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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

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Not Against Us, With Us

Looking at Mark 9:39-43,45,47-48, the new elders or disciples seem to resent that a stranger might use Jesus’ name to expel demons. Our Lord says, “Do not try to stop him. No man performs a miracle using my name can speak ill of me. Anyone who is not against us is with us” (verses 39-40). The power of God works where it wills. Jesus then makes a quick warning against false prophets, stipulating that any who would lead simple believers astray would best be cast into the sea– literally, better off dead. Jesus is not creating a death penalty for heresy; rather, he is remarking that rendering false teaching puts one under severe judgment from God.

Noting that sin often invalidates the life of virtue and clouds our witness, Jesus utilizes Hebraic hyperbole (exaggeration) in saying if your hand causes you to sin– or your foot– or your eye– cut it off or pluck it out. Short of actually maiming ourselves, our Lord is telling us to avoid sin at all costs. If we are to be nation of prophets, we must repent of sin, believe in the Gospel, and proclaim it to others.

For more such reflections, contact me about getting my book, CHRISTIAN REFLECTIONS.

6 Responses

  1. Dear Fr Joe,

    If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off, and if your priest causes you to sin, pluck him out, expose him and cast him into the pit where the worm never dies and the fire never is extinguished.

    Gehenna was a real place for the Jews and it was an unholy and unclean place outside the walls. Those who were not for the Jews were against them; this was the nature of their judgement of Our Saviour Jesus, the Christ. And also anyone who blasphemed the name of their god.

    While on the theme of Mary, she too was at risk of being stoned to death, that was why Joseph, before the Angelic revelation, wanted to have her put away privately. He knew that the baby she carried was not his. He could only have assumed that she had been defiled, and that usually meant stoning to death. Many were thrown out into Gehenna and thus deprived the Jewish rites of death and burial, a very important part of their religion. She would have been seen as being against the faith.

    So we can learn from our forefathers of the Judaic tradition, and cast out those who are not for us as they must surely be against us. And those who are not for us are those within the Church who are doing the devil’s bidding.

    All forms of abuse and heresy are against us, all acts of selfish persuit are against us, all acts of rebellion are against us, and all the perpetraitors must be driven out, and driven out without poetic hyperbole, into the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    A bent copper is simply a sign of the fallen nature of man, a bent priest is a manifestation of Satan, and he is very real and very active in seeking the destruction of The Holy Catholic Church. We are all guilty of inaction, displacement and denial, I have even used humour to avoid facing the cruel reality of what I knew, and my silence, even though adopted out of fear, has enabled the sin to continue. I will never again remain silent, I will never again dismiss or deny the awful truth that I know has happened and that is truely against the will of God and His Church.

    When an evil spirit is driven out we need to be aware that there are 7 even more evil than the first, waiting to take up residence. When we finally remove all the cancer from within and start, once again, to earn the trust of others, we need to fill everything with the Holy Spirit and call on Our Lady to crush that serpent’s head. It will take an awfully long time and a great deal of pain to finally start to get to the place where we can be relied on to show, by example, that we are following the path that Jesus laid out for us. God is not only loving He is patient as well. My daily prayer is that the Church will cut out all of this cancer from within and, through a genuine revival, establish a body that is free from corruption even if it is limited by our humanity.

    We will never be perfected in this life, but let us not destroy it by associating with the father of lies. He is without doubt against us and will remain so until the final judgement. Being a good human is the best that we can do and striving for spiritual perfection is noble, however the Church does need to fulfill the role of a hospital where the sick are cared for by trusted professionals. Those perfect in health have no need for hospital but the repentant sinner will always have a need for a Church. Please God, those with defective degrees and internet diplomas will never take up residency in its ranks. The wolf in sheep’s clothing or even worse, disguised as a sheep dog, to use your analagy, must be identified as such and cast out. These will never be for us as they are only for themselves and the destruction of others.

    With loving concern,
    Paul

    FATHER JOE:

    Unrepentant sinners exclude themselves from God’s grace and his community of faith. Some are formally excommunicated or censured, as with laicization and/or the denial of Holy Communion. While those who have harmed children should never again be deliberately placed in a position where they might cause further harm; if they should admit their fault and demonstrate true contrition, neither God nor the Church would withhold the forgiveness of sin. As for restitution, is it really possible for them to give back what they have taken? Violated trust and robbed innocence leaves a permanent scar. Money is a poor substitute for a life of prayer and genuine penance.

    Just removing such criminals from the priesthood or religious life is itself problematical because then we release them into society without further Church supervision. My suggestion has so far fallen on deaf ears. I would urge the creation of a new and unique monastic environment in a remote and inhospitable location, like a desert or small island. Such men could devote themselves to mortification and propitiation for their sins and the sins of others like them. They would farm and be as self-sufficient as possible. There would be no electronic media.

    Communication with the outside world would be limited to annual visits from family. They would not be a popular order and they would not give retreats or interact with the outside world. However, they would have the sacraments and the means by which to save their souls. It would show that the Church meant business while protecting others from further harm.

  2. Bernardin, Greeley and Pelligrini is another can of worms, or so I believe. All members of The Boys Club I think!
    Paul

    FATHER JOE: Boys Club?

  3. Post Scriptum,

    Dear Fr Joe,

    It would appear that 5 out of the 6 members of the trustees of CBS who ‘agreed’ to give the Million Pounds to the Ordinariat are themselves members of the Ordinariat, that £1,000,000-00 is over half of their ‘pot’ and that is the biggest single donation ever made.

    Money, money money,…….it’s a rich man’s world!

    Good to have them ‘on board’ n’est-ce-pas?

    Cynically yours, Paul

  4. Dear Fr Joe,

    I believe that the Teflon Cardinal managed to extract $10 million from the ill-gained profits of the trade in publication of distress, and that money was then traded for concrete without even a right angle within its design. Speaks for itself I do believe especially if it was built entirely on a wrong angle.

    Even Judas Iscariot, and subsequently the High Priest, had a better sense of decency than to take ‘blood money’ for the cause.

    I remember going to Mass in a flying saucer on The Grand Bahamas Island and the priest there, in that wall to wall carpeted monolith spent most of his homily asking for money. I tackled him afterwards and simply asked what Jesus said about worry for provisions and the birds of the air. It seemed to go over his head; he, too, had an Irish sounding name.

    So, I believe that Jesus also warned that “those who are not for us are against us!” It does not contradict your quotation from Holy Scripture, but it certainly is a warning for those of us in the Church, in fact the whole body of the Church, to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit and ‘discern’ just what is ‘for us.’ It seems that fame and fortune, punch and Judy, and the uncontrolled urge in the underpants had always brought shame and sadness to our legacy from the Supreme Sacrifice that Jesus made, and we have lost the simplicity and purity of that one central issue.

    Jesus said that to even look lustfully on a woman means that I have already committed adultery with her in my heart; and I try not to commit that sin on a daily basis. I am a single (divorced) and celibate Catholic in my early sixties and living on a very low pension. Things are tough for me and very many others; when I hear of the vast personal wealth of some ‘priests’ within the Church I just wonder what Jesus would say if he were to walk into their study. It’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; unless, of course, that too has been rescinded by some act of congress.

    It’s obvious to me that there are many within The Church and associated with The Church that are not ‘for The Church’ at all but simply for themselves.

    When I sobered up, some 25 years ago now with the help of AA, I was told that Bill W suggested that we should always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films (TV was not a reality then), lest we bring the whole of AA into public disrepute should we fail. It is just so sad that the wonderful principle of anonymity has not been adopted by those who now appear in their true colours which are certainly not golden.

    If God does weep for His creation then He must be crying buckets today.

    With love, Paul

  5. Dear Fr Joe,

    We now have several hundred ‘protestants’ assimilated into the Roman Catholic Church as members of The Ordinariat. These C of E vicars and their wives have their own litergy their own congregation and have given up nothing for a better chance of getting to Heaven.

    Not satisfied with the benefits of so called being ‘catholic’, they have now taken £1 million from the ”Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament’, which is itself a protestant group ironically promoting the elements of the Sacrament when they have no powers of concecration anyway.

    Needless to say the C of E is a little miffed with the theft especially as these ‘new catholics’ claim not to be able to manage on the £160 (about $200) per month that genuine Catholic priests have to.

    Are these special cases ‘for us’ or are they ‘against us’ especially as they were ‘fast tracked’ into the church and probably don’t even know what a devil is if it jumped up and bit them on the nose, yet alone tried to cast one out?

    Very curious and a little angry,
    Paul

    FATHER JOE: I really have given little thought to the matter. The decision to donate £1 million to the Ordinariate was “unanimously agreed” by trustees in February. Given that Anglican traditions within Catholicism will be advanced, it seems to fit within the parameters of the charity. I personally think the future of Anglo-Catholicism within the Episcopal or Anglican church is dubious. The Ordinariate may be the real fruit for which the charity was established. I suspect that some of the upset comes from those who are angry about the Ordinariate.

  6. Dear Fr Joe,

    Our biggest selling Sunday newspaper has finished in shame and scandal, the very trade it peddled, after over 160 years; it’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, who is not a Catholic, is currently financing some renovation work for the Church over there in the States. He was given a Papal Knighthood by one of Peter’s successors. He may well be Jewish. Can we consider that he is ‘for us’ or is ‘he against us’ especially as his flagship Newspaper concentrated on the baser side of human failings, was hardly ‘christian’ in ethos and was hugely profitable enabling vast sums of money to be used corruptly to obtain very private information?

    Also does someone with a ‘papal knighthood’ get to Heaven more quickly than me and is his place there guaranteed?

    This smacks of the one of the objections that Luther published when he, too, felt that The Church was prostituting itself for financial gain?

    Makes a change from Euteneuer and Corapi et al. (well almost)

    Yours, Paul

    FATHER JOE: Cardinal Mahoney put his name in for the honor in appreciation for his financial support to the Church (I think he helped with the cost of the cathedral in Los Angeles). Knights in the past were also not very noble and/or had serious faults. I personally think it was not prudent, but I am not the archbishop. It really says nothing about his faith or about the gift of salvation. Is it wrong to take the devil’s money to do God’s work? It does create a real moral quandry. I recall that the late Cardinal Bernardin refused to take a million diollars from Fr. Greeley because of the provocative nature of some of his fictional books.

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