Everybody’s looking for you God

“Everyone is looking for you,” our Gospel for the Fifth Sunday of Ordinary time informs us. Everyone is looking for God incarnate, including Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Tao, Buddhists, Hindi, animists and even atheists. All people are trying to get to the cradle to the grave in one piece. The article, “Are you Samuel, Israel, or Benjamin” relates, some turned to the left, or the right side of the road.

Jesus went to a deserted place to pray

St Augustine states in his City of God, Chapter 11, “We say of peace, as of eternal life, it is the end of our good. The Psalmist says of the city of God, the subject of this work, Praise the Personal Name, Jerusalem/ City of Peace; praise your God, Zion… He makes your borders peace/Shalom/Salem.”

In the next chapter, “There is no man who does not wish to be joyful, who does not wish to have peace. They who make war desire… to attain to peace with glory. What else is victory than the conquest of those who resist? This completed; there is peace. It is with the desire for peace that people wage war… Every man seeks peace by waging war… Those interrupting the peace… only wish it changed into a peace that suits them better.”

“Shalom/peace,” comes from a word meaning “complete.” We can only be complete when we have our salvation/Joshua/Jesus. This is eternal life, when we are complete. Some just deviate to the right or to the left in a mistaken bid to get there. They do so in pursuit of their own way, and not God’s way. Jesus really is right. All seek him, salvation/Joshua.

The rest of the Gospel is presenting a better way to peace. “Bishop Straling’s on the statue with no hands, the paralytic, and the blind man,” discusses that way. It begins and ends with us, the hands of Jesus bringing Jesus/salvation incarnate into this world, through the Eucharist, and with our actions. The story of the healing of the paralytic presents two ways, the way of the grammarians, “Why does this man speak that way?” There is the way of those who think themselves first, and the way of those who put God first.

Our Psalm for this Sunday ends, “The Personal Name upholds the humble; He brings the Russia the ground.” As “Father Francisco’s homily for the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time” relates, “Russia” refers to an attitude, not a nation. It refers to those who are more equal than others. God reminds us, “All men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. Among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The grammarians think, the paralytic must have done something to deserve his plight. The grammarians did not do such things. They are better than the paralytic is. With their words, they stifle initiative and continue the paralysis. That is Russia. That is evil.

The other way is Jesus’ way, the way less traveled, the way of empowerment. This way asks, “What is easier to say…” Once the child feels forgiveness, he feels empowered to walk. Still, he starts behind the others. He was paralyzed while the other kids stayed in school and learned their craft. To be empowered to catch up, he must believe others will help him. Jesus has gone to the nearby villages that he may preach there also. That leaves us as his hands in this village/our village. “I forgive you, now go forgive others, and help them to catch up. Now, go and do likewise, following God’s way and not our own ways.”

Catholic Voter’s Guide for Reno Nevada part 7

The article A Catholic voters guide for Reno Nevada, part 1 presents the foundations for choosing how to vote in the republican caucus this Saturday, 4 February 2012. The foundation for voting and for all living as promoted in the article is love of God first, and showing this love by respect for his property, his planet, and all life, in particular life as created in his image. This article strives to provide the information for you the voter to compare. As Catholics, we look and ask, is God the great provider, or is there something, or someone else who decides how to run our economy and our environment?

Black Angus south of Reno Nevada

How do the candidates compare as it relates to respecting the property of God, the planet itself. The first question is the question of the Keystone 40 Pipeline Project. Tar sands oil production, results in carbon dioxide emissions three times higher than conventional oil. Communities living downstream from Keystone 40 production facilities have seen spikes in rare cancers, renal failure, lupus, and hyperthyroidism.

TransCanada’s Keystone I pipeline has spilled a dozen times in less than a year of operation… The Keystone XL pipeline would traverse six U.S. states and cross major rivers, including the Missouri River, Yellowstone, and Red Rivers, as well as key sources of drinking and agricultural water, such as the Ogallala Aquifer, which supplies two million Americans.

How do the candidates compare on the virtues of promoting or canceling this project?

President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline is as shocking as it is revealing,” Mitt Romney, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, said in a statement.

Newt Gingrich called the decision a “stunningly stupid thing to do.” The large crowd gathered to see Gingrich roared. “There’s no better word. These people are so out of touch with reality, it’s as if they were governing Mars.”

Rick Santorum stated, “”It is absolutely essential that we have as much domestic supply of oil, that we build the Keystone pipeline, that we create the jobs that provide oil from domestic sources, pipelines the run on the floor of the sea or pipelines that come to America are the safest way to transport oil.”

Ron Paul states on his website, “The free market – not government – is the solution to America’s energy needs. As long as we allow federal regulations and bureaucratic red tape to get in the way of energy exploration, our country will never solve its energy crisis… As President, Ron Paul will lead the fight to remove restrictions on drilling, so companies can tap into the vast amount of oil we have here at home. Eliminate the ineffective EPA. It’s time for a President that recognizes the free market’s power and innovative spirit by unleashing its full potential.”

The market is a thing? that has a spirit? As we go to our caucuses this weekend, let us look at our candidates positions on this important issue.

Our Bishop discusses the old parish priest, the unclean spirits, sunsets, and the Eucharist

So, which group are you in?

Bishop Calvo celebrated the 9:30 A.M. Mass at the Cathedral in Reno Nevada. He began his homily by noting that this coming weekend is the Nevada Caucus, the time we begin to select our leaders for the coming four years. Bishop Calvo told the story of the professional speaker, who was asked to recite the 23rd Psalm. Like Edward Everett, the speaker who spoke before Abraham Lincoln at the Consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, this speaker rose and recited the 23rd Psalm. The next speaker, the elder parish priest rose, and recited the 23rd Psalm. As at the Gettysburg address by Lincoln, the local nobody parish priest stole the show. As Bishop Calvo related, when the professional speaker’s staff asked why the elder parish priest stole the show, the professional speaker replied, “I know the 23rd Psalm; the parish priest knows the shepherd.”

Our Gospel reads, “The people were astonished at Jesus’ teaching. He taught them as one having authority. Not as the grammarians.” The difference between Jesus and the grammarians is that the grammarians are expert at planning, organizing, staffing, and controllership. The important step missing from quality management is leadership. Jesus is a leader. Grammarians are not.

A group of 7th to the 11th century rabbis were called the Masoretes. They worked very hard to make sure our Torah is a very precise, accurate copy of the original Hebrew. The middle letter in the Torah is a “U.” We know this because one masorah, was responsible for finding the exact middle letter in a Torah being tested. If it was a “U,” it passed. If not, it failed. Because of these men, we know our Torah is accurate. There is no game of telephone. They knew their Torah. They did not necessarily know the shepherd.

In our Gospel reading, Jesus knows his father, Abba, who is to come Haba, and who is love, Ahabba. “Who is smarter, us or the unclean spirits? You decide” relates, the unclean spirits also know the shepherd. Like the Jewish people in the first reading, they realize they are unclean, and afraid to come near to God’s presence.

The third group is the Pharisees, the Masorah of the first century who read Torah as secretaries, modern managers, who can plan, organize, staff and control but not lead. Like computers, they know the letters but who do not know the shepherd. “Who is smarter, us or the unclean spirits?”  discusses the fourth group, the people watching, much as we watch the event with our mind’s eye two millennium later. They also do not know Jesus, even though he stands right in front of them. The unclean spirits know more than they do.

Bishop Calvo asked of us, do we use Lectio Divina, in our studies of Torah, Prophets, Writings, Gospels, and Epistles? Do we read like the Masorah, finding all the typos, making sure every subject has a predicate, with verb, that every section has thesis statement, three main points, following the five “W’s” and a close. Do we read Torah, prophets, Writing, Gospels, and Epistles at all. Which of the four above group are we in? Do we know as much as the unclean spirits? Do we see Jesus in Torah, the Eucharist, in a sunset, in a flower, in the homeless man sitting on our front porch of our humble parish? This is what Jesus asks us today.