St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Bible: Gospel of John 2

 

The Gospel of John does not have an account of how the birth of Jesus came about other than when it says, “And the Word became flesh” (John 1:14). The first historical context of the Gospel starts with John the Baptist. After that, John the Baptist introduces Jesus to the first disciples. Right after that, begins the second chapter and the Wedding in Cana. This is the first mention of Mary. Mary is mentioned again later in the suffering and death of Jesus.

I’ll give you some tips for looking up things in the Gospels. Remember, Mary is in only two of the Gospels, Luke and John. So, if you are looking for one of the stories where Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is present, then you would look for it in either the Gospel of Luke or John. If it is a story about Mary when Jesus was a child, then it is in the Gospel of Luke. Most anything during Jesus’ adulthood that deals with Mary would be from John. John accounts Mary at the Wedding of Cana and at the suffering and death of Jesus. There are, however, parts in Matthew and Luke where the Mother of Jesus is mentioned (MT 12:47 & Lk 8:20) as waiting outside with His “brothers”. Matthew’s account, written originally in Aramaic, a Hebrew language, does not make any difference between brothers and cousins. Back then, they used the same word to describe both cousin and brother. That is why we can still believe that Mary remained a virgin.

John also gives great detail that the other Gospel accounts do not have. One example of this is in Chapter Five at the beginning. There was a pool called Bethesda “with five porticoes” (Jn 5:2). This is an odd detail for its time, and perhaps that is why John notices this. Most buildings in Jesus’ time would have four porticoes (meaning doorways). Usually a building would have one door facing each direction; one facing north, one south, and so on. But, this one has five. Many scholars believed that John got this wrong and were starting to teach that the Gospel accounts did not intend to be historically accurate, as if the Gospels were just stories of myths trying to explain a spiritual reality. But, as archeologists found a pool building with five doorways in it, near to where John described. Therefore, the sceptics and those who are considered to be the “professional scientists” were wrong in their assumption, and the believers were vindicated. The Gospel of John does in fact provide actual, historical accuracy in its details.

In the Gospel of John is also the great “Bread of Life” discourse. This is where Jesus performed the multiplication of the loaves, walked across the sea, and then taught about the Eucharist. First, He reminds the people of the Manna in the desert by the multiplication of the loaves. They even mention it in verse thirty-one of Chapter Six. The miracle of the loaves was a set-up by Jesus so He could speak about the true Bread of Life of (Himself), in the Eucharist. He goes so far as to say, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life” (V 53-54). Many people leave because of this teaching, but Jesus does not back down. He does not say, “wait a minute, you are misunderstanding me, I meant it as a mere symbol”. No, He really means that He is the Bread of Life and that the host is really His body and the wine is no longer wine; it is His blood. He turns to his disciples and asks if they, too, are going to leave. Notice the chilling coincidence that you note at verse 66 in Chapter Six, that those who do not believe in the Eucharist leave Jesus and no longer follow Him.

 


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Why Is There Hell? What You Should Know About It!

(This Lighthouse cd can be found on the cd rack)
In this moving study on hell, Dr. Scott Hahn shares what scripture teaches about why hell is necessary. What it is like? Who goes there? How can you stay out forever? He explains why Lucifer refused to serve and then responds from a scriptural perspective to the most seductive modern errors about hell. Included are two bonus excerpts from Dr. Hahn’s talk, The Healing Power of Confession.
Parishioner Comments This is a great CD! It gives the theological basis for hell. For me, it also highlighted the need for continued conversion throughout life. Chad – St. Michael, MN
This scriptural approach to the reasons for hell is challenging and enlightening. It put the love of God in our hearts, not fear. Grass Roots Prayer Group – NY


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The Bible: The Gosple of Luke

The Gospel of Luke is twenty-four chapters long. Like Mark, Luke is not an Apostle, but he was taught about Jesus by the Apostles. He was known to take care of Mary, the mother of Jesus. He was a physician by trade. Many scripture scholars believe that Luke was possibly writing to people of gentile origin while he himself being in depth of Hellenistic Jewish origin. The Gospel of Luke is the first volume of his works, he also wrote the Acts of the Apostles to the same person, Theophilus. Continue reading


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Santa Marta: ‘If a Living Jesus Isn’t in the Church, She Collapses’

“If a living Jesus isn’t in the Church, she collapses,” warned Pope Francis while celebrating Mass on November 9, 2017, feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, Rome’s Cathedral. In the course of the celebration at Saint Martha’s Residence in the Vatican, the Holy Father encouraged to “purify the Church,” beginning with oneself.
To “build the Church” one must remember that Jesus “is the cornerstone in this building. Without Jesus Christ there is no Church. Why? — because there is no foundation. And if one builds a church…

Santa Marta: ‘If a Living Jesus Isn’t in the Church, She Collapses’


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SCY Youth

High school students: Want to join a community of fun, meaningful conversation, service, and worship? We meet every Wednesday in the NEW Youth Room at St Thomas from 7-9pm. Text Benjy Miller (Youth Minister) at 815.348.7785 for more info or if you just want to talk or hangout.


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Catholic Bishop: You Can’t be Catholic and Support Abortion

From our Catholic readers around the world, but especially in the United States, one of the biggest complaints we often hear is that fellow Catholics do not follow the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church. Politicians who are Catholic but support abortion produce significant anger from readers.
And one of the biggest requests we receive frequently here at LifeNews.com from pro-life readers is a request for Catholic leaders to speak out more strongly about those Catholics who do not adhere to those pro-life teachings. One Catholic bishop in…

Catholic Bishop: You Can’t be Catholic and Support Abortion