Same problems then as now

At mass this morning we had a reading from 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8. a bit that sprang out was,“You know very well, and we can swear it before God, that never at any time have our speeches been simply flattery, or a cover for trying to get money…”
This reminds me of some conversations I’ve had where people say that the church is corrupt and it’s all about money…etc. I try to point out that even if I held the church in my house we’d probably need a collection to cover the tea and biscuits. Then we might need to support someone in need or a full-time Priest or Minister. Can’t really do it without money – however we have to remember that the preaching of the Gospel comes first, the tea and biscuits are secondary. From the reading we can see that St Paul had the same problem and accusation – same then as now.

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He is high and lifted up and his train filled the temple. Isaiah 6:1

A train to fill the temple. God's majesty, of course, surpasses this
A train to fill the temple. God’s majesty, of course, surpasses this.

If you haven’t already guessed I like trains and there is something majestic about a steam train such as the A4 Pacific Sir Nigel Gresley above.  This made me wonder, if I was to think what kind of steam engine I might be it would be the one below;

A plodder but can be useful
A plodder but can be useful – Ivatt 2MT

Because Jesus has died for us, when God looks at us he sees his own son.  So in terms of steam engines though I might see myself as the little steam engine (Ivatt 2MT) , God sees me as the A4 Pacific (powerful express engine).

What’s more he says He is going to work in me to make me more like Jesus.  In steam engine terms more like the A4 Pacific.  That’s quite a refurbishment!  PTL!

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Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:2. I like the way St Paul opens his letter with an expansive greeting, in this case embracing two persons of the Trinity.

So this is my very first go at writing a blog.  It will be various observations and thoughts on the Christian life from a Catholic perspective.

For example, last week at morning mass we had a reading from Judges 11 where Jephtha wages war against the Ammonites and the Spirit of the Lord comes upon him.  He does however make a foolish vow that if he triumphs he will sacrifice the first thing that comes out of the door of his house.  (Do you get the feeling that this will end badly?)  What happens is that it is his daughter who comes out to greet him.  Sadly rather than seeking the Lord for forgiveness for making such a foolish vow, which the Lord would have released him from, he fulfills the vow.

So what are we to make of this?  Well the bible has plenty of examples of things people did wrong as well as right and this is one of those.  This time of the Judges seems to be one of rather flawed characters being used by God to remedy a particular situation.  We have Gideon the reluctant judge, Samson the judge ruled by his passions.  Of the Judges one of the better ones was a woman Deborah (Judges Chapter 4).  One of my favourites is Ehud, a left-handed man, and you find him in Chapter 3.  Being left-handed myself there is that appeal as well as his courage and cleverness.

Anyways if we come round to application, what might we get from this.

“Help us Lord to do the things you really want us to do and save us from our flaws and failings so that we might become the people you want us to be.  This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”