Father Francisco’s 31st homily in ordinary time, on the gap between preaching and practice


Moses received the Torah from Sinai and gave it over to Joshua. Joshua gave it over to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, and the Prophets gave it over to the Men of the Great Assembly. Ethics of the Fathers

When the seventh month came, the people gathered as one in the square in front of the Water Gate. They called upon Ezra the scribe to bring forth the book of the Torah of Moses, which the Personal Name commanded, for Israel. On the first day of the seventh month, Ezra the priest brought the Torah before the assembly, which consisted of men, women, and those children old enough to understand. In the square in front of the Water Gate, Ezra read out of the book from daybreak till midday… Nehemiah 8:1-3

The Jews told him, “You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?” John 8:57

Jesus and the temple, not yet 50, yet far older

Jesus answered , “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?” Jesus was speaking about the temple of his body. John 2: 19-21

Father Francisco Nahoi delivered the Homily for the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time at our Blessed Cathedral in Reno Nevada. In this homily Father related how scholars refer to the temple of Jesus’ time as the second temple. The first temple was the temple of Solomon. The second temple was the temple referred to in Nehemiah 8.

The temple of Jesus’ time is the temple of King Herod the great. John, chapter 2, relates that this temple was 46 years old at the time Jesus discusses it’s age. We also need to note that this same passage is equating Jesus with that temple. In his debate Jesus says, “Destroy this temple…” The Jews respond mpling Jesus must be referring to the 46-year-old temple. Jesus corrects them by stating he is referring to his not yet 50-year-old body.

During Jesus’ time, there were five main groups. There were the Sadducees who controlled the temple area, and who heavily influenced and dependent upon Rome. There was the king and his henchmen. King Herod was like Muammar Gaddafi of today.

They thought they were doing their countries a great favor with their building projects and using their great wealth to bring their nations into the modern world, kicking a screaming. They were oblivious to the fact that all leaders, dictators and otherwise, must lead by consent of the governed, or bad things will happen later. King Herod, and Muammar Gaddafi, killed all perceived opponents, including family members.

Good intentions do not always yield good results

Father correctly related, good intentions do not lead to good results. In our good intentions, are we like Jesus, seeing ourselves as messengers of Almighty God, seasoning the people with love and good will, or are we like King Herod and Muammar Gaddafi, with our own plan, imposing our will, and in the process engendering nothing but anger and hatefrom our constituents, against us and against each other?

The Essenes, were a group living throughout Judea and who were tired of the complicity of the Sadducees with the King, and with his benefactors in Rome. Another group was the Samaritans, who accepted Torah, but rejected the prophets. Sadducees rejected the Resurrection of the Dead, a central tenet by the Pharisees. The Sadducees rejected the Pharisees’ Oral Law but saw Torah as the sole source of divine authority.

As Father pointed out, the Pharisees accepted the prophets and oral tradition, “The grammarians and the Pharisees/Separate Ones have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Do and guard all things they tell you.” Jesus identified with that authority, and that tradition. Much rabbinic tradition is in our Gospels and Epistles.

Jesus’ complains against the gap between teaching and practice. “Do not follow their example. They preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them.”

We have the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount, along with our Magnificat and our Canticle of Zachariah. We push the recitation of these prayers, just like the Pharisees pushed reciting Shema, and the Amida prayers. Just like the Pharisees, we are often so busy reciting the words, that we do not take time to hear them. As a result, we preach, but do not practice. God does not so much hear our prayers as the thoughts in our hearts when we say them. If their are no thoughts there, there is nothing to hear.

Father taught hard on the gap between preaching and practice. Our leaders tie up heavy burdens on employees, but do not see the suffering, so do not lift a finger to help them.

The poorest 50% of the population brings home 19% of all income while the richest 5% brings home 21.3% of all income and the richest 20% bring home over half of all income. This same richest 20% controls 85% of all wealth.

Some 50.2 million people lived in food-insecure households, including 17.2 million children.

Some 5,000 workers die every year and another 1.2 million are hurt on the job due to a lack of adequate regulations upon business.

The obvious solution for the modern Pharisee is for the working poor to go out and get another job. They bind up heavy burdens but are not willing to lift a finger to help. The modern Pharisee who latest laid up these heavy burdens, a Herman Cain, claims to be a Baptist, a Christian.

Father related that the difference between the ancient Pharisee and the Christian, is how we have confession. We own up to his mistakes and works to rectify the consequences of his errors. Do we?

Of Ezekiel’s watchman, the Social Contract of Levi, and Jesus message to the Pharisees


The first reading for this Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time brings to mind the reading from Ezekiel 33:2-6:

Jesus stands as a watchman over us, and we are called to be watchman of the word of God as it relates to concern for our neighbor

Ben Adam, speak to the children of the people, tell them: When I bring the sword/Horeb upon a land, the people of the land might take a man from among them, and set him for their watchman. If, when he sees the sword/Horeb come upon the land, he blow the horn, and warn the people; whosoever hears the sound of the horn, and does not take warning, if the sword/Horeb come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head… If the watchman see the sword/Horeb come, and does not blow the horn, the people will not be warned, the sword do comes, and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his rebellion, but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.

This is the clear lesson of the first reading and the Gospel for this Sunday. In the first reading, Malachi means this passage for the priests. In the second reading, Jesus means the passage for the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Horeb is the Hebrew word for a sword, and it is where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Our priests also, receive training in the word of God, the words of Horeb, and they must present that word to the people, even when that word is not popular.

Horeb means sword and Horeb is also the mountain of God.

In the first reading we read of the priests:

You have turned aside from the way, and have caused many to falter by your instruction; you have made void the Social Contract of Levi, says the Personal Name of the Great Procession of the Sky. I, have made you contemptible before all the people, since you do not keep my ways, but show partiality in your decisions. Have we not all the one father? Has not the one God created us? Why do we break faith with one another, violating the Social Contract of our fathers?

What is the Social Contract of Levi? The context makes this clear. “Aaron was a symbol for a strong priesthood, as can be seen from the Dead Sea Scrolls… Only the sons of Aaron should “administer judgment and wealth.” “Rabbi Hillel, the great liberal sage, praised Aaron as peace-loving, a man of goodwill, who wanted to teach his people the Torah.”

So, we read in our first reading about the violation of the Social Contract of Aaron, of Levi. “You do not keep my ways, but show partiality in your decisions. Have we not all the one father? Has not the one God created us? Why do we break faith with one another?”

It is this showing partiality, favoring the rich over the poor, that has Malachi upset. It is this showing partiality, favoring the rich over the poor, that has God upset with the priesthood. In the Gospel Jesus tells us of the grammarians and the Pharisees/Separate Ones, “Do and guard all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. They preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them.”

Today, 5% of the population brings home 50% of all income, with 20% of the population bringing home half of all income. This comes from the Department of Commerce. The richest 20% of the population controls 85% of all net worth. Partly as a result, the US has 5% of the world population and 25% of the world’s prison population. Some 50.2 million people live in food-insecure households, including 17.2 million children.

If we all have God as our Father and Our Blessed Virgin as our Mother, we are all related and should treat ourselves as such.

Have we not all the one father? Has not the one God created us? Malachi asks the question well. If we all have the same father, we are all his children. In Revelations 12:17 it states, “The Taanah became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s Mitzvah and bear witness to Jesus.”

If we keep God’s Mitzvah, his commandments, and bear witness to Jesus, not just in words, but in words and action, we are all offspring of the woman, Our Blessed Virgin. If we have Our Blessed Virgin as our Mother and God as our Father, we are all sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters.

Our word, nation, comes from the same root as nativity. It means people who are born together, brothers and sisters. As a nation, we follow the will of God by being peacemakers, one with another, defending each other’s welfare. We are E Pluribus Unum. An attack against any one is an attack upon all.

Brothers and sisters do not allow brothers and sisters to go hungry. Brothers and sisters do not allow one another to go without food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, or safe transportation. This is the Social Contract of Aaron/the Levites, and this is the Social Contract of Moses, Horeb, and the cross of Jesus Christ.

This is what our priests must teach. They are the watchman. This is what we must follow. If we do not, we are not children of our Blessed Virgin Mary, or our Father/God. If we are not the adopted children of God, the alternative is not good. Please, let us be children of Our Blessed Virgin and our Father/God.

 

Father Francisco’s class on the prophets, What is prophecy?


Father Francisco Nahoi gave his class on the prophets on 27 October in Rhigini Hall at our Cathedral in Reno. Father mentioned one of the three great Jewish Medieval Scholars, Rambam, the other two being Rashi and Spinoza.

Father pointed out, Rambam, an eleventh and twelfth century scholar was influenced by Aristotle’s idea of the Demiurge, the unmoved mover, the nous, or mind, the first cause that causes all other things but is in turn caused by nothing. Because God is One, nothing can properly be said about him. For Rambam, Moses signals a major course shift in prophecy.

St. Thomas Aquinas was a near contemporary of Rambam

All that Abraham knew of God we learned from observing nature. All things have a cause, so we look to find that first cause. We only know God from what he has done and often confuse God and his creation, idolatry. We speak about God through what we see with our imperfect senses, through what he created. We speak about God using allegories, and parables.

According to Rambam, prophecy goes through twelve stages, the first being prophecy through action, the second stage being through words. In the third stage, the true prophetic first state the prophet sees an allegory in a dream, and the allegory is interpreted. Such are most of the allegories of Zechariah.

In the fourth stage, the prophet hears in a prophetic dream, but does not see the speaker. This was the case with Samuel in the beginning of his prophetic mission. In the fifth stage, a person addresses the prophet in a dream, as in some of the prophecies of Ezekiel. “The man spoke to me, Son of man,” Ezekiel. 40: 4.

In stage six, an angel speaks to the prophet in a dream. An example is Genesis 31:11. In stage seven, a prophetic dream appears to the prophet as if God spoke to him. Examples are Isaiah 6:1-8, and I Kings 22:19.

A pond can be an allegory for the way we live our lives

In stage eight, something presents itself to the prophet as allegorical figures. The example is Genesis 15:9-16. In stage nine, the prophet hears words in a prophetic vision as in Genesis 15:4. In stage ten, the prophet sees a man speaking to him in a prophetic vision, as in Genesis 18:1. In stage eleven, the prophet sees an angel speaking to him in vision, as when Abraham was addressed by an angel in the Acheidah, the binding of Isaac, Genesis 22:15.

The last stage is that of Moses. He no longer needs to develop Kavanah, or the intention to see God. He no longer needs the Dionysian build up of the fundamentalists, with the trance like state. He simply walks up to the mountain and converses with God as if he were talking with a human being. He sees God face to face, like with anyone else.

In Mishneh Torah, Sefer Madda, Yesodey haTorah, Chapter Seven Halacha 6 Rambam says of Moses, “When Moses gazed upon the form of God there was no metaphor. He perceived matters in their fullness. Exodus 33:11 relates: “God spoke to Moses… as a man speaks to a friend.” As a person will not be awe-struck from hearing his friend’s words, Moses’ mental power was sufficient to comprehend the words of prophecy while standing in a composed state. God becomes known directly, resulting in a major shift in the way we see God. He is no longer seen through nature, with its tendency toward idolatry, but directly, through the revelation of Sinai.

With prophecy explained, Father began to discuss prophecy as it relates to King Saul and King David,

Rambam wrote in his guide to the Perplexed, “The first degree of prophecy consists in divine assistance which is given to a person, and induces and encourages him to do something grand.” He also states in this Chapter XLV Part 2, “All the judges הַשֹּׁפֵט of Israel possessed this degree.” “הַשֹּׁפֵט” is also the Hebrew word for “Lip.” He similarly relates, “All the noble chiefs of Israel belonged to this class.” One of these was King Saul.

“Saul” means “request,” or “demand.” In I Samuel, it says that the people demanded a king. Saul is the answer to that request. I Samuel 8:5 states, “שִׂימָה-לָּנוּ מֶלֶךְ לְשָׁפְטֵנוּ–כְּכָל-הַגּוֹיִם. Set to us a messenger to judge (Literally, “from the lips,” as all the Goim.” Military leaders are strong type “A” personalities. They are assertive to the point of aggressive.

An example of this is from I Samuel 11:6-7, “The Spirit of God came mightily upon Saul …and took a yoke of oxen, cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the borders of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying: ‘Whosoever does not come after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen.”

This is the work of a strong type “A” personality, and it shows how a strong military leader is not a good choice for a civilian leader. The message was, “Do it or else.” “Saul, not only means “request,” or “demand.” “Saul” also means “grave” or “Hell.” After the Israelites received their leader, they also found their grave.

In contrast, “King,” “Melech,” in Hebrew, means “messenger,” therefore, “angel,” and “salt.” The Melech is the person who seasons, adds flavor to the life of the people. The king is the messenger of the will of God to the people, and is the messenger between the people and themselves. He is also the messenger between the people and his administration. King Saul did not realize this. This caused him to overstep his authority.

Father mentioned ancient Jewish governance had a system of checks and balances. The priests anointed the King who ruled over the priests. There was a clear separation of church and state. The king was not to give sacrifices, say the prayers or give literal sacrifice, and the priests were not to govern. Then there were the prophets who appointed by the priests, ruled over the kings, and confronted the priests when necessary.

King Saul chose not to recognize the balance. In an emergency, he chose to take over the role of priests, giving the sacrifices before battle.  I Samuel 13 gives the story of how King Saul took over the role of priests. For that, he lost his job and his life.

Father Francisco presented the view that what was being tested was obedience. Obey comes from a Latin verb meaning to listen. The Hebrew word is Shema. Father presented the view that King Saul had to obey Torah, the will of God, even in emergencies.

When confronted with the view that some people have not had good bosses, and have a problem with obedience, in the sense of “Me boss, you labor; me tell you what to do and you do it,” Father pointed out that Rambam stated that Shema, also means “To know,” “to understand,” in this case “To understand God and his plan.”

The true leader follows the teaching of King David in Psalm 72 and Psalm 82. He represents the people. Psalm 72 ends, in essence, “From David.” It begins, “לִשְׁלֹמֹה,” “to Solomon,” his son and successor. In this Psalm David says the role of the king is to “judge his people with charity, and his poor with justice, from the lips, as in the lips of God, the divine plan.

David, whose name means, “beloved,” also forgets from time to time, but repents and goes back to being a servant of the people. At the lowest level, being a prophet therefore includes being a representative, a servant, a messenger of the people, like salt, seasoning the people so that they savor the rich joys of life.

Letters from Antioch, Learning to see


Salvador asked us, “Try sitting in a room sometime and doing nothing. You will hear noises that you did not notice before. This is because you now have time to hear them. The landscaping that professionals spent thousands of dollars installing along the side of the road are a thing of beauty to those who have time to enjoy them. They are a nuisance to those who are in a rush. Do not be in a rush and miss the fragrance and the beauty of the landscaping.”

Academics is great, but how does it apply to the outside world?

He gave this command, “Do not be like the theology students who miss the beggar on the street corner in the name of preparing their homily on the Good Samaritan or the rich man and Lazarus. The man found along the side of the road and Lazarus are in your parish and they are on the street corners of your town, wherever your town is. Look for them.”

Never let the following poem be said about you, “I was hungry and you formed a humanities club to discuss my hunger. Thank you. I was in prison and you crept off quietly to your chapel to pray for my release. Nice. I was naked and in your mind, you debated the morality of my appearance. What good did that do? I was sick and you knelt and thanked the Mighty Savior for your health. I needed you.

Do we see this woman, or do we see a lifestyle?

Salvador commanded, “Never have people speak of you saying, “I was homeless. You preached to me of the shelter of the Mighty Savior. I wish you had taken me home. I was lonely and you left me alone so you could pray for me. Why didn’t you stay? You seem so devout, so close to the Mighty Savior; But I am still very hungry, lonely, cold, and still in pain. Does it matter?”

As Salvador and his group continued in their travels, they entered a village where a women, May Dee Princess welcomed him. She had a sister named Princess Amy who sat at Salvador’s feet listening to him speak. May Dee Princess, burdened with much serving, came to him, “Professor, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”

Salvador replied, “May Princess, May Princess, you are anxious and worried about many things. You feel that you are a princess carrying the burden of much authority and responsibility for getting things done, your way. I hear you as you say your rosary in the morning, when you have time to say it. It is rushed and without thought. Your cooking is good, but it always tastes the same. You are very diligent in following your recipes. Your home always looks the same. Would it hurt to move the sofa to the other side of the room, just to be different?

Princess Amy is my princess. She lets the Mighty Savior and I, be in control. No one put you in charge. You assumed the role. You do not see yourself as special, as a princess. Princess Amy does see herself as special, even if the establishment people in the world do not. Princess Amy says her rosary every morning and her novena of 18 benedictions as well.

May Princess and Princess Amy Identical on the outside does not mean identical on the inside.

Never has Pop heard her say the prayers twice, the same way. Every meal she cooks is different. She uses the spice that changes its flavor every day. It is the spice of the Whittling Breath. Your life is that of the Protestant work ethic. When you say the rosary, it has to be 5 decades. You rush through them so you can get on with the next task.

Her life is that of natural rhythms. Unlike you, in the spring, she notices that the days just seem to get longer, by a minute or two each day. In the fall, she notices that they get shorter. Unlike you, she can tell you what phase the moon is in.

She may not be able to name the constellations in the sky, but she follows them nightly. She has seen the great line in the sky that separates night from twilight, not because she was rushing to work at that time, but because she took time to notice it. Her day starts with prayers.

Sometimes she gets five decades in, sometimes one. She continues that with contemplation of Pop, his world and her place in it. She sprinkles it with physical labor. With her, I can never walk into the same house twice. There is always something different. With her, it is not idly moving everything around, however.

True prayer is measured by how much you put into itand,how much it puts into you!

Her home and her meals are a reflection of herself. She changes little by little and day by day. Why should her home always look the same? She talks to the finches and the flowers. She realizes that they speak only finch and flower, while she speaks only English, but she talks to them anyway. You call this folly.

As Tiny says, “The folly of the Mighty Savior is greater than the wisdom of men. There is need of only one thing, feeling the rhythm of life. Princess Amy has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

Father Francisco’s homily for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time


Father Francisco delivered the homily for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time at the 9:30 A.M. Mass on the first reading where it says, “וְגֵר לֹא-תוֹנֶה, וְלֹא תִלְחָצֶנּוּ:  כִּי-גֵרִים הֱיִיתֶם, בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם.”  “The traveler in your land you will not treat overbearingly and you will not press upon him. You were strangers in the land of oppression.”

Father delivered his homily here!

In relation to this, Father Francisco discussed the immigration issue, in particular as it relates to the Arizona Immigration law and other laws coming into place in the Deep South and elsewhere. Father Francisco alluded to the fact that almost all Americans, excluding Washoe, Paiute, and the other so-called Native American tribes, are all immigrants to this land. We have on our Lady in the Harbor in New York City, “Give me your tired, your poor, those yearning to breathe free.”

Father called to mind that our Eucharist comes ultimately from the words of Deuteronomy 5:1-6:

“Moses called all those who quarrel with God, and told them: Hear, You Who Quarrel with God, the customs and correct judicial precedents, which I speak in your ears this day, that you may learn them, and guard to do them. The Personal Name our Mighty Judge cut a Social Contract with us in Horeb. Not with our Fathers did he cut this Social Contract, but with us, each of us, standing here, alive, this day…” Remember, “I am the Personal Name your Mighty Judge, who brought thee out of the land of Oppression, out of the house of bondage. Thou will have no other gods before my face.”

Our Eucharist is based upon this Seder plate

Jewish Passover celebration looks at that part of the text which says, “Not to our fathers did he cut this Social Contract, but with us, each of us, standing here, alive, this day.” Passover Seder is the reliving of this event for the first time, each time they celebrate their escape from Oppression. Eucharist is the celebration of Jesus’ Last Supper, a celebration of Passover Seder. In the Eucharist, we relive for the first time, each time, Jesus Passion and resurrection.

The text continues, “You will remember that you were a servant in the land of Oppression, and the Personal Name your Mighty Judge brought you out thence by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; the Personal Name your Mighty Judge commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day.”

Father Francisco pointed out that repeatedly in Deuteronomy and Exodus, in the prophets, and in the Gospels, the essence of Judeo-Christianity is concern for the less fortunate, in particular those who are not of our kind, who are not Catholic, not US Citizens, not Irish or German, Anglo Saxon, or Italian. Through our ancestors, we all know what oppression is.

Father Francisco also pointed out that the Gospel for today is the Jewish Creed, “Here Israel, God is Almighty; God is One. Love God with all of your hearts, with all of our animate being and with all we measure ourselves with.”

We love God by taking care of his image in the less fortunate, including the immigrant, legal or otherwise.

Now just how do we love God? What do we give someone who literally already has everything?” We respect what is his, in particular what is made in his image, each other, including the Hispanic, the Native American, the Muslim, the Jew, and the Anglo-Saxon. That is why Father also quoted the famed address to the nations, “As you do to the least of these your brothers, you do it also to me.” Immediately following Jesus’ Passion comes. Jesus meant that literally. As you do to the immigrant, legal or otherwise, you do it to Jesus, you do it to the image of God, you participate in Jesus’ Passion.

The Great Commandment, the Jewish Creed, Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says we are to love God with all of our hearts, with all of our animate being, and with all of our measure. That includes our wealth, our strength, and our vote on Election Day. As a community, we love God as a community. That means, regardless of how, or why the immigrant arrived in our land, when we look at the immigrant, we look at the image and likeness of God. As we treat the immigrant, we treat God, as individuals and as a nation.

The first reading continues, “You will not press upon any widow or orphan. If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry. My wrath will flare up, and I will kill you with the sword/Horeb/ the place where God gave the Ten Commandments; then your own wives will be widows, and your children orphans.”

That is our warning. Either we take care of the immigrant, the widow and the orphan, those less fortunate than ourselves, or we will again see Horeb, the horrible. We will relearn what it is like to be widows and orphans. God gives refresher courses. Therefore we must use all in our power to stop the oppression in places like Arizona, Georgia and Alabama, and other states that are attacking God by attacking the less fortunate neighbor.

Letters from Antioch Of Timber wolves and coyotes


There was a scholar of the law from the University who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Salvador said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?”

The scholar replied, “You shall love the Personal Name, your Mighty Savior, with all your hearts, with all of your animate being, with everything you use to measure yourself with,[1] and your neighbor as yourself. In the commandment, “your” is singular, and “hearts” is plural. This is to show us that the Mighty Savior made us in his own image and that we have the original mistake.

Salvador responded, “You answered correctly; do this and you will live.” Because he wished to justify himself, the scholar asked Salvador, “Who is my neighbor?” Salvador replied, “I ask you to remember the Great City of Peace, Sacramento, California.[2] There was a man in that city who wanted to ascend from that great city to that great place of romance, the moon.[3] As a result, he left our great city of peace in search of romance.

This is so much like the early 1960’s when we first set out to go to the moon. Instead, what he found was bad times and robbers. These left him cynical, lifeless, and on the street. Vietnam, Watergate, The Iranian Hostage Crisis, Iran Gate, Monica Lewinsky, Tax Cut Mania, Budget Cut Mania, and the resulting disaster in New Orleans did the same thing for the U.S.

Our religious leaders, priest and pastor went down the same road with us. Still, their status as priest and pastor blocked them from poverty. When they see our plight in the street, they just walk to the other side of the street to avoid ritual defilement. What will people think if they see priest and pastor hanging around with the underclass?

Salvador looked at his followers and asked, “Remember that town of Omaha back a few days ago? They are many scrub cattle, abused by the Crooked Knives and the Lakota over the last couple of centuries. Because we as Native Americans are so often outcasts in the grander society, we know what it is like to reach for the sky and as a result descend into hell. We also descended that road.

There was a member of the Paiute. His home was a singlewide travel trailer, primer red, a Dodge Colt. This man saw a victim of robbers, took compassion, as a mother has compassion on the fruit of her womb.[4] This man bound up the victims wounds and took him to a place called “All Praise Outreach Center.”[5] There he offered to pay all expenses to bring the man back to health. Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?

Timber Wolf

The scholar answered, “The one who treated him with mercy. Salvador retorted. “Go and do likewise.”

In Reno, there was a tough neighborhood called Neal Road. Few dared to enter. In the eastern section of town there is a gang called the coyotes. In the western part of town are the timber wolves. These kids are tough. Their parents work in the meat packing plants there. Once, a working class kid with a shaved head made the mistake of driving through the eastern section of town. Further, he was driving a Chevy pickup with a large NRA sticker on it and a sticker with Semper Fi on it.

On the route, he had to stop at a stop light on Montello Drive in Reno. Some of the toughs then pulled him out of the car, beat him to the point of near death. They took his car off so they could strip it and sell it.

Later that night, a car full of doctors from the local religious hospital in town drove by. On their bumper was a sticker that read, “Smile, God loves you.”

They were going to a formal dinner south of town, and were afraid. They were not just afraid of the gangs in the area, but of what their cloths might look like when they got to the party. Most important, they were afraid to sully themselves by touching something as repugnant as a corpse. As a result, they did not smile as they drove by, as rapidly as possible.

Coyote

Later, Senators from Carson City also drove by. They were sporting their new corvette. They were on their way to see the results of their work on a new state office building. It was dark and they wanted to see how it lit up at night. The driver was talking on his cell phone to other people that they expected to meet at the building.

On the bumper of the car was a sticker that said, “Honk if you love Jesus.”

They swerved into the left lane, to avoid even coming near a dead man. They did not honk.

Last, a beat up old Dodge Colt came that a 20 something black person with a sweatshirt that had a timber wolf emblazoned upon it drove. Knowing what might happen if the coyotes’ area saw him, and knowing what this kid, whom he saw before him, must stand for, he got out of his colt, took time to bandage the youth, put him in the back of his car, and took him to his home.

There, he asked family and friends to care for this kid while he went back out into the streets to make his living as a rent-a-cop. He could not help but smile and honk at his friends, including the new one he just made as he drove off.

Salvador asked, “Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”

The scholar answered, “The one who treated him with mercy. Salvador retorted. “Go and do likewise.”


[1] Neusner, Jacob, the Misnah, tractate Barakhot 9:5 F, page 14, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1988

[2] Jerusalem in Hebrew translates as city of peace.

[3] Jericho, in Hebrew, translates as the moon.

[4] In Hebrew, the word for compassion is related to the word for a womb.

[5] The Original Greek of the Gospel has two words for “Inn.” The first is used in the nativity and literally translated as the upper room.” As such, it looks forward to the upper room of the last supper. The other word used for “Inn” is used here, the story of the Good Samaritan. It here translates as “Place of All Praise.”

Letters from Antioch Salvador sends out 72


Salvador appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. This was one person sent out for each year between the founding of the American Constitution and the year Abraham Lincoln first took office. It is also one person sent out for each Senator in the US Congress the day the Civil War ended.

He told them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few. Ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way. I am sending you out like buffalo calves among wolves. You are not to carry a wallet, or back pack. You are not to have extra shoes and you are not to greet people along the way.

The harvest (of the children of God) is plentiful, but the gatherers are few

Whenever you enter a house, you are to say first, ‘We bring tranquility for this house.’ If a peaceable person lives there, your peace will rest on him. If he is not peaceable, your peace will return to you. Stay in the same house, eat, and drink what they offer you. The laborer does deserve his wages. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The rule of The Mighty Savior is at hand.’

Whenever you enter a town and they do accept you, go out into the streets and say, ‘The dust of your town clings to our feet. Even the dust we shake off against you.’ Yet know this: the Rule of The Mighty Savior is here. I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Hiroshima on that day than for that town. “I pity you, Norfolk! I pity you, Tahoe Pines!

If Pop did the mighty deeds done in your midst what he did in Dresden and Nagasaki, they would long ago have repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. It will be more tolerable for Dresden, Nuremburg, and Nagasaki at the judgment than for you. Moreover, as for you, Incline Village, ‘Will you be exalted to the sky? You will go to the landfill.” Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. In addition, whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.

The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and told Salvador, “Professor, even those hearing voices are subject to us because of your name.” Salvador observed, “I have observed The Great Accuser fall like lightning from the sky. I have called you as 72. You are not to be like the 72 that were before the Civil War, who rushed to accuse, north against south, and south against north, white against black and black against white.

You are to take on a new focus. This focus is on bringing life in its fullest to all people. Pop made all people in the image of himself. All people also have the original error. In the old world order, people focus on the results of the original error in everyone not like them. You are to represent the new world order. In the new world order of Pop, all people look to see the image of Pop in all people. This is whether they think or look alike or not. You are to be the example of this new world order.

Look, I have given you the power ‘to tread upon the real nana-Sioux’ and the rats and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. This is like the Exodus of Moses. Those people also had the power to trample on the rats and the vermin out in the desert. They had this power because Pop was rescuing them from the great accuser of that age, Pharaoh. Pop rescued them and they felt this rescue. Therefore, nothing could harm them.

Therefore, do not rejoice because those with voices are subject to you, but rejoice because Pop wrote your names in the great flow of things. Rejoice, Pop rescued you and all he will give all these things to you.

At that very moment, he rejoiced in the Whittling Breath, “I praise you, Pop, Ruler of the great flow of things and of the earth. Although you have hidden these things from those in the universities, the wise and the learned, you have revealed them to the innocent common folk. Yes, Pop, such has been your kind will. Pop handed over all things to me. No one knows who the Son is except Pop, and who Pop is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.

Turning to the Akicita in private he related, “Happy are the eyes that see what you see. I say to you, many Proclaimer of the divine truths from of olds and rulers desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”

Letters from Antioch, Salvador’s dream for Echumenism and brotherhood


Curtis barged into Salvador’s discussion about redwoods and shouted, “Salvador, we saw some clown out there, and he was actually preaching and healing in your name. Boy we really got on his case.”

He did this fully expecting an atta boy. That is not what he received.

What Salvador instead told him was, “Have you also not seen the Wizard of Oz? The Wizard was an ancestor of Curtis and me, William Jennings Bryan. Remember Scare Crow? All he wanted was a brain. The Wizard did not give him a brain. What the Wizard gave Scare Crow was a piece of paper and a talk about how the world puts too much importance on paper. It is not to be this way with you.”

The Wizard of Oz, William Jennings Bryan, and Scare Crow, real brains versus a college degree.

Salvador informed us, “He preaches the message of healing and transformation, and he heals in my name? Great! The time is coming when we will learn what Martin Luther King was saying, “We are all God’s children, therefore we long for the day that we will not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the strength of our character.”

Salvador added, “Therefore what denomination we call ourselves, is just not that important. We need to be Catholic, yes. We need to acknowledge the primacy of Peter. Yes. If others acknowledge the greater primacy of Pop, that is greater. If you stop the man, he might turn against us. If you encourage the man, you might make him a follower. If others perceive him as one of our followers, he will have a harder time turning against us later. Go back and apologize for what you did.”

When the days for his being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to that city near the city of Oz, Folsom City, which is Sacramento California. He sent messengers ahead of him. On the way, they entered a town populated mainly by Omaha Indians to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him. They said it was because his destination was Sacramento and they were afraid of what politicking they might do there.

When the students Abe Prentice, and Curtis saw this they asked, Professor, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Salvador turned got in their case about it.

Salvador commented, “This world has suffered just about enough violence, don’t you think? Fire and brimstone has not worked in the past to correct people. Why should it work now? We need to keep on focus. Worrying about what the other guy is doing is taking us off our focus. The people of the world will judge us based upon where we have been. Do you want them to look back and see fire and brimstone? Would you not rather have them see joy and peace?

Pop calls us to bring life to this world. That is not life of bare subsistence and suffering. It is life in its fullest. It is looking for common ground with those who hate us, but without compromising our principles of loving Pop first, our neighbor second and Pop’s world third. They journeyed to another village. As they were proceeding in their travels, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

Foxes have their dens
and not all foxes have four legs and chase rabbits

Salvador answered him, “Even the foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Ben Adam has nowhere to rest his head. You need to look at what you are getting into before you say such things. This is not the road to the middle class life style. This is the road to Sacramento California and the very possibility of death by hanging. To another he said, “Follow me.” The other person replied, “Professor, let me go first and bury my pop.”

He answered, “The train leaves now. Let the dead spiritually dead bury their physically dead. You are to go and proclaim the rule of the Mighty Savior. Let those who are dead to Pop but alive in this world worry about the details of burying the dead and the other trivialities of life. Pop calls you to greater tasks. Another said, “I will follow you, Professor, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”

Travelling on US 50 to Sacramento CA from Incline Village NV

Salvador told him, “No one who sits in his combine and looks back is fit for the rule of The Mighty Savior. The train is moving. The process of creating the new rule of the Mighty Savior has started. If you do not get on now, you will never be able to get on. The train is on its way to Sacramento where things are really going to start happening. The world cannot stop and wait while you give the old world its last goodbyes. Join hands now and let’s start walking.

Father Explains the changes to the Mass coming to our Cathedral


Father Francisco Nahoi gave his class on the New Liturgy on Wednesday October 19, of this year. In this class, given in Rhegini Hall at our Cathedral in Reno Nevada, Father began by discussing the different parts of Mass. He also discussed what separates Ordinary Mass from Extraordinary Mass. One of main things learned is that the terms, “High Mass, Low Mass, and Solemn Mass only refer to Extraordinary Mass.

One of the first questions presented was the role of Kavanah in Mass. Father Francisco pointed out that our Catholic Mass owes its origins to the structure of the temple liturgy and the 24 Levites who presided over the Jewish Liturgy at the time of the second temple period.

Our Catholic Mass closely follows the liturgy of the Jewish Second Temple

Examples of Introit Psalms are Psalm 15 and Psalm 24. These Psalms repeat the theme, “Who may ascend into the mountain of the Personal Name? Who may stand in His Dedicated place?” Each Psalm goes on to answer that question. Other examples are the Shir HaMa’aloth, or the Songs of Ascent, Psalms 120-134, which people sang on their way from their villages to the Jerusalem Temple. They are now song in preparation for Kavanah and Mass.

Father pointed out that we can see examples of the Jewish Liturgy as it comes into use in Christian Liturgy in the Book of Revelations. One key example of this is Revelations 4. Our Holy, Holy, Holy is found in Revelations 4 as part of the Divine Liturgy of St. John, writer of Revelations.

We see the importance of ascending to the mountain. This mountain is at once Mt. Horeb/Mt. Sword, which Torah also calls Mt. Sinai/Mt. Sinai/Mt. Bush/ for the burning bush, Mt. Mariah, which is one of the seven mountains of Jerusalem, and the Jewish Temple. The mountain refers to where the Romans sacrificed Jesus, and therefore the Mass. That is why the major change coming to the new Mass is song.

As Father Francisco Nahoi discussed the parts of our Catholic Mass, he made it clear, the major change coming to Mass is that we will be singing. St. Augustine related, “Qui bene cantat, bis orat, He who sings well, prays twice.” Sursum corda et Totum dependeat, lift up your hearts and the whole world depends on it. This is because,Ubi spiritus est cantus est.” “Where there is spirit there is song.”

St. Augustine who told us Qui Bene Cantat bis orat

In Father’s presentation, we discussed the meaning of prayer. The Mass is prayer. We discussed three words for prayer, תְּפִלּה Tefillah, which is Hebrew along with δέομαι, and προσεύχομαι, both of which are in Middle Greek. The Greek middle voice shows the subject participating in the results of the verbal action. The middle form of the verb can be translated as “the performer of the action acting upon himself.” One example is washing. We wash ourselves.

The Artscroll Seder relates, “Tefillah gives us an insight into the Torah’s concept of prayer. The root is “פִלּלּ,” to decide. Prayer is the soul’s yearning to define what truly matters.” In confession, we sit down with the priest and relate our faults. The priest gives advice and counsel on how to live our lives better in the future. Confession is God, through the priest, praying, working on the person confessing to improve that person’s life.

In the same manner, Mass is the congregation ascending to the mountain of God to stand before God to decide what is important in life and how to lead lives better in the future.

Through song, we pray twice, we strive to make our Mass experience more real. Through this we make it easier to arrive at Kavanah. Through Kavanah, God, Blessed be he, and if he wills, will descend in the Epiclesis and we will directly experience God’s presence, his Shekinah.

As Franciscans we note that St. Clair points to the Eucharist as teh summit of the whole Mass.

A student in the class related that Father can give homilies on the Physical Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. If we do not feel this Kavanah, the Shekinah, Father is wasting his breath. If we do feel this Shekinah, this presence, no homilies are necessary. When the Protestants come up with their arguments against the Physical Presence, all we have to say is, “I just felt Jesus’ Presence at Mass on Sunday.” There is no rebuttal to this.

That is why the major change coming to the Mass is that we will sing it. It is not that Father likes to sing, but that we need to create the full experience of the mountain, creating a three dimensional experience of that mountain in liturgical space. The other changes to the Mass are largely cosmetic, designed to better translate the Latin Mass into English. This change brings us back to the Mass as Jesus, St. John, and the apostles understood Mass, the Jewish liturgy as practiced in the first century, and transformed by the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

Letters from Antioch How old are we when we cease to be children?


As Salvador and his friends hiked back to Mt. Rose Highway, Salvador informed them, “Do not tell anyone what you heard, until The Ben Adam has risen from the dead.”

Being good theologians, they started to ask good theological questions. As philosophy and seminary students do, they asked questions like, “What will rising from the dead be like?” Will we have bodies like angels, or men?” “If like men, how old?” St. Bonaventure would have been proud.

Discussing the trumpeting angels or the real matters of things God calls us to do on earth?

They asked Salvador, “Why do the fundamentalists say that the trumpeting angels must come first?”

Salvador answered them, “The trumpeting angel comes to purify all.”

Lee Stone asked, “How is it written that The Ben Adam must suffer and be treated with contempt?”

Salvador answered, “I tell you, the trumpeting angel did come. They did to him as they pleased, as predicted.”

Salvador’s students realized he was talking about Curtis.

The next day, when they came back into town from the local creek, a large crowd met him.

There was a man in the crowd who cried out, “Teacher, I beg you, look at my son; he is my only child. Epilepsy seizes him, he suddenly screams and convulses until he foams at the mouth. It eventually goes away for a while, but only with difficulty. In the mean time, it wears him out. I begged your students to cure him. They could not.”

Salvador responded, “O fickle and obstinate generation, how long will I be with you and endure you? Bring your son here.”

Learning about seizures and how they relate to our call here on earth.

As he was coming forward, he had a grand mal seizure, which threw him to the ground in a convulsion. Salvador admonished the seizure, healed the boy, and returned him to his father. The majesty of The Mighty Savior astonished all.

While they were all amazed at his every deed, he said to his students, “Pay attention to what I am telling you. Our elders will hand The Ciksa Wicasa, the Ben Adam over to men.”

The Mighty Judge hid the meaning of this saying from them and they were afraid to ask him about it.

Salvador’s students asked him, “Who is the greatest in the reign of your pop?”

Salvador reclined in his Lazy Boy recliner and asked the twelve men of his inner circle, “Please sit on floor and listen to what I need to tell you.

Salvador started to chew on a straw for the juice he was drinking and explained, “I can tell you honestly, that unless you turn your lives around and become like munchkins,[1] servants, and children, you will never enter into the great flow of things. Whoever receives such a munchkin in my name receives me. Whoever receives me, receives not me, but the one who sent me.”

Notice how they are child size working mature adults. So, how old do we have to be to be adults.

Lee Stone asked, “How old is a munchkin when he ceases to be a munchkin?”

Salvador answered, “Lee Stone, have you seen the movie, the Wizard of Oz? Did you notice the munchkins? They were adults dressed in ethnic costume. They may have been little people, but they were adults. Likewise, Pop calls you to be little people. You are to receive the little people as your masters, and to treat them with respect. After all, you are little people in the eyes of The Mighty Savior.”

Then he discussed redwoods. “Learn something from the redwoods. There are redwood saplings that were but blades in the ground, when your great-grandfather was born. They will be but preschool age when your great grandchildren die of old age. In the eyes of The Mighty Savior, they are but blades of grass, here today and gone tomorrow. You are munchkins in the eyes of The Mighty Savior, very little munchkins.”

Salvador also conversed about our role as leaders, “Remember, you are to be leaders and teachers. If you cause one of your charges, whether they be children, or adults to lose faith in Pop’s providence, it will be better for you if you were given cement overshoes and sent swimming over at the lake.”

It was a sapling when the apostles were around, and it will outlive our grandchildren. When we live as long as it has lived already, we will be adults.

Salvador added, “It is with great sorrow that many scandalous things come into this world. Much of this suffering seems necessary. I feel even sorrier for the person that causes these things to happen. You are to be the leaders of the munchkins. Pop calls you to lead by example. The munchkins see what you do. They do not expect you to be perfect. Only Pop is that. Learn a lesson from Torah. Torah lists the errors of Torah leadership in graphic detail. They admit their mistakes and move to correct them.”


[1] The key word in the Greek original text is Pais, for child, which can also mean servant or slave according to  the Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon. The Hebrew word, Ben can mean a son. It can also mean to build or product of building according to Jastrow’s Hebrew-English Lexicon.