Fr Bob Writes – October 14, 2018

“I prayed and understanding was given me; I called on God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me”

These words from the opening lines of our first reading this weekend contrasts God’s wisdom with the wisdom of the world.  In fact, the so-called “wisdom” of the world is foolishness, and this becomes more and more obvious with each passing day as laws and policies are adopted by our various levels of government which are at complete odds with divine wisdom. In my homily last weekend, I spoke about the attempts of the Alberta government to impose laws on Christian schools which amount to a complete denial of their fundamental beliefs as Christians.  Schools henceforth will not be allowed to say that God is the source of wisdom, that God made humankind male and female, that the Bible is an infallible guide to how we should live our lives.  To hold such “liberal” principles is one thing; to force others to go against their fundamental beliefs completely contradicts the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which, apparently, applies to everyone in Canada apart from Christians.

That is why the Alpha program (and the Youth Alpha Program) which starts this weekend is a crucial resource for us as Christians to remind ourselves and to grasp hold of what is true wisdom, what the word of God really says, and what our faith in Christ really embraces. It will enable us to hold our own against the distortion and outright lies being proclaimed all across social media, lies such as Christians hate science and reason because their beliefs are all based on legend and superstition, bringing up your children as Christians is another form of “child abuse,” to believe in God is to deny true freedom to the human being, Jesus Christ never existed, or, if he did, he certainly never rose from the dead, and so on and on and on.

In the Alpha course, you will find great, sound teaching on such topics as :”Who is Jesus,” “Why did Jesus Die,” “Why and how should I pray and read the Bible,”  “Who is the Holy Spirit,” and “What about the Church,”  and much more. The course runs until December 9th, from 5pm – 7pm, beginning at 5pm with a light meal, followed by DVD teaching and group discussion.

Do you want to know the wisdom of God, and see how different it is from the wisdom of the world?  Then come along at least to the first teaching of the Alpha series, entitled “Is there more to life than this?”  starting this Sunday, October 14th, in St Philips parish hall at 5pm.  It will change the way you think and feel about your life!

Fr Bob Writes – Thanksgiving – Oct 7, 2018

Fr Bob writes: In our first reading this weekend, from the book of Genesis, we learn some profound truths about God’s tireless care for us and desire to provide what brings us true fulfillment.  Man is honored to name the animals as God forms them and brings them to him, an indication of his role in managing God’s creation.  To name something or someone was an indication of authority and dominion over what was named … the reason, by the way, Jewish people were never permitted to speak God’s name.

Yet, man still lacks his perfect “mate.”  None in the animal kingdom is worthy of him.  Woman becomes the perfect partner “at last.”  While some women today may believe that their outdoors=oriented husbands’ best friends are hunting dogs, this man, Adam, passed by dogs, horses, and all other animals, not finding any of them to be his suitable partner.  So, God performs the first major surgery, putting the man under a general anesthetic while removing one of his ribs.  Opium poppies have been farmed in the area of Sumeria along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers since around 4200 B.C., and evidence of its use as an anesthetic for a person to lose consciousness during a medical procedure is recorded in a papyrus dating from 1500 B.C.  When the man recovered in post-op, he immediately applauded God for finally creating the perfect partner for him.  The oneness indicated is more than biology for reproduction but rather a wholeness and complement of persons in marriage.  “This one shall be called “woman,”  for out of “her man” this one has been taken.”

Fr Bob Writes – September 30, 2018

“Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries…You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure.  The wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts…”

It is a sobering thought to think that this extract from the letter of James, as with others in the New Testament, which excoriate the ungodly practices of their audiences, was written to communities of Christians, So we get a picture of some of the problems existent in those early communities. It is tempting to fantasize about these early communities as having it all together, being ideal communities of fresh Christians with people who had actually seen Jesus and the apostles…not like Christians of our day and age.

But what we see in reality is the consistency of human nature down through the centuries with the lure of putting more faith in things of this world than in God, the divisive tendency to assert self-importance or that of one’s group over another, and the dozens of other human impulses which make our following of Christ less than perfect.  For that very reason, the words of scripture have as much life for us today as they did back when they were written centuries ago.

 

****** DON’T MISS OUR BLESSING OF ANIMALS SERVICE AT ST PHILIP’S ON SATURDAY OCTOBER 6TH AT 10AM (RAINDATE :OCTOBER 13TH)BRING YOUR PET , OR A PHOTO OF YOUR PET, ALONG TO THE PARKING LOT IN FRONT OF THE CHURCH, AND FR BOB WILL CALL DOWN GOD’S BLESSING  ON THEM !!   ***************