Did John the Baptist go to heaven right after death?

By Paul Dion, STL

Read these words of Jesus which you will hear in this Gospel story about John the Baptist: "History has not known a man born of woman greater than John the Baptizer. Yet the least born into the kingdom of God is greater than he" (Matthew 11:11).

We're talking about Jesus' first cousin here. This is the precurser of the Messiah. His father was a priest. He was still in the womb of his mother when he leapt for joy when Elizabeth and Mary met when Mary was in the early stages of her pregnancy with Jesus. John dedicated his entire life to the mission of spreading the word and the love of God. John was a straight talking prophet calling for the repentance of the Chosen People. John himself washed Jesus in the waters of baptism from the Jordan.

How then can Jesus say, "Yet the least born into the kingdom of God is greater than he."? So, when John died, the greatest of all prophets, he didn't go to the kingdom of God on the Archangel Express?

That's right. Although John had seen the Anointed One and heard of his wonderful works, he, like Moses, did not enter into the Kingdom during his lifetime. Why not? Let it all hang out. You know that you have an answer and you also know that you have questions. Fire away. Let us know.

Of course if you don't want to do that, check out the article "Rejoice in Hope - John the Baptist: "Gaudete Sunday" and you will find the answer.

If you still need to get something off your chest, we await your sentiments with open arms and a sharpened pencil. Post your comments below.

God bless you all.


Do you really believe in the True Presence of Jesus at Communion?

By Paul Dion, STL

The true presence of Jesus in the form of Bread and Wine is the burning question this week. It is addressed to all of us who receive communion as Catholics. We approach the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist easily and sometimes without much reverence and consciousness about what we are doing.

We even forget sometimes that we may not be in the proper state of soul to approach the Sacrament. We have come to listen to the ideas that are floated around that the Eucharist is a reality so full of love that God would not want us to miss out on it.

We have listened to the "popular" wisdom that says that "after all, there are a lot of people worse than I. I am OK for communion because I really don't do any really, really bad things."

We talk ourselves into thinking that if St. Peter could deny Jesus three times and get to be the Head Man, then we too have the right to approach the Sacrament.

Think about it a little bit. Are we softening Jesus? Are we forgetting that He is the person who told Pontius Pilate, "You wouldn't have any power if it had not been given to you from above."
Are we forgetting that this is the person who told us, "If you do not eat my flesh and drink my blood you will not have eternal life."?

These are not words that should make us think that Jesus is the negotiating type. If we do not behave according to His expectations of us, we have no right to approach the communion rail.
Why do so many of us seem to have forgotten this?

"Do you really believe in the TRUE PRESENCE of Jesus Christ in the consecrated Bread and Wine of the Eucharist?"

Think about it. This is an anonymous opportunity for you to speak the truth from the bottom of your soul about this question.

DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS PRESENT BODY AND BLOOD IN THE HOST AND THE CHALICE OF COMMUNION? Do you really keep your soul clean before receiving communion? Do you really believe that Jesus is present, Body and Blood and Soul in the Tabernacle?

We at think that we have to talk about this in the open for the good of the Church Community. Help us out. Post your innermost and honest thoughts - in complete anonymity if you wish.