St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Bible: Romans #12

Paul makes what seems to be an odd comparison with the law of God and the laws of marriage. Again, there is a logic to Paul’s thinking that is different than how we would think or make a comparison.
He starts off writing about how a woman is bound by the law to remain chaste with other men because of the laws of marriage, but when her husband dies, she is free to be courted by another man. While she is married, she is bound by the laws of marriage to remain faithful, but when ‘death do us part’ comes along, as is implicated in the vows of marriage, the law is no longer imposed on her. (So her husband is now dead to her, for he in fact is dead physically) In a similar way, when we die to sin, sin becomes dead to us. Since sin is now dead and we no longer have to obey the laws of sin, we are now free to live for God. When we are baptized, that is the moment in our lives when we are supposed to live our life for Jesus. The old life of sin is symbolized in the husband that died and Jesus is the new husband for whom we are now living. This is what is supposed to happen, but many times we want the old husband back, preferring the one who is bad for us and forsaking the good husband who is Jesus. Sin should be dead to us, not even a desire. Continue reading


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Bible: Romans #11

In Chapter Six, Paul poses the dilemma of sin and its effects, and living righteously and its effects. Right before this chapter, Paul says that grace abounds all the more when sin is present. He knows some people might want to take the easy way out and say, “then it is ok to sin, because grace just keeps coming and makes my bad actions null and void. I can do anything I want.” Not. Paul refutes this thought by stating, “What then shall we say? Shall we persist in sin that grace may bound all the more? Of course not!” (v1). When we follow Jesus, sin itself should be dead in our hearts and, therefore, should not even be a desire. This happens when we consider sin as dead. It has no life and brings no life. It takes a certain dying to self, because some of our sins we like too much. We all have our attachments to things or actions we take. Continue reading


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Bible: Romans #7

From last weeks bulletin.

Paul begins with verse 17 of chapter 2 to warn those who are the official teachers of the Law and God’s ways. He does not say that they have no authority to do so, or that their sins make null and void their authority. But he does say, for it is written Because of you the name of God is reviled among the Gentiles (v24). So there is a very real judgement they will incur. Jesus is the good shepherd and is there to take care of the sheep, not be friends of the hired help (Jn 10:11-18). So Jesus makes a commitment to love His sheep. If the hired help does not do their part, there will be justice exacted on them. To avoid this judgement, verses 21-23 gives a brief examination of conscience by which to judge themselves and keep them honest.
Circumcision, to be sure has value, says Paul (v25); not what many expect him to say. The Old Law of circumcision is still in effect, but there is also a warning with it. That warning is that the law is in effect and the blessing and curse are still fully valid (Dt 11:26). We want the blessing, not the curse. That is why Paul warns of not getting circumcision. If you live the law, then fine and good. But Paul explains that the circumcision of the heart is just as much a blessing. Jesus will bless and fulfill every promise of circumcision as if they were physically circumcised. This is the graciousness of God. Continue reading