Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

Gerhard Gellinger | Pixabay.com

A few days after Easter, I was resting in my in-laws basement in Gettysburg, watching a 2015 re-run of Last Man Standing‘s Christmas episode.

Tim Allen’s character sent his two son-in-laws off to set up the Nativity scene.  Ryan, Allen’s Left-wing son-in-law, convinced Boyd, the shows lovable air-head, to create something that was multicultural, which wouldn’t often “Jews, Muslims, and Zoroastrians.”

Together, they created the “New-tivity Scene” — an empty creche with a sign that read “put your God here.”

Ironically, no place is more “multicultural” than America — and nothing say “America” more than the Nativity scene.

Think about it.

First, speaking of Zoroastrians, the Magi were priests from the East — and possibly Zoroastrians. Mary and Joseph were undoubtedly Jewish parents, as were all the Shepherds.  The baby grew up to become  one of the revered prophets of Islam — and his mother is revered universally by Muslims.

And on that Holy Night, though the Holy Family technically were not yet refugees or homeless — (they had a home in Nazareth) — they were immigrants, as are most Americans.

Further, they were definitely not a traditional family.

With all-due respect to the Holy Mother, she did not plan her pregnancy — just like many American women today.  However, she accepted her predicament giving women throughout history a blessed example to follow.  And Joseph, her husband, was not Jesus’ father; he was His step-father.  I had a step-dad, as do so many of us today.

Because of the love I had for my father in heaven — my biological father in Heaven, that is, I didn’t make my step-dad’s role easy.  However, I can’t image my life today without his wisdom and guidance.

Nearly everybody was represented at the Nativity — except the powers of the world.

The Nativity offers the birth of Freedom: The Freedom of Religion; the Freedom from Want; the Freedom of Worship; Freedom from Fear.

There’s nothing more American than that!



James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.



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Once forgiven, I can still remember my sins — but God cannot!

There are several passages in the Bible that shows how deeply God’s mercy goes. Here at two:

Isaiah 43:25 says, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”  Hebrews 10:17–18 says,  ‘Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.’ And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.”

Obviously, God is all-knowing.

However, He chooses to not just forgive, but to forget our transgressions.


James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.


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“Wow, you are Blessed.  You are truly Blessed.”

I’m sure you’ve heard that say or have stated it yourself.

Personally, I’ve described my life as being “Blessed.”  And often, when I take account of my life — my wife, my children; my job — I truly feel “Blessed” … but am I?

The Gospels are pretty clear on what it is to be “Blessed”. The text of St. Matthew runs as follows:

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

So, do you still believe that you’re “Blessed”?


James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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The daffodils that my sons and I planted last fall just started to break through the ground … then the Winter Storm Stella hit dropping over two feet of snow on those budding bulbs extending winter, just as Punxsutawney Phil predicted.

It reminded me of sermon I heard when I was a kid after a very similar late season storm.

That year, the winter was unseasonably warm and the birds, which had began their Spring migration North, got caught off guard.

Standing at the podium, my pastor lamented about trying to save a flock of Canada geese in his yard that were now in jeopardy due to the bitter cold.

“I opened up my garage door and tried to corral the geese inside — to safety,” he said. “The harder I tried, the more the geese ignored me.

“I kept shouting, ‘Don’t you know, I’m trying to save you.’ But they just wouldn’t listen,” he explained. “I must’ve been out their for 30 minutes.

“Finally, I gave up,” he sighed. “As I stood in the garage, I thought ‘If I could only become a goose. I could tell them that I was trying to save them.’ And then it hit me….

“God became human.

“That’s why He became one of us.

“To talk directly to us. To tell us directly that he’s trying to save us.”

Now, all we have to do is start listening.


James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.


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Source: Geralt | Pixabay

My Dad died way too young. Ironically, I was the same exact age when it was discovered that I had nodules on the lung. The alignment was interstitial, so doctor’s suspected lung cancer. (It was not.) Still, the disease was rare, non-specific, and I underwent six months of treatment.

Miraculously, I have no signs of it today. Not even scares on my lungs.

When then the doctor gave me the news, he appeared dumbfounded. He became even more perplexed by what he translated as a sense of disappointment.

“Damn,” I sighed.
“Are you okay?” he asked with concern.
“Oh yes,” I said with a smile as I look up at him. “But I’ve been praying to* John Paul, who needs another miracle to be a Saint, but I also used Brother Andre oil and water from Lourdes, given to me by a former student — so I don’t know who to attribute the miracle too. John Paul? Brother Andre? Or Our Lady of Lourdes.”

Needless to say, my physician looked at me as if I was insane.

Regardless, at the time, though I was married and had an established career, I felt like I had much life left — and much more to accomplish. Maybe that’s why there was so much sadness at my Dad’s wake and funeral.

He seemed in good-health. He was strong. He loved life. He had also given so much — to his family, to his community — but he still had so much more to give.

To all who attended his funeral — and there were many, my father’s death was a tremendous loss, a great tragedy.

So, Why Did Jesus Die in His Thirties?

To make sense of it all, Msgr. Charles Pope,the author who first proposed this question in title, immediately quoted St. Thomas Aquinas.

Christ willed to suffer while yet young, for three reasons. First of all, to commend the more His love by giving up His life for us when He was in His most perfect state of life. Secondly, because it was not becoming for Him to show any decay of nature nor to be subject to disease …. Thirdly, that by dying and rising at an early age Christ might exhibit beforehand in His own person the future condition of those who rise again. Hence it is written (Ephesians 4:13), “Until we all meet into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ” (Summa Theologica III, 46, 9 ad 4).

So, Why Did Jesus Die in His Thirties?

Christ died in the prime of his life to make His death, on the surface, a tremendous loss, a great tragedy, in turn, making it a greater sacrifice.


James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.



When Catholics say we are praying to a saint we really mean through or with.  Just like you may ask a friend to pray for you, we believe in the Communion of Saints, our brothers and sisters in Christ who are in Heaven.   So, we are literally saying “John Paul, can you pray for me today”.   The answer to that prayer (a miracle) is our proof that they are indeed in Heaven.  If your in Heaven, you are a Saint, regardless whether your name is John Paul, Padre Pio, Mother Theresa — or Chuck.

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Most American Christians believe that all Christians celebrate Easter on the same day. In fact, last year, 2016, one of the U.S. presidential candidates, wrote this:

This weekend, Christians of every denomination remember the most transformative event in history – Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection – the ultimate sacrifice that redeemed the whole world.

The fact is not every Christian denomination remembers Christ’s resurrection on the same Sunday. In fact, last year, for the majority of Americans, we celebrated Easter on March 27th.  However, our Orthodox brothers and sisters, celebrated the resurrection in May. (May 1st to be exact.)

This Easter both Church traditions will celebrate a unified Easter in the first time in years.

So, why are there two Easters?

Historically, the early Church did not have a set date for Easter.  In fact, not every Christian remembered Christ’s resurrection on Sunday.

The Catholic Encyclopedia informs us, that according to Irenaeus, “St. Polycarp, who like the other Asiatics, kept Easter on the fourteenth day of the moon, whatever day of the week that might be, following therein the tradition which he claimed to have derived from St. John the Apostle, came to Rome c. 150 about this very question, but could not be persuaded by Pope Anicetus to relinquish his Quartodeciman observance.”[1]


After that controversy ended, the Catholic Encyclopedia states that:

“…the second stage in the Easter controversy centers round the Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325). Granted that the great Easter festival was always to be held on a Sunday, and was not to coincide with a particular phase of the moon, which might occur on any day of the week, a new dispute arose as to the determination of the Sunday itself. The text of the decree of the Council of Nicaea which settled, or at least indicated a final settlement of, the difficulty has not been preserved to us, but we have an important document inserted in Eusebius’s “Life of Constantine” (III, xviii sq.). The emperor himself, writing to the Churches after the Council of Nicaea, exhorts them to adopt its conclusions and says among other things: “At this meeting the question concerning the most holy day of Easter was discussed, and it was resolved by the united judgment of all present that this feast ought to be kept by all and in every place on one and the same day. . . in the city of Rome and in Africa, throughout Italy and in Egypt. . . with entire unity of judgment.” [2]

As already stated, we don’t have the exact words of the great council, but we may safely infer from scattered notes that the council ruled:

  • that Easter must be celebrated by all throughout the world on the same Sunday;
  • that this Sunday must follow the fourteenth day of the paschal moon;
  • that that moon was to be accounted the paschal moon whose fourteenth day followed the spring equinox;
  • that some provision should be made, probably by the Church of Alexandria as best skilled in astronomical calculations, for determining the proper date of Easter and communicating it to the rest of the world.

This was not a perfect solution. But it appears, by 525 AD all the Christian communities of the world were celebrating the Resurrection of Our Lord on the same Sunday.

So, what happened?

Why do Russian and Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter or Pascha, on one Sunday and everybody else celebrates the Resurrection of Our Lord on another Sunday?

Well, the Gregorian calendar happened — kinda.

According to Wiki: The Gregorian calendar, also called the Western calendar and the Christian calendar, is internationally the most widely used civil calendar. It is named for Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582.

Wiki states: The calendar was a refinement to the Julian calendar amounting to a 0.002% correction in the length of the year. The motivation for the reform was to bring the date for the celebration of Easter to the time of the year in which it was celebrated when it was introduced by the early Church. Because the celebration of Easter was tied to the spring equinox, the Roman Catholic Church considered the steady drift in the date of Easter caused by the year being slightly too long to be undesirable. The reform was adopted initially by the Catholic countries of Europe. Protestants and Eastern Orthodox countries continued to use the traditional Julian calendar and adopted the Gregorian reform after a time, for the sake of convenience in international trade. The last European country to adopt the reform was Greece, in 1923.

Blah, blah, blah-blah, blaaaah!

However, the Orthodox Church vigorously opposes the use of the Gregorian calendar, writes Fr. Jon Magoulias, a Greek-Orthodox priest at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Modesto, California.

This, he informs us, resulted in the West and East celebrating all Church feast days on different dates, the Orthodox celebrations always falling thirteen days behind the Western. [3]

In 1923, Fr. Jon Magoulias continued, an inter-Orthodox congress was held in Constantinople attended by representatives of some, but not all, Orthodox churches. This congress made the very controversial decision to follow a revised calendar that was essentially the same as the Gregorian calendar, for all things except the celebration of Pascha, which continued to be calculated according to the original Julian calendar. The result being that today the Orthodox celebrate most feast days, like Christmas, Epiphany and the rest, at the same time as Western Christians and only Pascha and the feast days that are connected with it like Pentecost and the Ascension, are dated according to the Julian calendar and celebrated on different dates. [4]

Fr. Magoulias stated that for Orthodox, it is important to maintain the teachings and traditions of the Church intact and pure [5] — and I would argue, for Catholics, this applies as well.

But remember, I said the problem was that “the Gregorian calendar happened — kinda.” Well, the kinda is kinda important.

Well, Catholics believe Easter Sunday formula handed down bythe First Ecumenical Council, held in Nicea in 325 AD is: The first Sunday which occurs after the first full moon (or more accurately after the first fourteenth day of the moon) following the vernal equinox. For Orthodox Christians, the formula is this: Pascha is to be celebrated on the first Sunday, after the first full moon, following the first day of Spring (March 21 on the Julian calendar), but always after Jewish Passover — and that’s the kinda that makes all the difference!

Because of this difference, Christians celebrate the most Holiest of our Holy days on different days. By doing this, it appears to me, that we are acting more like they who divided His garments by casting lots than those followers who near the cross of Jesus stood.

Personally, I think holding on to the tradition of the Julian calendar is a bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face. We know it was an inaccurate measuring tool. It’s definitely not Divine. So, why continue to use it?

I understand that Orthodoxy can also point to Canon VII of the Holy Apostles to counter any argument against the Julian calendar.

For those unfamiliar, Canon VII states: If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon celebrate the holy day of Easter before the vernal equinox with the Jews, let him be deposed. However, in the same breath, Canons XLV and LVX of the Holy Apostles respectively state: “Let any Bishop, or Presbyter, or deacon that merely joins in prayer with heretics be suspended, but if he had permitted them” and “If any clergymen, or laymen, enter a synagogue of Jews, or of heretics, to pray, let him be both deposed and excommunicated.”

To that I ask: “How close are these Canons adhered to today by Orthodox clergymen or laymen alike today?” (For the record: My Lutheran wife and I often hold hands in prayer and my kid’s dojo is held in the hall of a synagogue. Just saying.)

Now, I would never ask anyone to compromise their beliefs, but there has to be some wiggle room here. It’s also not my intent is not to pick on our Orthodox brothers and sisters — alone.

To Catholics, I ask you to answer this: Is there 100% certainty that you got the Easter formula correct? It appears that the formula was never written down. Even the Colonel’s fried chicken recipe and secret recipe for Coca Cola are written down somewhere. And since even the followers of the Apostle John got the formula wrong and later adjusted their practice, maybe we can conclude our date formula for Easter does not meet the standard of “an infallible Church teaching”?


The Good News (pun intended): This year, Christians of every denomination will remember the most transformative event in history – Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection – uno die et uno tempore per omnem orbem.

The bad news is this isn’t going to happen again until 2034!  We need to change this.  Unfortunately, there’s only one person who can initiate this change: Pope Francis.

Source: Günther Simmermacher | Pixaby

Here’s several ways you can address a letter to him.

  • His Holiness, Pope Francis PP. / 00120 Via del Pellegrino / Citta del Vaticano
  • His Holiness Pope Francis / Apostolic Palace / Vatican City
  • His Holiness Pope Francis / Vatican City State, 00120

Do not write “Italy” on the envelop as the country. The Vatican is considered its own independent nation

If we don’t unify now, after 2017, Christians will not celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus the Christ on the same day and at the same time throughout the world until 2034. Maybe that’s why the enemy is having such an easy time as of late. Think about it.

Kalo Pascha 2017!


James Henry is also the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul and the new bDobkowskiook series Hail Mary. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com

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Source: Wokandapix | Pixabay

Have you ever been called out in Church?

Well, I have — and I’m not talking about being called to witness or lead to an altar call.  I mean literally singled out by your priest or pastor in the middle the Church sermon!

“Where’s Jim?” my pastor shouted after awkwardly pausing in the midst of his homily.

Before services, as my wife and I were signing our children up for Religious Ed classes, I questioned my pastor if he could give me the inside scoop on the weekly sermon question.  (Each week he would start his sermon with a question.)

This Sunday, he was grumpy and cross. Long story short, he had a bad week — which included what he described as “the wedding from Hell” and, for the first time in weeks, did not prepare a question for this week’s homily.

For full disclosure, I needled him for a’bit which only seemed to make him even more grumpy. So, it seemed, he was now getting even when he called me out!

“As you know, every week I ask a question and Jim asked me before Church if I had a question today. Well, I don’t,” he continued as he marched down the center aisle in my direction. “So, where is he? He usually sits way in the back.”

Finally, he found me.

“There you are,” he sniped. “Here’s my question: Can God do everything?”
I had a feeling it was a set up, but I gave the standard answer anyway.
“Yes, He can,” I boldly replied, though internally I was wishing I could hide.
“Well then, could He make a rock so big that He couldn’t pick it  up?” he asked, then quickly moved back up the aisle, like a boxer heading to a neutral corner after landing a knockout punch.

If Christians could curse, I surely would’ve let a few fly that day in Church. Oh, wait. Thanks to Tim Hawkins, Christians can cuss — if we use the right words.

Shut the front door! You bleeping fart-knocking son of a motherless goat!”  Now I feel better!  Too bad I didn’t have that comeback prepared back then.

Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling very Christian for the remainder of the homily. For the next 40 minutes, I prayed for God to change my heart, by it was little or no use.  I was still pissed off as the Collect exited the pews.

As I left the Church, I slowed as I approached the exit where my pastor cheerfully greeted parishioners as they went forth.

With each step, I prayed and prayed not to seek vengeance or retribution.

“That’s what I get for listening to your homilies,” I joked — or at least tried to the best of my ability.
“Yes,” he laughed seemingly ignorant to the fact that I was brooding.

Funny how God works.

Though memorable for all the wrong reasons, that experience has turned out to be one of the most fruitful in my Christian formation.

Regardless of whether or not God can or cannot make a rock He cannot lift, we learn from scripture, most certainly, that God can NOT do everything.

God cannot be unjust (Hebrews 6:10). God cannot be disorder (1 Cor. 14:33). God cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13)

Above all, the Triune God cannot contradict Himself.

As R.C. Sproul writes, “If contradiction and truth could exist side by side, we would be left with a God whom we could never know or trust. If He did, we could not believe what He says or know how to follow Him.”

So, no God can’t do everything — and isn’t that a most wonderful thing!

James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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