July 8, 2018 – Reflections by Deacon Al

Deacon-Al-Poroda-Headshot

Deacon Al

Today’s readings reminded me of a saying we’ve all heard in the past “What doesn’t kill us is making us stronger” the theme song to the former 80’s TV show “Roseann”.
In researching to find out if this was or was not a Biblical statement, (I’d discovered it wasn’t), but the original quote attributed to the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche which actually read, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” For those unfamiliar with Nietzsche, he was a philosopher who was very critical toward people of faith who proclaimed in 1882 that G-d was dead.
I’d noticed in this article written of Nietzsche, each time the article made reference to God, the word God, was being spelled without the “o” G-D. Enforcing the fact that the German philosopher beliefs were still being made known from his grave.
The statement I’d found in the middle of a faith-filled motivational message intended to inspire a large group of people with wounded souls. Yet, his quote, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” has many times been quoted by the very people who profess the absolute opposite of what Nie-tzsche promoted and believed.
Through our first reading, the Prophet Ezekiel is being sent forth to Israel. To rebels who stand against the Father. God describes those who are “Hard of face and obstinate of Heart” to the Prophet. Whether they heed or resist, they’ll know a Prophet has been among them.
Similarly, in the second reading, Paul speaks of a “thorn in his side”, an angel of Satan. He asks the Lord to free him of this. The Lord replies “My Grace is sufficient for you” and explains to Paul “power is made perfect in weakness” A similar statement of the philosopher Nietzsche gives a hint that Nietzsche has indeed read the Bible, but has a personal gripe with God in which he is trying to turn others against the Father.
Lastly, in the Gospel this week we hear of Jesus being treated unfairly in His native land. To this He replies: A Prophet is not without Honor except in his native place, among his own kin, and in his own house. Giving the notion that those who become accustomed to us, those of us who truly know and have chosen to follow God, cannot, or will not accept the change in the new people, God’s people of which we have become.
Although, on the surface, the statement about survival making us stronger sounds good and even encouraging to those who travelled the path of struggle and personal warfare, the Bible teaches us a very different understanding. If we truly desire to overcome and be stronger as a result of surviving our circumstances, the only way we will be able to do so is by looking not to an anti-faith atheist, but by looking to the words of life provided by our “GOD”.
God’s Blessings, Deacon Al

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