Christians. Literally billions of them. Lumping all denominations together. Each, claiming their particular denomination is the right way. It appears though, how far we are from the very basic, simple teachings of Jesus Christ, by who’s life and death we actually identify our faith.
A “Cafeteria Catholic” which some can appreciate, some . . . ignore, for sharing my thoughts and beliefs openly. I am in truth a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ. I study, read, pray – practice Lectio Divina , which I did long before I heard this was a “thing”. I share. I teach (I have taught years of CCD/Faith Formation).
Mark 1:16-18 “The Call of the First Disciples.* 16j As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. 17Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 18Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.”
Jesus called us to spread Love, the words of our Loving God. He taught in parables, which we know are used throughout the Holy Bible. My focus at this point in my life, today – is the Gospels. They are Jesus Christ. Those books are the reason I am a Christian.
In the book of Mark Chapter 1 Verse ” 17Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” My thoughts on this is Jesus is saying here that not all will come, not all will follow. I will teach you how to “fish” for those who will become followers of our Lord, God.
In the book of Mark Chapter 4 Verse 2-8
2And he taught them at length in parables, and in the course of his instruction he said to them, 3* “Hear this! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep. 6And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots. 7Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it produced no grain. 8And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
If you continue reading down the page you will see His explanation to the 12 Disciples:
13* Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable?d Then how will you understand any of the parables? 14The sower sows the word. 15These are the ones on the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them. 16And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy. 17But they have no root; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18Those sown among thorns are another sort. They are the people who hear the word, 19but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit. 20But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”
Jesus taught. He was/is the greatest teacher. He walked among men, women – children. Crowds would gather and He would speak. He taught using parables . Here He explains that though you work to reach many, the seeds will fall and not all will take root.
All knowledge, and instruction is not going to reach each individual in the same manner. God created and designed each and every one of us. All Christians are called to discipleship. It takes all types of people, knowledge, thoughts, behavior – who have conviction in the teachings of Jesus.
Study His teachings. Christianity is our Loving Father, whom Jesus bring us to. His purpose was to save us, bringing us close to Our Father, God.
I think one of the things we tend to be wrong about is, we take our study and focus away from Jesus and place the focus on religion, which often can put a wedge between ourselves and God, rather than pull us closer.
In my essay A Spiritual Reflection of the Crucifixion . That night and the next morning I found myself continually pulled back to the below verse I had read (and used) in that essay. As follows:
I am really confused with this. I do put a lot of thought into what I write. I do practice Lectio Divena.
Roman Catholic Priest do act as mediators – which is against God? I had to return to this verse this morning. (3/26/16 adding, this cafeteria catholic (protestant to catholic convert) never really wrapped my brain around this, my friendly priests never inferred it, my catechism must have skipped it).
I pray and will pray on this. Once more – we are all human and supposed to be living – life. The Bible we are given does not give us the full-life story of Jesus, who from all we do know – really lived life! Before being called by God to serve, and give His life on the cross.
There are teachings in my religion, that very definitely pull people away from the close, personal relationship our loving God calls for. In truth, I have a lot of admiration, respect and love for our clergy. They have dedicated their lives to serving God. The problem is – they serve “The Church” first. I don’t think they see this truth. It is to be God, before man in all, taught; God before man, spouse before self, on down. Works aren’t supposed to be first, they are to be integrated. You need to live, really experience life in order to serve fully. Peter was Christ’s chosen. Perhaps I am blind to something, I would really appreciate one Priest coming forward here and correcting me – it matters.
I read something this morning, as I am admittedly studying – I have a way to go. But, it came to my attention that in the book of Revelations it is said the end of all religions as people would learn to have their relationships with their loving God. :sic:
When I share, when I teach what I know – I am open and honest.
I do believe a very real truth lay in this need for (all Christian) religions to learn to adapt to the true teachings of Jesus (not just Paul). The focus, teachings and design of the church should be – Jesus – who, it seems at times, too many forget is the true chosen foundation and teacher of the church, the begotten one – by God Himself.
During Holy Week, the celebration of the chosen one, the begotten son of our Lord, God. His resurrection. It is His way of life and gift to billions of people, on the cross that needs to regain focus.
His simple teachings should not be twisted into teachings that conflict with the truth of God.
Another point I would like to bring up is this, we are on this earth, living this life that God has blessed us with. As we mature and grow in faith we die and are born again. We walk with Jesus now. Do you see a bit of Heaven is here, on earth? It is important to consider, pray, study and realize see this.
We can recognize thank in our lives here on earth, experiences that are deep, beautiful, God given – that we can cling to, carry with us when we pass from this earthly life and bring to Heaven with us.
These experiences are lovely glimpses (and more) of what our eternity will be like. If all people, religions could consider this, perhaps the loving acceptance and caring for one another would happen more often. The acceptance of our responsibility for beginning to live heaven right here on earth. This responsibility begins with me and all whom I come in contact with and lives I touch.