The Triple Crown – Good News for December 30

30 12 2008

John 2:12-17

I write to you, children, because you know the Father.

I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.

I write to you, young men, because you are strong and the word of God remains in you, and you have conquered the Evil One.

Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever.

The Daily Path: Lust. Enticement. A pretentious life. 

I don’t have to look far to see how this triple crown of spiritual doom reigns in this world. All I have to do is read the news or watch television. Come to think of it, all I have to do is look within myself. As painful as it might be to admit, all of these exist within me. One of the great things to come out of my recent struggles is seeing the pretentious life for what it is. A big lie. 

I’ll never be a monk, nor do I aspire to live that life, but I can be mindful of what I do aspire to and how I can live a good (pleasing to God) life. 

I usually don’t skip ahead to the following day’s readings, but I had to read the rest of John’s letter. I’ll share this tomorrow because I think it’s important in these troubling times. 





Good Coming To A Theater Near You – Good News for December 28

28 12 2008

Luke 2:22-40

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, They took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord”,  and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons”, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit  that he should not see death  before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus  to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;  and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,  “Behold, this child is destined  for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted  —and you yourself a sword will pierce—  so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

There was also a prophetess, Anna,  the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,  and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple,  but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time,  she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child  to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;  and the favor of God was upon him.

The Daily Path: Over the past two days I’ve spent an unusual amount of time in couch potato mode while dealing with a virus that Santa delivered in my stocking. In that time I’ve done the only two things I’m capable of at the moment, sleep and watch television. I couldn’t help but notice one ad for a film titled The Unborn. The movie has something to do with evil trying to take hold of someone. This ad, with its graphic images of evil at work, plays over and over… usually the sign of a bad movie.

What struck me was this: Why is the onslaught of evil so often glorified? Why can’t Good News be a screenplay worthy of Hollywood’s millions and its mighty marketing machine? Why can’t the audience of evil change its taste?