Friday, August 8, 2014

Musings on the feeding of the five thousand

Last Sunday we heard Matthew's version of the feeding of the five thousand.  

As I listened to the story for what must have been the five thousandth time (although one can never hear it enough!), I decided to capture some of my thoughts:

  • I reminded myself that this is the only miracle to appear in all four Gospels, highlighting what an amazing event this must have been
  • Matthew starts by telling us that Jesus was upset about John the Baptist's death and thus withdraws to be by himself, an no doubt, to mourn.  Yet, he selflessly puts that on hold when he sees an opportunity to preach and potentially save the lives of others.  
  • Jesus does not feed the masses by himself.  Notice that he tells his Apostles to.  The same thing applies to us today I suppose.  He could snap his fingers and feed all the hungry in all the world, but he is asking us to.  
  • God does not give exactly the right amount of food.  There are twelve wicker baskets- full left over.  A reminder that He is so generous ... He gives us more than we will ever need.
  • I remember reading once how people would use various elevations or wind direction to ensure there voice would travel far enough for all to hear.  But still, speaking so 5,000 people can hear you can't be that easy.
  • By the way, we always refer to five thousand.  But note that Matthew states that that does not include women and children.  I wonder what that number really was.  
 God Bless you.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Some Little Known Biblical Facts

I've been keeping a list of Biblical Facts that have surprised me over the past few months, and decided they would be fun to share in a post with all of you.  I hope you enjoy!

  1. Did you know that the Body and Blood at the Last Supper is not mentioned at all in the Gospel of John? How could this be? Many believe it is because John's Gospel was written much later than the other 3 synoptic Gospels.  As such, they believe John knew the Body and Blood was already an accepted.  
  2. Did you know there is only one book in the Bible that does have the word God?  Esther.
  3. Ironically, that same book has the longest verse in the Bible.  Esther 8:9.
  4. The shortest prayer in the Bible is from Peter. "Lord, save me!"  
  5. A recent survey by the Barna Group found that nearly 9 out of 10 people own a Bible!

God Bless you.  

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Very Short Story About Burdens

I came across a very short story this weekend about burdens and yokes that made me smile - and gave me great perspective.

The story goes like this:

A man once met a boy carrying a crippled lad on his back.  
"That's a heavy load you are carrying there," said the man.  
"He's not heavy," replied the boy, "he's my brother!"

The moral, of course, is that no burden is ever too heavy when it is received and carried in love.  

God Bless.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Overheard on Trinity Sunday

Overheard at Mass on Trinity Sunday:

"Only God can give us an equation, where 
One plus 
One plus 
One equals ... 

God Bless you.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Shortest Passage? It Depends.

Last week I posed the question:

What is the shortest passage in the New Testament?

Victor and Jade both took the time to answer (thank you!) and they were both right.

Kind of.

You see, there are different answers to this question depending on what Bible you are using.

In the King James Version of the Bible, John 11:35, Jesus wept, is indeed the shortest phrase.  

However, we all know the Bible was originally written in Greek.  And in Greek, John 11:35 is actually three words and 16 characters.  Luke 20:30, And the second, is actually the shortest passage in Greek, coming in at only 12 letters 

In fact, there is even a second phrase that is shorter than John 11:35 in Greek. First Thessalonians 5:16, Be joyful always, is only 14 characters in Greek. 

Ironic how that phrase plays off of the King James line of Jesus weeping, isn't it?

By the way, the image of Jesus weeping is, in my mind, one of the saddest in all the Bible.  We often imagine God loving, caring, kind ... even angry.  But weeping?  It breaks your heart doesn't it?

God Bless you, and thank you for playing along with me.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Pop Quiz: Short phrases

It has been a while since I threw a pop quiz out there, so here it goes:

What is the shortest passage in the New Testament?

Please post your guess in the comments. The answer, and accompanying post, comes your way next week.

God Bless you.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

You are his body

"Christ has no body now but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world.
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.
Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours."
                                    - St. Theresa of Avila 

In today's Gospel, Jesus tells us He is the Way.  
This statement made such an impact on His followers, that after His death, they called themselves "Followers of the Way".  But they were more than that. 

And so are we. 

In Christ's physical absence, it was their job - and now ours - to show others the Way.

But St. Theresa's quote made me see this from another perspective. Aren't we also "the way" Christ shows His love to the world today?

A wonderful reminder, lest we forget what our first priority is here on Earth.

God Bless you.