The Beatitudes as a Self-Portrait of Jesus: Part 1 Updated

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I came across several articles recently that proposed that Jesus demonstrates or acts out the Beatitudes during his Passion and Death.  One article mentions that the Beatitudes in Matthew is really a self-portrait of Jesus.

Here, in the Beatitudes, Jesus shows us how to walk as Christians.  This is the walk.  This is how followers of Christ are divinized, , how we open up our hearts to God and how we let our light shine before men.

On  March 18, 2007 Father Raniero Cantalamessa delivered a sermon during a Lenten service attended by then Pope Benedict XVI, where he reflects on the Beatitudes.

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1. Who are the meek?

The beatitude on which we wish to meditate today lends itself to an important observation. It says: “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the land.” Now, in another passage of the same Gospel, Jesus exclaims: “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart” (Matthew 11:29). We conclude from this that the beatitudes are not a nice ethical program traced by the master for his followers; they are a self-portrait of Jesus! Jesus is the one who is truly poor, meek, pure of heart, persecuted for the sake of justice.  (emphesis mine)

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WE HAVE NO KING BUT CAESAR OBAMA

abortionWE HAVE NO KING BUT CAESAR OBAMA

These are the words the Jewish Pharisees, scribes, elders, priests, and high priests screamed at Pontius Pilate when they wanted him to crucify our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Their declaration that “We have no King but Caesar” is exactly the opposite of everything that made them the Jews the Chosen People of God.  As N. T. Wright pointed out in his commentary, John for Everyone (John 19:15), “It’s a devastating thing to hear, coming from the lips of the official representatives of Judaism.  The scriptures, songs and revolutionary slogans of Judaism had spoken for a thousand years of its God as the true King, of the coming Messiah as God’s true king, and of pagan rulers as a sham, a pretence, a bunch of trumped-up idolaters.” Continue reading

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The Partitioning of His Body

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One in Christ

Ephesians 2:11-22  Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called the uncircumcision by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—12remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ.14For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall * of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. 17And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.19So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,20built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (NASB).

When God took for himself a people, Israel, he put up a dividing wall or partition between them and the rest of fallen mankind.  The Old Testament scriptures, the Prophets and the Psalms speak of this in many places.  “Thus says the Lord, Israel is my first-born son.” (Exodus 4:22).  Israel was to be separated.  They were God’s chosen people.  Continue reading

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Christian Men’s Organization Options

Thinking about joining one of the Christian Mens Ministries that are available and can be brought into your church? Here are several Christian Men’s organizations that offer men, Fellowship and Brotherhood, Growth and Guidance.  Each of these organizations help men to develop a good foundation based on Christian and Biblical principles of manhood.

Acts 17:26-28

26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;

as even some of your own poets have said,

“‘For we are indeed his offspring.

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Capital Punishment & The Finger of God

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  John 8:3-11

3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (ESV)

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Blaise Pascal and the 3 Kinds of People in the World

BlaisePascalJeremiah 29:11-13

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  (NIV)

Below is a transcription of a Peter Kreeft youtube video.

Jesus repeatedly says “If you seek, you shall find.”  All who seek, find. (Matthew 7:7-8; Luke 11:8-10) Continue reading

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What did Jesus mean when he said “Eat My Flesh”

John_6I’ve posted on several blogs concerning Transubstantiation here and here.

Another question to ask is, what did the disciples of Jesus think Jesus said when he said “Eat My Flesh.”

John 6:

51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Continue reading

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The Best Definition of PRIDE

CS LewisPrideThis comes from Chapter 18 of the book Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.

Chapter 18: I pointed out a moment ago that the more pride one had, the more one disliked pride in others. In fact, if you want to find out how proud you are the easiest way is to ask yourself, `How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, or shove their oar in, or patronise me,. or show off ?’ The point is that each person’s pride is in competition with every one else’s pride. It is because I wanted to be the big noise at the party that I am so annoyed at someone else being the big noise. Two of a trade never agree. Now what you want to get clear is that Pride is essentially competitive – is competitive by its very nature-while the other vices are competitive only, so to speak, by accident. Continue reading

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Operating Room Prayer

I work in the Operating Room of an Ambulatory Surgery Center.  Each day before starting my cases, I say a silent prayer for my patients.

Prayer for the Operating Room

Lord Jesus, you healed the multitude of every disease and affliction throughout your time on Earth with us and you continue to do so to this very day.

Nothing is impossible for you, so with confidence, we pray that this patient will have a successful surgery.

I offer this prayer to make you present among us in this operating room.  Lord God, Father Almighty, we praise and glorify you and acknowledge that you have given man the Knowledge and Ability to perform these procedures.

These patients, who are made in your image and likeness, I will provide the best care possible.

I ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen

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Christian Table Fellowship

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Why should table fellowship among Christians be important?

In the High Priestly Prayer, Jesus prays to the Father for a unified body of believers.  As Christians, we should be lamenting the fact that there is such disunity among Christians.  I’m a firm believer that if we can’t be a unified body as our Lord and Savior prayed, we can be a unified body spiritually.  We can do this if we recognize that a Mystical Body of Christ does exist.  Think about how this disunity has historically pierced Christs body over and over again.  Let’s pray to the Holy Spirit for guidence.  We should all look for ways to accomplish unity of all Christians in our life time.  There is no time to lose. Continue reading

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