Our Greatest Potential


Jul 31, 2021 by Mary M. McGlone / ncronline.org

20210526T1053-COLUMNS-WIECHEC-BREAD-1248627 c.jpg

A leavened flatbread akin to pita has been made in the Middle East since before the time of Christ. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec) A leavened flatbread akin to pita has been made in the Middle East since before the time of Christ. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

Fairy tales can illustrate our best or most tragic potential. Think of King Midas whose love of gold destroyed everything that was worth loving in his life. When big people read the Midas story to little ones, the folklorist’s purpose comes to fulfillment. The grownups have to answer the children’s questions about the story, take responsibility for the tale’s teaching, and then behave accordingly. The report about the grouchy Israelites in the desert and the back-and-forth between Jesus and the crowds of today’s Gospel have a fairy tale’s power to lead us toward a deeper appreciation of God’s presence in our life and in all of history.

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 1, 2021

Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15
Psalm 78
Ephesians 4:17, 20-24
John 6:24-35

When we think of Moses, we might imagine Michelangelo’s colossal statue depicting the great lawgiver powerfully poised on a judgment seat, holding the stone tablets inscribed with God’s rules for life. But when we take the perspective of today’s selection from Exodus, we encounter Moses resembling a beleaguered nanny contracted by God to watch over, lead, and form an unruly, often obstinate populace into living freely as God’s own people. Like Midas, the people of God wandering in the desert kept choosing lesser goals. That evoked Moses’ wrath — a fury that flowed from his love for them and his intractable faith that God was calling them out of futility into something wonderful.

The story we hear today epitomizes Moses’ wearisome task. After the escaped slaves had been in the desert for a while, they feared that they would die of thirst, so God led them to a place with abundant springs. Then, after about 45 days on the road, they began reminiscing about what they used to eat when they were slaves. They remembered the old menus with a relish they had probably never felt while dining in Egypt. Adding to their superb demonstration of complaining as high art, they spread the rumor that Moses had brought them there just to watch them die. God, refusing to allow their fickleness to undermine the divine project, assured Moses that the situation was in hand. Every evening, flocks of birds would be theirs for the taking and every morning, they would have the makings of bread. And so it was.

When we attend to the details, the people’s immediate unenthusiastic reaction is pretty understandable. In the morning, just where the birds had been the night before, people discovered “fine flakes” covering the ground. The Israelites quite naturally asked, “What is it?” or, in their language, “Man hu?” an expression which evolved into the name, manna. Someone, most likely some of the women, figured out that the flakes could be gathered and prepared such that they would indeed serve as bread. Eventually, reflection on that experience led the people to the conviction that their God would always provide for them. Memory transformed the unfamiliar bread into the never-to-be-forgotten manna, a sign of God’s enduring love.

John’s Gospel brings the past into his present, showing the fulfillment of the desert story in Jesus. Last week, we heard that in Jesus’ presence and with his blessing, thousands of hungry people ate their fill. Then, rather than let them turn the event into a circus, Jesus snuck away. Today we hear what happened when the crowd found him back in Capernaum where they could buy or bake their own bread.

At home with them, Jesus led the people to questions about the quality of their lives. In the desert, their hungry ancestors had encountered the love of God. Would they be content with the sustenance they could find at the bakery or did they long for more? When Jesus offered “true bread,” they responded, “Give us this bread always.” His answer, “I am the living bread,” was not what they were looking for. Instead of promising a free lunch, Jesus was inviting them to be nourished by his life, to assume his way of being as the path that would bring them everything they could ever want.

18,751 Communion Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

The miraculous sharing of bread that had happened among them offered the key to understanding Jesus’ offer. When one child gave all he had, they saw that those who share everything will never hunger. If they wanted to do the works of God, if they wanted the food that endures, they needed only to believe in Jesus enough to do what he did.

Jesus’ sharing of himself as the bread of life illustrates the greatest potential of human life. The Son of God entered our history not to wow us with miracles, but to show us how we can live as Paul suggests: as new selves, people truly renewed in spirit. We who love the stories of Jesus can and must take responsibility for them by making them come true in our own day.

Iran’s Mullahs are Killing; Biden Administration, EU Are Silent


by Majid Rafizadeh / gatestoneinstitute.org

  • The Biden administration has… not uttered even one word of condemnation. People can and should be wondering how a country that boasts about freedom and civil rights can be silent while other humans are being butchered because they desire that same freedom and those same rights?
  • Iran, with its current regime, is a danger not just to its long-suffering people, but to everyone. These protesters, who are flooding the streets and demanding that their voices be heard, are displaying acts of heroism that will be felt throughout the world and throughout history
  • While many in Iran are risking their lives in their struggle to change their predatory regime, and while many have been killed by the Iranian regime’s force, the Biden administration has so far not shown even the slightest interest in even verbally condemning the brutal mullahs of Iran. Instead, the current US administration continues cozying up to them, presumably in the hope of reviving the disastrous nuclear deal and lifting all sanctions to help them continue their marauding, expansion and terror.
When the people of Iran rose up by the millions against the Iranian regime in 2009, the Obama administration stayed abhorrently silent. This year, on July 15, many in Iran rose against the regime again; again, the Biden administration remained totally silent, just as Obama did. Pictured: People in Tehran, Iran, protest during the popular uprising in the name of the “Green Movement,” on June 16, 2009. (Image source: Milad Avazbeigi/Wikimedia Commons)

When the people of Iran rose up by the millions against the Iranian regime in 2009, the Obama administration stayed abhorrently silent. People on the streets in Iran began chanting, “Obama, Obama, are you with them [the ruling mullahs] or with us?” The Obama administration offered no support. The administration’s dismissal of their agony not only enabled the mullahs brutally to crush the demonstrations with impunity; the mullahs were even rewarded with a deal that would enable them to have legitimate nuclear weapons capability down the road and billions of dollars thrown in.

Obama and the Iranian regime sold the world the idea that appeasement towards the mullahs and lifting UN sanctions would supposedly help the Iranian people and make the Iranian government a constructive player. Instead, the opposite took place.

This year, on July 15, many in Iran rose against the regime again; again, the Biden administration remained totally silent, just as Obama did. When people in dozens of cities in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan rose up against the regime, young demonstrators have reportedly been killed by security forces. Videos have emerged showing that people in Tehran and other cities were heard chanting “Death to the Dictator” and “Death to Khamenei”. In addition, workers of the essential oil and gas industry have gone on a nationwide strike.

According to Amnesty International:

“Iran’s security forces have deployed unlawful force, including by firing live ammunition and birdshot, to crush mostly peaceful protests taking place across the southern province of Khuzestan… Video footage from the past week, coupled with consistent accounts from the ground, indicate security forces used deadly automatic weapons, shotguns with inherently indiscriminate ammunition, and tear gas to disperse protesters.

“Since protests over severe water shortages erupted in Khuzestan on 15 July, security forces have killed at least eight protesters and bystanders, including a teenage boy, in seven different cities.”

The regime’s first reaction to peaceful protests has been to deploy brute force. As Tara Sepehri Far, a researcher on Iran at Human Rights Watch, pointed out:

“Iranian authorities have a very troubling record of responding with bullets to protesters frustrated with mounting economic difficulties and deteriorating living conditions.”

The Biden administration has, as of yet, not uttered even one word of condemnation. People can and should be wondering how a country that boasts about freedom and civil rights can be silent while other humans are being butchered because they desire that same freedom and those same rights? Is silence not a betrayal of justice, freedom and democracy?

It is also no secret that that the Iranian regime is, according to the US Department of State, not only still the leading state sponsor of terrorism; it also “wins [the] world record” for the most executions per capita. The regime, according to Amnesty International, is also a “leading executioner” of children.

The Biden administration then must surely know, then, that if the Iranian people succeed in changing this brutal Islamist regime, they will bring down the foremost state sponsor of terrorism, a leading regime in human rights violations, and a leading state sponsor of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitic propaganda.

Moreover, Iran, with its proxies, having effectively taken control of Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and the Gaza Strip — and now reportedly eyeing Jordan — seems to have plans to become the leading hegemon in the region. It also has for decades been setting up proxy operations in Latin America, particularly Cuba and Venezuela, the soft underbelly of the United States.

Iran, with its current regime, is a danger not just to its long-suffering people, but to everyone. These protesters, who are flooding the streets and demanding that their voices be heard, are displaying acts of heroism that will be felt throughout the world and throughout history.

The Biden administration should know that “he who is silent consents.” Is this the message that the Biden administration wants as his legacy to send to the protesters who are risking their lives to bring freedom not only to their nation but eventually to the world? It is just so hypocritical and heartbreaking to see that the international community and the United Nations simply watch while peaceful protesters are beaten, brutalized and killed – with not a breath of international condemnation for the tyrants or of support for these brave and long-suffering souls.

While many in Iran are risking their lives in their struggle to change their predatory regime, and while many have been killed by the Iranian regime’s force, the Biden administration has so far not shown even the slightest interest in even verbally condemning the brutal mullahs of Iran. Instead, the current US administration continues cozying up to them, presumably in the hope of reviving the disastrous nuclear deal and lifting all sanctions to help them continue their marauding, expansion and terror.

In leaked CNN interview, AOC says she thought she faced rape at Capitol riot


By Mary Margaret Olohan Daily Caller News Foundation Clips of a leaked CNN interview published by Project Veritas show Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez saying she thought she was going to be raped at the Capitol Riot. In the video clip published by Project Veritas Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez told CNN’s Dana Bash that she is…

Source: In leaked CNN interview, AOC says she thought she faced rape at Capitol riot

This Day in History: July 30


britannica.com

Otto von Bismarck

1898 – Death of Otto von Bismarck Otto von Bismarck—who, as prime minister of Prussia (1862–73, 1873–90), used ruthlessness and moderation to unify Germany, founding the German Empire (1871) and serving as its first chancellor (1871–90)—died this day in 1898.

United States

1956 – The phrase “In God we trust” legally became the national motto of the United States.

Charles H. Best and Frederick Banting

1921 – Insulin was first isolated as a pancreatic extract by the Canadian scientists Sir Frederick G. Banting and Charles H. Best.

Simone Biles: Mental Health Servant-Leader


By Ben on Jul 29, 2021

Watch the Video

We’ve seen Simone Biles as a leader for gymnasts, the Olympics, and other athletes for years. Yesterday, she showed us Ms. Biles is also a leader for mental health.

The best leaders are those who believe in something strongly enough they are willing to sacrifice to make it happen. For this reason, many of the greatest leaders are accidental leaders. These individuals did not set out to become leaders. Instead, they invest themselves wholly into the mission and we see them as leaders through their efforts. These are servant-leaders.

USA Gymnastics has a history of physical and psychological abuse – not to mention failures of leadership. Many experts credit recent improvements at least partially to Ms. Biles outspoken nature and push for improvement. The world she grew up in was fraught with problems and she’s worked to make it better for those who follow in her footsteps.

Now, on the largest stage, in the brightest spotlights, at the peak of her career, Simone threw the biggest punch against one of the greatest evils performers on any stage face: attacks on their mental health. Facing a mental health challenge that put her at physical risk, she had a choice to make. Ms. Biles could bottle it up and perform or she could come out, be honest with the world, lead by example, and step off the stage. One thing is certain: she knew stepping away would mean even more attacks on her mental health.

She knew citing mental health concerns would line up countless critics to attack her. She did it anyway. She knew stepping back at this time would give critics fuel for their fire. She did it anyway. She knew her decision meant more pain for her but could set an example that protected those who followed in her footsteps. So she did it anyway.

Thank you, Simone Biles, for being a great leader. Thank you for your sacrifice and thank you for serving.

Three Simple Words That Could Change Your Life!


Now The Mysterious Blabberer?

(An Updated Reblog)

Why spend most of your life trying to change the emotional baggage that is ruining your life. Spending thousands of dollars on meds and on doctor’s who could maybe send their children to medical schools just based on your prescriptions and procedures alone!

Reading books on How To; seven steps to this or the ten steps to that; motivational tapes; special healthy drinks; weekends with gurus, and sometimes even charlatans and fakes. You see, your actions are only controlled by your conscious mind about 5% of the time. The remaining 95% of the time it is ‘like’ the subconscious that controls your life. And the subconscious does not always seem to cotton to all of the above.

The subconscious mind consists of those programmed habits that constantly and even unknowingly keep you going and do the things your conscious mind cannot do.

So what are the three…

View original post 418 more words