Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Feast Day of Saint Vincent de Paul - And a cool web site!

Today's the feast day of St. Vincent de Paul. You can learn about him (and each "saint of the day") at AmericanCatholic.org - specifically here where you may listen to a short audio file about him. They even let you send an e-greating card on the saint of the day.

After learning about him, perhaps we'll all be inspired to be more like this charitable saint. :)

St. Vincent de Paul



12 comments:

  1. Wow, there's an actual saint named after those St. Vincent de Paul thrift shops!

    Wonder if there is also a St. Goodwill and a St. Salvation Army?

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  2. i. Are you building on the Rock or on the sand?
    ii. The Church built on Christ is the Church that obeys Christ and His apostles.
    3. In 2 Timothy 2:16-19 Paul warns: "But shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the Solid Foundation of God stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
    a. Jesus is building His Church on the Rock. God's solid foundation stands.
    b. Notwithstanding all the profane and vain babblings, all the cancerous false doctrines that overthrow the faith of some, the Solid Foundation of God will stand forevermore.
    c. The Lord knows those who are His. He knows who is building on the Rock and who is building on the sand. He knows who believes and who is disobedient.
    Conclusion
    A. Are you seeking the City with Foundations whose Builder and Maker is God? The foundation has been laid: Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Build on the Rock. Do what Jesus says.
    1. "Coming to Him as to a Living Stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and Precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a Spiritual House" (1 Peter 2:4,5a).
    2. "But you have come to Mount Zion and to the City of the living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn who are registered in Heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant, and to the Blood of Sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel" (Hebrews 12:22-24).
    a. If you are in the Church of the Firstborn registered in heaven,
    b. and if "you make your calling and election sure" ... "an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the Everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:10,11).
    3. "Therefore, since we are receiving a Kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:28,29).
    4. "For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the One to come" (Hebrews 13:14).

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  3. M. What does it mean in practical terms that the Church is built on the Rock?
    1. We already have an indication in the passage that said Christ is a Stumbling Stone for those who are disobedient to the word.
    2. Jesus explains what it means to build on the Rock.
    a. Luke 6:46-49 "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great."
    b. It is simple really. The Church on the Rock is the Church that does what Jesus says.
    c. Matthew 7:21-27 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you, depart from Me you who practice lawlessness. Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. Now everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."

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  4. 2. In a slightly different figure, Christ is called the Cornerstone:
    "Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, 'Behold, I lay in Zion a Chief Cornerstone, Elect, Precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.' Therefore, to you who believe, He is Precious; but to those who are disobedient, 'The Stone which the builders rejected Has become the Chief Cornerstone,' and 'A Stone of stumbling and a Rock of Offense.' They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed" (1 Peter 2:6-8).
    a. Notice what determines whether Christ is for you a Stumbling Stone or the Cornerstone: whether you trust Him or whether you are disobedient to His Word.
    b. Under this figure, the inspired apostles and prophets are also in the foundation. "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the Household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Cornerstone, in whom the whole Building, being joined together, grows into a Holy Temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a Habituation of God in the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:19-22).
    c. The apostles and prophets are in the foundation because of their relationship to the Cornerstone. After His ascension Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to teach them all things (John 14:26) and to lead them into all the truth (John 16:12, 13). The teaching of the apostles and prophets is the teaching of Christ Himself through inspiration.
    d. For this reason we also read in Revelation 21:14 "Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."

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  5. a. Christ is the Foundation of His Church.
    b. Unfortunately many religious bodies and organizations have been formed in the name of Christ, which are not the church that Christ built; they have a different foundation.
    c. What did Jesus say about a similar situation among the Jews in His day? They also were divided into many religious parties and denominations. Jesus joined none of them and had harsh words for the sectarians.
    "Then His disciples came and said to Him, 'Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?' But He answered and said, 'Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch" (Matthew. 15:12-14).
    d. If you are a member of a religious body founded on someone or something other than Jesus Christ, you are blindly following the blind and you will fall into a pit. In the Final Judgement your group will be uprooted and cast into the fire.
    e. Christ is the only foundation. Let us put our trust in Him: "As it is written: "Behold, I lay in Zion a Stumbling Stone and Rock of Offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame" (Romans 9:33).

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  6. 3. After David was delivered from his enemies, he sang a song of praise. "And he said: The LORD is my Rock, my Fortress and my Deliverer; the God of my strength, in Him I will trust, my Shield and the Power of my salvation, my Stronghold and my Refuge" (2 Samuel 22:2, 3). "As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; He is a Shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a Rock, except our God?" (2 Samuel 22:31, 32). "The LORD lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let God be exalted, the Rock of my salvation!" (2 Samuel 22:47). (See Psalm 18.)
    4. In Psalm 62 David says:
    "Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my Salvation. He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense; I shall not be greatly moved" (vs. 1,2). "My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my Salvation and my Glory; The Rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God" (vs. 5-7).
    K. Jerusalem on Mount Zion was an earthly representation of that Heavenly City Abraham was seeking. In Isaiah's day the rulers of Jerusalem had rejected God's word and had made a covenant with death. The city was doomed. But God promised something better for the faithful remnant of His people (See Isaiah 28:5,13-15). "Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: 'Behold, I lay in Zion a Stone for a Foundation, a tried Stone, a Precious Cornerstone, a sure Foundation'" (Isaiah 28:16).
    L. Jesus Christ is this Foundation Stone in Zion.
    1. In 1 Corinthians 3:10,11 Paul says no one may lay another foundation: "According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other Foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

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  7. 2. Jesus built a church that defies death.
    I. In times of turmoil when God's children in great numbers are being "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive" (Ephesians 4:14,15), let us keep in mind that the Church of Christ is built on a Rock.
    J. God has always been a Rock of Refuge for those who trust in Him.
    1. "He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He" we read in the beautiful song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32:4. God blessed His people, but when Israel grew fat "he forsook God who made him, and scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation" (Deuteronomy 32:15). "Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful, and have forgotten the God who fathered you" (Deuteronomy 32:18). In 1 Corinthians 10:4 Paul identifies the spiritual Rock from which Israel drank in the wilderness as the Christ, God's Anointed.
    2. Hannah, the mother of Samuel, spoke these words of praise in prayer: "There is none holy like the LORD, for there is none beside You, nor is there any Rock like our God" (1 Samuel 2:2).

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  8. G. "When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, 'Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?' So they said, 'Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.' He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' And Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' Jesus answered and said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this Rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it'" (Matthew 16:13- 18).
    H. Jesus promised to build His church on a Rock, a Rock so firm that even the gates of death's realm would not overcome it.
    1. As He later declared in the Revelation: "I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death" (1:18).

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  9. 2. In Hebrews 11:8-10 we learn why.
    "By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would afterward receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac, and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the City which has Foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God."
    3. Abraham was seeking a city with better foundations than any city on earth. God has prepared a heavenly homeland for the faithful (Hebrews 11:16).
    D. Abraham's grandson, Jacob, became the father of a chosen nation, Israel. After 400 years in Egyptian bondage, they were led out and given a law by Moses. Later David was chosen as their King, and God promised that one of his descendants would establish an eternal kingdom.
    E. Many generations passed. God sent prophets who told of the One who was coming. In the fullness of time, God sent His Son (Galatians 4:4). The kingdom of God was at hand. Admittance to the heavenly city which Abraham sought would be provided by one of his descendents.
    F. Jesus, the son of Mary and the Son of God, was born in Bethlehem. When He was about thirty, he began His ministry and chose twelve men to be His emissaries.

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  10. On this Rock
    God's Firm Foundation
    A. In the tenth generation after Adam, man had become so wicked that God decided to destroy him. But Noah found favour in the eyes of the LORD. He and his family were saved when all others were lost.
    B. A few generations after the flood, man rebelled again. "And they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth'" (Genesis 11:4).
    1. Notice how egotistical they were: "Let US build OURSELVES a city, ... let US make a name for OURSELVES."
    2. They excluded God from their plans. He confused their language and they ceased building the city.
    3. "Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it" (Psalm 127:1).
    C. Ten generations after the flood there was a man who sought a better city. Before God called him, he lived in the great, modern metropolis of Ur. It was a wealthy trading city with a population of about 500,000. It had a school system, writing and advanced mathematics. But its inhabitants did not serve the one true God, but Nanna, the moon god, and his wife, Ningal.
    1. When God told Abram to leave this worldly city, he left.

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  11. My goodness, Larry. You have so much to say. :)

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