Emmitsburg Council of Churches

Let’s remember the Gospel movement as "The Five D’s"

Father John J. Lombardi

1=Desire: Driving desire for He Who is higher, within, for Him the Lord. Like Bartimaus in the Gospel do you have this desire, like St Francis of Assisi who overcame desire for wine and woman and song to align with Jesus the Savior. Ven. Matt Talbott overcame his desire for drink to cultivate a driving desire for God in the sacraments, in service and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

2=Divinity--Jesus is LORD GOD: He is Supreme being –all other beings, whether a person or an animal only subsist/exist in and by Him Who alone has and Is Being without cause or equal." Bartimaus sought God-in-Jesus Christ. He is the Intelligent Designer of the Universe and the creator miracle that is a person with all kinds of complexity. He is the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end of the universe. He is the God the philosophers Ultimate Truth. He is the God of Science­the progenitor of all life the Big Bang that began it all, "The love that moves the stars" as Dante said. He is the Supreme Artist, as St Thomas Aquinas said: "God is the artist and the universe is His work of art." He is the Ultimate Love of all lovers, so love Him as the Litany of Divine Love prays: "Above all things created in Heaven and Earth: I love Thee, O my God." He is Ultimate Desire as St Augustine said: "Our hearts ar restless until they rest in thee O God," He is the Ultimate Lover like the poet Francis Thompson proclaims: " The Hound of Heaven."

I once heard a talk by an evangelist and he admitted poignant embarrassing fact: He is an idolator. We are meant for worship­only God but we worship other gods­in this country, sometimes people

money/technology –new gadgets, sports, self­image, comforts, and happiness, and materialism (did I miss any?). We must admit the truth­we do worship other beings and things than God and need constantly pull ourselves away from them and push ourselves to God Who alone deserves our supreme energy, desire and delight and realize other delights are only partial, temporally fulfilling.

Christ is miracle worker: He causes supernatural things to happen. I visited my friend Fr Bayer, who, at age 77, has cancer and may be dying. He said to me, alit with light and a smile: "We must put our complete trust in Jesus Christ…It’s all about completely surrendering to Him…God sure has made our lives beautiful, hasn’t’ he?" And: "I’m so glad that God has blessed me with all this." This man was healed, filled with radiance and peace. A miracle.

3=Dissuade: Some in this Gospel wanted Bartimaus to back away from Jesus. We get embarrassed sometimes by God and His Ways and Church. Do you? Think of St Paul who persecuted Christians. There is a tendency in human nature to deny God. Pray for atheists in our culture and those who persecute the Faith.

4=Discipling: Bring others to the Lord: Eventually people brought Bartimaus to Jesus­will you? My friend Anthony spoke of his son who is in the Air Force and who, when he travels, asks hotel clerks and others where he sometimes stays if he can place a Bible in the room and he even gives them upon permission to Muslim owners. So: spread the Word! I once visited Brenda’s shop here in Hancock and gave Brenda a Rosary. She loved it. I left there and while walking away a lady came from Brenda’s store and rushed to me and asked for a Rosary. I gave it to her and she beamed! We have many sacramentals to help people with: allure others to Christ and Mary.

5=Deeper: Jesus asked Bartimaus if he wanted to see: Do you want to see deeper into the Faith and our Religion?: Are you taking your Religion seriously by updating your Faith and knowledge and love of God and His Truths, or are you just going thru the motions?

Now learn "The Jesus Prayer"­based on Mk. 10:46ff: Lord Jesus Christ/ only Son of God/ have mercy on me/ a sinner. This ancient prayer form is to be repeated slowly with reverence in the heart, continuously to replace bad thoughts with holy thoughts of Jesus Christ as Savior of the world­and our souls!

Read other reflections by Father John J. Lombardi