Today's Wisdom

Those who do not pass from the experience of the cross to the truth of the resurrection condemn themselves to despair! For we cannot encounter God without first crucifying our narrow notions of a god who reflects only our own understanding of omnipotence and power
Pope Francis

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Influence of God

It is not a secret that we influence each other. By only watching TV, you can guess from the ads who moves opinions to make decisions. The political drama today is based on relativism, a post-modern phenomenon that claims there is no absolute truth. You make your own truth and I make mine. The more you have money and can invest it in influencing others, the more followers you have.
The influence of God manifested certain commandments or rules in ancient nations notably in Judaism. The influence of God has been growing since the death on the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ who spoke to his Apostles, and they, in turn, preached the good news of eternal joy from Jerusalem to Antioch, Rome, and Alexandria. They and their followers continue to confess the divinity of the risen man Jesus and his power with which he loved and loves everyone. He will come again a the end of the world to restore fallen humanity to his beloved Father (Revelation 21, 22).

The above should remind everyone that tomorrow Tuesday November 8 the presidential elections in the United States will take place. Although many deny that they do not influence anyone else nor care about what happens in the United Stated, everyone knows that the policy of the United States influences the world more than any other country as it is the hub of technology, military power, and economic influence. A prayer for the right person to be chosen will make a difference I believe. Between the extremely liberal Hillary Clinton with years of mismanagement of foreign policy after President Obama, and the conservative Donald Trump who promised to appoint 3 pro-life judges to the Supreme Court with a Conservative Congress that backs him up but who is also an extremely divisive person who wants to build walls to isolate/"protect" Americans from their neighboring countries among other things, it is hard to choose. None of us has an insight into the real intentions of the candidate. In meeting with George Weigel, I asked whether it was possible to replace Trump with his more balanced vice president Mike Pence, but he said this is not possible at this point. I hope the right person will be chosen to lead America.

I have been personally influenced by the late Archbishop Paul Antaki the Great (see, the late Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Orthodox Church (see, Melkite Catholic Archbishop Joseph Jules Zerey in Jerusalem,
and Thomas Cardinal Collins Archbishop of Toronto who is a moderate prelate that may become the next Pope.

Among preachers, quite a few scholars have influenced me such as Fr. Henri Boulad, S.J., Fr. Ignatius Sarkis Najjar, Prof. Fr. Daniel Callam, CSB, Prof. Msgr. Robert Nusca, Prof. Fr. Georges Farah, and Prof. Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, S.J. There are more working hard to serve their churches and communities. . Among them I have been influenced by the young Fr. Ibrahim El-Haddad and his assistant priests at Jesus the King
Melkite Catholic parish. Service is not limited to priests. I have been influenced by quite a few women and men who humbly serve in different roles in church and community as well as in their own families. Parents can be examples for children. A number of organizations that impress us in their services include "Doctors without frontiers" whose  members are willing to take risk in order to treat the injured, or St. Vincent de Paul whose members visit the elderly and lonely and help them in many tasks. One such organization made up mainly of lay people that serve communities, needy, and persecuted people is the Knights of Columbus whose members influence millions in their services.

It is important that we work and pray for the right people to lead us in every country and everywhere. God is the Father who influences us as his Spirit helps us to do good and avoid evil. This is the Spirit of Christ in the world!

Today's Quote

"Behold I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5)


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