Psalms 108-110; Hebrews 1

Posted September 22, 2017 by Thomas Walker
Categories: Catholicism, Faith

Psalm 108:10 Moab is my washbowl, upon Edom I cast my sandal.  I will triumph over Philistia.

These ancient peoples – poor dopes – always bickering, never able to get along and live together in peace.  Thanks goodness we are so much more enlightened today……

hey, wait a minute…

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Psalms 105-107; Philemon

Posted September 21, 2017 by Thomas Walker
Categories: Catholicism, Faith

Philemon 15-16 Perhaps this is why he was away from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a brother, beloved especially to me, but even more so to you, as a man and in the Lord.

Whatever one’s station in life is here on earth, it is transcended by one’s relationship with the Church, and ultimately with Jesus Christ.  We are all just pilgrims…which reminds me that every time we sing “America the Beautiful”, it’s “pilgrim feet”, not “pilgrim’s feet” ya goobers.

Psalms 102-104; Titus 3

Posted September 19, 2017 by Thomas Walker
Categories: Catholicism, Faith

Titus 3:1-3 Remind them to be under the control of magistrates and authorities, to be obedient, to be open to every good enterprise. They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded, slaves to various desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful ourselves and hating one another.

Once again Paul lays out a template of virtuous Christian behavior, that the evening news quickly reveals is poorly followed by many if not most today.  As G. K. Chesterton wrote, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” (Chapter 5, What’s Wrong With the World, 1910)

Psalms 99-101; Titus 2

Posted September 15, 2017 by Thomas Walker
Categories: Catholicism, Faith

Titus 2:9-10 Slaves are to be under the control of their masters in all respects, giving them satisfaction, not talking back to them or stealing from them, but exhibiting complete good faith, so as to adorn the doctrine of God our savior in every way.

Thank goodness slavery is not a recognized human institution today, but it sadly still exists.  ISIS gets the bulk of the publicity, but human traffickers bump the evil meter pretty close to the Islamic terrorist level.  Pray for their victims – and pray for the traffickers themselves that they repent and find friendship with Jesus Christ.

Psalms 96-98; Titus 1

Posted September 12, 2017 by Thomas Walker
Categories: Catholicism, Faith

Titus 1:12-14 One of them, a prophet of their own, once said, “Cretans have always been liars, vicious beasts, and lazy gluttons.” That testimony is true. Therefore, admonish them sharply, so that they may be sound in the faith, instead of paying attention to Jewish myths and regulations of people who have repudiated the truth.

 Paul is quoting Epimenides, a Cretan poet of the sixth century B. C.  Epimenides was understandably not invited to many parties.  And Paul doesn’t sugarcoat his opinion of the Cretans: I can hear him sighing “Yep, Epimenides nailed it.” Legend has it that Paul originally wrote “And those are their good qualities!” but Luke talked him out of it.  The thing to note as apparently repugnant as the Cretans were perceived at the time, Paul was serious about bringing them to Christ.  As serious as we should be in considering Jesus’ words “I will draw all men unto myself”.  None are unworthy of the Good News.

Psalms 93-95; 2 Timothy 4

Posted September 7, 2017 by Thomas Walker
Categories: Catholicism, Faith

2 Timothy 4:9-13 Try to join me soon, for Demas, enamored of the present world, deserted me and went to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Luke is the only one with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is helpful to me in the ministry. I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments.

One thing I love about Scripture is these aren’t characters from myths, these are real people and we get glimpses into their personalities and we can identify with their foibles and frailties.  Paul is obviously lonely, and probably suffering from cold and damp in prison.  I wonder if when the Bible was put together some things were left out as superfluous or undignified, like maybe Paul telling Timothy “And bring me some of those dates from Joppa.  Those dates rock!”

And talking about real people…I fell for some clickbait recently titled “Famous people who may not have been real.”  You know, William Tell, Robin Hood, etc.  The last person was Jesus Christ.  Don’t ever be suckered by the line that there is doubt Jesus is a historical person.  There is no doubt Jesus walked the earth, like there’s no doubt George Washington and Abraham Lincoln walked the earth.  Historians of the time with no Christian agenda like Josephus wrote about him.  Begin to answer his question “Who do you say that I am?” with the assurance he was actually somebody.  Itinerant rabbi with some nice things to say or Son of God, the true Messiah?  I know how I’m voting.

Psalms 90-92; 2 Timothy 3

Posted September 5, 2017 by Thomas Walker
Categories: Catholicism, Faith

2 Timothy 3:1-5 But understand this: there will be terrifying times in the last days. People will be self-centered and lovers of money, proud, haughty, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious, callous, implacable, slanderous, licentious, brutal, hating what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, as they make a pretense of religion but deny its power.

Paul describes ubiquitous human behavior before the imminent return of Christ.  This can be fruitful reflection as an inventory of one’s own behavior.  I wouldn’t attach any of these as permanent labels on my own character, but many of them have applied to me at times.  And that’s the beauty of the sacrament of Reconciliation: the fountain of God’s mercy is always flowing.

As to the “end times”, thankfully nobody fits Paul’s description today, so we must have plenty of time (nudge nudge wink wink).