Monday, January 19, 2015
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
It's been awhile since I last posted on this blog, and it has become out of date. The following are some upcoming One Bread Activities:
- Sales and Information Booth at the Ancient Order of Hibernians Irish Music Festival in Moore Square, downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, on Saturday, September 29, 2012.
- (Tentative) Sales and Information Booth at the Holiday Craft Fair at St. Michael's Catholic Church, High House Road, Cary, North Carolina, Saturday, November 10, 2012.
- Sales and Information Booth and marching in the Raleigh St Patrick's Day Parade, Saturday, March 16, 2013.
- Sales and Information Booth at the Ignited by Truth Conference, Jim Graham Building, North Carolina State Fairgrounds, April 12-13, 2013.
Monday, March 03, 2008
Raleigh area Catholic youth are invited to compete for the annual Catholic Youth Evangelization Award by marching in the Raleigh St Patrick's Day Parade with other One Bread Catholic Evangelists. The youth group with the best performance in the parade will win the prize.
To learn more or to register your group, click Catholic Youth Award Entry Form.
Informal youth groups made up of a couple of friends can compete for the award - your group does not have to be sponsored by the parish. So parents, encourage your son or daughter to gather their friends and join in the fun. Even if a handful of youth participate, they'll add so much to the spirit of the parade.
Below is a picture of last year's Catholic Youth Evangelization Award winners. They entertained the Raleigh St. Patrick's Day Parade spectators with their skateboarding skills.
The Raleigh St Patrick's Day Parade is Saturday, March 15, 2008. One Bread Lay Apostolate will be marching in the parade again this year and invite you to join us in this fun evangelization activity for the whole family: Moms, Dads, Children, Infants, Teens, Young Adults, and Grandma and Grandpa. Anyone who can walk or be carried in a stroller is invited to participate.
Each year, One Bread Participants wear Catholic Evangelist T-shirts and distribute prayer cards that tell who St Patrick is and invite the spectators to attend Mass at a Catholic Church. Last year, we distributed over 2000 cards and hope to distribute at least twice that many.
"Many people are not knowledgeable about Church history," said Karen Matthews. "They think St Patrick’s Day is about shamrocks and leprechauns. We want to bring back the spiritual aspect of the holiday and use the parade as a teaching moment to tell the world about one of the world’s great evangelists."
Ms. Matthews said that last year the spectators were glad to receive the cards they distributed and to learn more about the man who converted the Irish people in the 4th Century from paganism to Christianity in a span of 33 years.
One Bread Lay Apostolate is a group that encourages lay Catholics to be proactive about spreading the truths of their Catholic faith and to seek ways to promote the Catholic identity in contemporary culture. They primarily evangelize on the Internet by providing free information about the Catholic Church to anyone requesting it from their website at http://1bread.catholic.org/.
After the parade, One Bread continues to evangelize by offering free information about the Catholic Church at their booth in Moore Square, where they also sell food, soft drinks and Catholic books and gifts.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
The Da Vinci Code. The Gospel of Judas. What's a Christian to Believe?
You may have been taught that our Christian faith is based on the bible. Well, what if I told you that the books that were deemed to be the inspired word of God were not declared so until around the 4th Century. And the first printed bible didn't exist until the invention of the printing press by Johann Gutenberg in Germany. He printed the first bible around the year 1455. Read more about Guttenberg
The first mention of the official list of the books of the bible or canon ("kanonika biblia") was at the Council of Laodicea that took place some time prior to the Council of Ephesus, held in 325. The synod in Hippo in the year 393, and three synods in Carthage (393, 397, and 419) all listed the official books of the bible. This determination was made based on the oral tradition of the Church (what the Church leaders had learned from the Apostles) and the use of these scriptures in the Church services. St Augustine was a participant and leader in all of these synods.
As we are well aware today, just because someone writes something down, doesn't make it the truth. A written lie is just as much a lie as a spoken lie.
There were many ancient texts that didn't make it into the bible. Some of these are: Gospel of Thomas,Gospel of Truth, Gospel of the Twelve, Gospel of Peter, Gospel of Basilides Gospel of the Egyptians, Gospel of the Hebrews, Gospel of Matthias, Preaching of Peter, Acts of Andrew, etc. The reason these gospels didn't make it into the bible is because they didn't square with the oral testimony given by the Apostles. So the discovery of a gospel of Judas or a myth about Mary Magdalene shouldn't alarm us.
Our faith is not based on myths, it is based on the eye-witness testimony of 12 credible men, the Apostles who were personally chosen by Jesus. Albeit, Judas was one of the original Apostles, but after he betrayed Jesus he killed himself. And the remaining 11 Apostles chose Matthias to take his place (Acts 1:26). One of the criteria for choosing a replacement for Judas was that this disciple walked and talked with Jesus, in other words, that the person was an eye witness to what Jesus taught and the miracles he performed.
For more information read: Canon of Scripture
Friday, March 24, 2006
and what becomes of fear,
what becomes of pride?
Spend a day before God,
and what becomes of love,
and what of humility, too?
Spend a day before God,
and the talk between the two
that make the whole
is less a groan or mumbled breath,
and more an awakening,
a condition of the soul.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Jesus taught us that we cannot have two masters. If we attempt to do so we will despise one and love the other. This admonition is found in Matthew Chapter 6 and Luke Chapter 16 and is followed by these words; “You cannot serve God and mammon” (Mt 6 24b: Lk 16 13b). We have commonly interpreted Mammon to mean Riches. It is this context which I want to address today.
Jesus invites everyone to live in God’s Kingdom. This Kingdom is on earth! It is not only the heavenly Kingdom to which we all aspire. It is a Kingdom here and now. If we do not live in God’s Kingdom while on earth, we will not enter God’s heavenly Kingdom.
W. C. Fields was an atheist. He lived his entire life with the belief that there was no God, no higher power to which he owed any type of allegiance. He made no secret of his feelings and often scoffed at those that practiced their faith. Near death a friend came to visit him and was astounded to discover that he was reading the bible. When asked what he was doing Fields replied, “I’m looking for loopholes.” Let’s pray that he converted and now rests with Christ. The point though is that God wants us in His Kingdom for the entirety of ours lives. He doesn’t desire an eleventh hour conversion. And remember the bumper sticker that says ‘Those who are waiting for an Eleventh hour conversion may die at 10:30!’
At baptism we are charged with building God’s Kingdom. We live our life either doing so or tearing it down. God’s Kingdom is here! Jesus established it! What we do expands that Kingdom, or it doesn’t.
To actively build God’s Kingdom we must dedicate ourselves to Christ. We must make Him our purpose for being. When I wrote about Discipleship I touched on issues such as counting the cost before we begin our journey and that we must allow nothing to stand in our path as we follow Jesus. Nothing can stand in our path. To enter God’s Kingdom we must become as a child, innocent and helpless totally reliant on God. If we choose to rely on our abilities and accomplishments we will not enter the Kingdom of God! Take a moment and read Mt 6 25:34. To do as Jesus instructs requires great faith. We have to believe that God will provide.
When the rich man approached Jesus he asked what he must do to gain eternal life. Jesus replied “You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor you father and your mother; and ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself’.” (Mt 19 18b:19) The man replied that he had done all of these and then asked what he still lacked. Jesus responded by telling him to sell what he had, give to the poor, and then come follow Me.
We’ve tended to water down this powerful passage over the years, especially in the US where possessions are so plentiful and success has been defined by the wealth one has accumulated. Take a look at Lk 6 20b. Jesus said “Blessed are you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours.” God’s Kingdom belongs to the poor! Time and again throughout the gospel Jesus sides with the poor, the marginalized of society. Remember the story of the rich man and Lazarus. Lazarus, upon his death, was carried to the bosom of Abraham but when he died the rich man went to the netherworld where he was tormented. We are told of no sin that the rich man committed. All we are told is that he neglected to share with the beggar at his door step. This excluded him from God’s eternal Kingdom. The poor are reliant on God. They have no false sense of accomplishment. They place their faith in God. Jesus believed that most rich people placed their faith in their possessions and paid tribute to God.
I know what some people are thinking right about now. “Look, I give to parish every Sunday and the missions when they have special offerings. Not to mention the volunteer work I do at the fish fries and the picnic. Besides I work hard for what I have.” All of that may very well be true. But my question would be, “So what?” Everything we have and everything we do is God’s. We own nothing. We are stewards! Left in charge to increase the Masters Kingdom. Do you remember the parable of talents? We are obliged to increase God’s Kingdom, not our own wealth or comfort.
Being honest with oneself may be one of the most difficult tasks we face. But we must face it. Head on! The members of the early church shared all things in common and nobody was in want! Why with such abundance today are there so many in need? How are we going to answer that question when Jesus asks?
What master do you serve?
Sunday, February 26, 2006
There was no greater bond in Old Testament times than that of family. The tie to one’s family was the paramount relationship in one’s life. A person was literally defined by his or her family. At that time family was much more extended than today and generally closer in proximity and interaction. One’s extended family could number into the hundreds all of whom would likely live and work in a close and relatively closed environment.
The parable of the prodigal son is much more powerful when viewed in this light. The sin the younger son committed began with his turning his back on his family. To request his inheritance and deny his obligations to his family would have been viewed by the Hebrews as hideous. One of the most terrible sins a son could commit. The balance of what he did, squandering his wealth and crawling back in shame, were not nearly as bad as the initial rejection of his family. Those who listened to Jesus tell this parable must have been dumbfounded when the father accepts the son back into the family with all of his original rights and privileges. This action on the part of the father was totally contrary to the norm. No father of that time would have allowed a family member to return once they had so rejected their obligations. In this light the reaction of the elder son is much more understandable as well.
At another point in the gospels Jesus was told that His mother and brothers wanted to speak with Him. He responded by asking “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” And then referring to His disciples He makes an awesome and powerful comment, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Take a moment and read Mt 25, 31-46)
With these few words Jesus tells us who the members of the Kingdom of God are and what it is that we must do to be in God’s Kingdom!
Jesus believed there to be two Kingdoms; one of the world - ruled by Satan, and one of heaven - ruled by God. In His mind there were no neutral parties. You were either a member of one or the other. In Jesus’ time the kingdom of the Satan set boundaries, it divided people. Family against family, tribe against tribe, sect against sect, nation against nation, all of these divided and excluded. Associations were setup to exclude, to keep apart those not considered worthy of inclusion.
Jesus was criticized for associating with the poor and sinners. However it is important to point out that He also associated with the scribes and Pharisees. He ate with them, entered their homes, and engaged them in debate. He excluded no one from God’s Kingdom. He did identify behavior that was contrary to the Kingdom of God and was stern in His rebuke. He did not condemn or exclude anyone. Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God was open to all. Any who chose to do the will of His heavenly Father.
This then is the first aspect of the Kingdom of God – It is non-exclusionary. God opens His Kingdom to all of His creation. We must do the same. Love all, accept all, even our enemies!