Posted tagged ‘Jerusalem’

HOLY DAY DEMO, HIDING IN JERUSALEM

December 8, 2017

Not  24 hours ago I wrote about   Jerusalem,  King David’s capital city of Israel,  3,000 years ago, and the U.N.  vote to create Israel in the 20th century, with Jerusalem as its capital;   and then Bill Clinton’s Act to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Jerusalem:  “over there.”

I never thought it would have anything to do with me,  over here!

IC words

Today we must go to Mass to recognize (and to honor)  the Immaculate Conception of Mary –  because if we don’t, we will surely diminish its importance and eventually forget.  We humans are like that.

So, on my way,  leaving my house just in the nick of time, as usual,  and driving through our local Big Ten campus,  I saw a “disturbance up ahead.

Demo up ahead

Stop and go traffic.   (Just so you know, I took that photo when I was stopped.  Don’t scold me when you see me next.)   We crept up ahead ten feet at a time.

Demonstrations are fairly common among the college kids, though not like it was during the Sixties.  I wondered what this one was all about.  It was pretty cold out there, just over 30 degrees.

Demo flag

Well, so, it’s an arab-type flag up there.   Hamas?  Palestine?   Something like that,  because the signs said something about “occupation.”     One sign must have said  “Honk if you like —- “  (fill in the blank)  because there was one honk, and the crowd broke out in applause and cheers.

Only one honk, kids, among many hundreds of cars.     Car stuck   in your traffic jam.

I got to church just in time,  breathing loudly after my run from the car, knelt down in the quiet church, and whooosh!   Mass began right then.   But it was a good Mass.

in case you don’t know what we are really celebrating today,  just think of the beautiful, powerful,  holy,  golden Ark of the Covenant.

ark

Moses was told to have it built just so, with the fine-grained, precious acacia wood, totally covered in pure gold, and then holding the three signs of God-Most-High:  the mysterious “food from Heaven” called Manna which sustained the Israelites in their wilderness trek;    The stone tablets that contained the Ten Commandments, which is the Mind of God;  and then that staff of Aaron’s which came alive and budded, proving that God works through priests and Aaron was God’s chosen first priest.

Though the Presence of God inside was a powerful and mysterious  miracle,  the Ark  was also holy  and precious,  made just so, so as to be a worthy container, and  able to hold those three mighty signs of God’s Presence.

No   human on earth will ever be holy enough to stand in God’s presence – not until Heaven.   “See God and die,” as the Bible implies.   Instant annihilation.     But the Virgin Mary had to be able to hold within her the Son of God;  so she was created at the instant of her conception in such a state so as to be able to hold within her God in His Incarnation, taking on human nature to be able to reprise all the stages of our development . . . .

IC

Mary was “saved,”  so to speak,  at the instant of her own conception.   Saved and made  holy, without original sin, well-prepared to give birth to her own Divine Savior.

Needs more than a few paragraphs in a blog to contemplate that.  More than a blog, more than one day,  more than a book or many books,  more than . . .  a lifetime, I guess.

So.    Good thing I “had to” go to Mass today.   I would have missed a lot, left to my own decisions.

CAPITOL PARKED UNDER

Afterwards, I found my car, parked under a lovely late Fall capitol dome.

The whole little city is getting ready for Christmas and looks “lovely” too.  I drove around the front of the capitol building.

CAPITOL FRONT

Pretty ride home.  Pleasant thoughts of Mary, the Immaculate Conception, to accompany me.

The demonstrators were no longer in front of campus,  but the grassy median area where they had been was covered in litter,   paper cups,  papers,  parts of posters . . . .    Not very “immaculate,”  but I suppose they went home happy,  thinking they could change 3,000 years of history.

.

_______________________________

That’s all for a couple days;  big Christmas party at my house tomorrow.

 

 

 

Advertisements

ADVENT’S STATE OF THE WORLD – “THAT DANGEROUS PIN”

December 7, 2017

Very difficult to assess the state of the world when there is so much hyperbolic speech going on.   

_______________________________________

grenade

Found somewhere on the Internet:   A young man, a product of the uneducation of American youth,  dumbing down a generation,   decided to take an exciting Selfie.  He got his cell phone ready,  he picked up a grenade he had found,  and then “dared himself” on camera to pull the pin.    He did.

He’s no longer in the land of the living.

When I was looking for a cartoon photo of a hand grenade,  I came across several of President Trump pulling the pin on a hand grenade referring to his China policy, North Korea,    Iran,  and now Jerusalem.

The Arab world is now proclaiming that President Trump has “pulled the pin” in his announcement that America will recognize Jerusalem,   Israel’s self-named and thousands-years-old capital city.     But   “who are we to judge” what city a nation may choose as its capital?

Well,  not former president Bill Clinton.  He’s the one who signed the bill proclaiming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.     From a foreign newspaper  (Canada)  which    watches America closely and observes:    “In fact, it is official U.S. policy to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and has been for 22 years, thanks to an act signed into law by none other than Bill Clinton.”   (The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995)

 

Clinton capital jerusalem

That foreign newspaper also observes that succeeding presidents have cooperated with that law,  so we can’t blame Bush 41 or 43,  the New World Order  dynasty.

Can’t blame the next person that occupied that office,  the Barack Hussein person who  is the pride and joy of Illinois:

Kenyan-born Obama all set for US Senate

He cooperated too.  Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

And not President Trump,  he is just in the line of those who cooperated with the law, all who voted successively to delay the move of our embassy to Jerusalem.

Until now.

We read in the foreign newspapers to watch for “disturbances”  on Friday of this week, during    m o s l e m   Friday prayers in mosques.

Has a “pin” been pulled?

The Koran does not speak of Jerusalem.   They have no religious tradition there, based on their holy book.     The  m o s l e m s have no history  in Jerusalem or that part of the Middle East –  until they built a mosque in Jerusalem to prevent the building of a Christian church in that location  —    and until they discovered they could hold that part of Jerusalem as a kind of hostage to force the West to take land away from the territory that the U.N.  voted to give to Israel in 1948.    (That is called the “two-state” solution.)

The U.N.  voted yes to Israel.   The Arab world does not want to cooperate with that vote.

Israel says Jerusalem is their capital, as it had been thousands of years ago.   President Clinton signed the bill saying Yes to that.    President Trump says now is the time to begin a years-long process in moving our embassy to their capital city.

Who says President Trump has “pulled the pin”?

He is not the one holding “the pin.”

_____________________________

An update:   Now that morning is breaking in Europe and the Middle East, we do indeed see riots and demonstrations over this matter.    Hmmmmm.   Riots in Holland.  The Dutch are kicking in the windows and doors of Jewish shops?    The Dutch?

Oh, no.   It’s the  migrant invaders in Holland who are “disturbing the peace.”

 

PRESENT!

April 11, 2017

palms

“Live deliberately, ”  I tell my classes.  “Make deliberate,  conscious choices.”    (So during this Holy Week,  I choose to direct my attention more often to the cosmic, eternal events which makes this week so full of opportunity for us.)

 “Be present.”

This week begins with the familiar story of Palm Sunday.  

 

road to jerusalem

It had been a pilgrim’s journey to Jerusalem, where observant Jews can be  present for Passover.   Jesus had been making the  journey to this Passover in Jerusalem for a few days, and He made a few stops along the way.

Did you know that once Jesus was scolded for not being “present”?

There is a city along the way to Jerusalem called Bethany.    A man named Lazarus lived there with his two sisters.    He became very sick and was dying.  The sisters sent word to Jesus to come quickly and heal him.  

(Here is an aerial view of Bethany’s location, down in the corner):

aerial view

But Jesus did not arrive quickly;   Lazarus was dead by the time He got there.

The sisters  scolded and said,    “If you had been here sooner,  you could have done something for him!”     ( If you had been  present here,  our brother would not have died.)        But Jesus had not been present when needed,  or so they thought.  We know what Jesus did for Lazarus.    The sisters are united with their brother.

marthaThen it was time to take care of their Guest, a Guest who is now present.   But Martha scurried away to get the food and drink ready.   Only her sister Mary remained  present at the side of Jesus to hear every word He had to say.

One present at His side,  one not;  and Jesus said that Mary had chosen the “better part.”   I don’t need to point out that being present for Jesus at every moment is indeed the better part.     How much you can miss when you’re scurrying about with other duties and other thoughts!!

Then,  on the first day of the week,  Jesus walked all the way into Jerusalem– and was met by many people who had anticipated that He would be present in the city!

Palm branches

Yes,  it’s ironic that the same population who was heralding Him as their  Blessed King “who comes in the name of the LORD”  is the same population that cried out that they have no king but Herod — so crucify this Man!

But for now,  on this Palm Sunday,  they rejoiced that He was present in their midst and that they  themselves were present to sing highest praises of hosannas in His presence.

And after this day of palms?    The next day He made Himself present to the people of the city He loved.         He was present and exposed to anyone who wanted to make a case against Him.

He walked around,  He talked,  He healed,   He answered questions,   He was out in the open,  totally present to anyone who wanted to find out about Him.

Again,  present, as He is for us today,  without us  having to buy a ticket to fly to Jerusalem.

___________________________________

So being present is a two-way phenomenon.   Someone is present for you;  and you make yourself present to Someone.

Same way it always was.

 

PUZZLING IT OUT

March 24, 2016

(sorry for this unusual extended absence;  funk;  Scandinavian Funk)

So,  this is a most important week,  a most Holy Week, full of detail and meaning and mystery:

SAMSUNG

      Jesus Overlooking Jerusalem

The “mystery” is not that I have done yet another jigsaw puzzle;   the mystery is God, the Creator of all things and of all people,   prepared a special nation,  all descendants of the man named Abraham through which He, God Himself,  could take on human flesh and join True Human Nature to His Divinity.

One Person,  two natures.  That’s a mystery.

And He did it for a reason.   To come unto His own people, this special nation,  to be one among them,  and to do for them what they couldn’t do for themselves — save them from their sins and sanctify them, to make them holy for the next world.

So there is Jesus in that puzzle picture,  overlooking His city Jerusalem which He loved.

“He came unto His own,  and His own received Him not,”  we are told.

Just as His last week of life began,  He looks over the city, and with a Heart of love, weeps for the city,  knowing what will soon happen to it.    “O Jerusalem,  Jerusalem;  how often would I have gathered thee up to myself as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings….and you would not.”

I think about this scene every year that Holy Week begins.   Such love.  Such longing.  Such sorrow.

The people of Jerusalem,  in their houses down there,   the people of Judea,  and  the people of all lands “even to the ends of the earth”  belong to another.    They belong to what Jesus described as The Strong Man.

Jesus had taught that you can’t steal from a Strong Man’s house unless you first bind up the Strong Man, make him powerless,  and only then you can take away from him his possessions.

We are those possessions.   The “Strong Man”  is the enemy of God,  Satan, if you will; and the “house”  is this planet.    We can’t get up and walk away by our own power.   We can’t break out of the house.   We are  helpless, weak,  and pretty much clueless and  unwilling.

So Jesus came to “bind” that Strong Man,  and to make him powerless over us.  That’s what He’ll  be doing for the rest of this 24-hour period:   a good day,  a very good day for us.

Good Friday.

banner for Himself  3

Soon, now.

ON THIS DAY, 2,000 YEARS AGO

February 2, 2015

“Behold,  all generations shall call me blessed.”     And so they have for nearly 2,000 years.   

mother and child
“Blessed.”    Not for her sake,  but because of her Son.

I’m a “subsequent generation”  and I’m just still learning about this beautiful woman, perfect mother. and why she is indeed blessed.  Created that way by her own Son,  her Creator and ours,  her Savior and ours.

Nevertheless:
presentation

This was a busy and significant day about 2,000 years ago.  The Christmas Family traveled one day from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, where they entered the Temple in obedience to the Law.     two doves
The Law says that there is a ceremony to be performed 40 days after a woman gives birth to a son.  This family offered two little birds for the sacrifice part of the ceremony.  Sins symbolically cleansed,  the new mother is now ritually pure, in  a way which we can scarcely comprehend today,  so prejudiced can we be against people who lived before us.   Nevertheless,  this perfect mother is now accepted as ritually pure.

pidyon haben

This Son was her firstborn child.   When a firstborn is a male,  he belongs to God the Creator,  but in a charming little ceremony, the family can “ransom back”  or “buy back”  the little child from the Temple…

This ceremony of Pidyon Haben today:

pidyon haben today

…  and so keep their little son with them, to love and raise and cherish.

On this day, about 2,000 years ago, in the Temple,  this is what the Mother,  her spouse Joseph,  and the child Jesus did.

But then:

swords
This Child was not just any child.    He is the Son of God, who has just taken on our human nature,  and He came here on a mission.  Not to teach us.  Not to set up a religion.   Not to tell us how we should live.

He came here to die.

And the perfect love of a perfect Mother?

Upon hearing of an unspeakably horrible destiny for her Child,  she was not spared.   She was told that her sorrow would be so strong, it would be like a sword had pierced right into her heart.

Is she willing,  willing to go on with it?

As always:  “Fiat mihi,  secundum verbum tuum.”

Yes.

And so today,  Christendom celebrates Candlemas.   This child is “the Light that would come to enlighten the Gentiles”  too.   It’s why candles are blessed on this day, for the spreading of this Light in ceremonies throughout the coming year.     And we turn now from Christmas thoughts  to thoughts of Mission for which the Christmas Child came.