Articles by Al Mansfield

THE BATTLE IS AROUND THE KING

Of the 193 countries in the world that are members of the UN, some 26 of them are monarchies. In the US we are not very familiar with kings, queens, and royalty except for, like, Carnival krewes! In 1925, however, Pope Pius XI established the feast that is now known as the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This was his attempt to address and combat the rampant secularism of his times. How much worse that is today and therefore how much more do we need Christ the King today!

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TIMES AND SEASONS

Perhaps you have heard that the seasons in and around New Orleans run something like this: King Cake Season, Carnival Season, Friday Fish Fry Season, Festival Season, Hurricane Season, Football Season and Holiday Season! We humans live by seasons, but the Lord has his “times and seasons” as well. The Church prays at the Paschal Vigil during the blessing of the Paschal Candle: “All time belongs to him and all the ages.” God’s timing is indeed interesting, especially when we can somehow detect a confluence or pattern in God’s plan. It is interesting to look at the 20th century to see the unfolding of God’s plan.

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DID THE LORD JESUS COMPLAIN?

It is difficult to picture the Lord Jesus complaining. However, as I read the gospels, I keep coming across a rather consistent complaint of his. Hint: it has to do with faith, or more specifically, the lack of faith. I did a rough count and found about ten passages in which Jesus scolded the disciples for having “little faith,” “no faith,” or “their unbelief.” One time he asked them pointedly, “Where is your faith?” In his own home town, Jesus was amazed (and not in a good way!) at their lack of faith and “did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief” (Matt. 13:58). Even after he rose from the dead, Jesus appeared to the eleven apostles and rebuked them for their “unbelief and hardness of heart” (Mark 16:14). Jesus spoke of many things, but it certainly seems that the topic of faith was of tremendous importance.

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THE WORD OF GOD: IGNORE AT YOUR OWN PERIL!

I remember Christmas Eve 1976. Why? Because there are photos of me trying to put together a toy motorcycle for our first child. I guess I didn’t pay (sufficient) attention to the assembly instructions because the front wheel somehow ended up on top of the handlebars! I also remember taking trips when I didn’t pay (sufficient) attention to the driving directions. I either got hopelessly lost or ended up at a completely different destination. Some of us have to learn the hard way that instructions, directions, rules and laws are there for a reason. This is all the more the case when it comes to God’s word in Sacred Scripture. It is a gift to teach us the truths of what to believe and how to live. We ignore it at our own peril.

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“HEY, FRIEND, DO YOU STILL LOVE JESUS?”

The voice was uncomfortably loud and came from someone behind him in line at the airport. “Hey, Pepe, do you still love Jesus?” Evangelist and Bible teacher Jose (Pepe) Prado Flores turned to face a rather imposing woman who asked him yet again, more loudly than before, “Pepe, do you still love Jesus?” Pepe answered, perhaps in self-defense, “Yes!”  The woman, who was actually an old friend and fellow evangelist, just nodded and said, “Good, good!”, and proceeded on her way. Pepe says he has encountered her several times since then, and always heard the same question: “Hey, Pepe, do you still love Jesus?”

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Articles by Patti Mansfield

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Articles by Alex Lorio

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