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Israel25aOn this the 67th anniversary of the proclamation of the Modern State of Israel, we note that history has shown the ‘seekers of justice’ to have been unjust before God and man. The Modern State of Israel is far from the House of Israel (People of God).

The best hope for Jews and the world is to remember true freedom and fulfillment come from being united with the Lord — and His New Covenant, which has been in effect for 2000 years.

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which shall be shed for you. But behold the hand of him who betrays me is with me at table. For the Son of Man indeed goes his way, as it has been determined; yet woe to that man by whom he will be betrayed.” Luke 22: 20-22

“Behold the days are coming, saith the Lord, when I shall make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah, unlike the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I held them by the hand to bring them out of the Land of Egypt, which covenant of mine they broke, although I was their husband. But this is the covenant I shall make with them after those days, saith the Lord: I shall put my Law within them, in their hearts will I write it, and I shall be their God, and they shall be my people.” Jeremiah 31:31-33 (2500 years ago)

The new household of Israel calls its members to a transformation of heart — recognizing that the just way to treat one’s neighbor is to respect and serve them — not exploit and dominate them.

JTS-Dolan2Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, spoke at the Jewish Theology Seminary, 5/6, at an event marking the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate (“In Our Time”), the Vatican II Declaration on the Relations of the Church to Non-Christian Religions.

As Holy Scripture testifies, Jerusalem did not recognize the time of her visitation, nor did the Jews, in large number, accept the Gospel; indeed not a few opposed its spreading. Nevertheless, God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls he issues—such is the witness of the Apostle. In company with the Prophets and the same Apostle, the Church awaits that day, known to God alone, on which all peoples will address the Lord in a single voice and “serve him shoulder to shoulder” (Soph. 3, 9). Nostra Aetate 4

In his remarks Cardinal Dolan suggested that Jews and Catholics need to work together to “recover the primacy of the spiritual” in society.

On this the 70th anniversary of VE Day, the 1948 words of Holocaust survivor Odd Nansen remain unheaded—by Jews and Christians.

One thing is certain: hate, revenge, and retribution are not the way. They lead back to the abyss. We should have experience enough by now to know that If we nourish the rising generation on them it is tantamount to spiritual murder and to signing the death sentence of our culture.

The message for which bleeding humanity craves is neither legal, political, nor diplomatic. A starving man does not need revenge to feed him up, he needs food. A sick man does not need a political program to get well, he needs drugs and doctors. A shivering man does not need diplomatic agreements to get warm, he needs clothes and shoes and a roof over his head.

If some of them strike you as being your enemies, because they were on the other side of the war front, do you really think that is the vital thing? They are human, too. They too have a country, a home, a family they love. They too are longing for peace. Perhaps they are longing to meet you!

“Love your enemies” was the command of Him who wished peace on earth. Surely the hardest, the most rigorous, and perhaps the harshest of all commandments.

If He, the Prince of Peace, had been among us today and talked like that, how do you suppose we would have received His message? Don’t you think, dear reader, to be honest, that we should have shrugged and smiled condescendingly at that good-natured softy of a carpenter who was going round preaching anything so sky blue, naive, and childish as “faith in goodness” in the world? Who thought He could build on anything so ridiculous as human worth? And—if He had become too persistent in His zeal, too great a nuisance to our conscience, with His eternal truths and fussing—don’t you think we should have overthrown Him, stoned Him, and crucified Him?

Yet His commandment still remains, and has remained through the ages—unshaken, written in the sky with letters of gold, high above the din and the fumes from our sink of degradation. Unassailable. Simple. Strong and everlasting. “Love your enemies.”

Who would dare presume to raise that demand today, in a world where even to recall it passes for an unforgivable weakness, a betrayal of justice? “Justice!” What is justice exactly, since it counts for more than anything else? An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. That is justice, if I remember right—in all its harshness and heartlessness. Truly nothing to aspire to, no ground or principle to build a new world on. We know the world that was built on that principle. It is the one trembling today on the verge of the abyss.

Just suppose that, from tormented, starving, fear-ridden humanity, instead of the cry for justice, there arose a cry for kindness—for love! the wellhead and deepest ground of all life, and goal of its eternal longings.

In the echo of that cry from human hearts a new justice would be created, the outlines of a new, more human world would appear, and the way to it would open.

Don’t you think the Carpenter from Nazareth was pointing toward a world like that? And do you suppose there is any other way there? Odd Nansen, From Day to Day (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1949)

SwingInTheSpring2015SwingInToSpring2015aSpring seemed to break out everywhere in NYC today, the Second Sunday of Easter — a day recognized by Christians (in the Roman Church) as Divine Mercy Sunday .

Photographs: Stephen Wise

PalmSunday2015“The Last Supper and the Crucifixion took place during the Passover, when the Eternal Son of the Father mediated a New Testament or Covenant, as the Old Testament or Covenant was mediated through Moses. As Moses ratified the Old Testament with the blood of animals, so Christ now ratified the New Testament with His own Blood. He who is the true Paschal Lamb.” Fulton J. Sheen, Life of Christ (McGraw-Hill, 1958)

Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” John 14:6

The best hope for persons and society rests in living truthfully, which starts with purity and humility.

CGI2013Livni“Our habits of thought forbid our entry into the most habitable regions in which we are most truly at home and ourselves.” Gabriel Marcel

Hopefully a Herzog/Livni victory will help Jews of Israel become their best self. But for that to really happen they need “a movement of return, a return to the body and broken moorings—created by withdrawal and self-origination”—then through participation, not self-affirmation, will they find true peace and fulfillment.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

 

HolocaustRemembranceDay“I mean, I can’t even make any sense out of my relationship with my father…how am I supposed to make any sense out of Auschwitz?…of the Holocaust?” Art Spiegelman, Maus II

Analysis: Those who would use the Holocaust as a justification for the Modern State of Israel fail to recognize (or care) that the Modern Sate of Israel is self-idolatry, an offense against God (the Father), leading people astray rather than to salvation. For the remnant of Israel, salvation is from the Son of Man not the Man of Steel.

“And it shall come to pass in that day that the remnant of Israel, and they shall escape the house of Jacob, shall lean no more on him that striketh them; but they shall lean upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall be converted, the remnant, I say, of Jacob, to the mighty God.” Isaiah 10:20-21

MarioCuomoFuneralFormer New York Governor Mario Cuomo (1932-2015) was buried from St. Ignatius of Loyola Church in NYC today.

The pastor of St. Ignatius Church, Rev. George Witt S,J., in remarks heard from speakers outside the church on Park Avenue, said that Mario Cuomo had been a “humble man…a man of great faith in God,” and the “Cuomo family life was rooted in Christ, Catholic education, and faith.”

Analysis: The public policies of both Mario Cuomo and son Andrew (current Governor of New York) regarding abortion, were and are in fact anathema to Christianity and the well being of individuals and society. One can only hope that the elder Cuomo had a conversion and sincere confession before he died.

Increasingly today we see ministers of the Church spreading illusion rather than truth, and society suffers.

Progress-SorelToday New Yorkers are faced with voting for the incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) or his Republican challenger, Rob Astorino. Both are proud of their Italian heritage as is the Catholic Bishop of Brooklyn and Queens, Nicolas Dimarzio, who commented on the election in his recent Tablet column saying that his grandfather, who wanted to give him a voting lesson, said “Go into the booth, when you see an Italian name pull down on the lever.”

For voters who seek leaders guided by truth and the common good, rather than ideology and special interests, this election is especially problematic. Governor Cuomo has said that New Yorkers who oppose abortion and same-sex marriage ought to move out of the state. And, if elected, Rob Astorino said he would support fracking.

In his column, the Bishop suggested that corruption in government is directly attributable to low voter turn-out — and therefore encouraged Catholics to vote.

The Bishop failed to address the fact that the candidates in this election, with misguided views on progress, are both Catholic, and perhaps symptomatic of the failure of the Catholic hierarchy in the U.S. over the years to properly form their flock for true progress.

‘Progress’ Artwork: Edward Sorel, 1976

 

CalvaryCemetery2014CalvaryCemetery2014cCalvaryCemetery2014uCalvaryCemetery2014gOur memory of the past should help us live better in the present, while we yearn for eternity.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

 

India-TimesSquare2Truth in her dress finds facts too tight.
In fiction she moves with ease.
–Tagore

Photograph: Stephen Wise

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