What if God was one of us? Some answers to questions of Joan Osborne

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

The Nativity

Answers to Questions of Joan Osborne:

1. If God had a name what would it be?

Ans. Moses asked God this question and God answered: “I am who I am….This is what you will tell the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.” (Ex 3:14)

2. And would you call it to his face?

Ans. No. Israelites would not speak God’s name and won’t even write it down. They refer to God as Lord instead. And so do I.

3. If you were faced with him in all his glory what would you ask if you had just one question?

Ans. Why is it so late that I have loved you? (c.f. St. Augustine of Hippo)

4. What if God was one of us?

Ans. God already did. This is the story of Christmas:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God….And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.” (Jn 1 :1-14)

5. If God had a face, what would it look like?

Ans. The Face of Christ. As Christ said: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (Jn 14:9). Many Catholics believe that the face of the man in the Shroud of Turin is the Face of Christ.

6. Would you want to see [God’s face] if seeing meant that you would have to believe in things like heaven and Jesus and the saints and all the Prophets?

Ans. I already believed in God even if I don’t see His Face, because of the testimony of the Catholic Church as handed down from the Apostles. As Christ said to Thomas: “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?r Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (Jn 20:29). That is why I believe in things like heaven and the saints and all the Prophets.

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Transforming Earth Hour as the Hour of Creation

If you are supporting Earth Hour, do it for a more edifying purpose: gather the family members, turn off the electric lights, light the candles, and pray the Holy Rosary. Then read the first chapter of the Book of Genesis:

“In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth— 2* and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters—b 3Then God said: Let there be light, and there was light.c 4God saw that the light was good. God then separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” Evening came, and morning followed—the first day….*”

The Earth Hour becomes the Hour of Creation. The Church for centuries has adopted pagan practices but baptizing them with Christian meaning, in the same way as the Church accepts Gentiles and baptizes them as Christians. We can adopt the secular practice of the Earth Hour and turn it into a Christian practice. The Book of Genesis is the First Reading in the Easter celebration, that is why before Easter Sunday, it is Black Saturday, and on Easter Eve mass, the Church is dark, to symbolize the darkness of sin that covers the entire world.

Then read the Prologue of John in Chapter 1:

“In the beginning* was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.a
2He was in the beginning with God.
3* All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.b
What came to be 4through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;c
5* the light shines in the darkness,d
and the darkness has not overcome it….”

The Earth Hour becomes the Hour of Creation, as Sunday, through the Resurrection of Christ, became the day of the New Creation; the Hour of the New Creation is better designated to the first hour of Easter Sunday. The light of Christ shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. You see this in the seal of Ateneo de Manila University and Manila Observatory. The light of the world is not the sun but IHS, Christ. It is the Mystery of Incarnation. Gazing at the whole world–the Earth–is one of the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius: to see the world as the Holy Trinity sees it. That is why, the Jesuits produced the greatest geographers like Mateo Ricci, because geography is an aid to the Spiritual Exercises. The Holy Trinity sees the world of men engulfed by sin. And so the Holy Trinity decides to send the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son, who became flesh in the Person of Christ.

These prayers, readings, and meditations would fill a whole hour. Many indulgences can be obtained here from the praying of the rosary, the 30-minute reading and meditation of the scripture–and more if done in front of the blessed Sacrament in a Holy Hour.

A blessed Hour of Creation to all.

Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) logo: Christian or Masonic symbol?

I found an interesting article from Pinoy Catholic on the meaning of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) logo:

  1. The interlaced square and compass denotes Freemasonry
  2. The crown at the center denotes the Order of Amaranth, a fraternal organization of master masons and their properly qualified female relatives
  3. The compass, inverted triangle, and legs denotes the Order of the Eastern Star
  4. The light rays at the background denotes the sun god.
  5. The scales of justice denotes the Scales of Maat, the Egyptian goddess of truth, order, balance, and justice
  6. The bible inside the inverted triangle and compass refers to the use of the bible in masonic lodge for swearing oaths
  7. The dove and the color white denotes purity and innocence
  8. The color red denotes courage, zeal, and blood of life–the color of Royal Arch Masonry
  9. The color green denotes spiritual initiation into the high mysteries of life and god
  10. The color blue recalls the dome of the heavens which denotes universal brotherhood and friendship
  11. The inverted triangle points to the 22nd ray which probably signifies a 22nd degree mason–Knight of the Royal Axe.

To be fair to INC, I’ll try to provide a biblical meaning to  the INC logo, with their doctrines in mind:

  1. The dove is the dove of Noah.  Just as the evil world was washed away by the flood and a new world was born, so was the apostate Catholic Church was abandoned by God and He established a new church, Iglesia ni Cristo, at the end of time.
  2. The sun’s rays and the bible denotes the Prologue of John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Jn 1:1-5)  Surprisingly, this passage proves the divinity of Christ, which INC does not believe.
  3. The lamb and dove denotes the Baptism of Christ: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.” John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the holy Spirit.'”  Surprisingly, the INC also does not believe on the divinity of the Holy Spirit.
  4. The Triangle denotes the Dogma of the Holy Trinity, which states that there are three Persons in one God.  Christ himself gave the following Trinitarian formula for Bapstism: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Mt 28:19-20). Surprisingly, INC does not believe on the Trinity.

Thus, INC uses Christian symbols, but does not believe on the meaning of the symbols.  (The INC has not still provided an official interpretation of their logo).

Now, where is the Sign of the Cross?  I cannot find any.

  1. “Then he called to the man dressed in linen with the writer’s case at his waist, saying to him: Pass through the city (through Jerusalem) and mark an X on the foreheads of those who moan and groan over all the abominations that are practiced within it. To the others I heard him say: Pass through the city after him and strike! Do not look on them with pity nor show any mercy! Old men, youths and maidens, women and children–wipe them out! But do not touch any marked with the X; begin at my sanctuary. So they began with the men (the elders) who were in front of the temple.” The Hebrew letter X is Tav (or Taw) whose ancient form is the cross †, from which came the Greek letter Tau \tau.
  2. “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily 11 and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” (Lk 9:23-24)
  3. “If anyone says to you then, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. False messiahs and false prophets will arise, and they will perform signs and wonders so great as to deceive, if that were possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told it to you beforehand. So if they say to you, ‘He is in the desert,’ do not go out there; if they say, ‘He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For just as lightning comes from the east and is seen as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels 18 with a trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Mt 24:23-31)  The sign of the Son of Man is the cross because his corpse hung there.
  4. “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning. The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside.” Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish? For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith. For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Cor 1:17-24)

So why is there no Sign of the Cross in the INC logo?  Is INC inviting the wrath of God to destroy its members starting from its temples?  Does INC wish to follow Christ but without a cross in its temples to carry?  Does INC await the coming of Christ but thinks that the Sign of the Son of Man is not the cross but a compass?  Does INC wish to proclaim the cross of Christ like St. Paul or rather the message of Felix Y. Manalo, whom they consider as an angel?  As St. Paul said: “But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach (to you) a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed!” (Gal 1:7-9). Lucifer is also an angel of light because in Latin, the word “Lucifer” means “Light-Bringer” (from lux, lucis, “light”, and ferre, “to bear, bring”). Lucifer is he whom the Freemasons worship.  As Christ said: “And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.” (Mt 6:23)