifixion taught us about the management of evil not its cure (John 17:15). 'What shall we do when the black hole of torture and death comes for us?' [And it will!] Jesus answered the question. The secret to managing evil is hanging in plain sight on the Cross. Therefore, when the Son of God asks us to pick up our cross and follow Him, He is asking us for something more sublime than merely to suffer and die. He is giving us His recommendation about how to manage evil when evil enters into our lives. 

The many who misunderstand the Crucifixion possess a pathological and morbid obsession with the black hole of torture and death. It occupies their entire mind to the exclusion of all else. Yet, the black hole of torture and death is only a part of the Crucifixion story. It sits in the middle of the Crucifixion story. Inputs entered the black hole of torture and death and outputs emerged. If we look just at the black hole of torture and death and not at its inputs and outputs, the Crucifixion teaches us nothing.  The Crucifixion only conveys its meaning when we observe His entrance into the black hole of torture and death, His passage through it and His exit from it, that is, when we observe the full story.  Observing only part of the Crucifixion story damages and distorts the meaning of the Crucifixion.

The evil we did to Jesus is the root of the Crucifixion story. However, it is not the branches. From the root of the Crucifixion story, three branches sprout. The three branches represent the three revelations of the Crucifixion. The first revelation arises before the dramatic and apocalyptic collision between the glorious star of Bethlehem and the black hole of torture and death. The second and third revelation are the byproducts of the collision. The byproducts of the collision that we call the Crucifixion verified the knowledge of God. It authenticated it. It guaranteed it.  

In the Crucifixion, sublime beauty is juxtaposed against brutal ugliness. We supplied the brutal ugliness. The Son of God supplied the sublime beauty. The contrast between our ugliness and His beauty highlights and emphasizes and intensifies and magnifies His beauty. The ugliness amplifies the "goldenness" of the three revelations of the Crucifixion. It accentuates them. It gives them glorious resplendence.

It is, therefore, important to have a right understanding of the role that the evil we did to Him played in the story of the Crucifixion. 

Chapter #3 (Revelation #3):   The third revelation of the Crucifixion is probably the revelation that is most familiar to us. The third revelation is a byproduct of the collision, known as the Crucifixion, between the star of Bethlehem and the black hole of torture and death. There are two byproducts of the collision. The third revelation is one of the two. In the third revelation, we learned that Jesus is God

But, how do we know? What is the source of our knowledge? What is the evidence? What is the origin of this idea? Is the basis that supports our assertion that Jesus is God strong or weak? Here it is. You decide.

We killed Him but He did not stay dead.

This is our basis for asserting that Jesus is God. His death verified His humanity. His resurrection verified His divinity. 

The mighty black hole of torture and death was not strong enough to contain Him. Nobody escapes from the black hole of torture and death. He did.

Moreover, His escape gives us confidence in His promise that we, too, shall escape (Luke 16: 20-31) - that death is not the end but the beginning (John 3: 14-17).

P.S. His death and resurrection were witnessed and well documented - better than most historical figures.

P.P.S. Moreover, anyone who attends Mass gets to meet the Resurrected Jesus for themselves in the most Holy Eucharist. The most Holy Eucharist is the throne of Jesus upon the earth and the Mass is His palace. His throne is not empty. His palace is not vacant. Catholics do not pretend. There is nothing faux about the most Holy Eucharist and the Mass.  At Mass, we celebrate Jesus's victory over the serpent. In His crucifixion, Jesus crushed the head of the serpent under His heal. The serpent, in his final attempt to extinguish God's love for us, induced us to torture and kill the Son of God while He was human, alive, tender, vulnerable and our guest. Surely, the serpent reasoned, this insult to the very person of the Son of God would extinguish God's love for us. God, however, was uncooperative and continued to love us nonetheless.  Thus, the serpent finally realized that trying to extinguish God's love for us is futile. The open question, however, is 'Have we come to the same realization as the serpent?'. Have we come to the conclusion based on the failure of the serpent to extinguish God's love for us that Jesus's love for us is inextinguishable - that the dial that controls His love for us is in His hands not ours. Moreover, it is set to the highest degree and is locked in place? He has our back! Our savior has our back! Because He has our back, we can afford to take risks for the faith. Because He has our back, we can afford to turn the other cheek. Because He has our back, we can afford to be kind, generous and loving to our neighbors. Being kind, generous and loving to our neighbors is the sign that we hold the belief that God has our back. If God did not have our back, none of these things would be possible. Thus, we celebrate at Mass. The Mass is the party that the most Holy Trinity throw to celebrate the victory of Jesus over the serpent. Jesus is the guest of honor. How could we celebrate His victory without Him? It would not be much of a victory party without Him. 

Chapter #2 (Revelation #2): In our rush from His death to His Resurrection we often skip chapter 2.  Skipping Chapter 2 is a mistake.  Skipping the second revelation distorts the picture of God. The second revelation is the ingredient that gives paradise its sweetness. The second revelation is the honey that draws the bees back to the hive. It is what makes our God different than other gods. It is what makes our King different than other kings. Yet, in telling the story of the Crucifixion, many still skip over it. They bypass it. They leave it out. The second revelation is a byproduct of the collision, known as the Crucifixion, between the star of Bethlehem and the black hole of torture and death. There are two byproducts of the collision. The second revelation is one of the two. In the second revelation, we learned that Jesus's love for us is indestructible. 

We tortured Him but He did not stop loving us. 

If God's love for us were counterfeit, it would have faded as we tortured Him and died when we killed Him. But it did not. It survived. Surviving the torture put proof into our hands that God's love for us is indestructible. The dial that controls His love for us is in His hands not ours. Moreover, it is set to the highest degree and is locked in place. Wow! Buckets of blood spilled through the wounds we opened in the body of Christ but not a drop - not a drop - of His love for us. His most sacred heart stayed filled to the brim with love for us.

That He did not stop loving us is as important a fact as the fact that He did not stay dead. 

God loves us. Jealous of God's love for us, the serpent has repeatedly attempted to extinguish it. The serpent's first attempt took place at Eden. The serpent induced Adam and Eve to abdicate the gift of paradise for godlessness. Surely, the serpent reasoned, their ingratitude would extinguish God's love of us. The serpent, however, was mistaken. God was uncooperative. He continued to love us nonetheless. The serpent's final attempt to extinguish God's love of us took place at Calvary. The serpent induced us to torture and kill the Son of God while He was human, alive, tender, vulnerable and our guest. Surely, the serpent reasoned, this personal insult to the body of Christ would extinguish God's love of us. Again, however, the serpent was mistaken. God again refused to surrender His love of us. He continued to love us nonetheless.  

At Mass, by the way, we celebrate the failure of the serpent's final attempt to extinguish God's love of us.

The failure of the serpent at Calvary to extinguish God's love of us made the serpent realize the futility of his attempts. The questions is, 'have we also arrived at the same realization?'. Have we come to the same conclusion as the serpent by virtue of the failure of the serpent to extinguish God's love for us?

Chapter #1 (Revelation #1):  The first revelation of the Crucifixion story is unveiled as Jesus approached and submitted Himself to the black hole of torture and death. Its unveiling takes place before the collision between Good and Evil in the Crucifixion. 

A difference in status separates us from Jesus. He is at the top of the ladder; we are at the bottom. Vis-a-vis Jesus, we are mud - "miry clay" (Psalm 40:2). Yet, this difference in status did not deter Him. Our God, who fashioned us out of the mud with His hands, put Himself into the hands of the mud (Matthew 3:13-17) (Psalm 40:2). The King of the Universe voluntarily descended from the penthouse to the basement to pay a visit to the mud. Not only did He pay the mud a visit, the King of the Universe became mud to save the mud despite the depravity of the mud. The mud had abdicated paradise for godlessness. We needed help. So He dove in after us.  He could have dispatched His subordinates to save us. He could have sent His flunkies. But He did not. He did the job Himself. He did the job Himself with full knowledge of its exorbitant cost. And He paid the cost entirely from His own pocket. He did not pass the hat among us to help defray the cost. He paid 100% of the cost. Moreover, He did not pay the cost from His limitless divine resources. He paid the exorbitant cost from His limited human resources. He paid them all for us. He kept not a penny for Himself. He has never paid more for anything else. Paying the exorbitant cost Himself from His own pocket in the coin of suffering was the only way to give us a guarantee of the veracity of the three golden messages. No payment; no guarantee. Without payment, the three golden messages would be untethered to any proof of genuineness. With payment, proof of their genuineness was put into our hands. The yeast of divinity came to leaven the mud of humanity. The exorbitant cost of doing do did not deter Him. So He paid us a visit not above us as God but as one of us - on the same level as us - an equal to us in our humanity - a partner with us in our suffering. They say He pitched His tent among us. The first golden message of the Crucifixion is that Jesus is humble and brave. The exorbitant cost of the Crucifixion did not daunt Him. [Note: Humble omnipotence - a fact and not an oxymoron.]

 

Conclusion:   To tell the story of the Crucifixion, one introduction and three chapters are needed. An introduction is needed to describe the root of the Crucifixion story. And three chapters are needed to describe its three golden branches. The three golden branches represent the three messages that the Son of God intended to convey to us by undertaking the Crucifixion. Rest your head on the pillow of the Crucifixion to sleep the sleep of the angels. On the Crucifixion, build your understanding of the nature of God. 

 


Spilling the Beans

The Details of God's plan to Rescue Us from Godlessness Revealed!

Extra! Extra!

Read all about it!

At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
— Matthew 11:25-30

The Gift of God's Love for Us

God has given their love to us. God places no limitations on the gift of their love of us. God attaches no strings to it. No quid pro quo is expected of us. It is not a loan that we must pay back with interest. It is not one side of a bargain for which God expects good and valuable consideration in return. There is no fine print. There are no qualifications, conditions or exceptions. It is a gift. It is a gift from God to us.  A gift is free. We do nothing to earn it. That God's love for us is a gift and not something else is a reflection of the perfect generosity of God.

  • The proper response to a gift is gratitude.
  • A thank you may be appropriate.

The Serpent was Jealous of God's Love For Us

The serpent became jealous of God's love for us. God made a monumental error of judgment in giving us the gift of their love, the serpent thought. We are not worthy of it. We do not deserve to be beneficiaries of it.

  • The serpent is not wrong about our unworthiness.
  • God is free to give gifts to whomever - the worthy and the unworthy.
  • God is a philanthropist. God is not a sadist.

The Serpent Plotted To Extinguish God's Love For Us

The serpent plotted to extinguish God's love for us. The serpent's desire to extinguish God's love for us drives the plot. The methodology of the serpent is to induce us to do something that would piss God off - that would antagonize God - that would cause God to relinquish His love for us. The methodology of God, however, is to be uncooperative - to not get pissed off - to not be antagonized - to cling to their love for us, hold on tight and not let go. 

The Serpent's First Assault on God's Love for Us took place at Eden and Failed.

The serpent's first assault on God's love for us took place at Eden. The serpent conjured up an illusion to induce them to abdicate the gift of paradise for godlessness. The illusion was that a life lived as gods in godlessness was superior to a life lived with God in paradise. Adam and Eve, however, had absolutely no experience in godlessness. Their only experience was in paradise. Thus, they knew nothing about godlessness. God had given Adam and Eve the gift of existence and the gift of paradise simultaneously. There was no delay between the two gifts. In retrospect, we fault them for being gullible. However, without any experience in godlessness, the serpent's illusion was plausible to them. Moreover, this was their first encounter with a predator. Therefore, a defense mechanism had not yet evolved within them to guard them against predators. In addition, during their encounter with the serpent, the "good shepherd" was AWOL. Only the word of God was left with them. The word of God, however, was not enough. They needed more. Newly minted humanity versus a fallen angel - it was no contest. They were doomed to fail. Their failure was preordained. They had no chance. The odds in favor of failure were stacked against them. Hence, they fell for the illusion. They traded paradise for godlessness. Surely, the serpent reasoned, their ingratitude would extinguish God's love for them. But, it did not. God's love for them survived. The serpent's foul plot failed because God refused to relinquish their love for us. God clung to their love for us, held tight and refused to let go.

  • The story of Adam and Eve is viewed by many as a child’s fairy tale with little or no relevance to us today. Its lesson is judged too simple and, hence, too well-understood, to deserve any further serious contemplation. It is taken for granted. Few sermons are preached about it. Yet, the story of Adam and Eve informs us about the origin of our predicament in godlessness and sets the stage for our rescue therefrom. It explains the dynamic that drives us through our existence. It gives us the context into which we fit. In other words, it is ripe with existential wisdom.

  • The debacle of Adam and Eve demonstrated that our faculty of obedience is broken. It is busted. Perhaps, it never existed in the first place. We think for ourselves. We are reluctant to let others think for us. We place a high value on the freedom to think for ourselves and to come to our own conclusions.

    • God exploits this preference to think for ourselves and to come to our own conclusions in God's rescue plan. God feeds us the truth about godlessness and paradise so we have a proper basis for coming to our own conclusions. This is why God said the truth shall set us free.

The Problem and the Solution

The debacle of Adam and Eve illustrated the problem and suggested a solution. The solution suggested is being applied now to the children of Adam and Eve. 

What was the problem?

When Adam and Eve disobeyed the word of God, they, ipso facto, abdicated paradise for godlessness. This was done after the gift of paradise had already been delivered to them.  They had paradise in hand but gave it up. The chain of events started with disobedience and ended with abdication. 

Which do you think was more important to God? Having us obey? Or having us stay in paradise and out of godlessness? 

Let me ask this in a different way.

Which was the original sin? Was our disobedience the original sin? Or was abdicating paradise for godlessness after the gift of paradise had already been delivered to them the original sin? How about the entire chain of events?

God did not issue the command to Adam and Eve to avoid the tree because God wanted to test whether or not their faculty of obedience was functioning. God wasn't playing games with Adam and Eve. God issued the command to them because God did not want them to abdicate paradise for godlessness. God issued the command in an attempt to protect their welfare. Obedience is only important to God because obedience protects our welfare. Protecting our welfare is God's primary goal.

Abdicating paradise for godlessness is what did Adam and Eve and us real injury. Godlessness sucks. Obedience would have prevented the abdication. However, the debacle of Adam and Eve demonstrated that our faculty of obedience is broken (See below).

God does not want us to repeat the mistake of Adam and Eve. God has taken steps to make sure there is no repetition. When God delivers to us the gift of paradise, God wants us to keep it. This is the problem for which God devised a solution. 

God plans to deliver the gift of paradise to us just as they delivered the gift of paradise to Adam and Eve. God will not be less generous with us than they were with them. Adam and Eve were the first beneficiaries of God’s love for us. They were not the last. God’s philanthropy did not end with Adam and Eve; God’s philanthropy began with them. This is good news of great joy - very good news for us indeed.

Note: Our need for more than the word of God was the reason that, when the Son of God paid us a visit, God delivered to us not just the word of God which was a love note but also a guarantee that the love note was genuine.

The Serpent failed but the Children of Adam and Eve wound up Homeless in Godlessness 

When Adam and Eve ran away from their home with God in paradise like foolish children, they took us with them into godlessness. Godlessness sucks. In godlessness, we are like fish out of water. In godlessness, we are the tree emancipated from the "bondage" of the soil.

  • "Emancipation from the bondage of the soil is no freedom for the tree."--Rabindranath Tagor

The children of Adam and Eve are the civilian casualties in the serpent's war to extinguish God's love for us. 

God formed a Plan to Rescue Us From Godlessness

God formed a plan to rescue the children of Adam and Eve from godlessness. God's rescue plan consisted of a handful of distinct elements. The biggest role in God's plan to rescue us from godlessness was given to the dearly beloved Son of God. However, He was not the only element of the rescue plan.

The Goal of the Rescue Plan is Twofold: 1) Getting us home to paradise and 2) Keeping us there

The goal of God's plan to rescue us from godlessness is twofold: 1) to get us back to our home in paradise and 2) to keep us there. Keeping us there is more difficult to achieve than getting us there. Recall that Adam and Eve abdicated paradise after the gift of paradise had been delivered to them as did a gaggle of angels led by Lucifer. They had paradise in hand yet they gave it up. They were duped by the illusion that there is something better out there than a life lived with God in paradise. This is simply not true. 

God will not Force Us to Come Back to our Home in Paradise against our Wills Kicking and Screaming like Recalcitrant Children

Absent from God's rescue plan was the option of forcibly dragging us back from godlessness to our home in paradise against our wills kicking a screaming like recalcitrant children

  • By dint of omnipotence, God could drag us back home if God wanted to. 
  • God rejected this option because God wants us to stay in paradise without having to turn paradise into a prison, themselves into a warden and us into prisoners.

The Debacle of Adam and Eve revealed that Our Faculty of Obedience is Broken So, to Rescue us, God Bypassed It

Furthermore, God knew that our faculty of obedience was broken.  The debacle of Adam and Eve demonstrated that it did not work. Therefore, God bypassed it. God would get us back to our home in paradise and keep us there without first fixing our faculty of obedience. God did not need us to have a functioning faculty of obedience to accomplish their purpose. There was another way.

  • Any plan dependent on our obedience is flawed.
  • Obedience is the weak link.
  • If you were God, do you design a plan whose success depends on our obedience or do you design a plan that bypasses the flaw?

To Rescue us, God feeds the Truth to our Faculty of Rationality

Our rescue from godlessness does not depend on fixing our faculty of obedience. There is a work-a-round. Moreover, the work-a-round is foolproof. It reduces the likelihood that the children of Adam and Eve would repeat the mistake of their parents to near zero. We will not abdicate paradise for godlessness after the gift of paradise is delivered to us. No way; No how.

To rescue us, God fixed it so we would persuade ourselves to come back to our home in paradise and to stay there.

God would work through our faculty of rationality instead of working through our faculty of obedience, which is unreliable, defective, flawed, busted and broken. 

God holds the opinion that rational people, when fed the truth, act in their self-interest in accordance with it. God ought to know because God designed us, right? The serpent fed us an illusion that led us astray. The illusion is the phony coin fed to the parking meter. The parking meter thinks it is the real McCoy. God holds the opinion that the truth shall set us free. Therefore, God plans to feed our rationality the truth. Reality shatters the illusion. The illusion loses all of its power over us when we experience reality for ourselves.

God plans to feed us the truth about godlessness and the truth about paradise. These are the two big parts of God's rescue plan.  God's rescue plan has many elements but only two big parts. The two big parts consist of feeding us the truth about godlessness and feeding us the truth about paradise. Knowing the truth will lead our rationality to move us in the right direction - a direction that is in accord with our self-interest.

The Escape Route

One of the elements of God's rescue plan was the establishment of an escape route. To rescue us, God created an escape route, defined it with holy places, made a map of them and entrusted the map to the Church.

  • As explained below, the escape route is our savior, Jesus Christ. He is the way, etc. He is the bridge between the world of godlessness and the world of paradise. Through the bloody wounds we opened in His body, the new exodus led by the new Moses makes its escape.

The New Moses

The Church is the new Moses.

  • The job of the Church is to help the children of Adam and Eve make their escape from godlessness to paradise.
  • The job of the Church is to be grease for the wheels of the escape.
  • The job of the Church is to clear obstacles out of the way of the escape not to put obstacles in its way.

The New Exodus

The new Moses serves / leads the new exodus that is making its escape through the hostile desert of godlessness from slavery under the yoke of Pharaoh to freedom with God and their holy family in the promised land. The movement of the new exodus forms the needle of the compass that always points to God. Only by making our escape from holy place to holy place that define the escape route can we be sure that we are heading in the right direction. The escape from godlessness to God is primary. Nothing else matters. Everything else is secondary. Anything that interferes is suspect. A friend of the escape is one who facilitates it. An enemy of the escape is one who filters it.

The Holy Places that Define the Escape Route

God defined the escape route with Holy Places. The escape route runs from godlessness to paradise. At the holy places that define the escape route, close encounters with the living God take place.

Close Encounters with the Living God

During a close encounter with the living God, we include God in our lives and God includes us in theirs. Nobody walks away from a close encounter with the living God unchanged. Nobody walks away from a close encounter with the living God empty handed.  During a close encounter with the living God, God transforms us. During a close encounter with the living God, a connection is made between earth and heaven. Through the connection, the light of paradise illuminates the darkness of godlessness. At the holy places, we enter into the mystery, majesty and magnificence of God.

  • What does the light show the darkness? The light shows the darkness that the economy of paradise is based on the currency of love. The currency of love is the medium of exchange in paradise. By spending the currency of love in godlessness, we turn godlessness into paradise. By spending the currency of love, the kingdom of God that was at hand - a mere arms length away - comes into our possession. We can spend a little or we can spend a lot. It is a paradox, but, we grow rich by spending the currency of love. The more we spend the richer we get. 
  • The holy places are the jewels of a beautiful necklace that God established in and juxtaposed against the hostile desert of godlessness. 
  • Examples of the holy places upon the earth at which close encounters with the living God take place are the Mass, Confession, the other sacraments, works of charity, acts of kindness, prayer especially the rosary, Eucharistic adoration, feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, fasting, the gathering of two or more together in God's name, bible study, contemplation of God, the hour of death, etc.

The Engines that Generate the Current of Salvation

At either end of the escape route God established two great engines. The two great engines generate the current of salvation. The current of salvation sweeps up and carries the children of Adam and Eve from godlessness to God.

The Sourness of Godlessness

At the godlessness end of the escape route God established an engine of truth. In generating the current of salvation, it pushes the children of Adam and Eve to the exits of godlessness. The serpent induced Adam and Eve to abdicate paradise for godlessness with the lie that a life lived as gods in godlessness would be superior to a life lived with God in paradise. The lie conjured up an illusion that conflicted with the reality of godlessness. Godlessness sucks. In godlessness, we are fish out of water. Reality shattered this illusion. God lets us stew in godlessness for a lifetime so we can experience the sourness of godlessness for ourselves. The experience of the sourness of godlessness is harsh but effective medicine. The prodigal son is never going back to the pig sty and neither will the children of Adam and Eve. Rational people do not abdicate paradise for godlessness who have experienced the sourness of godlessness for themselves. 

Why is it important to God that we experience the sourness of godlessness for ourselves? The experience stops us from abdicating paradise for godlessness after the gift of paradise is delivered to us. The reality of godlessness shatters the illusion conjured up by the serpent. The illusion no longer has power over us. This is important because God plans to deliver the gift of paradise to us just as they delivered the gift of paradise to Adam and Eve. God will not be less generous with us than they were with them. Adam and Eve were the first beneficiaries of God’s love for us. They were not the last. God’s philanthropy did not end with Adam and Eve; God’s philanthropy began with them. This is good news of great joy - very good news for us indeed.  

  • The gift of existence and the gift of paradise were given to Adam and Eve simultaneously.
  • The gift of existence and the gift of paradise are given to the children of Adam and Eve sequentially.
  • Between the gift of existence and the gift of paradise, God inserted a delay.
  • The delay gives us the opportunity to experience the sourness of godlessness for ourselves.
  • Harsh but effective medicine is the answer to the problem of evil.
  • The medicine is harsh but not cruel. The brevity of life proves the mercy of God. Life is a infinitesimally thin slice of time when we compare it to the thickness of eternity. The medicine would only be cruel if God made us stay in godlessness longer than a lifetime.

The Sweetness of Paradise

At the paradise end of the escape route God established another engine of truth. In generating the current of salvation, it pulls the children of Adam and Eve to the entrances of paradise. This engine works by revealing to the children of Adam and Eve the sweetness of paradise. The sweetness of paradise is the honey that draws the bees back to the hive.

  • God is a belt and suspenders type of rescuer. God does not put all their eggs in one basket.
  • God uses two engines not one to generate the current of salvation that pushes and pulls the children of Adam and Eve over the escape route from godlessness to paradise.
  • Godlessness is our world. We experience it for ourselves. There is no need to reveal it to us.
  • Paradise is not our world. We do not experience it for ourselves. For us to know it, it must be revealed to us.
  • Adam and Eve knew paradise but had no experience with godlessness. That is why they were vulnerable to the illusion conjured up by the serpent.
  • The polarity is reversed with the children of Adam and Eve. We know godlessness but have no experience with paradise.

The sweetness of paradise is God's love for us.

In establishing the engine that generates the current of salvation on the paradise side of the escape route, God asked themselves, "How do we convince them that we love them?" The answer was extraordinary. "We pay them a visit as one of them; we let them torture and kill us; we rise from the dead; and we continue to love them nonetheless. If this does not convince them that their God loves them nothing will.

  • At Bethlehem, God delivered a love note to us. It was no ordinary love note. It was alive. It lived and breathed.
  • At Calvary, God delivered to us a guarantee that the love note was genuine. If the love note were counterfeit, God's love for us would have faded as we tortured Him and died when we killed him. But it did not. It survived. By surviving, it guaranteed that the love note was genuine.

The Visit of the Son of God was Predicted

It was predicted that God would pay the children of Adam and Eve a visit.

The serpent was aware of the predication so he waited and watched for the visit.

The Son of God Paid us a Visit

The Son of God paid us a visit for about thirty-three years at and about the city of Jerusalem in a region of our planet called the Middle East more than two thousand years ago. This brief visit was an inflection point in human history. It changed the trajectory of human history.

At Bethlehem, God delivered to us a Love Note

At Bethlehem, God delivered to us a love note. It was no ordinary love note. It was alive. The love note lived and breathed.

At Eden, the serpent drove a wedge between God and Man. The love note showed us our potential - how to excise the serpent's wedge. The union between God and Man was perfected in the love note. The love note showed us our potential. 

The Serpent's Final Assault on God's Love for Us took place at Calvary and Failed.

When the time of the visit arrived, the serpent launched his final assault against God's love for us at Calvary. The serpent induced us to torture and kill the Son of God while He was human, alive, tender, vulnerable and our guest. Surely, the serpent reasoned, this insult to the person of the Son of God would extinguish God's love for them. But, it did not. God's love for them survived. The serpent's foul plot failed because God refused to relinquish their love for us. God clung to His love for us, held tight and refused to let go.

  • The successful execution of God's plan to reveal the sweetness of paradise gives us the definitive representation of the nature of God. All other representations must yield to this representation. The self-portrait trumps all portraits painted by human hands.
    • In the Ten Commandments, God included an injunction against making representations of them. Why? God knew that any representation of them made by human hands would be inferior to the representation that God would give us of themselves at Calvary.
  • That God was willing to let us torture and kill Him while He was human, alive, tender, vulnerable and our guest tells us in no uncertain terms that there is nothing that God won't do for us.
  • At and around the city of Jerusalem in a region of our planet called the Middle East more than two thousand years ago, God had executed their plan. On the canvas of Calvary in the pigments of pain and suffering, the brush of truth in his own hand painted the definitive picture of the nature of God. The self-portrait disclosed that God's love for us is inextinguishable.

At Calvary, God delivered to Us a Guarantee that the Love Note was Genuine

At Calvary, God delivered to us a guarantee that the Love Note delivered to us at Calvary was genuine. If the love note were counterfeit, God's love for us would have faded as we tortured Him and died when we killed Him. But it did not. God's love for us survived. Its survival is the guarantee that the Love Note is genuine. The most Holy Trinity gave the Son of God a role to play in their plan to rescue us from godlessness. His role was to reveal the sweetness of paradise. The sweetness of paradise is God's love for us. How do we convince the children of Adam and Eve that we love them? Our plan is not complicated. We pay them a visit as one of them. We let them torture and kill us. We rise from the dead. And We continue to love them nonetheless. If this does not convince them that their God loves them, nothing can. The Son of God successfully executed His part of God's plan to rescue us. He revealed the sweetness of paradise. The revelation is the good news of great joy. He did it! By God, the Son of God did it!

  • The debacle of Adam and Eve taught God that we would not take God at their word. Therefore, God gave us more than their word. They gave us the Word of God at Bethlehem. But at Calvary, they gave us a guarantee of their word. 
  • God made two points at Calvary: 1) We are loved dearly and 2) our lover is none other than God themselves. The role of the Son of God in God's plan was 1) to pay us a visit as one of us, 2) to let us torture and kill Him, 3) to rise from the dead and 4) to continue to love us nonetheless. Letting us torture and kill Him and then rising from the dead is irrefutable proof that He was God. Paying us a visit as one of us and continuing to love us despite the evil baptism into which we immersed Him is irrefutable proof that He loves us dearly.
  • The scientists put love into a petri dish filled with torturers and killers. No one expected that love would survive in such a hostile environment. But it did. Why did love survive? It survived because the Son of God clung to His love for us, held tight and refused to let go.  His refusal is the victory of the Son of God. It is the good news of great joy.

The Serpent Despaired

The serpent despaired. Again God refused to surrender His love for us

The Potential Difference

The sourness of godlessness and the sweetness of paradise created a potential difference between the world of godlessness and the world of paradise. All that was needed to get the current of salvation to flow from godlessness to paradise was a conductor between the two worlds. The most Holy Trinity gave us a conductor. The conductor is the dearly beloved Son of God. He is the bridge between the world of paradise and the world of godlessness. He is the Son of God and the Son of Man. He is the way, etc. Through his bloody wounds, the new exodus led by the new Moses, the Church, makes its escape through the hostile desert of godlessness from slavery under the yoke of pharaoh to freedom with God and their holy family in the promised land.

  • The Son of God is the escape route. 

RSVPing to the Invitation

The Kingdom of God is at hand. All you need do is reach out and grab it.

God expanded the scope of the invitation to come back to our home in paradise beyond the Jews when the Son of God paid us a visit for approximately thirty- three years at and about the city of Jerusalem in a region of our planet called the Middle East more than two thousand years ago. All of the children of Adam and Eve not just a segment of them are invited to come home.

Jesus is the invitation.

The invitation is now in our hands. By putting the invitation to come home into our hands, the burden shifts from God to us. The ball is now in our court. On the spot, we are put. We now must decide. We can 1) accept the invitation, 2) ignore it or 3) reject it.  We no longer have the defense of ignorance - that we did not know we were invited home to paradise.

There is no difference between ignoring the invitation and rejecting it. Pretending the invitation has not been delivered to us is tantamount to rejection.

Only acceptance is salvific.

The gift of paradise is being offered to you. However, it will not be forced down your throat against your will. You must voluntarily accept the gift.

You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make Him drink.

Because we are mortal, however, our time is running out. We have a lifetime to decide (Matthew 20:1-16) whether or not to accept the invitation but the clock is ticking (Matthew 25 :1-13). We do not know the hour or the day (Matthew 24:36). God's invitation must be accepted before it is too late.

The train to paradise is about to leave the station. Don’t get left behind. Catch it. Fair warning.

 

How do we accept the invitation? The invitation is accepted when we repent and seek God. By joining the new exodus that its making its escape from slavery under the yoke of pharaoh to freedom with God and their holy family in the promised land, we accept the invitation.

  • "The mind's direction is more important than its progress." Joseph Joubert
  • The test of a Christian is movement not belief. A Christian moves from the sourness of godlessness to the sweetness of paradise. We are Christian first with our feet and then with our heads. Christians move from holy place to holy place that define the escape route through the hostile desert of godlessness from slavery under the yoke of Pharaoh to freedom with God and their holy family in the promised land. Those who have put roots down into the hostile desert of godlessness have a tough time moving. These attachments keep them stationary.

 

The Mass: Celebrating the Triumph of the Son of God

The Son of God successfully executed His part in God's plan to rescue us from godlessness. He paid us a visit as one of us. He let us torture and kill Him. He rose from the dead. And He continued to love us nonetheless. The successful execution of His part in God's plan proved two (2) things:

  1. He was God. He did not stay dead. He would not have risen from the dead if He were not God.  
  2. God loves us dearly. The evil we did to Him did not extinguish His love for us or reduce it by even the slightest degree. His love for us would not have survived the evil baptism into which we immersed Him if He did not love us dearly - if His love for us was not greater than the evil we did to Him. At Bethlehem, we received the love note. It was no ordinary love note. It was alive. The love note lived and breathed. At Calvary, we received the guarantee that the love note was genuine. If the love note were counterfeit, God's love for us would have faded as we tortured Him and died when we killed Him. But it did not. It survived. The survival of God's love for us is the guarantee that the love note is genuine.
  • The serpent put love into a petri dish filled with torturers and killers. No one expected that love would survive in such a hostile environment. But it did. Its survival is the good news of great joy.

The successful execution of the Son of God's part in God's plan to rescue us from godlessness is the good news of great joy. By successfully executing His part in God's plan, the Son of God revealed to us the sweetness of paradise. In an apocalypse, the honey that draws the bees back to their home in the hive was revealed to us. A veil separated the Holy of Holies from the children of Adam and Eve. At Calvary, “[t]he veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom”. God stepped out from behind the veil to reveal the glorious splendor of divinity itself.  “Behold the nature of God” were the words the angels sang at Calvary as God was showing us His nature.

Ours is an omnipotent God who loves us dearly. Wow! How do we enlist? Where do we sign up? How do we join the kingdom of this God who loves us?

We would not even be asking ourselves these question had God not discovered a way to put the good news of great joy into our hands.

The problem that God faced was how to propagate the good news of the triumph of the Son of God from then and there to us here and now. The triumph of the Son of God paid us took place in the boondocks of time and space. It was inconspicuous, anonymous and remote. God, therefore, concluded that, to propagate the good news of great joy, some sort of a perpetual memorial commemorating the thirty-three year Visit was urgently needed (and a Church to tend it).

God did not want to establish an ordinary, conventional, run-of-the-mill memorial. God did not want a firefly; they wanted a fire - a blazing, raging, engaging bonfire to match the bonfire of love for us that burns in their most sacred heart. They wanted to establish a memorial as real, as extraordinary, and as abundantly alive as the hero of Calvary Himself. Any inferior memorial of the thirty-three Visit just would not do.

The most Holy Trinity reviewed the candidates for a memorial - words, a reenactment, a work of art, and other types of representations.

It would be too cruel to ask the Son of God to let us impale Him on the Cross - to repeat His sacrifice at Calvary anew - for each successive generation and, within a generation, from place to place (Luke 16:19-31).   One Calvary - one guarantee of His love for us - was enough. Duplicate guarantees would be superfluous.

From their review of the candidates for a memorial, God realized that the any representations made by human hands of the triumph of the Son of God would be inferior to the triumph of the Son of God itself.  Therefore, God decided that the memorial had to be nothing less than the triumph of the Son of God itself.   So God did the impossible - they created a time machine. They uprooted the triumph of the Son of God from its foundation in time and space, made it portable and created a vehicle to carry it to us in the present. The vehicle that carries the triumph of the Son of God to us is the Mass. At Mass, the physics of time and space are suspended to publish and make known to us here and now the fact that the Son of God paid us a visit as one of us, let us torture and kill Him, rose from the dead and continued to love us nonetheless. The Mass republishes the triumph of the Son of God. Each Mass is a reiteration of the triumph of the Son of God.

The Mass is the rainbow of the new covenant. It reminds God and us that God's love for us is greater than the evil we did to Him while He was human, alive, tender, vulnerable and our guest.

The Mass is the party that the most Holy Trinity throw to celebrate the victory of the Son of God.

The Mass is not a funeral. The Mass is not a somber occasion. It is a joyous celebration. He did it! By God, He did it! He successfully executed God's plan to reveal to us the sweetness of paradise.

The guest of honor at the victory party is the Son of God Himself. How could we celebrate His victory without Him? It would not be much of a victory party without Him.

  • Catholics call this the real presence. It is an element of the victory party. It is an important element but not the only element. 
  • The real presence of the Son of God at the Mass is a necessary element of a victory party. Stop talking about the real presence without also talking about the reason the Son of God is really present at Mass. By exclusively fixating on the real presence, the bigger picture is lost. The bigger picture is that the Mass is a party that the most Holy Trinity throw to celebrate the victory of the Son of God. Why God is really present at Mass only makes sense if its place in the larger context is understood. Simply put. It would not be a victory party without the guest of honor showing up. It would be a faux party. And God is not into anything faux. God is only into the real.

The priest is the master of ceremonies at the Mass. The priest is the M.C.

The children of Adam and Eve are invited to the celebration of the Mass.

Furthermore, what kind of party would it be without food and drink? At the Mass, God provides the best food and drink in the world.

Taking the food and drink of the most Holy Eucharist is like going to bank and making a withdrawal from someone elses account whose owner is overjoyed to share his wealth with us. 

The Eucharist is God's throne upon the earth, the Mass, His palace. The throne is not vacant; the palace is not empty. Jesus occupies His throne. Jesus reigns from His palace.

Why body and blood? Why not toe and finger? Why not heart and lung? Why not just body? Why not just blood? Here is the answer. The blood and body point to the bloody wounds we opened in His body with lash, thorns, nails and spear. They remind us of the exorbitant evil we did to Him while He was human, alive, tender, vulnerable and our guess.  To bring us the revelation of His indestructible love for us (John 15:13), He paid a price in the coin of suffering. It was an exorbitant price that matched the exorbitant evil we did to Him. Furthermore, He paid the exorbitant price not from His limitless divine resources but from His limited human resources. He paid them all for us. He kept not a penny for Himself. He has never paid more for anything else!  Price tends to correspond to value. The higher the value the greater the price. The exorbitant price He paid for us tells us our exorbitant value to Him (Matthew 10:29-31). He esteems us more than we esteem ourselves. To God, we are the apple of His eye. To God, we are the pearl of great price. To God, we are the treasure buried in the field. How do we know? Just look at the price the Son of God paid for us at Calvary. The price He paid tells us our worth to God.

PRAYER

The first great misconception of prayer is that it is unidirectional. it is not. It is bidirectional. Prayer is a conversation not a monologue.

The ultimate prayer is dealing with your neighbor as you want God to deal with you. 

 

  Visit the Lion's Fang - The Farrell Alumni Networking Group. The Lion's Fang meets every Wednesday's during the Monsignor Farrell H.S. School year (most Wednesdays) after the 7:45 am Mass in the faculty dining room in the breezeway. Hospitality, mutual support and camaraderie are available. On Wednesdays, Farrell welcomes its alumni home. (Click the Image)

Visit the Lion's Fang - The Farrell Alumni Networking Group. The Lion's Fang meets every Wednesday's during the Monsignor Farrell H.S. School year (most Wednesdays) after the 7:45 am Mass in the faculty dining room in the breezeway. Hospitality, mutual support and camaraderie are available. On Wednesdays, Farrell welcomes its alumni home. (Click the Image)

  Learn more about the new exodus that is taking place and is now in progress on the escape route through the hostile desert of godlessness from slavery under the yoke of Pharaoh to freedom with God and their holy family in the promised land.   (Click the Image)

Learn more about the new exodus that is taking place and is now in progress on the escape route through the hostile desert of godlessness from slavery under the yoke of Pharaoh to freedom with God and their holy family in the promised land. (Click the Image)