Updated: Feb 5
The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost includes a Gospel reading from the Book of Matthew. It will next be read aloud in the aisle of an Episcopalian church (and live-streamed on Facebook … audio quality uncertain) on July 5, 2020.
I will not be going to a local church because my last name does not match my time slot preference for going to church and I don’t want to sit amid all the fear that is going around these days (even with a mask on), because that stuff is contagious. So, I will instead play church at home and write my own sermon.
The Gospel reading (as translated by the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission) is as follows:
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
Jesus said to the crowd, “To what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Please excuse my lack of flowing robe and absent collar, as I come before you today in a t-shirt (probably with stains that cannot be washed clean) and pajama pants. I am but a common fellow, nothing special in the eyes of other human beings. There are so-called Christians who see me as worthy of contempt, because I never graduated from a seminary, have not been ordained by a diocese, and I have never been given one of those magic boxes of priesthood, from which all sermons must come. (My childish mind sees sermons coming out of the box, like cereal into a bowl; just add the latest news and stir).
My claim to priesthood dates back to shortly after September 11, 2001, when all hell broke loose. For some reason, God opened my eyes so I could see how to understand Nostradamus’ work entitled Les Propheties. Long story short, I have been seen ever since as evil, simply by trying to present Nostradamus as a ‘modern’ prophet of Jesus Christ.
This version now only available through Katrina Pearls Publishing.
The ones who love the name Nostradamus hate me because they hate the Church of Christianity (all versions). The ones who hate the name Nostradamus hate me because they refuse to accept anyone born after John of Patmos wrote Apokalypsis as being a prophet of Jesus Christ.
For me, it has been like the adage, “between a rock and a hard place.” Everyone loves to hate me, which is their right. I write it off as how Jesus said, “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22) Standing firm means being wedged in tight, between a rock and a hard place.
The only reason I bring any of this up is Nostradamus quoted from this Gospel reading from Matthew today. While not as clear cut as some have thought, it is obvious to many before and after me that a quote from Matthew 11 was written in Nostradamus’ “Letter of Preface” in his book. According to Edgar Leoni’s translation into English, he said Nostradamus wrote this:
“Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and the prudent, that is, from the powerful and from kings, and hast revealed them to the small and the weak. And to the Prophets. By means of the Immortal God, and his good Angels, they received the spirit of prophecy, by which they see distant things and foresee future events.”
If you follow the link I provided, the quote is nine paragraphs down. However, I warn everyone not to believe the translation of Edgar Leoni, as everywhere he translated “and” Nostradamus wrote an ampersand [&]. Nostradamus never wrote the French word “et” once, not in his poems, not in his letters of explanation. The ampersand mark serves a higher purpose than translating simply as “and.”
Everything about Les Propheties is purposeful, just as is everything written in Holy Scripture. In the Preface (also called the Letter to Cesar, Nostradamus’ infant son), Nostradamus would switch from his normal Old French and write in Latin. In the published editions of his earliest work, the font would also change, which made it clear, as if writing between the lines: “Hey people, this is Latin now.” Latin represented the language of the Holy Roman Church, at a time when the Church of Rome did not want people attempting to translate their Holy Language into some common language.
This says (symbolically) that when Nostradamus quoted from Holy Scripture, he wrote in what was accepted to be Holy Language. Edgar Leoni, in his all-English translation, had no way of letting his readers know that such a transition took place, as it became hidden text. Therefore, his readers were dependent on Edgar Leoni as being “wise and intelligent” about what Nostradamus wrote.
It really does not take being “wise and intelligent” to realize that Nostradamus knew (before publication of his first edition) Les Propheties was unwise and unintelligible, as far as giving the people what they wanted to hear. Prior to that book coming out, he had written and published Almanachs, which were yearly predictions that had been amazingly accurate, although written slightly metaphorical. They were written in cloaked verbiage, but aristocracy and commoner alike were “wise and intelligent” enough to make sense of what the implications were. Then, when Les Propheties came out, nobody could figure out what he meant with his poems.
That is precisely why he wrote in the Preface, “Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and the prudent, that is, from the powerful and from kings, and hast revealed them to the small and the weak. And to the Prophets. By means of the Immortal God, and his good Angels, they received the spirit of prophecy, by which they see distant things and foresee future events.” Just like he said – being smart and a graduate from a university is not the way to figure out future matters, when only the Immortal God knows such things.
He has spoken through the Prophets, whom He told, “Don’t make it clear. Bury the meaning a little deeper child.”
Now, it has long been my contention that Nostradamus simply wrote what the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ dictated to him, as prophecy coming from God Almighty. Hence the title: The Prophecies. For Nostradamus to quote (paraphrase, actually, from Latin) something Jesus said, as to why his work was so difficult to interpret, his source (Jesus) needs to be understood. That means, it is imperative to understand why Jesus used his words in the first place. The wise and intelligent should know such things.
Not read today is the verse that says, “Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John [the Baptizer].” (Matthew 11:7b) Jesus called John a Prophet, who was God’s Messenger of God’s Messiah coming. (Matthew 11:9-10) Jesus then said:
“ From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John.” (Matthew 11:12-13)
That is the lead in to Jesus asking, “To what will I compare this generation?”
Beware of sermons coming out of the box about that question. All generations of mankind are alike – before Jesus, during Jesus, and after Jesus. Jesus was not speaking about the violence of the world [as seen recently in the news – the additive of weak excuses used by hired ‘priests’], but the violence of the leaders of religions [like was the Temple of Jerusalem, like is the Vatican, like are all denominations of the religions deemed ‘Christian’]. Thus, “generations” (such as “Generation XYZ”) is not the focus here.
The Greek word “genea” means (among several things) “genealogy.” According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, the first definition of “genea” is: ” a begetting, birth, nativity.” That definition is why Jesus asked a rhetorical question, which he then answered by saying:
“It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another”.
Children are always “this generation,” as “this newborn” or “this infant.” Children are never those causing violence. They are just forced to have to live and learn from it.
When you understand that Jesus did not give a shit about Black Lives Matter or the typical use of violent force that allows criminals to run amok, while slamming old people to the ground (figuratively) for not wearing masks in public, then you realize that Jesus was talking about the violent force that causes such common negligence, brought about by poor excuses for religious leaders. They are as constant past, present, and future as is the other shit that floats downstream in the sewage of human history.
The children sing to one another, “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.”
Think about that for a moment.
Every Sunday in a Catholic-Methodist-Anglican-Episcopalian church is recited a Psalm of David (this Sunday it is a choice between 45 or 145, plus a Song of Solomon option). They are all either songs of praise to get up and dance to, or a song of lament to sob miserably to. Yet, these days zero emotion flows from the crowd when the words of a Psalm are read in unison.
Unless a ‘high church’ has a commissioned cantor to sing it in Hebrew, the Psalms all sound like cattle mooing in the field.
David wrote his songs via divine inspiration, feeling a need to express how necessary Israel’s relationship was with Yahweh – success and failures, joy and sorrow – songs of praise, songs of lament.
When David wrote with divine inspiration, he wrote what God knew must always be. “Always” includes these miserable times we suffer through now. We should all sob loudly when David points out what happens to those who turn away from God.
Tell me when was the last time you felt the inner child be touched by the songs of David (and son) while sitting in a pew in a church. Please don’t lie.
Jesus then told the crowd that had been born into the world and set before him on that day (that generation, as well as today’s generation) that John the Baptizer [a true Prophet and Messenger] was said to have a demon, by Temple leaders. And Jesus? According to the Temple elite, Jesus was said to be a glutton and drunkard, who hung out with sinners.
Raise your hand if you have heard your priest ever suggest you should hang out with sinners – looters, rioters, protesters, arsonists, assaulters, murderers, abortionists, perverts, haters, et al – because that was what Jesus did.
Jesus never hung out with any of those types of people.
Whenever sinners came in contact with Jesus, they were forever changed. They sinned no more. A Christian must be Jesus reborn, so the same affect on sinners always takes place.
Jesus then followed that recount of slander by saying, “wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”
Think about that for a moment.
The Greek word “sophia” translates as “wisdom,” but also as “insight, skill (human or divine), intelligence.” (Strong’s) It is rooted in the word that means “clarity” – saphēs, “clear.”
(HELPS Word-studies) This means the “clarity” of who John and Jesus were was beyond what the brains of the Temple could figure out. (AND that applies to all times past, present, and future; so, today’s priests are yesterday’s priests* and yesterday’s Temple is today’s Church).
Clarity is then how one speaks clearly about that which is unclear. Wisdom is vindicated by the deeds of true knowledge, divine skill to interpret divine words, and intelligence that strikes a cord in one’s heart, not one’s brain.
Now the Episcopal Church Lectionary peeps skipped over verses 20-24, which the NASB gives the title: “The Unrepenting Cities.” That’s a good thing, given the news additive of late, of protests in Seattle, Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta and Chicago. Jesus said of little-bitty Capernaum, “I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.” (Matthew 11:24)
Ouch! Makes me want to both dance and mourn, thinking about that future coming to unrepentant cities.
This brings us to the meat and potatoes of today’s Gospel reading, where Jesus said: “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants.” Leoni has Nostradamus change “infants” (Greek word “nēpiois,” also meaning “a simple-minded or immature person; unlearned, unenlightened; child”) into “the small and the weak.” Same difference, if you ask me.
Now what on earth would make Jesus come right out and begin thanking his Father for hiding things? Could it be that he was thankful that he was not one of those people walking around looking smart, possessing degrees and certificates of knowledge in legal matters, but dumb as stumps about Spiritual matters?
[Remember Nicodemus? He was a leader of the Temple elite and he though being reborn meant re-entering his mother’s womb! Dumbass!]
Could Jesus be thanking God that his being called names by the Temple police [today’s Church people] because that did nothing to demean him; but instead, it condemned their sorry asses by the very words they spoke?
It means that simple-minded true Christians know more about what Scripture says than do those who get paid a lot of money to talk and write about it. It means immature me, with no training in what Nostradamus wrote, can know more about its meaning than all the “wise and intelligent” people with scholastic diplomas – who speak French fluently [like all the Old French in Nostradamus’ day did]!
The reason such infants can have such great insight was then explained by Jesus by his saying: “Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
That says that all the bad-mouthing about Jesus and John was the neon sign of warning [not a halo] hanging over the heads of idiots, those who wore fancy robes and hats and got paid a pretty penny for having ‘law degrees.’ In today’s world of ‘Christianity’ that translates as neon signs of warning [not halos] hanging over the heads of idiots who wear fancy robes and wear crosses of gold-plating, who get some pay with great benefits, to be community organizers, thinking that makes them ‘in the name of Jesus Christ.’ They are all part of that sum total Jesus thanked God about, who knew Jesus and who knew God: no one.
The only ones who know the Father are the ones the Son introduces them to, after they have been reborn children (a new generation) who can call the Father daddy, as the Son reborn.
Jesus then said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
Beware of this also coming out of the sermon box and sprinkled with the moisture of social justification for sin. The “come to me” part means this is only applicable to those who really are in the name of Jesus Christ. That means pretenders do not count. They are part of the “no one.” [See above.]
The ones who are “weary and heavy-laden” are the ones who want to serve God as priests, but keep running into roadblock after roadblock [or rocks and hard places]. Those who sit comfortably in pews, who never get emotional when the Psalms are sung, they do not count as “weary and heavy-laden.” They, too, are part of the “no one.” [See above.]
The ones who are “weary and heavy-laden” are people like me, who have been shown by God that Nostradamus was a Prophet of Jesus Christ, who wrote a warning to all today’s unrepentant cities that Sodom and Gomorrah ain’t over yet, only to be outcast and spat upon. The same thing happens when I try to write about Scripture’s meaning, based on the same insight that came to me about how to read Nostradamus for understanding. Of course, any and all like me also qualify. I am not saying I am the only one; but, I sure feel like the last Northern White Rhino in the world (since my wife died).
When Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me,” that means STOP LOOKING UP QUOTES FROM BONHOEFFER TO USE IN A SERMON! It says be reborn as Jesus Christ and let your Big Brain become like the brain of a simpleton, knowing nothing of value beyond what the Christ Mind reveals to you. Just let Jesus Christ do all your talking and you will never go wrong. As Jesus speaks through your mouth and you listen, then you learn from God the Father, through His Son.
When Jesus said, “for I am gentle and humble in heart,” this refers to those who are as “mild” as children and who are just as “lowly” in self-ego, always looking up the Jesus Christ for guidance. The first-person pronoun “I” means Jesus has been reborn into “infants” (newborns), whose old self-egos have died and been replaced by Jesus’ love and the Father’s protection. These are the “little ones” who play the flute and dance and sing dirges and mourn.
Jesus then added, “you will find rest for your souls.”
A soul is uneasy in a body of flesh that is always finding sin to wallow in, and then always feeling guilt afterwards (or worse – excitement about the opportunity for more sin to follow). Rest means a replenishing of eternal life with the cool, living waters of Jesus Christ being married to a soul. All souls will come back into new bodies of flesh, always facing yet another challenge to master life, and always falling short … unless they realize the need to submit their souls to the Lord and be reborn as His Son. Rest is then the only escape from the wheel of the rat race in the cage of life on earth.
Finally, Jesus said, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
That means marriage to God, reborn as His Christ, becomes a weightless spirit that encircles one’s being. It means there is nothing hard about doing the Lord’s work, because all you have to do is sit and write or stand and speak as Jesus Christ dictates. Sure, the pagans might get restless and crucify the Messenger; but, that only means a release of a soul married to God to Heaven. And, that death will only happen when it is God’s Will. He likes to help us servants escape undue persecution from time to time.
Just to make sure that everyone is on the same page of meaning, let me be clear. Holy Scripture was not written in English. Holy Scripture was not written in a way that ordinary human beings can grasp its full meaning, especially hidden from those who possess extraordinary brains [with HUGE Self-egos]. Whereas Zen meditation is meant to have one reach a state of nirvana; when one thinks one is there, then one is not. Likewise, if one believes what someone else said about what Holy Scripture means, as if that is what it means, then one is not filled with the Holy Spirit and has no opinion worth talking about. Being filled with the school library is being “wise and intelligent.” Unfortunately, people not filled with the Holy Spirit have no business talking about Holy Scripture. The ones with the biggest brains are the ones to stay away from the most.
I’m not telling anyone what to believe. Holy Scripture is what you make of it. I’m just trying to let others know that sitting on a pew won’t get anyone to heaven. If you want to get to heaven, then think about it like wanting to get to Hawaii. If you want to get to Hawaii, you better learn to swim real well, or you best buy a ticket on some mode of transportation, because doing nothing more than thinking (wishing or believing) won’t make that dream come true.
Yesterday’s “priests” were called Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, scribes, High Priest of the Temple, and rabbis. Today’s “priests” are called vicars, rectors, ministers, pastors, professors, bishops, cardinals, or popes. All titles are dependent on what philosophy their organization thinks is better than another’s.