Inspirational Quotes Smiley Face Heart

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land in…

THE DARK EMPTY VOID OF SPACE. THE IMMENSITY OF

THE UNIVERSE OVERSHADOWING EVERYTHING

YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED WITH ITS SHEER MAJESTY.

YOUR BODY AND SOUL QUIETLY RETURNING

TO WHAT YOU ALWAYS WERE: NOTHING.

A FORGOTTEN MEMORY ADRIFT

AN ETERNITY IN THE ICY GRIPS OF REGRET.

NO SONGS WILL BE SUNG FOR YOU AS

THE LIGHT GROW SOFTER NOW. YOUR ONLY HOPE

IS THE UNKIND LIGHT OF ANOTHER STAR BUT

YOU KNOW YOU WILL BE GONE A THOUSAND SLEEPS

BEFORE YOU REACH ANY ONE OF THOSE DISTANT POINTS.

YOU SHALL DRIFT ALONE UNTIL THE END OF TIME

CARRYING OUT THE SENTENCE GIVEN TO YOU BY A GODLESS UNIVERSE:

YOUR DEATH AS TIRESOME AS THE SUM OF YOUR LIFE.

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*I don’t like inspirational quotes, by the way.


Yo, where did the poetry go?

You might have noticed that all my poetry has vanished from this blog. I am in the process of submitting my poetry for formal publication. The book contract will need exclusivity and this includes my blog. Don’t worry, my book will be reasonably priced. I love you guys for following me and commenting on my posts. In addition to having better formatting and photography, my book will include literally a year’s worth of revision, editing, and perfecting. I’m really excited and I will update you guys with the details as soon as I know more.

With peace and optimism,

Charles Bonaventure


Natural Deduction Practice Problems

Here are two natural deduction practice problems I wrote to prepare myself for last semester’s logic final. They can be solved in about 5-10 steps. Feel free to comment with your solutions. The first person to correctly answer will not receive a prize because I’m not Oprah.

Prove “p” given:

  1. p v ~q                  
  2. a–>q                   
  3. ~s–>~b              
  4. [~a-->b] & ~s     

Prove “p” given:

  1. p v ~q                  
  2. s & t                     
  3. ~[~q & t]            

Regards,

Charles Bonaventure


Behind the Homily: Aug 5

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Lectionary: 113

1st Reading: Ex 16:2-4, 12-15 Psalm: Ps 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54 2nd Reading: Eph 4:17, 20-24 Gospel: Jn 6:24-35

The First Reading:

The mana given to the Israelites during the exodus is one of the most enduring themes in Jewish and then in Christian tradition. God provides for his people, even when they are trying their best not to deserve it. Constantly stiff-necked, they longed for freedom. When they get that freedom, they long for the food they had in former captivity. They have no gratitude for what God has done for them. Yet God provides nonetheless.

The Psalm:

Psalm 78 is quite long (about 3 pages in my study bible). It recounts the story of the covenant from the time of the exodus to the time of David. The entire relationship between God and his people was understood through the idea of covenant. Through it, both parties were bound to terms set down in the law (which functioned much like the terms of agreement). Returning to the text, we find that the psalmist presents God as ever forgiving. He always allows his people to return even after they violate the covenant. By every right in the covenant, God did not have to do this. Instead God chose to stay with them, and forgive them when they cried out to him for mercy.

The Second Reading:

The second reading for today continues in Ephesians, as it has for the last several weeks. Here Paul stresses the old and the new. This time in contrast with the “Gentiles” by which he is more referring to the Hellenistic culture than to the non-Jews (who were in his audience). It is important to read between few lines in between the two sections of today’s reading.

…darkened in understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance, because of their hardness of heart, they have become callous and have handed themselves over to licentiousness for the practice of every kind of impurity to excess….

Here in lies the tie. The gentiles are being compared to the Israelites. It was hardness of heart that keeps them from God’s love and being renewed by that love. It was this part that must be thrown out so that we may live in God’s grace and mercy.

The Gospel:

Today’s reading almost directly follows last Sunday’s reading. It pulls from John in what I think might be one of the deeper gospel readings in a while. We must discuss what John means be signs. Signs are the not just miracles as they are called in the other Gospels. Instead, John presents the miracles as signs which are evidence of Jesus’ identity as messiah and God. Jesus is rebuking the crowd for not seeing the bread as more than just a miracle. They can’t see that the feeding of the 5000 was a sign of Jesus’s identity. When Jesus questions the crowd, they repeat the assumption that the time of the Son of Man would coincide with mana returning (2 Mc 2:5-7). Yet, Jesus even breaks down this expectation and shows that they have more to learn. The mana will not be physical bread, but rather it is him. He is the bread of life sent from heaven.

Putting Them Together:

All the readings today are about mana and the covenant between God and his people. During the exodus, the people complained that they had no food. In response, God gave them mana. The psalmist recounts the many times the people strayed away from God, but God always brought them back, showing that God had more interest in his people than just a legal agreement. God must have loved them immensely. Paul reminds us of the past to show how we should live in that love and transform our lives. Finally, John reminds us that Jesus wants us to realize that the mana we seek is not a material bread to keep us from hunger. Rather, it is Jesus, the bread sent down from heaven who gives new life to those who partake of him. In this Eucharistic reality, we are bound in a new covenant: love.

(Source: Hermano León Clipart)

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All quoted text is from the NAB translation. All lectionary information is from the USCCB. All commentary on the scripture is strictly my own except when referenced. If you want to read more, I highly recommend the online resource “Text of the Week”.


Behind the Homily: July 29

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Lectionary: 110
1st Reading: 2 Kgs 4:42-44 Psalm: Ps 145:10-11, 15-16, 17-18 2nd Reading: Eph 4:1-6 Gospel: Jn 6:1-15

The First Reading:

Today’s first reading very straight forward. Elisha takes 20 loaves and gives them to 100 people and there are some left over. Also note that it was bread from the first fruits. These were normally offered to the Lord, but here we find them given to the masses.

The Psalm:

In Psalm 145 we find a hymn of praise. It opens up with the psalmist praising The lord’s name. Why? Because it should be praised. Why? Because the lord acts with kindness towards us. Such are examples given:

  • “supports all who are falling”
  • “satisfy the desire of every living thing”
  • “He fulfills the desire of those who fear him”

Many psalms follow the pattern of ‘the lord blesses people who do this but the lord curses the people who do those’. There is no “but” in this psalm; only the goodness of the lord. The psalmist wants us to see that the lord satisfies our desires and hungers.

The Second Reading:

The lectionary keeps slugging along through Ephesians. Today’s reading includes a certain theme: one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God. Wow, I think Paul is trying to say something about unity here. This is not unexpected. The Ephesian community was made up of Gentiles and Jews who didn’t always see eye to eye. Last week we read about how Christ’s cross should bring both sides together. This week we see how they should bear with one another through love because God’s bigger than then them. Why should there be division among people of faith when there is no division in faith?

The Gospel:

The feeding of the five thousand is recounted in all four gospels with some variation in each. This is “B” year in the liturgical calendar, so I assumed we would read Mark’s account. Instead, we hear John’s gospel. Why? The only explanation I can come up with is that John’s account feels more personal than the others and only John’s gospel says that the crowd recognized Jesus as a prophet after the miracle.

Now think back to the first reading. The parallels are remarkable. Elisha/Jesus says the crowd should be feed with a small amount of bread. The servant/disciples protest that there is not enough. Elisha/Jesus tells them to do it anyway. Afterwards there is some left over showing that God provided more than the crowd could eat. This parallel caused the early church writer Tertullian to exclaim “O Christ, even in Thy novelties Thou art old!” (1) Jesus repeats the old, but now with more grander. He speaks, but with more insight. He is the fulfillment.

Putting Them Together:

These readings show how we should live as one people. They remind us that the little we have is enough for God to work with. They show Jesus as the foundation for the unity we have with each other. By eating of the same blessed bread and calling upon the same Lord we find ourselves one. That unity should foster a sense of love and through that love a deeper sense of unity. In Christ we can bear with each other though all adversity.

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(1) Tertullian: Latin Christianity, Chapter XXI 4272

All quoted text is from the NAB translation. All lectionary information is from the USCCB. All commentary on the scripture is strictly my own except when referenced. If you want to read more, I highly recommend the online resource “Text of the Week”.


Behind the Homily: July 15

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Lectionary: 104
1st Reading: Am 7:12-15 Psalm: Ps 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14 2nd Reading: Eph 1:3-14 (or 1:3-10) Gospel: Mk 6:7-13

The First Reading:

If you thought this reading seemed inappropriately emotional, you’re right. We must look at what Amaziah is responding to in order to get a grasp at the intensity of the reading. Amos was called by the Lord to speak against the corruption that Jeroboam had created in the land of Israel. If Jeroboam and his court did not change from his decadent lifestyle at the expense of the poor, the Lord would lay waste to the land and his house. Instead of seeing it as a rebuke from the Lord, Amaziah sees Amos’ rebuke only as the human words of a fortune teller who was paid to prophesy. Loose bands of these sorts of prophets were common. This is why Amos responds with the words “I am not a prophet”. Amos wants to show that he was not there for his own good. Amos has never earned his bread (income) by prophesying. No, he was just a farmer who was called by the Lord to speak against wickedness. Although Amaziah has a commendable zeal for his king (Jeroboam), his heart was hard to the ways of the Lord. He was not able to see the evils that his king had brought upon the people and this causes him to reject the words of the Lord as well. Spoiler: later on things don’t end well for Jeroboam’s kingdom.

The Psalm:

Today’s psalm is a lamentation where the psalmist pleas for the Lord to restore him and his community to the Lord’s favor. The psalmist begs the Lord to not be angry with him. The heart of the psalmist is open. Unlike Amaziah, the psalmist acknowledges the sins committed, and seeks to bring back the community into the Lords favor through the Lord’s grace.

The Second Reading:

This reading comes from opening of Ephesians and provides an overarching narrative of how we fit in God’s plan of salvation. We are ‘chosen’. We are to do ‘all’ things in ‘His will’ so that we will be in proper relation to Christ. The Love of Jesus’ sacrifice is a universal call which challenges us to not think of our lives as a human conquest, but rather as a beautiful relationship between God, us, and humanity.

The Gospel:

Today’s reading directly follows last week’s reading in Mark. There are similar sections in both Luke and Matthew but the checklist varies between the books. The items they take are not as important as the statement such an impoverished living creates. The disciples were to live with just enough to get by, so that they were always dependent upon the strength of the Lord.

Putting Them Together:

Today’s readings form a theme of exalting and sanctifying the common. We saw Amos, a farmer who was called by God to prophesy against a nation. The psalmist calls for the Lord to grant favor and bring back a people who have sinned. Paul sees the Christian message as one of sanctification of our common lives, so that we may live as Christ in the world. Finally, Mark reminds us that being a disciple is not about personal gain, but aiming our common lives towards the call. In all these ways ordinary people can live in the spirit of the Lord.

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All quoted text is from the NAB translation. All lectionary information is from the USCCB. All commentary on the scripture is strictly my own except when referenced. If you want to read more, I highly recommend the online resource “Text of the Week”.


Behind the Homily: July 8

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Lectionary: 101

1st Reading: Ez 2:2-5 Psalm: Ps 123:1-2, 2, 3-4 2nd Reading: 2 Cor 12:7-10 Gospel: Mk 6:1-6

The First Reading:

The first reading comes from Ezekiel’s vivid vision. In it the Lord sends Ezekiel to preach to the Israelites (it is also where he is given a scroll to eat). He must announce the message to the Israelites, who as usual, are probably not going to like what they hear, and for all he knows, might kill him. The audience’s reception is not as important as speaking the message so that the Israelites “know that a prophet has been among them.” A prophet must not worry about the result, but instead must make himself a vessel for the Lord’s words.

The Psalm:

The Psalm today is one of the shorter ones. It consists of only 4 verses. What it lacks in length, it makes up for in quality. It describes the relationship between God and us with the metaphor of master-servant. This is a common image in the OT and is even more common in the NT. The psalmist then goes on to lament that his service to the Lord has brought him “mockery” and “contempt”. Instead of abandoning his mission, he asks the Lord to show him ‘favor’. A prophet must depend on the Lord.

The Second Reading:

Out of all his writings, I consider this one Paul’s most honest description of his ministry. In Galatians he describes his ministry in positive God-appointed terms. Yet here in Corinthians we see that service is not always easy. For Paul, this comes from his difficulty with becoming too elated (I think ‘conceited’ might be the word he was looking for). Because of this an “angel of Satan” must beat him. Now, we don’t really know what Paul is referring to when he uses that phrase. He might be describing a metaphysical phenomena, or he may be simply using poetic language to describe a physical ailment. Some people read this and Gal 4:15 and conclude that Paul was referring to an eye condition. Nonetheless, he asked the Lord three times to have it go away, but that is not in the Lord’s plan. God’s grace is enough for Paul to handle this afflictions. A prophet is given everything he needs to fulfill his mission.

The Gospel:

All the synoptic gospels include this story. Mark 6 forces us to look at Jesus being rejected because his actions clashed with the expectations of those around him. This resulted from the prejudices of his contemporaries. They couldn’t comprehend where Jesus got his wisdom. They couldn’t see past earthly things. They couldn’t look up and see that his wisdom came from heaven. Note that Mark says that Jesus could not do any miracles there because of their lack of faith. God can’t help us if we are unwilling to believe in his power. “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” Well said, Jesus.

Putting Them Together:

Yo ho ho a band of prophets are we. Today’s readings all deal with the problems that prophets face. Ezekiel must preach to a people who will more than likely reject his message. The psalmist does the service of the Lord and is repaid only with the scorn of those who do not follow the Lord. Paul has an angel that beats him to keep him humble. Jesus’ hometown rejects his divine words. Being a prophet isn’t easy, but it is a calling that we must approach with humility and a heart of service. It is never about us, it is about fulfilling God’s will.

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All quoted text is from the NAB translation. All lectionary information is from the USCCB. All commentary on the scripture is strictly my own except when referenced. If you want to read more, I highly recommend the online resource “Text of the Week”.


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