#40 LOOK WHAT I FOUND

Dear Doctimus Prime,
You can’t guess what i stumbled on this morning! It is a writing that dates back to the second century. Yes second century. It was written by a Christian convert  who goes by the name JUSTIN. Before becoming a Christian, he was a philosopher. His encounter with Christianity brought him to the conviction that Christianity is the only true philosophy and God is to be worshipped.

Here is a letter he addressed to the Emperor Titus Aelius Antoninus Augustus Pius (86 – 161).

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“No one may share the Eucharist with us unless he believes that what we teach is true, unless he is washed in the regenerating waters of baptism for the remission of his sins, and unless he lives in accordance with the principles given us by Christ.
  We do not consume the eucharistic bread and wine as if it were ordinary food and drink, for we have been taught that as Jesus Christ our Saviour became a man of flesh and blood by the power of the Word of God, so also the food that our flesh and blood assimilates for its nourishment becomes the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus by the power of his own words contained in the prayer of thanksgiving.
  The apostles, in their recollections, which are called gospels, handed down to us what Jesus commanded them to do. They tell us that he took bread, gave thanks and said: Do this in memory of me. This is my body. In the same way he took the cup, he gave thanks and said: This is my blood. The Lord gave this command to them alone. Ever since then we have constantly reminded one another of these things. The rich among us help the poor and we are always united. For all that we receive we praise the Creator of the universe through his Son Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.
  On Sunday we have a common assembly of all our members, whether they live in the city or the outlying districts. The recollections of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as there is time. When the reader has finished, the president of the assembly speaks to us; he urges everyone to imitate the examples of virtue we have heard in the readings. Then we all stand up together and pray.
  On the conclusion of our prayer, bread and wine and water are brought forward. The president offers prayers and gives thanks to the best of his ability, and the people give assent by saying, “Amen.” The eucharist is distributed, everyone present communicates, and the deacons take it to those who are absent.
  The wealthy, if they wish, may make a contribution, and they themselves decide the amount. The collection is placed in the custody of the president, who uses it to help the orphans and widows and all who for any reason are in distress, whether because they are sick, in prison, or away from home. In a word, he takes care of all who are in need.
  We hold our common assembly on Sunday because it is the first day of the week, the day on which God put darkness and chaos to flight and created the world, and because on that same day our saviour Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For he was crucified on Friday and on Sunday he appeared to his apostles and disciples and taught them the things that we have passed on for your consideration.”
Justin suffered martyrdom for his faith in 164 AD.
BLOGATRON

#39 EASTER FOR YOU

Resurrection

Col 3:2,3 “Let your thoughts be on heavenly things not on the things that are on the earth…your life has been hidden with Christ in God.”

Today, we celebrate the GREATEST mystery of our Christian faith: JESUS CHRIST IN ALIVE! He truly died, he was not resuscitated, he rose from death and death no longer has any power over him. There are some things Easter should mean to you as a Christian:

#1 REUNION WITH GOD: Through Adam’s disobedience, humanity was separated from God’s love. We all have a brokenness that prevents us from doing good even if we wanted to. Through the resurrection of Christ, we have received grace in baptism to be introduced into the life of God (Rom 8:1; Jn 14:23).

#2 FREEDOM FROM SIN: By our sins, we incur spiritual death. This death is eternal separation from God who is the source of eternal life (Jn 14:6). Through his death and resurrection, Jesus frees you from sin and makes you an heir to God’s kingdom (Jn 1:12; 3:16).

#3 FREEDOM FROM FEAR: A child enjoys rights and privileges in his home but a slave is ruled by fear. Through our sins, we have lost the courage to call God our Father. This right is restored to you when you accept Christ as Lord of your life and reject the devil (Rom 8:15,16).

#4 CHANGE OF MENTALITY: In baptism, we are united with Christ in his death and resurrection from where be begin a process of transformation. In Christ, we are transformed and renewed in our minds and heart so that we know and love God above all things. In your transformation, you begin to see others as created in God’s image, and to do everything from a pure love of God.

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#5 CHANGE OF LIFESTYLE: For the baptised Christian, his or her life and faith are one and the same. Every moral or civil action you perform is burdened with responsibility. A sign that you have become truly Christian is that you weigh your actions in line with your faith in Christ and won’t act unless you have prayed. Through your actions, people should be able to tell that you are truly Christ-like.

#6 GRACE TO LOVE: Through the power of the resurrection, we are strengthened to love even our enemies. Christ’s resurrection fills our heart with so much grace that we see people first as subjects to be loved and not objects to use.

#7 GRACE TO FORGIVE: A big lesson from Christ’s death and resurrection is his spirit of forgiveness, even for those who killed him. Forgiveness will transform our society if we acknowledge that everyone deserves another chance.

Prayer: Lord, bring us to a deeper realisation of your love for us and our need to love others in the same way.

Today’s Readings: Acts 10:34,37-43; Ps 117:1-216-17,22-23; Col 3:1-4; Jn 20:1-9

Yours,

BLOGATRON

#38 THE MOTHER OF ALL VIGILS

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Dear Doctimus Prime,

It is Holy Saturday and tonight will be the vigil of Jesus’ resurrection. Tonight is the mother of all vigils. People claim that the Catholic Church does not read the Bible (or Sacred Scriptures as I love to call it). But tonight alone, we shall have 9 readings from the Old and New Testaments, not counting the Psalms after every passage, all outlining a beautiful summary of our relationship with God that has culminated in the coming of Christ. We are shown how in times past God who created and sustains the world, continues to lead us by the hand through time to the fullness of salvation in Himself, through His Son, Jesus Christ

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A SUMMARY OF THE READINGS

#1 Gen 1:1-2:2, We see that that God is the source of the created order, and humans are at the pinnacle of creation. He has given us control and responsibility over creation because we bear his image and likeness.

#2 In Gen 22:1-18, We learn how Abraham’s obedience to God became the source of everlasting blessing for his descendants yet to come. Faithfulness to God brings fruitfulness from God.

#3 In Ex 14:15-15:1, The Israelites see the awesome power of God as he delivers them from their pursuers, the Egyptians. God’s presence is never far from those who put their faith and trust in him.

#4 In Isa 54:5-14, we see God reconciling his people to Himself, restoring to them his “covenant of peace”, after they had been exiled from their land. Do you listen to God’s call when he seeks to pull you from your waywardness and slavery to sin?

#5 Isa 55:1-11 puts God’s call to us in the context of a covenant. God doesn’t want to lord it over you, he wants to enter into a relationship with you. This relationship is to be built on righteousness, mercy and love. Sin has no place in this union between you and God.

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#6 Baruch 3:9-15,32-4:4 described God’s Word as the “fountain of Wisdom” from which you must drink. Every relationship is nourished by fruitful communication. Your relationship with God is the most important and, therefore, stands most in need of the nourishment which only God’s word can give.

#7 In Ezekiel 36:16-28, God promises to bring Israel back from exile. They had gone into exile because they failed to listen to his words or communicate with him. Even now God takes the initiative, as always, to call them back to himself. He promises the cleansing of water, a new heart and a new spirit. In baptism, you were given all three. Tonight, you will renew that promise and be reenergized in your love relationship with God.

#8 Paul’s letter to the Romans 6:3-11 tells us that baptism is our death to our old life of sin and our rebirth in the life of Christ’s resurrection. We have nailed our old ways to the Cross of Christ, and received grace to live in holiness all the days of our life.

#9 The Gospel (Mk 16:1-7) The women, just like Jesus’ Apostles, were not expecting Him to rise from the dead. They witnessed and received news of great consolation which reassures them of God’s power at work in Christ. We desperately need the reassurance of Christ’s presence in our world. He is victorious over death; he will raise our fallen world to life through us.

May the glory of Christ’s resurrection fill our world with peace and blessings.

Yours,

BLOGATRON