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Cougar Dad's Club

Cougar Dads Bible Study

Next meeting: Friday, September 6, 2019, 7:30-8:00am
Location: Upper school / church, exact location TBD (details coming soon)

Questions?  Contact Jason Neff, jneff01@gmail.com or 785.383.0927

Study Notes for Friday (8/23/19) NO MEETING - for reflection only

Printable packet:

StudyNotes.23Aug19.pdf

 

READ: Luke 13:22-30

 

22 He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24 “Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.25 When once the householder has risen up and shut the door, you will begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us.’ He will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity!’ 28 There you will weep and gnash your teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out. 29 And men will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

 

 

PERSONAL MEDITATION - Fr. John Bartunek, from The Better Part

 

Heavenly Feast or Hellish Isolation

 

“No misfortune should distract us from this happiness and deep joy; for it anyone is anxious to reach a destination, the roughness of the road will not make him change his mind.”

 

– Pope St. Gregory the Great

 

Christ as Teacher

 

This innocent question, “Will only a few people be saved?” afforded Christ the perfect opportunity to tell everyone to “Relax – all you have to do is be a good guy, more or less, and you’ll get to heaven.” But he didn’t. He told us to “try your best” to enter into his kingdom, because “many will try to enter and will not succeed.” Certainly, the Church teaches that without the help of divine grace no one can live in eternal friendship with God, but Jesus is emphasizing here that we each must do our part as well. If we settle for a comfortable, self-satisfying Christianity we may be deceiving ourselves – instead of building up God’s Kingdom, we may in fact be erecting an idolatrous house of cards. The spiritual life is a battle, as the Church never tires of telling us, and we are not to take victory for granted. The entrance door is “narrow” and the Lord will refuse entry altogether to “wicked men,” even those who thought they were good. Bottom line: Salvation matters and it’s not just a consolation prize.

 

 

DAD’S MEDITATION

 

Even in some otherwise orthodox circles it seems to have become fashionable again today to propose the idea that in the end, we can reasonably hope that everyone is saved and hell is empty.  Among contemporary promoters, this view is typically sourced from a popular German theologian of the 20thcentury named Hans Urs Von Balthasar. While the belief that we can be certain that all men are saved was condemned many centuries ago (some had heretically believed that even Satan and the demons would be saved) – we now have an iteration of this erroneous view being proposed as a “reasonable hope” rather than a “certainty.”  

 

The testimony of Jesus is otherwise, as demonstrated in this Sunday’s gospel (when the apostles directly ask Jesus the question), and in multiple other teachings of Jesus himself.  Hell is a reality – a state of eternal torment and separation from God.  And going there is a very real possibility, irrespective of the extent to which we might find that thought to be uncomfortable. God wills all men to be saved, but as Fr. Bartunek states, God is a gentleman.   He will not force salvation on us.  We must cooperate with salvation.  We must freely accept what Christ won for us on the cross, and that acceptance is more than a simple verbal affirmation.  As the old saying goes, “actions speak louder than words.”  Just as I cannot say I love my wife and repeatedly commit adultery; I cannot say I love God and live a life that contradicts this affirmation.

 

The good news is that we are not left to our own power to live the Christian life.  As Jesus states elsewhere – “for men it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”  With God’s help, it is possible to live the Christian life and be with God forever in heaven after we die.

 

Our first role is to get ourselves to heaven.  But as husbands and fathers, we have another critical role – getting our wives and children there as well.  More good news!  As we help them, they help us.  The sacrament of marriage, and the family that results, is for the good of our salvation. The more we live that sacrament fully as a dad, the more we help ourselves and our loved ones along that path to the non-smoking section of eternity.

 

 

REFLECT:

 

  1. Why do you suppose Christ spoke so “threateningly” about salvation, when God is supposed to be “merciful”?

 

  1. What can we do to make sure everyone around us gets to heaven?  What will we have to sacrifice in order to do that?

 

  1. How can we talk to our children about the last things – death, judgment, heaven, and hell?  

 

  1. Have you ever heard the phrase “memento mori” (Latin for “remember your death”)?  What would it mean to live with a greater awareness of our death in mind?

 

 

FURTHER STUDY: Catechism and Ignatius Bible Study Notes

 

Catechism:

 

1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: “He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren.613To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him forever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.” (1861; 393; 633)

 

 

Ignatius Bible Study notes:

 

13:24 the narrow door:Salvation depends first on God’s grace, then on our cooperation and obedience (Eph 2:8–10; Phil 2:12–13). Jesus here stresses the difficulties of the spiritual life, where few will enter God’s glory while the door remains open (Mt 22:14). See note on Mt 7:13.

 

13:27 depart from me:Although heirs to the kingdom, the impenitent of Israel will be shut out from God’s blessings (Mt 21:43; Rom 2:9).

 

13:28 weep and gnash:The suffering of the damned. See note on Mt 8:12.

 

13:29 east … west … north … south:Christ invites his family from the ends of the earth to celebrate with the patriarchs. ‚óŹ Jesus evokes OT prophecies that depict Yahweh regathering the exiled children of Israel from the four points of the compass (Ps 107:3; Is 11:12; 43:5–6). The celebration banquet will include Israelites and Gentiles in the one family of God (24:47; Rev 5:9). See note on Lk 1:33.

The Cougar Dads Club is open to all Holy Spirit Prep men!  

The Dads Club offers an opportunity to interact and contribute through:

  • Periodic social activities - School kickoff social, Braves night, Pig Roast, and more!
  • Faith formation through biweekly Scripture reflections on the Sunday Mass readings - our "Dads Cougar Convers(at)ions" (Friday mornings from 7:30-8am in the Lower School Intermediate Bldg - main floor)
  • Cougar Dads service day at Holy Spirit Prep

Our biweekly newsletter - the Cougar Dad Cave - is designed to keep Dads appraised of Dads Club and Dad-oriented school activities, as well as provide ongoing faith formation through Scripture, the Church, and other media relevant for fathers.

Email Jason Neff, Cougar Dads Club leader at jneff01@gmail.com for more information.