Father Len explains how the radical ideas Jesus introduced 2000 years ago and the church he established to spread those ideas have changed the world forever.
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Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom
- “You’re talking about the single event that probably influenced civilization as we know it now. It’s created our laws and behavior. The knowledge of good and evil. It’s influenced art and literature. It’s affected every possible aspect of anyone’s life, whether they know it or not. It’s absolutely everything. If it wasn’t, what would there be? – Mel Gibson, producer/director, The Passion of the Christ
- The Gospel of Luke describes how Jesus changed morality and remapped society around meals.
- In Jesus’s time there were meal codes about how you eat and who you eat with. Jews ate with Jews, never with Gentiles. Jews ate as a family. Men, women, and children together. Gentiles, the Romans and the Greeks, ate with people of their own class and caste system. Rich and poor never ate together. Men and women didn’t eat together. Men ate first and then women because men were considered superior to women.
- Jesus broke all the meal codes of his time drawing people together by a much different morality. He offered radical hospitality to everyone. He welcomed men and women, rich and poor to sit at table with him.
- The one person who changed the world the most was not a king or an inventor. The greatest mark on history was made by a traveling preacher named Jesus who established a church community and gave it the responsibility to redraw the world according to hospitality.
- “I am an historian. I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all of history. Is it any wonder that to this day, this Galilean is too much for our small hearts?” – HG Wells
- Jesus broke all the rules on how to treat women. Prior to Jesus women were treated inhumanely. They were viewed as inferior to men and nothing more than property. In Jesus’s eyes, women and men are equally valuable. Jesus was friends and ministry partners with women. He treated them with dignity and respect.
- The idea that all humans – men and women, rich and poor, rulers and peasants – are equally valuable and should be treated with dignity and respect was extremely rare before Christianity.
- The church Jesus founded, the Catholic Church, started hospitals, universities, and food banks.
- Jesus started an organized movement to care for the poor and the needy. Religion before Christianity, except for Judaism, wasn’t really concerned with morality or taking care of the poor.
- The origins of science are rooted in Christian belief. All the early scientists were religious. They were inspired by their faith in Christ to do science. They all viewed science as a means of uncovering the traces of Christ’s handiwork in the universe.
- The concepts of social justice, education, human rights, women’s rights, and freedom all fit into the idea of radical hospitality that Jesus introduced to the world.
- Jesus has changed the personal lives of billions of people throughout the world by introducing the theology of the cross. Dying to yourself, dying to your ego, becoming a whole new person by living a life of sacrificial love.
- Wisdom is path, not a door. The path of daily choices you make on how to live your life.
- Wisdom is gained through daily small activities. Small choices that become the whole direction of your life.
- The way of the cross is daily making moral choices, making small choices of virtue. Dying to your pettiness, anger, and selfishness.
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