Here are some thoughts on the idea about when we ask God “why?”
And at that moment of His death, Jesus cried out in pain and anguish, “Why, God? Why have you abandoned me?” I think that each of the Twelve, including Judas Iscariot, asked the same question.
For Judas, this was not the ending he had anticipated and now he wondered what the consequences of his actions would be. And in his fear, he chose a path for which there were no options.
For the the remaining eleven and the other followers, theirs was also a cry of pain and anguish. They had been with Jesus for three years; they had been part of the ministry that was seemingly going to change the world. But now, Jesus was gone, buried in a tomb.
What hope was there for them? What was to prevent the authorities from coming after each of them? But we know that the pain and anguish that they felt on that first Good Friday and all during that first Black Saturday would be replaced by joy, exultation, and celebration on the First Easter Sunday.
And in the days to follow, with the joy and celebration of the victory over sin and death, they would be able to go out into the world to continue the ministry that began on the back roads of the Galilee.
But all of that is of little consolation to us when we cry out, “Why, God?” Often times, we do so because we have lost a friend and/or a loved one. And our cries turn from pain and anguish to anger because we have to wonder why God could let this even happen.
There are no easy words one can offer at times like these. There is no way to know how the world would have been if things had somehow been a little different.
Some see the Book of Revelation as the final act of an angry God but John the Seer writes it as God’s triumph. When we feel that God has deserted us, left us along side the road and forgotten over time, it is very hard to understand that He is right there with us.
One of the images that is used in the Old Testament is the refining of gold. The gold-containing ore is heated in an intense fire and melted with the dross (the scum) floating to the top where it can be poured off, leaving behind the purer gold.
It is not easy to think that something good will come out of our adversity, our pain, and our anguish or that some good comes from the loss of a loved one. It will never be easy to do that. But that is exactly what we must do.
Let us remember that a group of friends watched their teacher, their leader, their friend die one afternoon and they wondered what was going to happen to them. They had to wonder why this was allowed to happened. But three days later, with the miracle of the Resurrection, they knew why.
Our cries will be answered as long as we don’t turn away.
This is part of an on-going project but I think it is worth posting.
In today’s world, the term evangelism has taken on a very negative meaning, especially when it comes to the interaction of faith and science.
While evangelism can be defined as declaring the good news about all that God is doing in the world, it is much more than simply challenging individuals to yield to Jesus, letting Jesus into their lives, and allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to transform them into new creations. It is also about proclaiming what God is doing in society right now to bring about justice, liberation, and economic well-being for the oppressed (From Tony Campolo’s forward to Clarence Jordan’s Cotton Patch Gospel: Luke and Acts).
For me, an evangelical Christian is one who presents the Gospel message of hope, justice, and freedom from oppression to the world. If that means taking action to relieve poverty, heal the sick, feed the hungry, house the homeless, give aid to the needy, and free the oppressed, so be it.
When you hear an evangelist speak of the Great Commission, they are referring to Matthew 28: 19, which essentially says that we are to go and make disciples of all the nations. This idea, in my view, tends to have a negative connotation.
But when we read the same verse from Clarence Jordan’s Cotton Patch Gospel version of Matthew, we read that we are to make students of all the people and teach them to live in the manner that Jesus taught the Twelve. I think that because Dr. Jordan was working with the original Greek version of Matthew when he made his translation, it is a more reasonable interpretation of the original work and speaks to what we are to do as evangelists in today’s world, teach the people.
On Tuesday February 23, 1616, the working session of the experts of the Holy Office reached unanimous agreement regarding two propositions encapsulating heliocentrism. Four hundred years is one of the periods in the Gregorian Calendar after which the days of the months are guaranteed to fall on the same days of the week. And so it is that this year we can re-live the events of 1616 with special acuity. The Sacred Congregation for the Holy Inquisition of Heretical Error (Sacra Congregatio Sanctae Inquisitionis Haereticae Pravitatis: the official designation of this dicastery/tribunal by Sixtus V in Immensa Aeterni Dei of Feb. 11, 1588, instituting Roman Curia’s major reform) typically held two or three sessions a week. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, there would be plenary sessions at Santa Maria sopra Minerva. Solemn plenary sessions, presided over by the Supreme Pontiff who was the Congregation’s head (there was no Cardinal Prefect), were held on Thursdays. In addition, the Inquisition’s officials would meet without the Cardinals at … Continue reading →
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Today a good friend of mine tagged me in a very thoughtful post in which he basically said “I was raised Catholic, but I don’t really have a personal belief in a theistic God. I’m open to searching for religious truth. Where do I begin?”
At some point in time, we will all have to explain to God why it is how what we did was in His Son’s name.
This just in! A stunning revelation that Jesus Christ- yes, the actual Jesus of Nazareth- miraculously appeared at a scheduled National Rifle Association rally at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Upon inspection of the wounds in his hands, feet, and side with residual scarring on his forehead, Jesus’s identity was confirmed.
In the words of Liberty University’s President Jerry Falwell, Jr, “We had been praying for some time that the Lord would show us how to better protect our students from the kinds of violence we’re seeing on other college campuses. The Holy Spirit convicted us that we must meet potential violence, especially from Muslims, with the strength of arms. Every student must be armed and ready to defend themselves and their classmates from any violent threat. Well, that led us to the National Rifle Association’s assistance and… to our great amazement… our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who…
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