Living in the Two Hearts

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Posts Tagged ‘Eucharist’

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on June 3, 2018

This IS MY BODY…

First Published: June 26, 2011

Have you ever noticed the connection between the Holy Trinity and Fatherhood? They lead by example – Fathers should lead by example. They are the Spiritual head of the Household of God – Fathers should be the spiritual head of their households leading in prayer and devotion to God. Today we have the continuation of this connection as found in the worship and celebration of the most Precious Body & Blood of Christ Jesus. Fathers should imitate Christ by the laying down of their lives for their families in the fullness of sacrificial love.

Office of Readings: Ordinary Time: Reading I: O Precious and Wonderful Banquet! : St. Thomas Aquinas : Christian Prayer (excerpt, emphasis added, with biblical and catechetical inserts added…)

Since it was the Will of God’s only-begotten Son that men should share in His divinity, He assumed our nature in order that by becoming man, He might make men gods.  Moreover, when He took our flesh He dedicated the whole of its substance to our salvation.  He offered His body to God the Father on the Altar of the Cross as a sacrifice for our reconciliation.

Before the Mormons get all up in arms and claim – See! That angel was right! No, ya’ll were deceived… (see 2Cor 11: 14-15)  When Jesus spoke about making men “sons of God”, He always referred to the resurrection – “…but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” ~ Mt Lk 20: 35-36, emphasis added

And those who followed Him and His commands…

They shall become the peacemakers, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” ~Mt 5:9

He shed His blood for our ransom and purification, so that we might be redeemed from our retched state of bondage and cleansed from all sin.  But to ensure that the memory of so GREAT A GIFT would ABIDE WITH US FOREVER, He left HIS BODY as FOOD and HIS BLOOD as DRINK for the faithful to consume in the form of bread and wine.

It’s no wonder that so many Protestant denominations are now practicing frequent communion – They so desire the EUCHARIST.  Unfortunately for them, until they return to the Apostolic Succession of Christ’s Holy Church, their communion will remain a symbol…

The Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life.”  The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and WORKS of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented towards it.  For in the Blessed Eucharist, is contained the WHOLE spiritual good of the Church, NAMELY CHRIST HIMSELF, our Pasch. ~CCC§1324,emphasis added

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

O precious and wonderful banquet, that brings us salvation and contains all sweetness!  Could anything be of more intrinsic value?  Under the old law it was the flesh of calves and goats that was offered, but here CHRIST HIMSELF, the TRUE GOD, is set before us AS OUR FOOD.  What could be more wonderful than this?

Jesus said to them, “I AM the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst…Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness and they died… I AM the living bread which comes down from heaven; if anyone eats this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is MY FLESH…

Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you; he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day… He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. ~Jn 6: 35, 49, 51, 53-54, 56, 

No other SACRAMENT has greater healing power; through it sins are purged away, virtues are increased, and the soul is enriched with an abundance of every spiritual gift.  It is offered in the Church for the living and the dead, so that what was INSTITUTED for the SALVATION of [MANY] may be for the benefit of all…  See the Fifth Luminous Mystery

Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “take, eat; this is My Body.” And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, saying, “drink of it, all of you; for this is My Blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins…” ~Mt 26: 26b-28

…It was the fulfillment of ancient figures and the greatest of ALL His MIRACLES, while for those who were to experience the sorrow of His departure, it was destined to be a unique and abiding consolation.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I AM with you always until the end of the age.” ~Mt 28: 18b-20, emphasis added

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine…

In the Eucharist, we come closer to God than is conceivable and He draws close to us in a moment of breathtaking wonder, if we only open our eyes and our minds to the marvel.  [As St. Thomas Aquinas said], “The Eucharist…is the living evidence, the shining token of God’s overpowering LOVE for us.  The very substance of our hopes has its foundation in this tender familiarity of Christ towards us.  The Eucharist IS PROOF…of God’s passionate love for us and all of our HOPE is grounded in this closeness that we have to God in this amazing MYSTERY.” ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Holy Thursday, emphasis added.

The mystery of why Jesus gave us His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity for consumption is not all that difficult to understand.  For Jesus said…

And lo, I am with you always, until the close of the age. ~Mt 28:20b

He ascended into heaven after saying that (cf Mk 16:19; Acts 1:9)…

So does that make God a liar?  How could He still be with us if He has ascended into heaven?

Because Jesus did not leave us alone without His presence…

And He took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them saying, “This IS  My Body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me…This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in My blood…” ~Lk 22: 19, 20

“Drink of it, all of you; for this is My Blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins…” ~Mt 26: 27c-28, emphasis added, emphasis added.

He gave us HIMSELF in the form of bread and wine that BECOMES HIS BODY and HIS BLOOD so that all who eat of Him worthily will have eternal life within them.  For Jesus told us while He was on earth that…

I AM the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world IS MY FLESH.

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you;  he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life…For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. ~John 6: 51, 53-54, 55-56, emphasis added.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that…

“The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination BOTH of God’s action sanctifying the world in Christ AND of the worship men offer to Christ and through Him to the Father in the Holy Spirit.” ~CCC§1325, emphasis added (BOTH/AND…Good Theology!)

Just a “symbol”…

I’ve noticed a lot lately that many of the mainline Protestant churches are practicing a “frequent communion” within their congregations.  However, theirs is merely a “symbol” of Christ and they do treat it as such as they do not have the continued Apostolic Succession; having broken away from Christ’s Church during the 16th century.

And yet the desire for communion with the Living God is so prevalent that I wonder how much longer they can go before demanding to receive the “real deal”…

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.”  “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ Himself, our Pasch.”  ~CCC§1324, emphasis added.

This is probably why Christ prayed so fervently during His last hours on earth for Christian Unity…

“Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son that the Son may glorify Thee,  since Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom Thou hast given Him.  And this is eternal life, that they know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.

 I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom Thou hast given Me, for they are Thine; all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine, and I AM glorified in them.

Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth. As Thou didst send Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate Myself [Holy Eucharist, Last Supper], that they also may be consecrated in TRUTH.

By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ Himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: His Body and His Blood, with His soul and His divinity (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1640; 1651). ~CCC§1413, in brief.

“I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in Me through their word, that they MAY ALL BE ONE; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, THAT THEY MAY ALSO BE IN US, so that the world may believe that Thou has sent Me.

The glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them, THAT THEY MAY BE ONE AS WE ARE ONE, I in them and Thou in Me, THAT THEY MAY BECOME PERFECTLY ONE, so that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me and hast loved them even as Thou hast loved me. ~Jn 19: 1-3, 17-19, 20-23, emphasis added.

Did Jesus pray that we may be ONE more than once? 

YES!  He did…which should tell the reader something: This is what God WANTS MOST for His Children. 

Does that mean, if I’m a committed Christian, that I can partake of the Eucharist and fulfill God’s commandment to eat His flesh and drink His blood?

Unfortunately, no, it does not.  Why?  Because, as St. Paul warns ALL of us…

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the BODY and BLOOD of the Lord. Let a man examine himself [CONFESSION], and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. ~1 Cor 11: 23-29, emphasis added.

The Catholic Church in the final days…

This applies to Catholics as well as Protestants.  Catholics, if you are partaking of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ with mortal and even venial sin on our soul you are drinking and eating judgment on yourself.  Protestants, so too will you do the same since the true understanding of the Eucharist has not been provided to you in your spiritual training as Christians.

Because, unfortunately, your forefathers (Luther, 1521; Carlstadt, Munzer, Storch, and Pfeiffer, 1523, Anabaptists; Ulric Zwingli, 1523, Puritans; King Henry VIII, 1535, Anglican Church; John Calvin, 1536, Calvinists; John Knox, 1560, Presbyterians; and the splits continued on from there…),  went the way of many of Christ’s own followers when Jesus concluded His discourse on why He was the Living Bread come down from heaven…

Many of His disciples, when they heard it said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” … After this many of His disciples drew back and no longer went about with Him. ~Jn 6: 60, 66

It was only the 12 that stayed, excepting Judas Iscariot who later betrayed the Lord, who then became the first Bishops of His Church and conferred others to take their place (see book of Acts).  They were there at the Last Supper when Jesus consecrated Himself and made the bread and wine into His Body and Blood. 

THEY were the ones Jesus gave the power to “do this in remembrance of Me”, and thus continue the promise of Jesus that He would never leave us.  And like so many Protestant ministers over the years have discovered when they have sought the meaning behind Jesus’ words in John 6…

What material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Communion wonderfully achieves in our spiritual life. Communion with the flesh of the risen Christ, a flesh “given life and giving life through the Holy Spirit,” preserves, increases, and renews the life of grace received at Baptism. This growth in Christian life needs the nourishment of Eucharistic Communion, the bread for our pilgrimage until the moment of death, when it will be given to us as viaticum. ~CCC§1392, emphasis added.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine…

So many have returned home to Rome…But for those of us who are home, let us always remember the privilege we have when we attend the Holy Mass, the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary relived.  Let us always keep in mind, this IS GOD’S GIFT to US and must therefore be treated with UTMOST RESPECT and DIGNITY.  For as the Catechism also reminds us, and as we celebrated the Holy Trinity last Sunday…

There is no limit or measure to this essentially divine forgiveness, (Cf. Mt 18:21-22; Lk 17:3-4), whether one speaks of “sins” as in Luke (11:4), or “debts” as in Matthew (6:12). We are always debtors: “Owe no one anything, except to love one another.” (Rom 13:8) The communion of the Holy Trinity is the source and criterion of truth in every relationship. It is lived out in prayer, above all in the Eucharist (Cf. Mt 5:23-24; 1 Jn 3:19-24).

We are given LIFE not death, SALVATION not condemnation, TRUTH not falsehood as Christ radically transforms us by His radical transformation of Himself or as someone once said…

We come today to that solemn moment when something of Eternity, something of the sacred sanctuary where God dwells in His total otherness, breaks through our world, and we come face to face with the Living God.  We celebrate today the institution of the Eucharist, that astonishing gift that Jesus left each one of us, His Presence among us [cf Mt 28:20b], as a living memorial of His Passion and Death, and as the living evidence of His care and concern for us, who often get so lost in the business of living we can forget how precious we are to our Creator. ~ Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Holy Thursday, emphasis added.

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

So as you approach Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament of His Precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity TODAY and every time you go to Mass, perhaps it would be advisable to the worshiper of Christ to prepare yourself as best you can with the help of one of the Church’s truly great and holy priest, St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)…

Almighty and ever-living God, I approach the sacrament of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.  I come sick to the doctor of Life (cf Mt 9:12-13), unclean to the fountain of mercy, blind to the radiance of eternal light, and poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth.  

Therefore, I ask in the abundance of Thy great generosity that Thou may heal my sickness, wash away my defilement, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty, and clothe my nakedness, so that I may receive the Bread of angels, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, with that purpose and intention which is expedient for the salvation of my soul.

Grant me, I beseech Thee, that I may not only receive the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of the Lord, but also its reality and power.  O most kind God, grant that I may receive the Body of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, which He received from the Virgin Mary, so that I may be worthy to be incorporated into His Mystical Body, and numbered among His members.

O most loving Father, grant that I may contemplate for all eternity the revealed face of Thy beloved Son, whom I intend to receive now under the veil of this Sacrament.  Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end. Amen.

Prayer in Pdf for Printing: Prayer Before Mass

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Holy Week Part III…Good Friday reflection continues

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on March 31, 2017

"Come all who are weary, and I will give you rest."

“Come all who are weary, and I will give you rest.”

CHRISTIAN PRAYER: Wednesday, Holy Week, Evening Prayer: READING: Ephesians 4: 32- 5:2 (emphasis added with commentary)

Be kind to one another, compassionate, and mutually forgiving, just as God has forgiven you in Christ

“And forgive us our transgressions as we forgive those who transgress against us.” ~Mt 6:12

Be imitators of God as His dear children.  Follow the way of LOVE, even as Christ LOVED YOU.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, GOD’S OWN PEOPLE, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” ~1Peter 2:9 (emphasis added)

He gave Himself for us as an offering to God, a gift of pleasing fragrance.

The Word of the Lord … Thanks be to God!

*** *** ***

Holy Thursday leading into Good Friday

A quick review…

Feast of Unleavened Bread

Jesus KNEW His hour had come…

And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.” ~Lk 22:15

Jesus had sent Peter and John into Jerusalem to find place for them to celebrate the Passover.  He said to them…

“Behold, when you have entered into the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house which he enters, and tell the householder, ‘ The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I am to eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished; there make ready.” ~Lk 22: 10-13

When Peter and John found everything as Jesus had said, they made ready for the celebration of the Passover according to the Essence calendar, which, according to the Dead Sea Scrolls, celebrated the Passover two days before the rest of Jerusalem.

A scroll from the Dead Sea caves…

It is important to NOTE: the Dead Sea Scrolls are the records of this ancient community that lived outside of Jerusalem and paid STRICT ATTENTION to the ritual purification requirements of the Law as well as other requirements not readily observed by average Jew.

It is quite possible that the house, which Jesus came to, was something of a preparatory location for those who wanted to become full members of the religious group – similar to the formation houses that Religious communities have today.

At any rate, Jesus followed this calendar and celebrated the Passover with His disciples on Thursday (our calendar) and not on Saturday (our calendar) when the rest of Jerusalem would celebrate the Passover Feast (When I say ‘our calendar’, I’m speaking of the difference between the Roman calendar – which we use – and the Lunar calendar which the ancient Hebrew people used).

To read what took place on that Faith Filled Day, click here

Jesus celebrated Passover on Thursday and was crucified, died, and was buried on Friday, so the Agony in the Garden (1st Sorrowful Mystery), must have also occurred Thursday but in the evening. 

All four (4) Gospels bear much of the Passion, from the Institution of the Eucharist (beginning), to the account in the Garden at Gethsemane (middle) concluding with His Crucifixion and Death (end).  I will flow back and forth, giving the reader the fullness of the Gospel accounts of Him who was “made sin for us” and died to free us from that sin, emphasizing a few minor details to keep the picture in perspective.

JESUS INSTITUTES THE EUCHARIST…

This IS MY BODY…

And He took bread, and when He had given thanks He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My Body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in My blood…” ~Lk 22: 19-20, (emphasis added)

Drink of it, all of you; for this is My Blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins…” ~Mt 26: 27c-28, (emphasis added)

This in turn…INSTITUTES THE PRIESTHOOD

Who was to carry on the work that Jesus began?  Kind of obvious, isn’t it?  Those whom He had chosen.  The Apostles that numbered 12, although one of them would betray Him.

WHAT DID JESUS ASK THEM TO DO? 

As the Father LOVES Me…

Be servants to one another…

Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. ~Jn 13:16

And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as One who serves. Lk 22: 25-27

Remain in His words…

Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. Jn 15:20

Honor one another…

When He had washed their feet, and taken His garments, and resumed His place, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s  feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Jn 13: 12-15, (emphasis added)

Do this in Remembrance of Him…

“ This is My Body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “ This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in My blood…” ~Luke 22: 19b-20

So the Apostles, in repeating the words of Christ, are then able to re-create the Last Supper, bringing the Eucharist from bread and wine, and becoming the Body – Blood – Soul – and Divinity of Jesus Christ,  JUST AS JESUS DID at the Last Supper!

The Apostles continued to  follow Jesus’ example and His later command,…

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all I have commanded you.” ~Mt 28: 19-20

…they appointed others to take their place and assist them in the work Jesus called them to.

And who are the successors of the Apostles?  The Bishops!  And who do the Bishops appoint to assist them?  The Priest!  All Bishops & Cardinals are priests elevated to a higher calling.  Once a priest, always a priest.  The mark of Holy Orders is indelible – permanent.

Ta-dum!  The institution of the Priesthood!

JESUS GIVES THEM THE GREATEST COMMAND…

OBEDIENCE

Love One Another as I have Loved you…

“As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you; abide in My LOVE. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My LOVE, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His LOVE.

“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down His life for His friends.”~ Jn 15: 9-10, 12-13

The Parable of the Faithful Steward: Be on the alert.  You know not the day or the hour when an accounting will be asked.  The Parable of the Ten Wise and Ten Foolish Virgins: Stay awake! The Parable of the Talents: Well done!  Good and Faithful Servant!  There is a hint of danger and disaster in the air.  These parables are followed by the Parable of the Last Judgment, as they look down on the Valley of Jehoshaphat, Jesus giving them His commandment of unconditional love. ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Wednesday of Holy Week.

AS MANY KNOW…

Not all of Jesus’ disciples followed and believed everything He taught.  For there was one that would betray Him…

The stage is set for what none of them believed or accepted: the complete failure of this Prophet of Nazareth, the final disaster that Jesus has constantly told them about…and for the mightiest work  of God in the history of Israel. ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Wednesday of Holy Week.

Now, there has been much speculation surrounding the person of Judas Iscariot, speculation that I wish to lay to rest here and now.

WHO WAS JUDAS ISCARIOT…?

All we know FOR SURE is that Judas carried the community purse…

Woe to him who would betray the Son of Man…

Now no one at the table knew why [Jesus] said this to him.  Some thought that, because Judas had the money box, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast”; or, that he should give something to the poor. ~Jn 13: 28-29

One thing is for sure!  He sure loved the money…

But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples (he who was to betray Him), said, ” Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. Jn 12: 4-6, (emphasis added)


He loved it so much that he was willing to hand over Jesus for more money…

They paid him 30 pieces of silver…

Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them.  And when they heard it they were glad, and promised to give him money. ~ Mk 14: 10-11, (emphasis added)

Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. ~Mt 26: 14-15, (emphasis added)

Thus – Judas Iscariot was a traitor, a liar, and a thief and had nothing to do with the common heart of LOVE that Jesus imparted to the other Eleven Apostles.

DID JESUS KNOW THIS…?

Right from the beginning He knew the one that would betray Him…

Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was to betray Him. ~Jn 6: 70-71, (emphasis added)

DID JUDAS RECEIVE THE EUCHARIST…?

Alas, yes, poor soul! 

When it was evening, He sat at table with the twelve disciples; and as they were eating, He said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”…

The Son of Man goes as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

Judas, who betrayed Him, said, “Is it I, Master?”* He said to him, “You have said so.”  Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”…~ Mt 26: 20, 24-25, 26-27a, (emphasis added)

At NO TIME did Judas leave the table.  We see that again in Luke’s account…

And He took bread, and when He had given thanks He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My Body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”

And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in My Blood. But behold the hand of him who betrays Me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” And they began to question one another, which of them it was that would do this. ~Lk 22: 19-23, (emphasis added)

“Judas…couldn’t perceive the gift being offered to him or identify the One giving it. Even after all the time he had spent with Jesus, Judas still couldn’t accept Him in the way Peter and the others had.  His heart hardened by the choices he had made, was closed.  As a result, he ate and drank his own condemnation.” ~Word Among Us, devotional, Tuesday, April 19th, Holy Week.

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the BODY and BLOOD of the Lord. Let a man examine himself [CONFESSION], and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.

GnosticGospel

The final speculation circulates around the GNOSTIC GOSPEL of Judas.  The key word here is GNOSTIC – meaning it has NOTHING TO DO with Sacred Scripture!  It even contradicts Sacred Scripture, thus proving a warning that St Paul gave centuries earlier before this piece of heresy was written…

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel– not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. ~Gal 1: 6-9, (emphasis added)

And that’s what the GNOSTIC GOSPEL does.  It confuses and leads astray, giving Judas Iscariot a place of HONOR rather than CONDEMNATION for his actions.  The circulating theory these days asks something like this…

Was [Judas] disillusioned and beginning to realize that Jesus is not going to declare Himself the new king of Israel, and that, instead of being part of a glorious triumph over Israel’s oppressors, He is going to seem part of a giant conspiracy to overthrow the government [cf Jn 11: 49b-50]? 

There are those who think that, after viewing all the miracles of Jesus and His power over wind and wave, and even death itself, Judas wanted to stir Jesus into action, as so devised a situation where He would have to act, after all, did the Master not tell His disciples to bring their swords along to Gethsemane [Lk 22: 37-38]?

Was [Judas] really a guerilla-fighter all along, and is it true, as some scholars believe, that his name … has been mistranslated and …[is] really Judas the Sicarii, one of the political assassins whose hatred for the Romans drove them to violence and that, when Jesus did not share their plans for revolution, decided to get rid of Him…and follow another leader, perhaps one named ‘Barabbas’? ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Tuesday of Holy Week, addressing the misunderstandings surrounding Judas Iscariot, emphasis added by me.

There really is only one answer to this kind of speculation which our holy priest does denounce in his homily later on…

If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.~Gal 1:9

St. Paul the Apostle says:  “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths”. ~ 2 Tim 4:3-4 (emphasis added)

I have betrayed innocent blood!

It’s this speculation that IGNORES what we know of Judas – what the SACRED SCRIPTURES tell us of Judas Iscariot.  IF Judas was a revolutionary, and his “steeling funds” was part of a fund raising effort to finance that revolution, WHY THEN did he violently return the 30 pieces of silver – a day’s wage – to the Pharisees claiming that he had betrayed innocent blood?

When Judas, His betrayer, saw that [Jesus] was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.” ~Mt 27: 3-4

Wouldn’t he NOT HAVE CARED?  Instead, would Judas not have worked with his fellow revolutionaries to free Barabbas and begin the revolution? 



Not only did Judas return the money, he then despaired and hung himself on a tree…

And throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself. ~Mt 27: 5

Not the actions of someone who would be full of hope in starting a revolution.  Or someone who was sure that Christ would bring His kingdom to earth to spare His Crucifixion. Thus PROVING CONCLUSIVELY that Gnostic Gospels SHOULD BE LEFT ALONE by all faithful followers of Christ!

If you have a strong enough stomach, you can read in Acts 1: 16-20, about what happened when some of the Apostles finally discovered Judas hanging on that tree outside of Jerusalem.

IN THE GARDEN…

…not My will, but Your Will be done.

If you have ever seen Mel Gibson’s the Passion of the Christ, then you are very familiar with the scene in the Garden at Gethsemane.  A very accurate pictorial account that we find in both the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. A powerful scene of the great agony Jesus suffered, so great that…

…being in an agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground. Lk 22:44

What could have caused Jesus to have such a reaction?  Well, Jesus was TRUE MAN and TRUE GOD, and He often spoke of the kind of persecution and death He would endure.  So I think it’s safe to say that Jesus was preparing Himself for all that His HUMANITY would have to endure to FULFILL what His GODHEAD had promised to Abraham long ago…



“Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.” ~ Gen 15: 5, 17-21

…as God said, “I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” ~2 Cor 6: 16c-18

And at the PRICE of God’s own Son… to be continued…

Watch and REMEMBER what God did for YOU…

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