Prayer Theme: Faith, Family, Nations ( Groups A & F)
Bible: Galatians (Introduction)
Book of Truth: (Vol.4 ) 4th Jan. 2014
Comment: At first, we wondered if we really were meant to open up on this passage. But we stayed with the choice, because we trust that we are led by the Holy Spirit (to whom we pray before opening our readings). There are many aspects which we could directly identify with as present in the Church today,
Firstly, that new Christians being converts from paganism. The Faith has been watered down so much in our secular (pagan) society, that other elements have crept in. In fact, nothing is so clear than the pachamamas which were worshipped by the “pope” and bishops at the Amazon Synod; how they were installed inside a Catholic Church; how they were carried on biers into the church in procession (mocking our Eucharistic processions); how a pagan ritual bowl was placed on the altar during the Most Holy Sacrifice.
Secondly, there were sects undermining Paul’s authority – reminding us of the influence of the masonic sect and modernism on Church teaching today. A very real reminder was that of the German bishops willing to create schism for the sake of insisting on blessings for homosexual couples.
Thirdly, “people who in their emphasis on the Spirit set aside all norms for conduct and became libertines in practice”. Well do we recognize the man who sits in the chair of Peter, telling us to “listen to the spirit” and how his theology is directly in opposition to the Gospel of Christ – in fact he manages to twist it and turn it upside down, so that it sounds as if it may be true.
Fourthly, Paul wrote a defence of his apostolic authority. Today we have good bishops such as Card. Bourke, Bp. Schneider and Archbishop Vigano writing a defence and correct explanation of the true Gospel and teachings which Christ handed down to the Church, and which cannot be changed to suit certain sections of society.
Paul taught of the freedom of Christians and the total sufficiency of life in Christ – something which many good, faithful priests and bishops are raising up to do today. we too, need to be reminded of the “new vision of the life of grace in Christ”, because it seems that this is being lost.
So “Yes” – we were indeed meant to open up this reading at our prayer group session last Thursday. After all, it fits right in with our theme for the day. We are never surprised that the readings fit in so well with our theme. It is not co-incidental, but God-cidental!
Paul’s Letter to Galatians ( Introduction)
The Galatians to whom the letter is addressed were Paul’s converts, most likely among the descendants of Celts who had invaded western and central Asia Minor in the third century B.C. and had settled in the territory around Ancyra (modern Ankara, Turkey). Paul had passed through this area on his second missionary journey (Acts 16:6) and again on his third (Acts 18:23). …
In any case, the new Christians whom Paul is addressing were converts from paganism (Gal 4:8–9) who were now being enticed by other missionaries to add the observances of the Jewish law, including the rite of circumcision, to the cross of Christ as a means of salvation. For, since Paul’s visit, some other interpretation of Christianity had been brought to these neophytes, probably by converts from Judaism (the name “Judaizers” is sometimes applied to them); it has specifically been suggested that they were Jewish Christians who had come from the austere Essene sect.
These interlopers insisted on the necessity of following certain precepts of the Mosaic law along with faith in Christ. They were undermining Paul’s authority also, asserting that he had not been trained by Jesus himself, that his gospel did not agree with that of the original and true apostles in Jerusalem, that he had kept from his converts in Galatia the necessity of accepting circumcision and other key obligations of the Jewish law, in order more easily to win them to Christ, and that his gospel was thus not the full and authentic one held by “those of repute” in Jerusalem (Gal 2:2). Some scholars also see in Galatians 5; 6 another set of opponents against whom Paul writes, people who in their emphasis on the Spirit set aside all norms for conduct and became libertines in practice.
When Paul learned of the situation, he wrote this defense of his apostolic authority and of the correct understanding of the faith. He set forth the unique importance of Christ and his redemptive sacrifice on the cross, the freedom that Christians enjoy from the old burdens of the law, the total sufficiency of Christ and of faith in Christ as the way to God and to eternal life, and the beauty of the new life of the Spirit. Galatians is thus a summary of basic Pauline theology. Its themes were more fully and less polemically developed in the Letter to the Romans.
Autobiographically, the letter gives us Paul’s own accounts of how he came to faith (Gal 1:15–24), the agreement in “the truth of the gospel” (Gal 2:5, 14) that he shared with the Jewish Christian leaders in Jerusalem, James, Cephas, and John (Gal 2:1–10), and the rebuke he had to deliver to Cephas in Antioch for inconsistency, contrary to the gospel, on the issue of table fellowship in the racially mixed church of Jewish and Gentile Christians in Antioch (Gal 2:11–14; cf. Gal 2:15–21). At the conclusion of the letter (Gal 6:11–18), Paul wrote in his own hand (cf. 2 Thes 3:17–18) a vivid summary of the message to the Galatians.
In his vigorous emphasis on the absolute preeminence of Christ and his cross as God’s way to salvation and holiness, Paul stresses Christian freedom and the ineffectiveness of the Mosaic law for gaining divine favor and blessings (Gal 3:19–29). The pious Jew saw in the law a way established by God to win divine approval by a life of meticulous observance of ritual, social, and moral regulations. But Paul’s profound insight into the higher designs of God in Christ led him to understand and welcome the priority of promise and faith (shown in the experience of Abraham, Gal 3:6–18) and the supernatural gifts of the Spirit (Gal 3:2–5; 5:16–6:10). His enthusiasm for this new vision of the life of grace in Christ and of the uniquely salvific role of Christ’s redemptive death on the cross shines through this whole letter.
Reading from the Book of Truth
Mother of Salvation: We first went to Judea and then my Son was taken to India, Persia, Egypt, Greece and England
4 January 2014 @ 1:50pm
My child, in the lead up to the birth of my Son, the pangs were evident in all which befell us. I fled to Elizabeth for comfort, in the knowledge that she was blessed with insight, given to her by the Holy Spirit. I, and my beloved spouse, sought out this refuge of peace, at a time when we were so overwhelmed with the knowledge of what was to come.
When my time approached, every obstacle, planted by the spirit of evil, was placed before us, every step we took. Doors were slammed in our faces; people we knew shunned us and we were cast out into the wilderness. And so we ended up without a roof over our heads and in a shelter fit only for animals, while the Holy Messiah came into the world as a pauper. There were no ceremonies, no coronation, no acknowledgements. There were only a few people left to comfort me in my loneliness. But then, when my Son was born, all feelings of anxiety left me. All I felt was a love of the most Divine Presence. Peace finally reigned in my Heart.
By the Power of the Holy Spirit, help and comfort was sent to us, though they were few in number. Although the birth of Jesus Christ was a humble and lowly event – where only a few people were involved – word had spread. This is how the Holy Spirit works. Many had been expecting the birth. Many had heard about the event and many then spoke about it. When it was made known that Jesus Christ, the Messiah promised to humanity, was born, the opposition began to mount. The vicious attack by Herod and all his servants, demonstrated how much the Presence of God puts fear into the hearts of evil men.
From that day forward, I became the protector of my Son and my beloved spouse, Joseph, organized our safety on many occasions after that. We spent many years fleeing from one place to another. So much opposition we faced – so much fear, so much hatred. That was our lot. The moment my Son was found at the age of twelve years preaching in the temple, we took Him into hiding.
Joseph’s family were involved in smuggling us out and for many years we travelled. We first went to Judea and then my Son was taken to India, Persia, Egypt, Greece and England. Everywhere we went my Son’s Presence created many miracles, although He never presented Himself publicly as the Messiah. He was well looked after and we saw much of Him. We lived in peace, love and harmony and only for my spouse, Joseph, we would have had nowhere to go to protect my Son until His public Mission began.
And now that His Second Coming is imminent, every obstacle will be placed before His Arrival. Every Word out of the mouth of His prophet will be torn asunder and mocked. Only a handful of people will be privy to the Truth surrounding this Mission and many doors will be slammed in the faces of those who follow His instructions. This Mission is a lonely one for you, my child, and you are instructed to remain obedient in all things made known to you by God.
Help will be sent. Help will also cease when it is the Desire of my Son. While few are seen to follow this Mission, millions more believe in it completely. For the Word of God will always attract those of His, through the Power of the Holy Spirit.
The birth pangs have begun and the labour will not last too long. Soon the birth of a new beginning will dawn and then the Day of the Lord will finally arrive. Children, be at peace, for all of these things must come to pass before the Earth is purged of sin.
Your beloved Mother
Mother of Salvation