We dot our Ts and cross our Is.


Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits… Every noble tree bears beautiful fruit, and a rotten/ σαπρὸν/sapron tree bears toilsome fruit. A noble tree cannot bear toilsome fruit, nor can a σαπρὸν/sapron tree bear beautiful fruit. Every tree that does not bear beautiful fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire. By their fruits, you will know them.

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“Not everyone who calls me, ‘Kyrie, Kyrie,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven. It is only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will tell me, ‘Kyrie, Kyrie, did we not proclaim the Good News in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you makers of the lawless.” Matthew 7:15-23

This Thursday June 28 is the Memorial of Saint Irenaeus, bishop and martyr at our Reno Cathedral, and it includes Matthew 7:15-23. As we look at Jesus at the center of our altar, we cannot help but ask for those who proclaim the Good News in Jesus’ name, or drive out demon in his name, or do mighty deeds in his name and the rest, “What did they do wrong?”

This passage does not make a lot of sense in Greek, but it does in Hebrew and Aramaic. We think we are Saffron/wise, when in reality we are σαπρὸν/sapron/rotten. We think we are wise because we know nouns and verbs, subjects and predicates, adverbs and adjectives, because we dot our “T’s” and cross our “I’s.” We follow all the dictates of good diction. Our titles have the correct verb in place and the right punctuation. Do we know why the verb is part of the predicate? The reason comes from Aristotle and his logic. The algorithm goes something like this:

1+1=2

2=5-3

Therefore 1+1=5-3

Bill is going to the store.

Going to the store is fun.

Bill is doing something fun.

The program, so far, works fine.

Sue loves Bill.

Bill loves Barbara.

Therefore…

Aristotelian Logic calls the key part of the algorithm the middle term. If the verb is not part of the predicate, the system comes up with the absurd. Sue may well love Barbara, but it does not follow from the formula. What is wrong with the formula? The verb is part of the predicate. “Loves Bill,” is not the same as “Bill.” There is no middle term.

The Hebrew Torah does not mean “Law.” “To be apart from Torah,” means something far more than being apart from the law. Torah/ תורה comes from a root, ירה “To permeate,” or “To penetrate.” “It is not important how much we get into Torah and Gospel; it is important how much Torah and Gospel gets into us.” The grammarians scrupulously follow the externals, but they do not have a relationship with them and most certainly not with their founder. They are then surprised to here the founder say, “I never knew you. Depart from me, you makers of the lawless.”

In Hebrew and Aramaic, the word for tree, עץ, eights, and the word for “counselor,” is the same. Jesus is not talking about trees, but about the grammarians and the leadership. They know the rules and they follow the externals of the rules, but they never get into the rules and the rules never get into them.

Most children hate Algebra and English because they find the rules toilsome, ignoble, rotten fruit about which Jesus complains. The grammarians think they are wise/saffron, when in reality they are σαπρὸν/sapron/full of toil, rotten to the core. Fearful about the violation of their rules, they become ravenous wolves, paranoid; protecting what is precious to them. Irenaeus is the Greek word for peace, and every time we apply the externals over their reason we kill Saint Irenaeus; we kill peace for the sake of our piece of grammar.

At our Cathedral in Reno Nevada, let us watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees, the grammarians, and the Sadducees. Let us strive to make beautiful fruit all will desire to enjoy. Let us cause our Cathedral to be the romantic hall, with our candles, our flowers, our fruit turned into sweet cherry wine, turned into the precious body and blood. We may well be careful to dot our “Ts” and cross our “Is” but we do so for a reason, to communicate with God and with each other. We convey real meaning; we convey love, in Hebrew אהבה. We convey the father, אבא, we convey the one who is to come, הבא, not rules.

The old ragged patch, the old rugged cross, the young girl and new life


One does not sew a holy ragged patch upon a new garment. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Mark 2:21

Jesus took the child by the hand and commanded, “Talitha koum,” “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. They were utterly astounded. He gave strict orders that no one should know this and asked that she should be given something to eat. Mark 5:41

What could these passages possibly have in common? Hebrew has a rule, G’zerah Shavah, finding a similar word found in two places, we apply the same considerations to both. Hebrew rhetoric states there are no unnecessary words in Torah. Where is the common word? The Aramaic word for “ragged,” is “Talitha.” Why is the ragged path holy? Jesus is not talking about rags or patches, but about the coming Christian community and its members. We are the ragged patch not sewn upon the old rotted system.

The story of the women on the road is in the middle of this. This woman heard about Jesus, came up from behind him in the crowd, and touched his cloak. “If I but touch his clothes, I will be cured.” Her flow dried up. She felt her body healing. Jesus, turned around in the crowd, “Who touched my clothes?” The woman, fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. He told her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you.”

Matthew 9:20 tells us the women touches the tassel of his cloak. Numbers 15:38 is the final paragraph of the Hebrew Shema, the Jewish creed. It includes, “When you use these tassels, the sight of the cord will remind you of all the Mitzvah of the Personal Name, and you will do them, without going after the desires of your hearts and your eyes. You will remember to do my Mitzvah and you will be holy/dedicated to your Almighty Judge.”

The woman on the way is sewing that ragged patch upon what has been for millennia. She is reaching back to heritage, but not the old tired way of the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The Hebrew verb has no past or future sense. All is in the present. The Ten Commandments include:

Moses summoned all Israel and told them, Hear, You who quarrel with Mighty Judge, the customs and correct judicial precedents, which I proclaim in your hearing, this day, that you may learn them and guard to keep them. The Personal Name, our Mighty Judge, cut a Brit/Social Contract with us at Horeb. Not with our fathers did the Personal Name cut this Brit/Social Contract, but with us, each of us, alive, here, this day… I am the Personal Name your Mighty Judge, who brought you out of the land of Egypt/Oppression/Europe/sweatshops/ out of the house of menial labor.

The Mitzvah and the reward going with it was not given to our fathers, but to us. Each generation relives the Exodus experience, for the first time, each time, they celebrate Passover. The Jewish community has the concept of the Physical Presence. The concept is of the physical presence of the exodus from Egypt. For the Christian community, the concept is of Jesus death and resurrection in Eucharist. This is what the woman on the road reaches out to touch, not just some rags hanging from Jesus’ clothing.

As we look at our mural at our Cathedral in Reno Nevada, we notice how it is not the polished business people who kneel next to the Lamb of God and the Four Rivers of life. It is the ragged working class people who kneel there. They are the Holy Ones. Likewise, to the right of the mural and Father as he presents his homily, it is not a businessman we see as the father of Jesus, but St. Joseph the Worker. We need to remember this as we go out into the world.

The woman with the blood flow had it for twelve years. The girl Jesus heals is twelve years old. There are twelve Jewish tribes and twelve apostles. Jesus comes to rescue all Israel and all humanity from the contagion of tradition apart from the reason for the tradition. Jesus comes to bring the Physical Presence into the present. He does that by healing the twelve year old and the twelve-year-old problem. He then tells the woman, “Your faith,” not I, “has saved you.” Her reaching back to Sinai and heritage saves her. Jesus, whose name means, “God Saves,” is that salvation incarnate. This leaves the question, “Why command the silence of the crowd?” The Gospel of Mark has three endings. The original ending is:

The angel commanded them, “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him. Go! Tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you to Galilee…’ They went out and fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered. They said nothing to anyone; they were afraid.

They tell nobody when they are told to tell everybody. All through the Gospels, those healed are told to tell nobody and they tell everybody. This brings us to the concept of the forever present. We are now the people told to spread the word of these healings and the resurrection into new life. Do we spread the good news and bring healing to our world, or do we preach morality. Behold the place where they laid him. It is the altar upon which sits the Eucharist. Please, look at this before you leave Mass on Sunday, then please, go out and bring healing/therapy to our starving world.

Being John the Baptist, being touched and bringing healing to our world


Father Francisco began his homily by discussing the golden mean of Aristotle. Giving the example of courage, he compared it with cowardice on the one side, and rashness on the other. Our word, “OK comes from the Greek, “Olla Kalos,” or literally, “All is beautiful,” “All is in order.” When things are in balance and the golden mean is created, the world is said to be healthy.

The Greek word, “ὑγιής,” is generally translated into the Latin as “Sanus, “Sane.” It generally means whole, as the Hebrew word, “Shalom,” means whole. The Greek, “ἰατρός,” was the doctor, the one who heals. Jesus as “ἰατρός,” used θεραπεύω, or in English, “Therapy.” He touches us. In relation to communities, St. Augustine discusses justice:

St. Augustine writes in Book Two, Chapter 21 of the City of God, “Scipio, at the end of the second book. Among the different sounds, which proceed from lyres, flutes, and the human voice, there must be maintained a certain harmony, which a cultivated ear cannot endure to hear disturbed or jarring. This is elicited in full and absolute concord by the modulation of voices very unlike one another.

Where reason is allowed to modulate the diverse elements of the state, there is obtained a concord from the upper, lower, and middle classes. What musicians call harmony, is concord in matters of state, which is the strictest bond and best security of any republic, and which by no ingenuity can be retained where justice has become extinct.

We are not all paid the same. God pays the flutist the timpani, the viola and the tuba player differently. The orchestra is complete when they all work together to play the same tune, with God as the conductor. This is concord, justice. St. Augustine quotes Scipio as saying, “The people are not every assemblage or mob, but the assembly of legal consent for a common usefulness. This is the tune.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. To secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Scipio, and St. Augustine concludes that a republic, or good of the people, exists only when the assembly of legal consent is governed justly. The United States is founded upon being an assembly of legal consent with the purpose of playing the tune of concord, of promoting for a common usefulness, life, life lived to its fullest for all the assembly, along with liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This pursuit has no meaning if only a select few can ever realize the goal. The pursuit implies a reasonable chance of success for all the people of the assembly. This is the reason for our government.

Father Francisco continued his homily by pointing out Gabriel touched Zechariah in the temple. Zechariah does not believe the promise of God, Elizabeth, because Elizabeth, the promise of God is sterile. If the leaders do not believe their mission, what exits their mouths are gibberish words, polished, but empty rhetoric.

Edward Everett, gave a two-hour speech of grand eloquence, at the Gettysburg National Cemetery. It is forgotten now. The President of the United States gave a speech of 271 words, now famous as the Gettysburg Address. That speech, delivered with meaning, is remembered.

In English, we have the phrase, “Silence is deafening.” We also believe silence can be pregnant with meaning. Silence can be golden. When Zechariah leaves the temple, now knowing about the birth of John the Baptist, he is silent. This silence tells the crowd, including men who do not believe in angels, that Zechariah has undergone some kind of profound religious experience. As a direct result of that experience, Zechariah undergoes a profound change, and tells us, the new John the Baptists:

You, child, will have the mark of Navy of the Most High;

You will go before the face of the Personal Name to prepare his track through the desert to the Promised Land, to give his people knowledge of salvation/Joshua/Jesus.

You will bring forgiveness of their failures, because of the tender mercy of our Almighty Judge, through which the daybreak from on high will visit us to shine on those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

The founder of our religious order tells us, “It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.” He also relates, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Let us listen to the words of our Blessed saints. Let us constantly strive to create in America, an assembly of legal consent of the people, by the people, and for the people. Let us strive to create an assembly of legal consent with the purpose of playing the tune of concord for all people. Let us look up to our mural at St. Thomas Aquinas and strive to be like the people who made it to our mural.

The Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist and Lauds in Liturgy of the Hours


When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Those dwelling near her and her clan folk heard how the Personal Name had shown his great mercy to her… When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to mark him  as Zechariah, his father. His mother replied, “No! His mark is John.” They answered, “There is no one among your relatives who has this mark.”

The Hebrew word for “Name,” “שם,” also means, “A mark,” “A nature,” or “A characteristic.” “Elizabeth’s” name means “My God of the Oath.” “Elizabeth” is also the name of the wife of the first Cohen/ priest, wife or Aaron, brother of Moses. Elizabeth, is also the wife of Zechariah the last charitable Cohen/priest, and she is sterile. The oath of God seems sterile. The Romans are in charge and the secular and religious leadership cowtows, bumps their heads to the ground, in subservience to these Romans. It is much the same today, with religious leaders bowing before the market based/business leadership, the rich who donate most of the church money. The oath of God is sterile, and all hope is gone.

“Zechariah,” in Hebrew means, “Remembrance,” as remembrance or nostalgia of the past. The mark of “Zechariah,” which the family members want to put on John the Baptist is a mark of remembrance of the glories of the past, because there is no hope for the future. “Let us hope the second coming gets here soon, because we cannot take much more of this.” That was the attitude of the people in the room, and the attitude of most people today.

First, Elizabeth, then Zechariah, will have none of this. John the Baptist’s mark is different. “There is no one among your relatives, literally, “Those who attach themselves to us,” by that mark. Everyone else goes with nostalgia for the good old days. Zechariah writes, “His mark is John, or literally from Hebrew, “God,’ as the Personal Name, is gracious.” That is, “Not was,’ but ‘is.” Elizabeth and Zechariah crash the mold. Their faith is not about the past, but the present and future.

That is why the Canticle of Zechariah or Benedictus is such a necessary part of our Liturgy-of-the-Hours, Lauds:

“Blessed be the Personal Name, the Almighty Judge of those who struggle with God.

He has visited and redeemed his people.

He raised up pride for our salvation/Joshua/Jesus, within the house of David his servant, as:

He promised through the mouth of his Dedicated Navy of old, as:

He promised salvation (Joshua/ Jesus) from our enemies, from the hand of all who grind their teeth at us.

He shows mercy to our fathers mindful of his dedicated Brit/Social Contract and the oath (Elizabeth is not sterile anymore) he swore to Abraham/E Pluribus Unum, our father.

He did this to rescue us from the hand of enemies,

So that without fear:

we will give public service/liturgy to him in religious dedication and

we will give charity to each other before him all our days.

You, child, will have the mark of Navy of the Most High;

You will go before the face of the Personal Name to prepare his track through the desert to the Promised Land, to give his people knowledge of salvation/Joshua/Jesus.

You will bring forgiveness of their failures, because of the tender mercy of our Almighty Judge, through which the daybreak from on high will visit us to shine on those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

 

The song has a clear structure when properly translated. God did… so we will so so you, the reader:

You will have the mark of Navy/Prophet of the Most High God.

You will go before the face of the Personal Name to prepare his ways.

You will give the people the knowledge, not of morality, judgment and condemnation, but of salvation, Jesus, hope in the perplexing world so often devoid of hope.

You will preach forgiveness of failures, not reminders of them.

You are the mark of the mercy of God.

You, the reader, will represent the dawn of a new day, shining on those who sit in the darkness and despair of poverty and destitution, sitting at death’s door, guiding them in the way, not of quarreling and strife, but of completeness, tranquility and peace.

“Does the first reading and the Gospel apply to us, or is it nostalgia about a bygone past, two millennium bygone? Does God call us to salvation, for others, and ourselves or did he call someone else? God wants to know. The events in our Gospel happened on the eighth day; think one week of creation, plus one day, a new day. The Hebrew word for “To circumcise,” is “למול” or “Mill.” The Hebrew word for, “To fill” is “.למלא” They are almost exactly the same word. On the eighth day, the new day, God comes to fill us anew, with reason for hope. Let us be worthy of that hope.

Let us go in peace to set a wildfire


Father Francisco his Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time homily at our Cathedral in Reno Nevada by discussing the movie, “Hope and Glory,” about a nine year old, Bill as he grows up in London during the World War 2 Blitz. In that homily, Father presented how adults and children see the world differently; a school being bombed is a disaster for adults, but is a snow day for children.

In addition, a sage Rabbi once commented he could take any child, and raise that child in the faith so well, nothing would separate that child from his faith, not anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword, or fire, or sulfur, or the very fires of hell. As the child goes to school, he meets other children. How that child grows at school and at the playground, the Rabbi knows not how. The Rabbi plants the seed in his charge and if he planted the seed well, the seed he planted grows, not just in his charge, but his charge plants the seed in all the other children.

Our Gospel for the Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time tells us, “This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.”

Frigyes Karinthy and John Guare teach the doctrine of the “Six degrees of Separation.” The theory states, “Everyone is six steps away from any other person on Earth.” The Securities and Exchange Commission, as part of discussing Pyramid Schemes, presents a pyramid about the theory. It shows how in the Pyramid Scheme the model the Six degrees of Separation is based upon, if six people recruit six people, through thirteen levels, there are more people in the pyramid than there are people on the planet.

If you the reader, take this article and the other articles presented here, and show them to six people and they present the ideas to six people… in a month, everyone on the planet could know about what our Catholic, Christian faith is all about.

If you the reader, take this article and the other articles presented here, and show them to six people and they present the ideas to six people… in a month, everyone on the planet could know about what our Catholic, Christian faith is all about.

If we return to the basics, as the article, “On becoming Church Triumphant with Our Blessed Virgin,” relates, if we return to the Eucharist, and the full understanding of how that relates to the events of Mount Sinai, as “Our memorial is of the living. Pass it on!” relates, each of Our Blessed Virgin’s children, all of us, will catch a fire and spread that fire to at least six other of God’s children. In their zeal, they will each spread that fire to six more who will become children of our Blessed Virgin.

We are not talking about everybody thinking the same. We are talking about zeal that comes from gratitude for our rescue from prior oppression. There is room for people from different regions and having a different heritage to have a different understanding of their rescue. There is no room for differences in the basics, love of God by love of neighbor and love of his planet.

We will not see that fire as it moves from cigarette butt, to leaves, to twigs, to branches, to trees, to forests. We will be as the careless camper who left that butt on the ground. We will be as the parent leaving their child as he boards the school bus, not aware of the details of the events at school. The HHS Mandate will cease to matter. The abortion issue will cease to matter. The gay issue will cease to matter. None of the so-called “Five Non-negotiables” will matter. This is because the wildfire of our faith will cause all people to become children of our Blessed Virgin, in no way tempted by any of the issues in the Five Non-negotiables.

We do not force people to be like us. People will see our joy and our gratitude and want to be like us. All the world loves a romantic couple; our Mass is a romantic dinner in a romantic restaurant with the Bride of Christ, the church, and her lover, the Groom/God; nobody likes the pious.

Father Francisco discussed a scene in “Hope and Glory.” A history teacher talks how the sun never sets on the British Empire. Of course, as a result of World War II, the sun did set on the British Empire, as it will set on America’s century, the 20th century. We are now in the 21st century. If we realize we are special because of what we do in the Eucharist, and we live our specialness, passing it onto others, if we set that wildfire in motion, the sun will never set on the Kingdom of God. The final words of our Mass are, “Mitte Est.” “Let us go in peace to love and serve The Personal Name.” Let us go in peace to set a wildfire.

On becoming Church Triumphant with Our Blessed Virgin


Jesus’ mother asked him, “Son, for what reason have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great angst.” Jesus replied, “For what reason were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” He descended with them to Nazareth, and stood under them.”

We forget Jesus was from a Jewish family. This is not the only place with an insolent Jew in the Gospels. The first is Luke 1:46. Elizabeth, wife of the high priest and therefore a very rich woman has recently congratulated Our Blessed Virgin for the son she will soon bring into the world. While speaking to this very rich and powerful woman, Our Blessed Virgin says:

“My anima (The Latin is Anima or “animate,” “that which animates us”) proclaims the greatness of the Personal Name. My every breath (Spirit is Latin for breath) rejoices in the Almighty Judge my savior… He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones (Elizabeth is from the ruler class) but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with nobility; the rich (Elizabeth) he has sent away empty. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

This is a very crass thing to tell someone you want to take you in for the next three months.This is what our Blessed Virgin does. Mark 3 tells us, “Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him. A crowd seated around him related, “Your mother and brothers are outside, asking for you.” Jesus replied, “Who are my mother and brothers?” Looking around he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers.” This was a harsh thing to say about your immediate family, knowing they are outside, waiting. Then there is the story of the wedding at Cana. Jesus calls his mother, “Woman” and informs her how his time is not ready.

In each case, instead of becoming angry, Our Blessed Virgin “Keeps these things in her heart,” not her head, but her heart. In Luke 2:48 Jesus goes on to, literally from the Greek, stand under his mother. One of the first things we learn about our Blessed Virgin is her priorities. When people say similar things to what Our Blessed Virgin tells Elizabeth, they are revolutionaries and we put them in jails. Our Blessed Virgin appeals to a social heritage of being revolutionaries, the Hibernians with their group, the Molly Maguire, Joe Hill, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Peter, Paul, and Mary, and more, much more.

Some say the church needs to focus on only one issue at a time, the pre-natal issue, with its several components, including birth control. What they forget is that issues do not exist in a vacuum. Five percent of the population accounts for 50% of all healthcare costs. These people come mainly from the poorest sections of the population.

The article, “Barbara debates Ken about the sound of silence part II,” relates how we failed over the past 40 years to pressure employers to pay a living wage. Instead, the article shows how using free market economics the percentage of income the poorest 50% of the population receives dropped from 27% in 1968 to 19% today. In the video, CNN points out, market based healthcare plans cost more than government-run programs.

Less than 20% of Americans regularly attend church. Seven reasons Catholics leave church, cites conservative politics as three of the reasons for church decline. By focusing on one issue, we not only lose lives, we lose souls. We depart from the message of our moral faith, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:29, and Luke 10:25-37 to focus on an issue that is only indirectly in our Torah and Gospel. Where it is present, Deuteronomy 30:19, it is a Mitzvah to promote life in all of its potentiality, from conception to the grave, to its fullest, not just for the pre-born and not life at is most basic. Our Blessed Virgin learns her strong social Justice stand here.

Instead of other groups looking at our position and saying, “Gee, that issue is important to them, so if we fix their issue, maybe they will work on ours,” other groups make a caricature of our position, point the finger, and make fun of our position. They say, “Look how self-righteous and selfish those people are. They want us to work on their issue, but want to ignore our plight.” These are the very people Our Blessed Virgin taught Jesus to be the center of what would become our Christian faith.

The result is clear. So long as we focus on single issue politics, we do not solve our problem, or anyone else’s problem. We debate the same issues we debated in July of ’68 when Humanae Vitae arrived and in ‘73 with Roe V Wade. Roe V Wade came five years after Humanae Vitae. Focusing on only one issue did not solve the problem then, either.

Our Catholic Catechism, Section 2309, teaches 4 requirements for a fight to be just: “The damage inflicted must be lasting, grave, and certain.” The issues discussed in Humanae Vitae very much meet this criteria. “All other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective.” The fact that we have been debating these issues for 40 years and no end is in site shows our current approach is just that, “Impractical or ineffective.” Our fight does not qualify in this category.

“There must be serious prospects of success.” The last 40 years shows this is not the case with the current approach. We may well win the current court fights, but the underlying issues still remain, so the fight will continue, with a new crisis, then another, and then another.Our fight does not qualify in this category.

“The use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.” We are losing souls and lives and poverty continues to grow. “The percentage of income the poorest 50% of the population receives dropped from 27% in 1968 to 19% today.” We are causing deaths and we are causing the living death of poverty, all in the name of pro-life. Our current fight does not qualify as a just fight in this category either.

We must ask, “Do we want to be debating the same issues forty years from now, or do we want to solve our issues?” The issue is not violence.

We must go back to the basics, as listed in, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:29, Luke 10:25-37, and Deuteronomy 30:19. Only then, can we hope to resolve our issues and “their” issues, and go on to more pressing issue. Only then, will non-Catholic people cease to look at our churches as darkened rooms filled with pietistic people and become a dimly lit room with candles, flowers, nice scents, and a meal, more commonly referred to as a romantic dinner between the Bride of Christ and God. Only then will we become Church Triumphant.

Being America or being American


“If, therefore, you bring your gift to the altar…” So contains a key phrase in understanding the Gospel reading for Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time. “Therefore,” as a result of what went before, “When you bring your gift to the altar…” What comes before is Jesus speaking, first, in Aramaic, and then in Greek.

The Aramaic word ריקה transliterates into an English word, “Raqa.” “America” transliterates, “אמריקה.” We should be careful when accusing someone of being “Raqa.” “Am/אמ” is the Hebrew word for “nation.” In Hebrew and Aramaic, “אמריקה” “America,” means “Empty, vain, or worthless people.”

Jesus tells us, “Whoever grinds his teeth at his brother is liable to judgment. Whoever calls his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to those sitting together (San) in the seats (Hedra) of judgment or Sanhedran. Our “Cathedral” in Reno comes from “Cat” (Hedra) or sitting down place of the Bishop. Whoever says, “Moron,” is liable to the fiery Jerusalem landfill the people called Gehenna.”

If a glass is empty, we can fill it. We can change this state of emptiness. If a person is worthless, we can motivate him, causing him to become valuable. If a man is a moron, “μωρόν,” that is a trait he is born with. We cannot change that. If we call someone worthless, we devalue him. We say we are better than they are. We put ourselves over other people.

“Unless your charity surpasses that of the grammarians and the Separate ones, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven. “Scribe,” in Greek is “γραμματεύς” “grammarian.” “Pharisee,” is Hebrew for “Separate one.”

The Grammarians associate with the Separate ones. They are better than others are, because of their position in the world. Grammarians become so lost in their grammar, they forget to see, or hear, the message the grammar is meant to convey, forgetting how meaning sells more than grammar.

Grammarians have the right to set the rules, some of which are very silly. Only black ink is valid on official papers, not blue, or red, or pink… for whatever reason. Titles of papers either must or must not use punctuation, or capitalization; the reason is not clear. You must hold your napkin at the dinner table on your lap a certain way, or you are not civilized. The colors of your clothes must color coordinate or you are not civilized. It is a rule and the grammarians write the rules.

“If, therefore, you bring your gift to the altar…” It does not matter if the person is worthless or a moron. If we call someone the latter, the punishment is stiffer. God made that person. By attacking him, what we are really attacking is the handiwork of God himself.

“Settle with your opponent while on the way to court, or your opponent will hand you over to the judge. The judge will hand you over to the guard who will throw you will be into prison. The guard will not release you, until you pay the last κοδράντην.” A quadran was one fortieth of a denarius, $20 worth of bread. That is $.05, or the proverbial plug nickel. It is better to settle out of court.

“If you bring your gift to the altar, and recall your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar. Go! Be reconciled with your brother. Then come and offer your gift.” “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the charitable but the failures,” Hosea 6:6. Your temple, your religion, will not protect you in the time of judgment. God wants peace, not strict adherence to trivial rules.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:1-2. “Do not judge. You are judged in the measure you judge.” If you want to know what others think of you, ask, “What do I think of them?” Remember the old salesmen’s comment, “Have I got a deal for you.” If we want others to think the best of us, think the best of them. There is no room for empty people, worthless people, or morons. There is only room for Amour icons, “Americans,” people who are the icons of amour.

Called to nobility, we must define nobility


Courageous, we are, although we perceive that while we are in domicile in the body we are ex-domiciled from the Personal Name.

Through faith, we walk, not by sight.

Courageous, we are. We do good doxology in our thoughts of being ex-domiciled from our body and are in domiciled with the Personal Name.

God will make us visible, in front of the face of the Bema of Christ, to receive our reward according to what he did in the body, noble or paltry.

For the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, celebrated at our Reno Cathedral, St. Paul emphasizes, we are to be courageous, and the importance of our near death experience. We are ex-domiciled from our body and alive to the next one. St. Paul speaks of the virtues of us as Catholic Christians leaving our bodies, code for death. St. Paul also speaks of “Paltry,” he uses the Greek word “Paul.” Next to Christ, St. Paul thinks of himself as Paul-tery. We are to look for what is noble. What is noble?

The first reading for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time tells us, “The cedar will put forth branches, bear fruit, and become a majestic cedar. Birds of every kind will dwell beneath it…

The Hebrew and Aramaic word for “a tree” also means “a counselor.” The Hebrew and Aramaic words for a cedar also mean “a prominent man,” or “a scholar.” Ezekiel presents the leaders of his day, and ours. The higher we think we are, the more likely it is that God will bring the ax to the tree. Every tree not producing beautiful fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Mark 8 relates, “Jesus put spittle on the eyes of the blind man and laid his hands on him, ‘Do you see anything?’ The blind man replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking.” Jesus laid hands on his eyes a second time and he saw clearly.” The Gospel compares people to trees. At first, people look like walking trees, the cold-hearted old men who lord it over the little people. After Jesus touches the blind man a second time, he sees people in all of their humanity.

The Gospel for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time compares, “The kingdom of God,
is as a mustard seed, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the spores of the earth.
Once sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants putting forth large branches, so the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”

The first reading and the Gospel reading both mention “birds,” “Zephyr,” in Hebrew and Aramaic “Bright ones.” That is the common people. The purpose of the cedar is to put forth branches, twigs, and leaves to feed and house the common people, the bright ones.

The parable of the sower comes just before our Gospel reading for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time and reminds us, the beautiful soil is aerated soil, filled with air, Spirit, and therefore soft soil. Like the tree, the soil feeds and nourishes all life around it.

Our Gospel reading discusses how grain grows, the fault of the Pharisees of Jesus’ time and the conservative leaders of our time own time. They need to be in control. “A man scatters seed, falls sleep and rises night and day. The seed sprouts and grows, he knows not how.” The farmer knows not how his grain grows. If he does know, it does not matter.

The Pharisees of Jesus’ time received a raw deal, the same raw deal middle managers receive today. They were answerable to the Roman government. If they do not keep control of those under them, the Romans will come and… Our modern leaders answer to higher management types, the stockholders, and a distant government. If they do not persuade those under them to produce, the powerful will come and… Managers must keep control. Feeling the pressure, they become scrub cattle, mean and nasty.

St. Paul reminds us, “Courageous we are to be; we perceive that while we are in domicile in the body we are ex-domiciled from the Personal Name… Courageous we are to be. God will place us all before the face of the Bema of Christ, to receive our reward according to our actions, noble or paltry.” Love of God by loving his property, in particular, our neighbor is noble. All the rest is paltry. God causes the grain to grow, not us.

Our memorial is of the living. Pass it on!


Jesus sent two of his talmudim, “Go into the city and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. Wherever he enters, tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher asks, “Where is my place of unyoking; where I may eat the Pasach with my talmudim?”

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Father John R. Heinz began the homily for this Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood by leading us in the Penitential Rite, an integral part of any Mass, leading us to the liturgy of the Eucharist. As he did, he could not help but look up at the Priestly Blessing, adorning the back of the nave of our Cathedral. Looking further, he could not help but see the old style confessionals decorating the back wall of St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral. To his left stood the baptismal font, where we all received baptism for the forgiveness of our failures and where the Bishop welcomed us into Catholic Christian community.

Father John began his homily by telling the story of a country pastor who struggled putting together his Sunday homily. Not able to come up with any ideas, he decided to walk through the outside courtyard. A graveyard was nearby that country parish, he walked through that tranquil graveyard. There, he came up with his homily.

As he walked through the graveyard, he remembered how everybody is dying to get into the graveyard, literally. The priest contemplated Romans 6:4, “We were buried with him through baptism into death. As Christ was raised from the dead through the importance of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.”

Father read the part of the Gospel where the talmudim meet the man carrying the water jar. An old rule of Jewish rhetoric is, there is nothing in Torah not there for a reason. The man with the water jar reminds us of our baptism into death, a literal death leading us to new life. The Greek word for, “a guest house,” the place to eat the Pasach, is κατάλυμα, from καταλύω, “A place to unloose, to unyoke, to unwind.” The Eucharist is the place where we unloose, unyoke, and unwind, from our past with its  failures to prepare for our new lives in the future.

Behind Father John was our Cathedral altar. At the back of our altar are the Words of Institution, part of our Gospel for this Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood. Father John discussed the importance of the country parish priest’s graveyard. Every tombstone has upon it the name of the person, the date of their birth, and the date of their migration into heaven. The Words of Institution are the words Jesus, knowing he would not have a headstone, wanted for his memory.

He took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, “This is my body, given for you; do this in memory of me.” He took the cup after they had eaten, “This cup is the new Social Contract in my blood, shed for you.”

Jesus wants to us to know him as giving up his life so others might live. He also wants us to know, through our participation in the Mass, we die with him in baptism and we rise with him in baptism and we die and rise with him through our participation in the Mass into new life, a life lived for others. Jesus reminds the original disciples, Jews all, of the Passover Seder, which they were participating in. This Seder has its roots in Deuteronomy 5:1-7: The Personal Name, our Mighty Judge, cut a Social Contract with us…; not with our fathers did the Personal Name cut this Social Contract, but with us, each of us, alive, here, this day.”

This idea carries on in Exodus 13:8: “You will explain to your son, ‘This is what the Personal Name did for me when I came out of Egypt/ Oppression.” He did not do it for someone else; he did it for me, personally. God did not rescue my fathers. He rescued me, personally.

Now he rescues you. Jesus wants this as his memorial and this is what he wants our memorial to be. “He rescued me, personally, and now he rescues you.” “Give me your tired, your poor, those yearning to breathe free,” he tells us. That is his memorial and what he wants our memorial to be.

Each generation lives the Passion, the Passover for the first time, each time; we celebrate Passover Seder, now our Mass. Our memorial is of the living. Pass it on!

To life, life lived to its fullest for all people


The play, “Fiddler on the Roof” has an interesting song as Tevye attends the bachelor’s party for his daughter, “Lechaim.” The song title means, “To life,” and is an integral part of any Jewish wedding. The wedding at Cana, is another example of partying being an integral part of a Jewish wedding. This is important in understanding “Holy,” which has a Latin root, “Sanctify.” The Second Reading for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ includes:

I

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f the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer’s ashes sanctifies/dedicates those who are common, cleansing their flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who… offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to give public service to God to life. Sic. Literal translation of Hebrews 9:14

In a recent class at our Cathedral in Reno Nevada, we discussed incense at our altar. One person gave the mistaken view that incense is a sacrifice. Our reading reminds us there is no longer need for a sacrifice. Jesus Christ, our Messiah was our last sacrifice. We no longer sacrifice a piece of ourselves through our property, goats, bulls, or the ashes of young cows.

Purpose of Incense in Catholic Church, tells us how a “sacramental,” is an outward sign of spiritual occurrences. Incense, an “aromatic substance obtained from certain pine trees,” is another sacramental augmenting our celebration of the Sacraments in the Catholic Church. It helps to make us holy, dedicates us. The result of this dedication pleases God. The article gives incense as an example of a sacramental, or sign dedicating us.

The example coming to mind is Mt. Sinai. Food for the poor yesterday, today, and tomorrow, relates how terrible the conditions were at Mt. Sinai when God, through Moses, gave the Jewish people their Social Contract, which is much like our U.S. Constitution. Temperatures ranged from 113 degrees to 129 degrees. The people were at a volcano. Volcanic thunder was all around, as was volcanic dust. Our incense reminds us of that volcanic dust. This reminds us of our rescue through the hot, dry desert to our Promised Land, where we thrash about in our struggle to understand God and how he fits into our lives. This gratitude for our rescue dedicates us.

We are at that wedding, singing, “To life.” Hebrews 9 gives us two choices, “Dead works,” or a living God. The allusion is to Deuteronomy 30:19: “Choose life, for you and your descendants to live, by loving the Personal Name, your Almighty Judge.” This is a Mitzvah, one of the 613, “choose life.”

What would this mean as a Mitzvah? As we live, we are always confronted by two choices. There were no stairs in the Jewish temple. This reminds us that we are always either going up or down. We are always either promoting life or promoting death. All life is potential life, or life in potentiality. Either we help people to live life to its fullest, or we diminish that life. Either we, as a community, move forward to the Promised Land, or we move back to Egypt and oppression.

Purpose of Incense in Catholic Church, speaks of other sacramentals, including candles, the dinner, the wine, and the flowers, all of which are present at a romantic dinner or a wedding celebration. They are an outward sign of our wedding, where God is the groom, and we are the nymphs (Greek for bride) the brides of Christ.

Mark 7:15 reads, “Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.”The word in Greek we generally translate as, “Defile” literally means “To make common.” To understand how we move from “common” to “defile,” we must understand that the temple was the special place. Commoners lived apart from the temple.

The Hebrew word for “Honor” literally means “To be important,” or “Heavy.” “Mass” comes from the end of our Mass when we say, “Mitte Est,” or “Let us depart.” We show the altar is a special place, we show how we undersand the altar as a special place, by what we do when we leave. We become important to the world.

Our sacramentals are an outward sign, to us and to the world, telling us how, as the song from “Our Jubilee Mass and Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation show,” relates, “You got yourself two good hands and when your brother is troubled you got to reach out your one hand for him ‘Cause that’s what it’s there for. When your heart is troubled you got to reach out your other hand reach it out to the man up there ‘Cause that’s what he’s there for.”

We promote life; life lived to its fullest for all people by doing just as Neal Diamond tells us as Brother Love. Whether we like it or not, or know it or not, God, and every non-Catholic on our planet judges us, our Sacraments, and our sacramentals, by how well we promote life; life lived to its fullest, for all people.

That means a war on poverty. That means promoting universal healthcare. That means adequate, food, clothing, shelter, and transportation, for all people. That means making sure our air, water, and ground are habitable for God who made us in his image. Incense, and all the sacramentals and sacraments remind us of this duty.