La chaine de KOFC

Supreme Chaplain’s Monthly Challenge: February 2023 | KnightCast Episode 11

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Vie de l'église

President Joe Biden delivered a…

President Joe Biden delivered a message of unity at the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 2, the first time the annual event has been held since its leadership and structure were overhauled to distance it from a controversial private religious group.

« In our politics and in our lives, we too often see each other as opponents and not competitors. We see each other as enemies, not neighbors, » Biden said. « And as tough as these times have been, if we look closer, we see the strength, the determination that has long defined America. »

The breakfast was held at the Capitol’s visitor center, and the auditorium’s 450 seats were packed with members of Congress, government officials and others.

Every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has spoken at the breakfast, which in past years has been attended by thousands. For decades, the event was overseen by the International Foundation, a Christian organization that has drawn increasing scrutiny over the years.

Now the event is run by the National Prayer Breakfast Foundation, a new group led by former members of Congress. The International Foundation held its own event at a nearby hotel, where Biden’s speech was being watched remotely.

« Welcome to all 1,300, » Biden said, a reference to the size of the crowd at the other breakfast. It was his only acknowledgement during the public program to changes behind the scenes.

The event is designed to bring people together across partisan lines, and Biden sat next to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. The two are beginning a showdown over whether to raise the country’s debt limit to avoid default.

« We had a good meeting yesterday, » Biden said of McCarthy, saying they would work to « treat each other with respect. »

Also present was Kari Lake, the Republican candidate for Arizona governor who lost her race in November but has refused to acknowledge her defeat. Biden has denounced election denial as a threat to American democracy.

Quoting Scripture, Biden said it was important to « love thy neighbor as thyself. »

« That’s the hardest one, I think, » he said. « At least it’s hardest here. It didn’t used to be as hard. I’ve been here a long time. But it seems to be getting harder. »

Vie de l'église

Pencil Preaching for Thursday,…

“This child is destined for the rise and fall of many” (Luke 2:28).

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Mal 3:1-4; Heb 2:14-18; Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22-32

The Feast of the Presentation is rich in many themes. Jesus is born among us, one of us, and he is subject to the law of Moses. Though he was God, he was ritually presented to God in the Temple according to the law. Years later, Jesus will be baptized in the Jordan, though he was without sin.  Mary, his mother, holy beyond ritual or protocol, also submits to the rite of purification 40 days after the birth of her son. 

While in the Temple, two elderly mystics who had been there most of their lives in expectation of the Messiah are alerted by the Holy Spirit to the presence of the child Jesus. Simeon takes the boy in his arms and prays in thanksgiving that he has lived to see the salvation God had promised.

Anna also blesses the child and tells everyone about him. This encounter gives continuity to the long history of salvation going all the way back to Abraham.  Jesus is the One they have been waiting for. It also echoes the importance and prayers of all senior believers who gather at daily Mass each morning around the world, the elders of the church and its source of wisdom. 

Jesus’ ministry will not be easy or without cost. Simeon proclaims that the child will be the cause of the rise and fall of many in Israel. Jesus will occasion the decisive challenge of faith for everyone.  He is God’s offer, and we will either receive or reject him.  Everything depends on this discernment and choice. 

Mary leads us in saying, “Yes, be it done unto me according to your Word.” She is the model for every disciple, and she will endure great suffering as she witnesses the rejection and passion of Jesus. Her passion, like his, will be the passage every disciple must make to complete their baptisms. We must die with Christ in order to rise with him. 

Let us take the occasion of this feast to present ourselves to the Lord: “Here I am, Lord, I come to do your will.” This prayer is all we need to position our lives to experience the full mystery of Jesus in the world with us. This is the joy of the Gospel.