Marble Surface

PRAYERS & MEDITATIONS

Go to the broken priest!

Go to the broken priest! I once heard a story about an old woman from Ireland who would often council people and encourage them to go to confession. If she was asked which priest to go to she would reply “Go to the broken priest”. Perhaps this was a priest who struggled with some vice like alcohol. Or maybe just a priest who had the wisdom to know that he didn’t have all the answers, but he could lead them to the one who does.

I remembered Father Tom DeLorenzo smashing a clay pot for a plant, quoting St. Paul 2 Corinthians 4:7 “now God hath put this treasure into earthen vessels committed the dispensing of his word to the week, frail mortal men, for this and, that the excellency of the power might appear to be of God, and not of men. That we might ascribe the glory of his power unto him to whom it doth pertain” in a later passage Paul tells us that in “weakness power reaches perfection.”

In his book spirituality you can live with Chris Padgett tells us that “we judge others more harshly when their personal choices contribute to their state of brokenness. In contrast, individuals whose circumstances are beyond their control elicit sympathy and even practical help. In finding a livable spirituality we must first acknowledge our own brokenness. We are afraid to be vulnerable about our struggles in fact, in our formative years we learn tactics for keeping a protective exterior in place. We learned that being made fun of is a humiliation to avoid. We must confront the glaring reality that we are unable to achieve true rest and lasting joy on our own.”

“God has a way of fixing things when we cannot fix ourselves. Spiritual brokenness is recognizing that we need a Savior it is an acute awareness of our need for joy and rest in our struggles against the world, the flesh and the devil.”

 

Let us turn to the Lord and offer him our weakness, our brokenness, our sinfulness and have confidence that he can achieve great things through us.

How sure can we be that Jesus really did rise from the dead?

How sure can we be that Jesus really did rise from the dead?

This is the time of the year when many magazines have pictures of Jesus on the cover. But the articles within those covers generally paint a skeptical picture of who he was. Usually they rank him among the other great philosophical teaches throughout the centuries such as Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius and the like. This is absolute nonsense. On the night before he died Buddha said “I still search for the truth”. That’s a noble statement but let’s examine what Jesus said on the night before he died. “I am the way the truth and the life.” That is a staggering claim. In fact, how could you possibly backup a claim like that. Perhaps by rising from the dead? It is good for us to look at the evidence and judge for ourselves whether Jesus was Lord, lunatic or liar.

 

Exhibit 1.  In the first century a women’s testimony was not even allowed in a court of law. If the evangelists were fabricating the story of the resurrection, they never would have had women be the first witnesses. But as it is, they were simply telling the truth as it unfolded before them.

 

Exhibit 2.  The tomb was empty. We have eyewitness accounts of this and even the testimony of the Roman guards who were supposed to be guarding it. They had to explain that somehow, so they said that his followers came and stole the body.

 

Exhibit 3. The testimony of the apostles despite the ill-treatment they received. What advantage did the apostles have for spreading this story. What did they receive as a result of telling the story? Hatred, scorn, torture, execution, crucifixion, being boiled alive, being roasted, beheaded, disemboweled, fed to lions. You could hardly call this the collection of perks.

Who is willing to die for a lie? Over the years there are those who denied the faith to avoid torture but there is no record of anyone saying, “we just made the story up”.

 

Exhibit 4. Great miracles have always accompanied the gospel!

 

Exhibit 5. The message being proclaimed was not a popular one. It was, renounce the world, love your enemies, serve one another, put all others before yourself.

 

Exhibit 6. The gospel changes lives. Just look at the life of St. Paul who set out persecuting the church and then upon a massive conversion changes direction and becomes one of the greatest apostles our church has known.

 

 Exhibit 7. Archaeologists have determined that the documents of the earliest new Testaments are 10 times more reliable than any comparable documents of that time. There are over 500 copies of these early documents which is far more than any other document of that time.

 

Yes, we can be certain that Jesus was who he said he was. We can be certain that he did rise from the dead. But more importantly then all this evidence is the power of his transforming love which we can feel and experience if we only ask for it.