Epiphany

Epiphany (feeling) … An epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, “manifestation, striking appearance”) is an experience of a sudden and striking realization.

“The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel,
Son of God and Saviour of the world. the great feast of Epiphany
celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the East,
together with his baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Cana
in Galilee.”  The Catechism of the Catholic Church

“Better to be an atheist than a hypocrite in the Church.”  Pope Francis 

Charlie Wilson’s War, starring Tom Hanks, isn’t nearly as good as George Crile’s book.   As the saying goes, “Read the book and forget the movie.”

The six foot seven Wilson, was a playboy cowboy from the Bible Belt.  Instead of hiding his sins, he was public with them.   The 12 term congressman understood the one thing Bible Church Christian’s couldn’t abide with was hypocrisy.

If the church is to swallow up the world by its holiness we need more saints and all the hypocrites inside and outside the Church must own up to our closet atheism.

We need more  honest atheists. 

I used to feel guilty reading atheists like Christopher Hitchens thinking, “Hitchens makes more sense than the pious Christians I read or interact with.”   As a pastor, my favorite parishioner wasn’t the pious Bible reading man or women, but Peter B. who claimed on a good day he had 1% faith.   After a particular bad (or was it good) week, I announced, “This week I had a hard time believing in God.”   Peter and all of heaven was smiling but the people in the pews winced.

My ideal Church has more pull than Israel had for the displaced Jew.  Can you imagine a place where the magic of water, fire and oxygen are restored?   How about going to a place where the new Israel receives manna from heaven every Sunday?  Or a place where your eyes are opened, and you discover you are not much different than Judas or any other hypocrite!

Go to Confession.  Protestants go to confession almost as  often as Catholics (2%) 

We spend a truck load of money spilling our guts to two hundred and fifty dollar an hour shrinks.  Why?  The hypocrisy inside us is killing us.  Americans spend 200 billion dollars on prescription medicine and therapy sessions each year.

Isaiah 55:2 asks, “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare?

My keys open everything from cars, houses and post office boxes.  Christ gave Peter the  key to my freedom.

“The apostles and their successors carry out this “ministry of reconciliation,” not only by announcing to men God’s forgiveness merited for us by Christ, and calling them to conversion and faith; but also by communicating to them the forgiveness of sins in Baptism, and reconciling them with God and with the Church through the power of
the keys, received from Christ.”  (981, The Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Be Orthodox and Catholic this Year. 

If you have a prayer that has gone unanswered for years, ask the Mother of God.  You’d be amazed at how persuasive she can be with her Son.

If you are struggling with hypocrisy,  say the Jesus prayer.  Nothing stops the judge in all of us better than breathing, “Lord Jesus have mercy on me a sinner.”

If you don’t know who your BFF is, take a look in the mirror, its your guardian angel.

Read the Bible everyday with the Church.

 

Author: gbradepp

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