Sunday, 3 August 2008

On The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination

This is the title of a Harvard University Commencement Address recently given by J.K.Rowling.
Here's the video:

Though she's not Catholic (Church of Scotland, which is Presbyterian in denomination) I believe the things she talks about are not un-Catholic in nature.

My Thoughts on Today's Bible Readings

On the subject of the miracle of the feeding of the 5000, I recently read about a group of people teaching that Jesus did not really feed the 5000 cause the 5000 already have food with them and when Jesus distributed his 5 loaves and 2 fish they simply brought out their food and shared it with others. Thus the so-called miracle is really about the power of sharing.
Isn't it funny what people can come up with to explain away something they don't really understand? They don't understand how Jesus can take something small and multiply it more than a 100 times so they come up with a lame story to make it easier to understand and in the process turning Jesus' truth into a worldly lie. Obviously if the 5000 already had food with them in such vast amounts (who can miss 5000 loaves of bread or 5000 pieces of fish?) the disciples wouldn't have worried about their lack of food and the whole story wouldn't have happened in the first place.
The above sums up the problem with a lot of Christians. Such Christians do not believe that God wanted them to rely 100% on Him alone. They prefer to believe that the way God saves them is by helping them chase and win material prosperity and temporal happiness. So they ignore everything God says in the bible about worldly things. You can guess what happens to these people when they don't get what they want (especially since God often deprives people of material comfort so as to bring them back to Him). However instead of repenting and following God's truth such people try to change the Bible into something much easier to follow. Like ignoring everything Jesus said about suffering and carrying the cross in order to follow Him. Like ignoring the fact that God is love all throughout the Bible and that He punished the Israelites not to destroy them or because He hates them but because He wants them to see how far they've strayed from Him.
Thus we need the Holy Spirit to help us read the Bible so we don't let worldly judgments color our understanding of God's Word.

Today's Bible Readings (18th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Here are the readings for today Sun 3 August

Isaiah 55: 1-3
Thus says the LORD:
"Hey,1 all who are thirsty, come to the water!
You who have no money, come! Buy and eat!
Come! Buy wine and milk without money and without cost!
Why pay money for something that will not nourish you?
Why spend your hard-earned money on something that will not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me and eat what is nourishing! Enjoy fine food!
Pay attention and come to me! Listen, so you can live!
Then I will make an unconditional covenantal promise to you,
just like the reliable covenantal promises I made to David."

Romans 8: 35, 37-39
Brothers and sisters:
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Matthew 14: 13-21
Now when Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew privately in a boat to an isolated place. But when the crowd heard about it, they followed him on foot from the towns. As he got out he saw the large crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. When evening arrived, his disciples came to him saying, “This is an isolated place and the hour is already late. Send the crowds away so that they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But he replied, “They don’t need to go. You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” “Bring them here to me,” he replied. Then he instructed the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, and looking up to heaven he gave thanks and broke the loaves. He gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the broken pieces left over, twelve baskets full. Not counting women and children, there were about five thousand men who ate.