Matthew 25 Translation for the 21st Century

Dear family

Enclosed find a 21st rendition of the words of Jesus found in Matthew 25 I found on the internet. I believe they have a very pointed message for our time. Any comments would be welcomed.

Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

I was molested and you didn’t believe me
I was LGBTQ and you dehumanized me
I was non white and you stood over me
I was a woman and you discounted me
I was a sick child and you uninsured me
I was poor and you gave my money away
I was seeking justice and you silenced me
I was handicapped and you mocked me
I was a refugee and you locked me out
I was a stranger and you banned me

Matthew 25 (2017 Translation)

What is the Baptism of the Dead Mentioned by Paul?

by Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

“Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead?”

 Dear CG family

Enclosed find my latest article on Baptism for the Dead. It stems from a discussion we had in Sunday school class last Sunday as we continued our discussion of the book of I Corinthians and last week we were in chapter 15. The issue of baptism of the dead was raised and questions were asked about what Paul might mean here. This is an attempt to address that issue and the questions raised. Thought others than just my Sunday school class might have wondered about this also so am sharing here in the hopes you may be blessed by it and perhaps even learn something. As always any comments are always welcomed.

Read moreWhat is the Baptism of the Dead Mentioned by Paul?

Why are Satan and Jesus Both Referred as Morningstar’s

Dear Family,

Bruce sent me a copy of a chat that happened in chat the other night after I left between Bruce, Dad and Father Steve. They were discussing morning stars and how both Satan/Lucifer and Jesus are referred to as morning stars and wondering why? Enclosed find my response to them in case anyone else is interested.

The first reference to morning stars  is found in Job 38:7. Here God is questioning Job and wants to know where Job was

” When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Here is seems to me it is clear that the morning stars are angels who sang together at the time of creation. The word son refers to a created being of God Thus all angels and created things praise God on the day of creation. Another possibility is they both refer to angels. In either case Satan qualifies as we shall see he was an anointed Cherub which is one of the angelic ranks,

Read moreWhy are Satan and Jesus Both Referred as Morningstar’s

I am Dreaming

 I am dreaming of a world without war,

A world of peace with justice for all,

With no male or female slave or free,

Where we all are one as children of God.


A dream where the lion can lie with the lamb

Where all will know the Lord and seek him

Where the realm of God rules majestically,

And the devil is banned for eternity


In this dream the oppressed go free,

God’s love flows from pole to pole

From north to south and east to west

Until it covers all of the earth entirely.


The dream can become reality

When we bind together harmoniously,

All working together for God’s glory,

His reign to bring in eternally.

Learning the Ceremony of Connectedness

By Brother Lawrence Damien Cos
Muiscas Ceremony for Connectedness

“When I consider your heavens
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them]
5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them] with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas,
9 LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Dear family,

Today, as I was doing some studying, meditating on a new paper I am in the process of currently writing on peacemakers, I came across a practice which I had not heard before.

As monastics and Christians we spend a lot of time in meditation, prayer, alone in our prayer cells communing with God or trying to do that. For what purpose do we do this? What is the purpose of it all?

Read moreLearning the Ceremony of Connectedness

Is God an Environmentalist?

Is God and Environmentalist?

Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

Dear Family

On Saturday April 22 we will be celebrating Earth Day here in the USA. That got me to thinking about what God might think of Earth Day? What would God think of our handling of the earth? Would he or she care? Many believe that it doesn’t matter what we do to the earth as God will be making a new heaven and earth at some point in the future anyway so go ahead and exploit it for maximum profit for the greedy and the upper echelons of society. They would deny climate change is really happening despite much evidence to the contrary and want to go on despoiling the environment so the rich can get richer while all the rest get exploited quite often for the benefit of the few. However is that a Christian attitude or is there something else which reflects the true feelings of God on this issue? If the latter then what is God’s views on the environment and are part as Christians in it all? I would like to look at those questions as we think and pray about Earth Day and what if any part we should play in the celebration of it. Before we start I need to state the views I will express here are my own and are presented here as food for thought as we prepare for Earth Day tomorrow.

Read moreIs God an Environmentalist?

Why Did Israel Want a King and Were The Consequences?

Why Did Israel Want a King and What Were The Consequences?


Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

Dear Family

I participate in a conference call on Monday nights where several of us gather to discuss what we have been reading in the Bible and sharing any insights God may have shown us so all can be blessed, This past week we were in I Samuel 23 looking at Saul and his trying to kill David and does in fact kill seventy of God’s priests. The question was raised as to why Israel wanted a king in the first place, why Saul and what were the consequences of that action? We know God regrets ever making Saul king. His reign seems to be nothing more than one big disaster. Yet could something good come out of all this? Could one simple act of kindness change the course of history forever? I would like to address those questions here and see what we can find and learn. Enclosed find the article I wrote Monday night in response. Pray you all will enjoy and would love to hear any comments or thoughts any of you may have on what I will be sharing.

Read moreWhy Did Israel Want a King and Were The Consequences?

What is the Real Story About Easter

What is the Real Story of Easter?
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

Today is Easter Sunday the day when we celebrate the resurrection of Christ from the dead. If you come from a traditional, fundamentalist either Protestant or Catholic background you may as I was taught that God was mad at humankind because of their sins and alleged rejection of him. He was so angry that he was going to send us all to hell to burn for eternity unless something was done to placate his wrath. Therefore he sent his son Jesus to die for us so he can be satisfied and let us into his kingdom to spend eternity with him. However is that what Easter is all about making an angry, wrathful God happy? Does God get a kick out of watching his son suffer? If any parent had allowed or did half of what is alleged God allowed his son to go through even though he could have prevented it they would permanent custody of their children at the minimal and end up be hauled to jail for a good long while. So is God the big child abuser in the sky is that who we worship? Is that the story of Easter that God allows his son to be tortured and killed so he can be satisfied and turn his alleged wrath from us and grant mercy to us instead? Did God actually abandon Jesus on the cross allegedly because he couldn’t look on sin? If so then might God if he did it once do it again because of our sins? Again I ask “What is the Real story of Easter”?

Read moreWhat is the Real Story About Easter

What is Good Friday All About?

What is Good Friday All About?
Brother Lawrence Damien
Dear Family
Today is Good Friday so what is it and why do we celebrate it? This is day that Christians throughout the world commemorate the crucifixion of Christ. Church services recall the account of Jesus death given in Christian scriptures especially the gospel of John. It covers the period from the arrest of Jesus, his trial and conviction, being stripped of his clothing and flogged, receives a crown of thorns to mock him with, to his crucifixion on Calvary. They day ends with Christ’s body being laid in the tomb.

Read moreWhat is Good Friday All About?

What is Maundy Thursday/Holy Thursday?

What is Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday?
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

Dear family
Palm Sunday has come and gone. Holy Week has begun and we are about to witness and be a part of the last few moments of Christ’s life. The first major event of that week comes on Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday if you are from a Catholic tradition. It celebrates two main events foot washing and the institution of the Eucharist or Communion. The term Maundy comes from the Latin and means command. It is taken from the command of Jesus at the last supper when he says
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Read moreWhat is Maundy Thursday/Holy Thursday?

What is Chrism Mass?

What is Chrism Mass
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

Dear Family,

We are approaching Holy Week. At some point during Holy Week the priests, bishops and the faithful will gather for a Chrism Mass. This mass has two purposes. First it is the time for the blessing of the oils which will be used in the various sacraments of the church during the year. The second is it is when the ordained clergy renew their promises for another year. It is done at the local cathedral which is a building where the bishop resides. It is a practice that has its roots in the Old Testament. In the book of Exodus is instructed to make a special holy oil to be used to anoint things with. Only a priest could make it and if a common person tried to reproduce the Holy Oil they were to be put to death, The practice of Chrism Mass goes back to the times of Theophilus (died 181 CE) and Tertullian (died 220 CE) where the practice is explained in the Apostolical Constitutions. St. Cyril of Jerusalem describes how holy oil or ointment was symbolically applied to the forehead and other organs of sense. He also mentions the anointing of the ears, nostrils, and breast. According to Cyril “ointment is the seal of the covenants of baptism and God’s promise to the Christian who is anointed.” He also taught that being “anointed with the Holy anointing oil of God was the sign of a Christian and a physical representation of having the gift of the Holy Spirit. That is the meaning that is understood in Catholicism and Orthodoxy today. St. Cyril further states “Having been counted worthy of this Holy Chrism, ye are called Christians, verifying the name also by your new birth. For before you were deemed worthy of this grace, ye had properly no right to this title, but were advancing on your way towards being Christians.”(On the Mysteries 3.5)[3]”. This tradition is also rooted in the early Church as noted in the Gelasian Sacramentary (named after Pope Gelasius I, d. 496), but was later absorbed into the Holy Thursday evening Mass; Pope Pius XII issued a new Ordinal for Holy Week, which reinstituted a special Mass of the chrism distinct from the evening Mass.

Read moreWhat is Chrism Mass?

Why Do We Celebrate Palm Sunday?

Why Do WE Celebrate Palm Sunday?
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos
Dear family,
Tomorrow is Palm Sunday when the Christian Church celebrates Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It is the last Sunday of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week. Jesus is coming fresh from raising Lazarus from the dead. While many believed in him because of that miracle others report what has happened to the priests who decide to kill both Jesus and Lazarus as well. The next day as he enters Jerusalem he is greeted by people waving palm branches. What is the significance of the palms? In the ancient world palm branches were widely recognized as symbols of peace and victory. Thus as we shall see the people are recognizing Jesus as the Messiah and coming king that the prophets had spoken about. This leads them to cry out Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna means save us now, Mark in recording this incident says

Read moreWhy Do We Celebrate Palm Sunday?

For Everything There is a Season and a Reason

For Everything There Is a Season and a Reason
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

For everything there is a season and a reason
There is a time to be born and a time to die,
There is a time to be young and time to grow old,
A time to be weak and also a time to be bold.

We say we want peace as we advocate for war,
We talk about living while we participate in killing,
We call ourselves “Christians” but how can this be,
If our calling is for us to be like Jesus you and me?

Read moreFor Everything There is a Season and a Reason

What is Lazarus Saturday?

What is Lazarus Saturday?
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

Dear family

In about a week we will be celebrating Holy Week and for most of us here in the West that will begin on Palm Sunday marking the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. However within the Orthodox Churches Holy Week starts a day earlier with the celebration of Lazarus Saturday on the day before Palm Sunday. It is the day when the Church honors the raising from the dead of Lazarus by Jesus. Lazarus had already been lying in the tomb for four days and under normal circumstances his body would have already have begun to decay and smell. Yet Jesus overrules that fact and calls Lazarus forth from the grave into life. Thus as we come to the end of the 40 days of Great Lent and the 40 days of fasting and penitence we come to a time of joy and happiness both on Lazarus Saturday as well as Palm Sunday. Thus the church in triumph and joy bears witness to the power of Christ over death and exalts Him as King before entering the most solemn week of the year, Its that week that will lead the faithful in remembrance of Christ’s suffering and death at Calvary and concludes with the great and glorious Feast of Pascha and the resurrection of Christ from the grave.

Read moreWhat is Lazarus Saturday?

The Annunciation of the Lord

The Annunciation of the Lord
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

Dear family,

Saturday March 25 will be The Annunciation of the Lord also known as The Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is also known as the Annunciation or Our Lady or Lady Day in England. It is Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus. He would be the Son of God thus this feast marks his incarnation as a human. Mary is told to name him Jesus meaning Jehovah of God has saved.

1: Scriptural Foundation

26 “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”

Read moreThe Annunciation of the Lord

Reflections on Radical Jesus the Taboo Breaker

Reflections on Radical Jesus the Taboo Breaker
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

Dear Family,

Today’s gospel reading was on the women at the well of Jacob in Samaria. If we read this from a 21st century we might think what is so shocking about this passage. After all men talk to women everyday even women they don’t know, they do it publicly and they sometimes even ask women to help them with something. So for us no scandal at all, That is because we look at it from a 21st century mindset and not from a first century point of view. In the first century especially if they were a good devout Jew reading today’s gospel reading this would have been the most scandalous chapter in the whole New Testament. To them it would have been all the proof they needed that Jesus in their eyes anyway was not the Messiah, a prophet or a holy man. Everything Jesus was supposed to do according to the 613 laws of the Pharisee’s he didn’t do and everything they said he wasn’t supposed to do he did. Had they had the National Enquirer back in those days this would have been front page news at least if the religious people had had their way. Why is this?

Read moreReflections on Radical Jesus the Taboo Breaker

St. Patrick Versus the Snakes All Gory Be to Jesus

St. Patrick Versus the Snakes All Gory Be to Jesus
How St. Patrick Drove All the Snakes in Ireland in to the Sea

Brother Lawrence Damien

Dear family

Today is Saint Patrick’s Day. Allegedly he drove all the snakes in Ireland into the sea and that is why there are no snakes in Ireland today. Some however say there have never been any snakes in Ireland for St Patrick to have driven into the sea and therefore the story is a myth. I have a friend Botox O’Malley who is a leprechaun. For those who may not what they are they are Irish fairies.

Botox stands about three feet tall and has a beard. He likes to wear green along with a pointed hat and buckled shoes. Since he is a shoemaker he wears a leather apron. He also likes to smoke a pipe though I don’t recommend that as it’s not good for your health. After all we are not fairies; He is a very weather beaten old man who claims to have been around since Adam and Eve. While I can’t prove that I think it’s safe to say he has been around a whole lot longer than either you or me. As far as I know he has only one fault. Let me explain.

Read moreSt. Patrick Versus the Snakes All Gory Be to Jesus

Why Do We Do The Stations Of The Cross?

During the season of Lent many churches do what are called the Stations of the Cross. These are fourteen stations, which re-enact the last moments of Jesus life here on earth from His condemnation before Pilate through His body being laid in the tomb. We get to walk with Christ along the same path He took and learn what it cost Him to purchase our salvation. Some may feel so what. Others may argue that not all the events recorded in the fourteen stations are actually found in the Bible and several are found in tradition only. For instance there is no record in the Gospels of Jesus falling once let alone three times. Nor is there any record of a woman named Veronica wiping the face of Jesus or of His actually meeting His mother on His way to the cross. Not to say they didn’t happen just to say they are not found in the gospels. However is that the point? Our we just going through a reenactment of a historical event or is there something else happening here and something that we are supposed to be learning, being reminded of and changed by.

Read moreWhy Do We Do The Stations Of The Cross?

Is Priestly Celibacy Biblical or Historically Correct?

In case anyone is interested I have done the following on Priestly Celibacy for my church. Thought some of you might be interested in the history of where the idea comes from so am sharing it here. If there are any Roman Catholic who are members of our group this is not a put down of your church but to show the difference between my church which does allow priests to marry and the RC doctrine on the same.

Dear family,

Recently I posted an article on Pope Francis being willing to entertain the thought of ordaining married men to the priesthood under certain circumstances especially in areas where there are a shortage of priests. The Roman Catholic Church has maintained that priestly celibacy is commanded by scripture and a tradition passed down from apostolic times. Other like the Communion of Synodal Catholic Churches believes that biblically and historically the church has always allowed its priests to marry and also ordained women to the priesthood. I would like to look at the history of where clerical celibacy comes from and why then look at the biblical foundation for allowing priests to marry.

First let me state that for the first 300 years of church history married men and women were ordained to the priesthood without any problems. In the early church it has been argued by some, that early Christian practice was that married men who became priests were often older men “elders” and were to live in complete continence. They were to refrain permanently from sexual relations with their wives. When at a later stage it was discovered that not all priests were abstaining or refraining the Western Church limited ordination to unmarried men and required a commitment to lifelong celibacy.

Read moreIs Priestly Celibacy Biblical or Historically Correct?

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