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FAST FOOD (2014)

Again,

We adore God Who is love, who in Jesus Christ gave Himself for us, Who offered Himself on the Cross to expiate our sins, and through the power of this love, rose from the dead and lives in His Church. We have no God other than Him!

(Pope Francis, 6/21/14)

The general question around which these FAST FOOD Helpings for the 2014 Forty Day Fast for the Truth of Gospel Nonviolence has revolved is not, "Does Jesus save?" but rather, "How does Jesus save?" The answer given, employing the words of Rev. John L. McKenzie, is Jesus saves by Christlike love:

The power, which destroys all other powers, is the power of love, the love of God revealed and active in Jesus Christ. God revealed in Jesus that He loves man and will deliver him through love and through nothing else. The saving act of Jesus is an act of love of the type which He recommends in the Gospels. He loves God by loving His fellow men. The enduring presence of the power which entered the world in the incarnation enabled man in any condition to live the life of Jesus and to continue in his own person the love which is the saving act. The resurrection is the climax of the saving act. But, man is not ready for love. He never has been. Yet, it is the one enduring reality in the created world, and in it man achieves enduring reality and value. Jesus presents in His words and life not only a good way of doing things, not only an ideal to be executed whenever it is convenient, but the only way of doing what He did.

The remainder of all FAST FOOD Helpings is then given over to elucidating, explaining, clarifying that it is by those He has chosen to be His disciples trustfully entering into the process of participating in this saving act, that the salvation of Israel, of each unique individual and of all humanity is ultimately concluded. Participation in the saving of act of love as defined by Jesus’ words and deeds is participation in a moral revolution. This is why He says that for a person to follow in His Way, he or she must die to himself or herself or deny himself or herself. "Die" and "deny" are pretty strong descriptive words that denote something significantly more than a slight alteration in thought and in behavior. They are words that envision a moral revolution.

But, Jesus’ teaching is infinitely more than a mere moral statement about right and wrong. As the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the world, He has "the words of eternal life" (Jn 6:68).

If a morality based on reason and nature is the supreme morality of which human beings are capable and it is able to deliver humanity from perpetual enslavement to evil, sin, suffering and death, then there is no need for a Messiah, the Incarnation or any other avenue of Divine revelation communicating God’s Will and Way to humanity. There is no need for a Savior. Humanity or the individual human being can save himself or herself. But that fact is that neither humanity nor the individual person can save themselves by living in conformity with a moral code based on reason and nature. Why? Because whatever is deduced by reason from nature as a code of moral conduct is deduced from nature by a corrupted consciousness of extremely limited vision, not in its original state of holiness and righteousness, and obscured by personal desires, the ever present orientations and inclinations of concupiscence. The Way of Jesus the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world is a Way of revolutionary revelation designed by God. It is not a way of reasonable deductions derived from a perception of a scintilla of nature.

So, now, the issues of how Jesus saves and why human beings and humanity need a Savior have been addressed. But, how does it work? Most of the seventy billion human beings, homo sapiens sapiens, who have lived and died never heard of the Nonviolent Jesus and His Way and His saving act of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies. How can they be saved by Jesus with the cooperation of those He chooses to be Baptized into Him, to put on the Christ and to trustfully follow His Way by trying to "love as He loves?" I don’t know!

Jesus does not tell humanity how evil ultimately works at root. He does not give humanity a philosophy of evil. He does not even tell humanity how to cope with evil. He tells humanity only how to overcome evil—and that is by loving as He loves, as the God, who is love, loves. If one is spiritually assiduous one can see here and there how Christic love freely chosen does conquer evil in a particular situation. But how it conquers evil per se, the terrible and universal dynamic that haunts every nook and cranny of human existence, on this matter Jesus says not a word. So in trusting faith, emmunah faith, in Him, we have to take His word that it does. The metaphysical mechanism by which Jesus’ act of saving love conquers evil, and each Christian’s choice of such an act of love results in the salvation of all, are beyond description in human language because they take place beyond the domain to which human beings—and hence their languages—have access while living their lives on earth.

But within the realm in which language can authentically communicate, this much can be said. The saving act of love that is incarnated in, taught by and lived by Jesus and mediated to humanity through Jesus is a love that has within it the power of God, indeed God is within it, because the reality God is simply one with His love. It is the infinite mystery of the power of the almighty and eternal God within that act of Christlike love that makes any chosen act of Christlike love salvifically efficacious and of eternally enduring value. It is the living Almighty Eternal I AM, who is love, present in the chosen act that makes it an act that saves, an act of participating in the process of the eternal salvation of one and all.

It was on this day, August 9, in 1942, that Saint Edith Stein (St. Teresia Benedicta a Cruce) was murdered by Christians at Auschwitz. On August 9, 1943, Christians in Berlin murdered Blessed Franz Jagerstatter. August 9, 1945, was the day that a Christian B-29 crew, lead by a Catholic man from Boston, murdered forty thousand people, mostly Christians, in Nagasaki. All of the Christians, who did all of this murdering on this date, believed that they were good Christian doing their duty for God and country. And there was no one in the power elites of any of their Churches that communicated to them anything different.

The photograph above is of the melted rosary of Midori Moriyama Nagai, which she had with her at 11:02 A.M. when the people of Nagasaki were cremated alive by a plutonium atomic bomb. Her melted rosary was all that was left of her at 11:03 A.M.

Midori was born into an ancient Japanese Catholic family, the Moriyamas. The family for about 265 years were kakure kirishitan, "hidden Christians," who lived secret Christian lives because for this time span (1600-1865) Christianity was an outlawed religion in Japan with torture and death being the consequences of being a Christian. Historically the Moriyamas were the traditional leaders of the kakure kirishitan for seven generations. Midori was fundamentally a mother of a family, although she did lead her future husband, Takashi Nagai, who after the war was known as the "Gandhi of Japan" into Christianity. Except for a small segment of Japanese Catholicism, she, like all those Christians who were murdered by Christians 30,000 feet above them on August 9, 1945, is all but unknown to history and the rest of humanity.

The first atomic bomb in the history of the world was detonated on July 16, 1945, at Trinity Site, deep in the New Mexico desert. It was a plutonium bomb. Major Charles Sweeney, a Catholic man, later to become Major General Charles Sweeney, was the pilot of the plane that dropped the second plutonium bomb ever made on the second civilian population to ever be incinerated by an atomic bomb, Nagasaki. On the 59th anniversary, July 16, 2004, of the explosion of that first plutonium atomic bomb at Trinity Site, Charles Sweeney died in a Boston Hospital.

So now two Christians, Midori Moriyama Nagai and Charles Sweeney, who in this life never came closer to each other than 30,000 feet on August 9, 1945, meet face to face, the murderer and the murdered, in the eternal life in which they both believed. How does the act of saving love by Jesus or subsequent acts of saving love by His disciples save in this situation? Or how does it make any difference when Edith Stein meets her murderers? Or, Franz Jagerstatter his? Or the other 39,999 people murdered at Nagasaki meet Charles Sweeney? I don’t know! What about when Hitler or Stalin or Churchill or "Bomber" Harris meet those upon whom they poured down unrelenting suffering and death? I don’t know!

What I believe is that the Nonviolent Jesus of Nazareth, who teaches by word and deed a Way of Nonviolent Love of friend and enemies as the Will of God, and as the Way God designed to save and restore humanity to the fullness of life forever, is emmunah-worthy. Of course I cannot syllogistically prove my faith in Jesus is God’s choice to be the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of all humanity. I cannot logically prove that Jesus and His Way are worthy of emmunah. Faith by definition cannot be proved, even the faith of the atheist. All that it is possible to offer to anyone by way of justifying faith in the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels who teaches a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies is to suggest that he or she ruminate on and savor, these forty FAST FOOD Helpings and the Person and the Gospels that are their source. The only possible "proof "of the truth of this faith is to encourage a person seeking proof, seeking the truth, that he or she pray to God for clarity of mind and spirit, and then "taste and see" if this is not the Way, the only Way— for oneself to be freed—and to participate in freeing humanity from the chains of evil, sin, suffering and death forever.

Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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Again,

We adore God Who is love, who in Jesus Christ gave Himself for us, Who offered Himself on the Cross to expiate our sins, and through the power of this love, rose from the dead and lives in His Church. We have no God other than Him!

(Pope Francis, 6/21/14)

"Jesus is the Messiah of Judaism and He can only be understood as the Messiah of Judaism," states Rev. John L. McKenzie. Jews do not believe Jesus is the Messiah of Judaism. But, the same New Testament that presents Jesus as Nonviolent and His Way as being a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies also maintains He is the Messiah of Judaism and He can only be understood as the Messiah of Judaism. The New Testament is not part of Hebrew Scriptures, so the fact that Jesus is designated the Messiah of Israel in these texts carries no spiritual authority for the Jewish people. Their understanding and faith is as stated by Moses Maimonides (d.1204) in the twelfth of his thirteen principles of faith: "I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even though he may delay, nevertheless I anticipate every day that he will come." Some Christians, however, believe that the Messiah of Judaism has come and He is the Nonviolent Jesus of Nazareth, who teaches as God’s Will a Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies. Should it not then be that these Christians who embrace the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels should regularly pray that Judaism come to see and accept the Nonviolent Jesus of Nazareth as the Nonviolent Messiah of Israel?

I am not suggesting that Constantinian Christians, who quantitatively compose most of what is named Christianity, regularly pray that Jews become Christian, that Jews should accept any of the institutional Churches of Christianity as something into which they should enter. I am saying that much like the "either-or" issues of whether monotheism, i.e., the one God, is violent or nonviolent, or whether the Jesus of the Gospels is violent or nonviolent, the issue of whether the Nonviolent Jesus is the Nonviolent Messiah of Israel is an "either-or" issue. If Judaism cannot be what it was chosen by God to be—cannot accomplished the mission for which it was created by God to accomplish—unless it accepts the Nonviolent Jesus as God’s chosen Nonviolent Messiah, why would not a believer in Nonviolent Jesus as the Nonviolent Messiah of Israel pray that such an acceptance would occur?

Admittedly, the violent, brutal, power riddled, enmity-saturated Constantinian Churches, that have systematically tormented and destroyed Jewish people for centuries, are institutions that Jewish people should be a leery of in the extreme. The historical record makes clear that such Churches always have their finger on the trigger, and that the direction they fire in support of one day is the direction they can fire on the next day. But, for Jews to accept the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels as God’s choice to be the Messiah of Israel, proclaiming a Way of Nonviolent love of all, friends and enemies, as the Way to restore Israel, humanity and each person to their right relationship with God would be an entirely different choice for Jews to make. For disciples of the Nonviolent Jesus to pray for this acceptance, would not be praying for Jews to become part of the institutional Constantinian Church.

The salvation of Israel and through Israel of humanity is, like war, ultimately a God question. It is a question of what kind of God is God, and what does God expect of those to whom He has given existence?

The last and highest of Jesus’ pronouncements is that of love of enemies…’Love your enemies’ in its fundamental meaning is deeply bound-up with Jewish faith and at the same time transcends it.

—Martin Buber

Jesus transformed the idea of Messiah when He fulfilled it. The total reality of Jesus Messiah is found nowhere in the Old Testament, not even in its totality. Jesus, however, could have emerged from nothing except Israel and the Old Testament. It is remarkable when one reflects that only as the Savior of Israel can Jesus be recognized.

—John L. McKenzie

Emmanuel Charles McCarthy
(To be continued)

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Again,

We adore God Who is love, who in Jesus Christ gave Himself for us, Who offered Himself on the Cross to expiate our sins, and through the power of this love, rose from the dead and lives in His Church. We have no God other than Him!

(Pope Francis, 6/21/14)

As I was saying in the prior FAST FOOD Helping, lest it be thought that it was being suggested that—attacking, de-legitimizing, questioning, mocking, humiliating, denying and annihilating of a possible Nonviolent Messiah, e.g., Jesus—is a level of darkness to which only the religious and political power-people of Jerusalem in the AD 33 could fall in their lust for power, and in their desire to protect and enhance their positions of dominative power, and in their determination to hang on to the psychological and physical gratuities that attach themselves to such positions—consider the institutional Constantinian Churches over the last 1700 years.

What the religious and political power classes of these Churches—Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant—have done historically and are doing presently to the Nonviolent Messiah, Jesus, whom they not only proclaim is the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the World, but whom they also proclaim is God Incarnate, equals in spiritual darkness what the Jewish Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, Temple priests and their Roman power-accomplices did to Jesus.

Since "Messiah" is a category of Jewish thought and since "Jesus is the Messiah of Judaism and can only be understood as the Messiah of Judaism" (J. L. McKenzie, Thirty-Fifth Helping), the most telling question a Jew can place before a Christian is, "If Jesus is the redeemed, why doesn’t the world look more redeemed?" The most common response given by Christians at a popular level is the old chestnut from Chesterton: "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried." Talk about "being foisted by your own petard!"

Not trying to implement what the Messiah taught as the Will and Way of God for the Jew could only result from not believing that this is the Messiah speaking or from choosing to do evil, i.e., deciding not to do the Will of God. Since the faith of the Jews, and that includes Jesus, is an emmunah-faith, "total trust and reliance on God, where one shows trust through actions," and not pisitis-faith, "a more intellectual belief in the cognitive truth of something," to say I believe Jesus is the Messiah and then leave untried what He said, would either be nuts or evil. When God or God’s Messiah speaks, to try to do what is communicated is the "imperative of imperatives." In other words the "do as I say, and not as I do" proclamation of Jesus Messiah and His Way has as little credibility among emmunah-faith Jews, yesterday and today, as it would have had little credibility for Jesus. This is why the most employed verb by Jesus in the Gospels is "do."

To not do what God is communicating by His Word through His Messiah would be sin, if a person believed that what was said was God’s Word. But to believe something is the Word of God and then perform an Orwellian double-speak lobotomy on it and make it into the opposite of what it unequivocally means would be an abomination. To then spread this lobotomized Word as the true Word of God would be wickedness that matches what was done in Jerusalem on Good Friday in AD 33. It would be attempting to destroy God’s Plan for the salvation of Israel and for the salvation of all humanity as conveyed through God’s choice of a Messiah. It would be killing the messenger to kill the message that one does not want to hear or to be heard. This is about as evil as evil can get because it is not only flying in the face of God, it is also depriving Israel and humanity of the only Way out of the otherwise "no exit" world of evil, sin, suffering and death.

Why is the Nonviolent Jesus’ teaching of the Way of Nonviolent Love of all, friends and enemies, "left untried," to use the words of G. K. Chesterton? The primary—if not exclusive responsibility for this—lies with the Churches' power people, rulers, leaders and those who control the Churches’ wealth and communication avenues. They are the human beings who are primarily responsible for not allowing the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies to be born in the minds of Christians, and if born, to mature in the minds of Christians. And, if somehow the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels is born and matures in the minds of Christians, the religious power-holders will do all in their earthly power to kill the thought and make sure it is never resurrected.

Daily they crucify Jesus in the minds of those in their Churches by means of attacking Him as unrealistic, by de-legitimizing Him as a Utopian idealist, by questioning the exclusive absoluteness of His spiritual and moral authority, by mocking His teaching as absurd in the real world, by humiliating Him by belittling the teaching He faithfully lived unto His own torture and death, by denying that His teaching is for all who choose to be Baptized, and generally, by annihilating all conscious thought about Him as the Messiah of Nonviolent Love of all under all conditions, even unto death.

Thoughts that people never hear, or if heard are relegated by trivialization to a state of preposterousness, are thoughts that people cannot choose or will not choose. Information control has always been a tactic of those driven by the lust for power, if a piece of information will raise serious questions about them and what they are about. But in this case it is information needed for their salvation, for the salvation of Israel and for the salvation of all humanity, that is airbrushed out, that is systematically century after centuries withheld from human beings who have a need and a right to hear it—and to hear it properly presented.

One can kill the messenger in various ways, thereby assuring that the message never gets to the ears of those who need and/or want to hear it. Contemporary examples of the use of this tactic by power people abound. But, when the message is the Word of God inviting people into God’s Way of removing evil, sin, suffering and death from the human condition for all, as well as God’s Way of inviting human beings into eternal communion with the Holy One—killing it by refusing to let it be heard or killing it by lobotomizing it—is the maximal evil in which religious leaders can engage, whether in Jerusalem in AD 33 or in Rome, Constantinople, Canterbury or Geneva in AD 2014.

Emmanuel Charles McCarthy
(To be continued)

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