Christ Washing the Disciples' Feet,
Painting by Benvenuto Tisi or called 'Il Garofalo' (about 1481 - 1559),
Painted circa 1520/1525,
Oil on panel
© National Gallery Washington

Christ Washing the Disciples' Feet,
Painting by Benvenuto Tisi or called 'Il Garofalo' (about 1481 - 1559),
Painted circa 1520/1525,
Oil on panel
© National Gallery Washington

Gospel of 27 February 2024

The greatest among you must be your servant.

Matthew 23:1-12

Addressing the people and his disciples Jesus said, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do what they tell you and listen to what they say; but do not be guided by what they do: since they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader phylacteries and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted obsequiously in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.

‘You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.’

Reflection on the painting

In this gospel reading Jesus is very critical of those religious leaders who impose unnecessary burdens on an already burdened people through their strict interpretation of the Jewish Law. Jesus also warns against giving more honours to religious leaders than is appropriate. He was not opposed to some form of leadership among his own followers. After all Jesus appointed Peter as the rock on which he would build his church and entrusted to him and the other disciples a share in his own teaching authority. However, elsewhere in the gospels Jesus makes clear that he understands leadership in terms of service.

Christian leadership is all about service. The washing of the disciples' feet by Jesus is probably the most telling example of what Jesus means by serving. By performing a task reserved for servants, Jesus demonstrated that true leadership involves humility and the willingness to undertake even the lowest tasks for the benefit of others. Christian leaders are, therefore, servants first.

In our painting by Garofalo from circa 1520, we see Jesus and his twelve apostles. A faint gold halo encircles each head except for one person, near the lower right, Judas. Jesus is portrayed with blond, shoulder-length ringlet hair and a pointed beard. He wears a red (his martyrdom is imminent), gold-trimmed robe over a pure white garment. He holds the lower leg of Peter and washes the foot in a gold-colored basin. Peter looks down at Jesus, one hand flat against his own chest, being taken aback that Jesus is performing such an act of service and humility. Peter embodies the initial resistance and confusion experienced by the disciples in the face of their master's humility. The expressions and postures of the figures surrounding Jesus and Peter reflect a range of emotions, from awe to introspection, highlighting the impact of Jesus's actions on those present.

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Noelle Clemens
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Noelle Clemens
1 month ago

In our church we have several highly educated and successful men who help out with the most mundane tasks. This is a great witness. When a service needs doing, we should never consider it beneath us – even though we may not be able to do it, for one reason or another. It should be the joy of serving Him that propels us, but how often we fall short, worming out of some task because it is too inconvenient, dreary or unpleasant – mea culpa.
Glorious colours in today’s painting, some strangely distorted bodies, and those blonds; oh dear, they’re somewhat fey in appearance!
I wonder why the artist was called “the carnation”? Perhaps Lara could confirm that that is correct?

lara sacco
Member
lara sacco
1 month ago
Reply to  Noelle Clemens

The nickname Garofalo derives from the name of the town where he was
perhaps born (Italia) and he himself occasionally signed his paintings with a small drawing of a carnation

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
1 month ago
Reply to  lara sacco

Thank you very much, Lara, interesting.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Noelle Clemens

Distorted bodies=Mannerism!

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Yup, but for me, not very successful in this instance…..see chap on left in orange top: contorted, rather than distorted!

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Jazz hands!

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Also Peter has a pot belly going on there, fond of the beer methinks?

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

The whole painting isn’t particularly good really…..

Elvira
Member
Elvira
1 month ago

Not only did Jesus teach but He made His words alive. He could explain the parable of the Good Samaritan, because He was indeed a Good Samaritan. He could explain the Beatitudes to us because He was the first to live and enjoy them. Jesus is our example seeing him with the children, with the sick, with his friends, with the poor…, watching him wash his feet. The most important person is one who serves others. Who is great and important? The person who hears the Word and makes it life. That’s the only privilege.
🙏🏻 Lord, make me humble, let him see my faults and not boast of my good deeds

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago

An interesting painting. So many blonde haired old men, except for Judas- who has dark hair and dark skin! I’m not sure it really says much to me. Judas points a finger towards Jesus, who seems to be looking in his direction. Such a scene of drama, but I get little from this I’m sorry, maybe others will think differently. I do love the colours though!

I think it is easy for us to point out the ego in others, which Jesus seems to be doing here, but the real challenge is in seeing that ego in ourselves too. We all have that innate selfishness and holding up the mirror to ourselves as others might see us, is not easy.

We can, however, trust that God sees through the surface to our hearts beneath, if we but let Him in.

Service is often derided in our ego-centric world. We look at people who appear to be ‘doing good’ in our own parishes and and in the wider world, and we look for the fault instead of the virtue. To accept the good we want to be seen doing we first have to see it in others too, and this is not always easy either. We like to see them fail, don’t we? I know this happens a lot, in the workplace, even in families.

Yet in service is where we express our faith and how important it is to us. To serve in silence without comparing myself to others, is what I shall try to do today, with God’s help.

Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

SFG, your openness inspires me. Today’s verse before the Gospel seems appropriate: “…make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.” The declarative “.. make for yourselves…” is especially powerful to me during my Lenten journey. I have much to repair, but this message is a hopeful one.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Crain

Thank you Mark- I also like to read what you ave to say because I feel it comes from a good place, and I know you have suffered great pain. I do feel I have taken another important step today, let’s see where it takes us!

Will Howard
Member
Will Howard
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Yes SFG an ‘interesting painting’ choice for an ‘interesting Gospel’ reading for today.

I wonder that ‘Il Garofalo’s ‘ ‘blond hair’ preoccupation, plus ‘gold basin’ and rich flowing robes was not meant to exploit and expose the grand pious irony of the medieval aristocracy, in light of the ‘real Jesus’ depicted in the Gospels – especially in such text as today. And … this certainly says much about the church’s ‘ego’ today.

I have just sourced “Bible Hub” re: some 47 translation, re: “…must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi”. Including the Douay-Rheims and Aramaic, they all use “Father” … not “Rabbi”. (I suspect the translation that Fr. P is using is the rather infamous St. Joseph’s Catholic Bible…which doesn’t make the ‘Hub’s’ cut ). In the interlinear, the greek is most certainly ‘Pater’ – Father.

Oh … that as Catholics we could exegetically rationalize our habit of calling Priests “Father”, by saying “Well, Jesus was really just talking about a Jewish custom”. But more than obviously, not meaning for his words to be taken merely literal, as per a title of endearment ‘father’ or ‘teacher’, Jesus did however intend a direct attack on clericalism: exaggerated pious pedistialization and pandering to one’s spiritual Heads/authority; and this …that too soon – as perfect power ‘naturally’ and absolutely corrupts – would lead to the ‘pious faithful’ screaming out for His own crucifixion.

“We can, however, trust that God sees through the surface to our hearts beneath, if we but let Him in.” This is at once frightening and infinitely consoling. If, we but let our clerical egos be crucified and turn our baptismal commissioning and ‘ordination’ to a TRUE holy priesthood/headship of the true Gospel-service.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  Will Howard

Our PP has had reason to become one of us this week. He hasn’t been liked for his aloofness, but due to tragic circumstances he has had to face his own need of people. He said he had been surprised at the level of support offered in his situation, to which I replied, ‘but it shouldn’t surprise you -this is what we do,’ meaning, we are all human and all Christians. I thought of him when reading this today. It is very sad that is has taken a tragedy to teach him this lesson.

Will Howard
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Will Howard
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Hmmmm … I’m afraid I don’t follow re: PP’s “tragic circumstances” -??

spaceforgrace
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spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  Will Howard

I’m protecting his privacy- a sudden loss, let’s leave it there.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

I see. I was curious.

lara sacco
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lara sacco
1 month ago

tying heavy burdens on the shoulders of men” is a great responsibility.
When I think of Jesus, a man among men, free from prejudices and ambitions, I remember that in my every step and in my every word I can choose whether to “bind” or “loose”, whether to weigh down or free, dominate someone or serve them.
Being Christian or not depends on our choices.
this beautiful painting reminds us of this.
Buona giornata!

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  lara sacco

Buona giornata Lara. I see that Judas has his bag of silver round his waist.

lara sacco
Member
lara sacco
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Yes, but I think it was no worse than the others!

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  lara sacco

Really !?

lara sacco
Member
lara sacco
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

In fact, all the disciples betray Jesus in some way, sooner or later. Look at Peter, look at the disciples who run away and hide, look at the two from Emmaus who sadly move away from the community. However, everyone is found again by Jesus who appears to them and brings them back to the right path. Everyone except Judas! Jesus would have done the same with Judas, I’m sure… but he didn’t have the time. Judas commits suicide, in desperation because of what he did, and in complete solitude, rejected even by the Jewish priests. I believe that communion can save, right in the midst of suffering. But when a man is completely alone he is in danger, not even God can reach him and help him.
What do you say?

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  lara sacco

I feel that despite the call, some turn away in deliberate acts of defiance. This is the pride that says, ‘I don’t need God. I am sufficient on my own.’ This was Satan’s sin and I feel has its keenest expression in Judas. Whether Judas repented and was therefore forgiven, no one can say but you raise an interesting point.
We all betray Jesus at some point in our lives, maybe every day, but as long as we come back to Him and admit our faults and our need, we will be reconciled.

lara sacco
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lara sacco
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

For me what is important, then as now, is to believe that God’s forgiveness precedes us! Whatever action we do, for better or for worse.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  lara sacco

Are you saying we are forgiven even before we commit the sin? I’m not sure about that. Also what if people don’t want (or feel they don’t need) God’s forgiveness, which may be what I think you may be saying, are they saved anyway? That isn’t what I believe.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Yes SFG I agree that that is a new theological departure!

George K
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George K
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

If, as I believe, God is the source of Unconditional Love in the universe, then everyone is forgiven, if we ask for forgiveness or not, anything else would mean God is not Unconditional Love. I believe it’s just that some people do not know they are lovable and forgiven or think they do not need to be loved and forgiven. It is written God’s ways are not our ways. There was a time in my life when I believed some people had to deserve or earn my love and forgiveness. I no longer believe that. I believe God loves and forgives me because of who God is; not because of who I am or what I think or do. I believe God’s forgiveness was granted over 2,000 years ago. I believe wherever God is, it is always the present moment, for God there is no past or future, only now. (I also believe everything I believe is not true.)

spaceforgrace
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spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  George K

I sense this is more of a Protestant than a Catholic point of view. God’s ways are not our ways, but we do have the scriptures and the teachings of the church to attempt however feebly in establishing the relationship between that unconditional lover and how we draw close to Him. How can we do so except to accept and own our own human failings- that our God given free will has lead us away from garce and into sin?
I struggle with the concept that I need do nothing in order to be in a state of grace? You have admitted your pride caused you to demand certain conditions from people to ‘earn’ your love? Was not that the sin of your own pride?
I’m not asking these questions except in a spirit of honest enquiry and a need in myself to understand that every day I turn away from my loving God in myriad ways, and that God Himself in His infinte mercy accepts my sorrow and contrition for those sins He did not allow me to commit, but I chose to do so from my own inadequate will?

Noelle Clemens
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Noelle Clemens
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Thank you, SfG, especially for the last paragraph.

George K
Member
George K
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

SFG, the Prayer of St Francis starts out: “Lord, make me a channel…” I visualize that channel as a spiritual string between God and me. I sin and break the connection. Through undeserved Grace, God forgives me and re-connects with me by tying a knot in the string. The string is now shorter, and I am closer to God. One thing I am unsure about: do I have to ask God to forgive me? As I say, I do not know. I, personally, do ask for God’s forgiveness, but I do not know if it is necessary. I feel better about myself when I do; that’s the reason I ask for forgiveness. To me, the very definition of Grace is that it is a gift given without being deserved or earned. SFG, I rhetorically ask you what can I do to deserve or earn God’s Grace? My answer is: nothing. If there is something I can do to deserve or earn it, it would not be by the Grace of God but by my effort.

In my younger days, my pride caused me to require certain conditions so people would be worthy of my love. That was one of my sins. Sorta like Adam and Eve – I thought I was God. Nowadays I realize my attitude and behavior was totally ungodly. I am still a sinner in many ways, including pride. I turn away from God daily. I believe I am a spiritual being having a human experience. When I turn away from God, I turn toward my humanity, my pride or one of the other seven deadly sins, and probably even more. The thing is when I turn away from God, it is not like I’ve taken up a residence there. It is only a temporary break from God. I can repent, which to me means re-choose. Then God reconnects with me as choose to reconnect with my spiritualty rather than to my humanity. When I drive my car, many times I take a wrong turn. I can simply make another turn or two and get back on course. So it is with my sins. I think my sins are way more important to me than they are to God. What’s important to God is that we are connected. One of the constant struggles in my life is my ability to accept that I am a beloved child of God when deep down inside I see myself as a sinful child of God. That is a time when I do not think as God thinks. I think my understanding of God is very limited. It as though God were the Atlantic Ocean. My mind is a teacup. The teacup of my mind is not able to comprehend the magnificence of the Ocean that is God. I believe there is no limit to the forgiveness God has for my sins, whether by commission or omission. God understands.

SFG, I think God loves me exactly as I am. I think God knows I try to be the best person I know how to be today. I think God knows I am trying to learn how to be an even better person tomorrow. I think God knows I am a human being and not a perfect being. As you probably know I believe perfection is not an option. I used to think anything other than perfection is a sin, nowadays I believe anything other than perfection is just me being an imperfect human being. I am a sinner, but not a self-condemning sinner as I used to be.

I read one time that the Israelites thought of sin as being an archery contest and missing the target. The Greeks thought of sin as being an archery contest, missing the target, and missing the prize. I think of sin as me being in a boomerang contest, I miss the target, I miss the prize, and the boomerang comes back and injures me and those closest to me. So I try not to sin, but of course I fail.

I do not have the vocabulary to explain myself any better. In my humanity I find it easy to explain a fact; in my spirituality I find it just about impossible to explain spirituality.

Last edited 1 month ago by George K
George K
Member
George K
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

SFG, a phrase from the last sentence…” those sins He did not allow me to commit, …” I’m not sure I understand. God did not desire my sinning, but God did allow my sinning. There are times I am tempted to sin, but I think of the Presence of God and do not give in to temptation. Is that what you mean?

George K
Member
George K
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

SFG, perhaps reading chapter 7 in Paul’s letter to the Romans may shed some light about sin. I read several translations, from traditional to modern versions to get a better understanding. I do sin, but being a sinner is not what defines me, my sins merely describe what I have thought, said, or done. What defines me is what Jesus said…we are all beloved children of God, as recorded in 1 John, 3-2. Or perhaps John 1-12 may help.

George K
Member
George K
1 month ago
Reply to  George K

SFG…this is Henri Nouwen’s Daily Reflection for February 28th…

DAILY MEDITATION | FEBRUARY 28, 2024

You Belong to God

You are not what you do, although you do a lot. You are not what you have collected in terms of friendships and connections, although you might have many. You are not the popularity that you have received. You are not the success of your work. You are not what people say about you, whether they speak well or whether they speak poorly about you. All these things that keep you quite busy, quite occupied, and often quite preoccupied are not telling the truth about who you are. I am here to remind you in the name of God that you are the Beloved Daughters and Sons of God, and that God says to you, “I have called you from all eternity and you are engraved from all eternity in the palms of my hands. You are mine. You belong to me, and I love you with an everlasting love.”

Henri J. M. Nouwen

“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord for he has been good to me.” PSALM 13:5,6 (NIV)

lara sacco
Member
lara sacco
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

I think the God of Jesus is different from the God of the Old Testament .
There, he was a God who punished or rewarded believers based on their actions. the God of Jesus is the one told in Luke 15, 11-32: a merciful Father who forgives his younger son, before he confesses his mistakes… and also forgives the envy of the eldest son.
I believe that converting means abandoning ourselves to the embrace of the Father, who loves us unconditionally.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  lara sacco

How can God be different? He is the unchanged love, surely? God does not change- the same then as now and will be.

You say God punished or rewarded according to their actions, but those actions were theirs, not Gods?

I also think this is the Protestant view, and as a lifelong Catholic (no conversion for me) I can accept both the unconditional love of the Father, as well as my human need to express sorrow for my sins made by my own free will, and offensive to his infinite loving nature.
If I believe it doesn’t matter how I live my life, because God will forgive me anyway, what is the purpose of my trying to grow closer to Him and grow in grace?

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

If God loves us and we turn our backs on Him, He must be affected by our rejection of Him. Therefore He is not immutable?
Theological question…

Mark Crain
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Mark Crain
1 month ago
Reply to  lara sacco

That Jesus would have forgiven Judas is a hard pill to swallow, but I am trying.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Crain

Maybe Judas thought he was above being forgiven, like Satan? I’m not sure we should give them too much attention! All eyes on Jesus….!

Thimas@
Member
Thimas@
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Crain

Although in a way the story would not have worked out had Judas not betrayed Jesus. But I suppose Jesus would have still been arrested and killed without Judas.
I think Judas was a Siccari ( Iscariot), they were pretty hardcore anti-Roman and looking for ways to throw them out. In his way he thought that Jesus was not about to do that because he obviously misunderstood the message I guess. The disciples were a very eclectic group of people.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Thimas@

A clever Jesuit once told me that Judas was an essential part of Jesus’ mission. That our redemption would not be possible without him.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  Thimas@

I agree with you on this Thimas. Judas, like so many (maybe all?) misunderstands the message! I think Judas’ actions after he realised his folly was his real sin. He could have gone to the cross, he could have lived his life in sorrow for his sin, he could have obtained forgiveness in just three days time. He did not do this- he believed the cross was the end.

Elvira
Member
Elvira
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Crain

However, Saint Bridget, a 14th-century nun and seer, assured that in one of her visions, Jesus allowed her to ask a question about anything she wanted to know. She asked “Was Judas saved or condemned?” without knowing that the same question was asked by another seer, Saint Gertrude, a century earlier. The answer was the same: “If you knew what I had to do to save him!”.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  lara sacco

You should read ‘The Heart of the Matter’ by our great novelist Graham Greene. The main character despairs and comes close to suicide which was the greatest sin possible under the old Catholic morality. The man is saved from despair by his faith.

Judas killed himself, he didn’t have to, he could have asked forgiveness. Judas was in a very dark place but he wasn’t alone. God can always reach us.

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

As SfG says, was that the ultimate denial of God, when Judas killed himself, a type of pride, saying “I’m beyond redemption”? That was why suicides weren’t buried in sacred ground, since God had “set his canon gainst self-slaughter”, as Shakespeare’s Hamlet puts it. Things have changed now to greater general understanding, that the balance of the mind can be “disturbed”.
Psalm 139 talks of the inescapibility of God. According to the various translations He is: in the depths, in the grave, in Sheol, in hell. Plus in the heavens, or in the farthest reaches of this world. If He is everywhere, thank God for that, we only have to say “Yes” to Him
(For fascinating images of Satan’s rebellion, see Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ – “Him the Almighty power hurled headlong flaming from th’ethereal sky”, etc. I slightly hesitate to mention this, as SfG says, “All eyes on Jesus”, but, just in case…..)

Elvira
Member
Elvira
1 month ago
Reply to  Noelle Clemens

I have experienced several cases of suicide very closely. Thank God suicide is not a taboo and we can talk about it and accompany those affected.
Judas was very distressed. When he heard that Jesus had been condemned to death, (Mat 26:14-16). tried to pay back the money, but the Jewish religious leaders who paid him did not want him back, nor did they want to hear Judas’ confession that he had sinned by betraying an innocent person (Mat 27:1-4).
However, Judas’ conscience was screaming at him from his heart, so he finally could not keep the money. So he decided to throw him in the temple as he was leaving. Immediately after this, he left and committed suicide. Judas hung himself and hanged himself, which probably means he jumped from a high ledge with a rope tied around his neck. The Book of Acts supports this theory and provides us with some additional details that are quite creepy: as part of this suicide, or sometime later, Judas’ body fell and spread on the ground (Acts 1:16-18).
Today suicide has increased in our society. In the old days, suicide deaths could not be buried on sacred ground, and now they can.
Some cultures see suicide as a noble way to end our lives in specific circumstances. Highly honor-driven cultures have used it to atone for certain actions that were socially considered extremely shameful. Others see it as an acceptable way to avoid death by subjecting a person. The strictest religious Jews of the Judas era had a view of suicide similar to that of modern Christianity: suicide is an act of despair, an act of sinful rebellion that goes against God and life. It is quite tragic that Judas’ remorse would lead him to commit suicide and not to real repentance (Mat 26:24; Mc 14:21).

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
1 month ago
Reply to  Elvira

Thanks for expanding on that theme, Elvira. As Christians we believe that suicide is wrong, but of course non-believers do not share this point of view. We have had a suicide in the family, of a non-believer – and the reaction of many was “how selfish”, because of the pain it inflicts on the families. In the end we can’t claim to know how God will judge the suicide, since we’re not capable of His depths of mercy. Such a sad theme, let us pray for those who no longer find hope in their earthly lives. 🛐

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  Noelle Clemens

Life is not chosen by us- we do not choose the time, place of our births, or who we are born to. Therefore to deny yourself the fullness of your God given life by ending it at a time and in a manner chosen by you is a terrible error.

I am also of the view that suicide is the ultimate selfish act. People think me harsh, and maybe I have been lucky in my life that I know however bad things get, and however much I stray from the light, I will never choose death over life.

It is a great disease of our society that people’s lives are so unbearable that they would rather not be here.

We must pray for these people for sure, but also work to make people’s lives more meaningful in our actions, and be aware of how actions or lack of same, impact upon the lives of others.

Noelle Clemens
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Noelle Clemens
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

“…actions or lack of same”. I feel that sins of omission are sometimes greater than the sins of commission.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  Noelle Clemens

Often only realised in hindsight though, sadly.

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

True.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Tough words by modern standards SFG but I do agree with you. There are different ways of killing yourself are there not? My mother drank herself to death. I did not condone her lifestyle and she thought me hard-hearted for pulling away from her. I hated witnessing the self-destruction.😫

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

I’m sorry to read these words Chazbo. These things are so challenging to witness in loved ones- and are quite common. My son was the same for many years, but with drugs. By God’s grace he’s off them now, but who knows what the future holds? They ruined his life but he doesn’t see it.
It must have been very tough for you.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Tough yes. But now mercifully many years ago.
Thank you.

Elvira
Member
Elvira
1 month ago
Reply to  Noelle Clemens

We Catholics trust in God’s Mercy. This is fundamental to our faith. What we know about suicide from a psychological perspective today is that it is often not a free choice, but is most often the result of depression, mental illness or emotional weakness.
What does the Catholic Church consider a mortal sin that can destroy the relationship of one with God?
For something to be mortal sin, (1) the matter must be a serious matter that violates a commandment of God or a teaching of Christ and His Church, (2) a person must know that it is a serious matter, and finally (3) a person must choose freely, without hindrance, to commit sin. These elements must be fulfilled for a mortal sin to be committed.
If a person commits suicide with these three elements, even if one or all are present, in the mind or heart of the victim, the eternal hope can still exist after suicide. I believe that the true inner freedom of the that person’s moral guilt must have been affected to carry out such a desperate act. Therefore, with moral probability, the action of a person by committing suicide may not be a mortal sin to his eternal soul, although tragic in the case of suicide.
The Catholic Church does not teach that those who commit suicide always go to hell. Rather, we entrust them to the Divine Mercy of God, with the hope and belief that the Divine mercy of God is greater than a weakened, defective or impaired decision of a suicide victim.

Last edited 1 month ago by Elvira
Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
1 month ago
Reply to  Elvira

Beautifully put, Elvira. The mercy of the Lord is way more profound than we can comprehend, thanks be to God. It is not up to us to say at what point people may be forgiven and saved – it may be in the last moments of life, or even after death. In the book of the Revelation, Jesus promises: “Behold, I make all things new”. We can trust this promise to apply to all His creatures, according to His will, and in His good time.
Have just got back from our house group, our newest member is 84 yrs old, isn’t that great!

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  Elvira

Abolutely Elvira! This was the real sin of Judas- yes, the other disciples may have betrayed him too, but they allowed God’s grace to work though their sin and produce incredible fruit. Judas didn’t, end of!

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Well said!

Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

A nice observation Chazbo that I missed.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago

This is one of the big lessons that Jesus imparts during his life here on Earth. What he says is revolutionary and thus ensures that his message will never be extinguished.
I think we Christians can take comfort from this when we read about the rapid decline of our faith in the western world – the faith will not die.
There are parts of the world where Christianity thrives and those people will keep the fire burning.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

I forgot the capital Hs in my post.

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