“Christ-miss” in the Modern World
While the feast of “Christ’s-Mass” dates back to at least the 2nd Century, much of the modern world has lost sight of the mysterious and wonderful Advent of Christ. For many Christians, rather than renewal in Christ, Christmas is perhaps better described as “Christ-miss”. “Christ-miss” is celebrated with rampant consumerism, holiday gift-giving, family reunions, partying, vacations and perhaps even attending Christmas Mass, while “missing” the opportunity to renew their faith in Christ.
Like the slumbering world that missed Christ’s quiet birth in a Bethlehem stable 2000 years ago, many are sleeping during Advent, embracing “Christ-miss” rather than “Christ-Mass.” They miss the great miracle of Christ’s continued rule in the modern world; they miss the opportunity to draw closer to Christ and to experience His lasting peace and joy. Instead, in the deprived darkness of the modern secular “Christ-miss” world, people suffer in darkness, lost in the self-absorption of sinful addictions, lost in battles to promote sexual liberation, the killing of children and the control of the nation’s wealth, lost in transient relationships, broken marriages and the loneliness of going it alone.
The Advent of the Divine Child
Into this broken world, the Light of Christ continues to shine brilliantly during Advent. (more…)
At Eden, Man chose to abuse his freedom, distrusting God and seeking to “be like God” (cf. Gen 3:5). Since then, Man has suffered under the effects of Original Sin (CCC 396-409), which includes the embrace of personal sin and lives full of pain, illness, emotional suffering and death.
Humans have sought to alleviate suffering through modern medical advances to treat mental and physical illnesses. Modern psychology and psychiatry seek to treat mental illness with cognitive behavioral therapy and various medicines. Modern physical medicine has made great advances in treating all kinds of bodily illness through diagnostic technology, scientific treatment protocols, pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures.
There is an orphan epidemic in the modern world. Many children in the modern world have, in practical terms, been abandoned, even when they have one or both parents. Increasing numbers of women (with men in passive agreement) are bearing children out of wedlock (absent fathers) and/or through artificial insemination (anonymous fathers). Many marry only to divorce. As a result, a large and growing number of children are being raised without a father; fatherless orphans. Children are also being abandoned into virtual orphanhood; the vocation of parenting is being outsourced to hired day care providers, teachers in secular schools and by modern media. Many adults are also embracing orphanhood through a rejection of God the Father with growing numbers of people choosing atheism, agnosticism or ‘casualism’ in faith. Orphans abound.
The rejection of earthly fathers and the Heavenly Father yields great suffering. Modern culture is showing the negative effects of orphanhood by declines in morality and human happiness: idolatry (materialism, cult of celebrity), promiscuity, addictions (pornography, substances), the murder of abortion and euthanasia and the rejection of marriage and children, etc. Great numbers of today’s ‘orphans’ are relentless and depressed, feeling the discouraging impact of empty lives; the reality of their mortality weighs on their hearts and minds; the unavoidable issue of their eternal salvation weighs on their souls. The faithless orphans of the world bear a great burden.
Jesus Christ Revealer of Our Father
Jesus Christ comes to reveal God the Father to an orphaned world. (more…)
Satanspel – The Devil’s Story
At Eden, Satan seduces Man with the false story (from the Old English “spel”) that humans can have “all knowledge” and “become like gods” (Gen 3:5). The turning away from God and His Truth to the devil’s false story, the Satanspel, is the fall of Man into Original Sin.
The Satanspel of today promises that a “modern” secular society (humans can be gods) and information technology (knowledge) will lead to the salvation of humans. Secularists seek to neutralize God in the public square and promote an individualist order where all humans can fulfill their personal cravings for material goods and sexual perversion. The “knowledge” of Eden is the “information” of today with Man submerged in a swamp of information through ever-more intrusive media devices. In the “information overload”, the trivial, obscene and morbid seduce Man into greater and greater distraction from God, with Man falling into ever-greater darkness of sin.
Gospel of Jesus Christ the Divine Evangelist
In Divine contrast to the dark lies of the Satanspel, the Gospel (literally, “Good news” or “God’s story”) is the Truth of Jesus Christ. Jesus, whose name means “God saves”, brings the Divine good news that God Is and Man can be saved by God through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, He, Himself, is the Good News, for He is God who comes into the world through the Incarnation to save Man from the dark spell cast by Satan. The Good News is the Story of Salvation for mankind. The Good News is that, rather than the randomness of deconstruction and cold evolutionary forces without a plot or storyline, there is the Truth of the Salvation Story in Jesus Christ.
What Jesus Teaches as Divine Evangelist
The Gospel Himself, Jesus Christ the Divine Evangelist teaches that:
There is a Kingdom of God – Rather then the confusion and waywardness of Israel or the deception of the human tendency to want to become gods, Jesus Christ brings the Good News that God exists and rules eternity in His Kingdom (CCC 544).
Salvation is the Story – Rather then a long string of meaningless events, human history has a trajectory in God. Even in the treason of Eden, God describes the victory over Satan in the protoevangelium (Gen 3:15; CCC 410), in which Mary, the New Eve, through her seed Jesus Christ, will conquer evil. The Gospel is the Good News of the God Story, that Man can be saved from Original Sin and death, that Satan has been defeated (CCC 1086) and that there is a way of life and a way of death (CCC 1696). Jesus Christ is the turning point in Salvation History, fulfilling all the promises by God in the Old Testament (CCC 1964-70). Men are given a real history, a family history, in the Bible and the Traditions of the Church.
Jesus, Himself, is the Good News of the New Covenant – In the Incarnation, Jesus gives definitive proof of God’s existence. Jesus pays a high price and works tirelessly to bring the Good News, walking thousands of miles, healing the multitudes, living without a home, accepting the Will of the Father to submit to the injustice of puny men unto death. In the Incarnation, Jesus gives God a human face and man preserves this idea of Christ’s Good News in the blessings of Icons (CCC 1160).
Man must repent and accept the Good News – Jesus comes to set the record straight. Man is in deep trouble because of Original Sin, which is the opposite of the Gospel (CCC 389). Man must reject the false idols of human gods and scientific rationalism. Man has a choice and is accountable (1 Pt 4:17) for conversion (CCC 1427). Man will either be in the kingdom or outside with “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt 22:13). Man must not be ashamed of the Gospel (Rom 1:15), “live a life worthy of the Gospel” (CCC 1692) and be prepared to give up all for the Gospel (CCC 2544).
There is Salvation in Christ – Jesus Christ ushers in a New Covenant, paying the price for human sin through His Crucifixion and offering all men the new life of the Resurrection (CCC 571). Christ teaches that there is no salvation for man without self-sacrificing love.
Man must embrace the Gospel through lifelong catechesis– Jesus Christ, Himself, is the Word, which is the Gospel. The Gospel is promulgated in writing and speaking (CCC 76). Man must continually be catechized and pass along the faith to the next generation through education/catechesis (CCC 2226).
Man must embrace the Church – Jesus Christ establishes His Church so that men can know the Truth be given Grace through the Sacraments. The Apostles pass along the authority for Christ’s Church on earth to bishops so that “the full and living Gospel might be preserved in the Church” (CCC 77) as their first and primary task (CCC 888). The Gospel is preached at every mass (CCC 1160). Christ establishes communio in the Church and the fraternity of brotherhood (CCC 2636).
Men are commanded to evangelize – Jesus preaches the Gospel with His own lips (CCC 75) and commands the Apostles to understand and preach the Gospel to all nations (Matt 26:13; Mark 13:10) for it is good news for all nations (CCC 528). Today, Man is called to be obedient evangelists (CCC 3; CCC 673), for the preaching of the Gospel has the power through the Holy Spirit to renew culture in Christ (CCC 2527). Man must take the Gospel seriously for it has been passed down for 2000 years with great hardship and sacrifice.
Responding to the Gospel has requirements – To fully respond to the Gospel, Man must embrace renewal in prayer (CCC 821) and be drawn into the sacraments (CCC 977). Jesus leaves a perpetual evangelization of man through the Sacraments (CCC 1247). To bear witness and promulgate the Gospel, Man must live a life faithful to the Gospel (CCC 2044: CCC 2226; CCC 2472).
Men must persevere to preach the Gospel – Christ teaches that there is great resistance to His Gospel, and despite apparent defeats and setbacks, Man must never cease to preach the Gospel (CCC 854).
He will send the Holy Spirit – Key to the Gospel is the promise that Christ makes to send the Holy Spirit to give the power to transmit the Gospel (CCC 2600, 2640).
The word “monarchy” comes from the Latin, monarchia, meaning, “absolute rule, the ruling of one.” Monarchies, a form of human government, are ruled by a king (or queen) and have been around since early human history. Much of Western civilization has its roots in monarchies. Today, while about 20% of countries in the world are formerly called monarchies, few actually give more then ceremonial recognition to kings or queens.
Living in a democracy in the 21st century, the idea of kings and kingdoms is a foreign concept. The U.S. was founded based on the specific rejection of monarchy of the King of England. Americans value independence and reject the idea of being “subjects”, fiercely supporting democracy in the political realm. (more…)
As part of God’s plan of sheer goodness, the Father sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ as Redeemer and Savior (CCC 1). In the Incarnation (meaning, the ‘act of being made flesh’), God purposefully chose to come to Man (CCC 456). By becoming flesh, Jesus demonstrates God’s love (CCC 458), so that Man might have a perfect model of how to love God and neighbor (CCC 459) and so that Man might be able to participate in God’s divine nature, becoming adopted children of God (CCC 460).
The Importance of the Physical Jesus Christ
The Church places a great emphasis on the importance of Christ’s physical body. (more…)
Man’s Desperate Need for Salvation
At Eden, Man chose to abuse his freedom, distrusting God and seeking to “be like God” (cf. Gen 3:5). “By refusing God’s plan of love, [Man] deceived himself and become a slave to Sin…. human history attests the wretchedness and oppression born of the human heart in consequence of the abuse of freedom” (CCC 1739). Original Sin (CCC 396-409) led Man into: “material deprivation, unjust oppression, physical and psychological illness and death…the obvious sign of the inherited condition of frailty and need for salvation” (CCC 2448). St. Gregory of Nyssa teaches: “Sick, our nature demanded to be healed; fallen, to be raised up; dead, to rise again. We had lost the possession of the good; it was necessary for it to be given back to us. Closed in the darkness, it was necessary to bring us the light; captives, we awaited a Savior; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator” (CCC 457).
The Epidemic of False Hope
Since Eden, Man has always grasped for salvation. Adam and Eve put their hope in the false promises of Satan (Gen 3). With the Tower of Babel, humans sought salvation (Gen 11:1-9). The Israelites turned from God and sought salvation from the false Canaanite gods (Num 25:1-3; Jud 2:11). At the time of Christ, Caesar Augustus and Tiberius promoted a “Gospel” of salvation with Caesar worshiped as “Divine Savior.” In recent times, false messiahs in the form of people (Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, Hitler, Stalin, Mao) and ideologies (Communism, Naziism, Scientism, Progressivism, etc.) dominate the cultural and political realms, exploiting the inherent need for salvation embedded in the human heart. Despite the illusion of human progress, hundreds of millions of people were killed in the last century; mass killings continue to occur today in the form of wars and abortion. In false hope, there is no hope.
Jesus Christ – Divine Savior
Only Jesus Christ, the Divine Savior, has the power and will to save Man. Jesus: (more…)
The Disfigurement of Man
At Eden, Man tried to transfigure themselves into “gods” through knowledge (Gen 3) but instead fell into Original Sin (CCC 396-412). Sin disfigured Man, from sinless children of God into sinful outcasts of Eden. The effects of Original Sin tragically deformed Man, leading to all sorts of sin: pride, murder, greed, envy, lust, sexual perversion, wrath, gluttony, duplicity, sloth, rebellion and death.
The Post-Modern “Make over” Culture
After Eden, Man has tried to recapture what was lost. In early times, Man sought to gain greatness by building the Tower of Babel (Gen 11). With the “Enlightenment”, Man deliberately turned away from God and tried to redefine the moral life based solely on reason. Failing, Man then attempted to find answers to human depravity by putting faith in “feelings”, economics, political systems, sex, power, psychology and technology, in a progressive fantasy of a soon-to-arrive happy utopia. All of these frail attempts failed, leaving Man in a post-modern “anything goes and nothing matters” slump. Today, rather than face the reality of God and Original Sin, post-modern Man desperately seeks a “make over”: cosmetic makeovers, divorcing or leaving “partners”, killing inconvenient children, attempting to redefine gender and marriage, creating new identities on social media, etc. All of these attempts at “make-overs” fail to transform in the end; Man dies, disfigured, in Sin.
The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ
In the Transfiguration (Matt 17:1–8; Mark 9:2 –8, Luke 9:28–36), Jesus Christ gives Man hope. Jesus: (more…)
Man has always been on a quest for knowledge. Ever since Adam and Eve’s fall to Satan’s temptation to “know good and evil” and to be “wise” (Gen 3), the knowledge quest has drawn men into sin. The Enlightenment failed because it sought to build knowledge through rational thought and the rejection of God. More recently, Marx (economics), Nietzsche (power) and Freud (sex) all proposed new knowledge that would bring man fulfillment. The dismal post-modern idea that there is no sure knowledge, seeks to deconstruct civilization into an atheistic, pluralistic and relativistic pool of confusion. The Internet has provided easy access to most human knowledge and experience including the promotion of darkest human perversion, just a click away. Politicians, media kings/queens and activists promote hyper-partisan opinions, gaining power/wealth, while dividing people into armed camps. Man’s use of the exploding levels of secular knowledge has not led to peace or joy.
The Powerful Knowledge of Jesus Christ