Conversion not coercion II

John suffered martyrdom for the sake of the Kingdom

Greetings on this the Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Readings: Acts 16:11-15; PS 149:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6a and 9b; Jn 15:26—16:4a
Notes: I will be switching up the posts to photo postings daily from tomorrow onward for a week or so. Change is good. Some closing thoughts on the state of the Church today.

We are in celebration of the Resurrection with major joyful events to come!

  1. Ascension
  2. Pentecost

May the Lord open our hearts to pay attention to what He is saying.

Pope Francis – “We develop this humble patience by waiting for the Lord’s grace, by waiting for the last day. Often the penultimate day is very tough, because human suffering is not pleasant. But the Lord is still with us, and He resolves everything.”

Christendom is at a major inflection point.

We see signs of Domination – not servant leadership but overlord control as Jesus cautioned.

But Jesus says:
But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave (Matt 20:25-27).

We see signs of being Immersed in the right-left political battles.

But Jesus says:
At that he said to them, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” (Matt 22:21b). [Note of Understanding: the coin has the emperor’s image. We are to reflect the Image of God, as that is how we are made, in His image.]

We see signs of juridical obsession and mercy, co-journeying (a/k/a compassion) have taken second seat.

But Jesus says:
Can. 219 All Christ’s faithful have the right to immunity from any kind of coercion in choosing a state in life.
Can. 220 No one may unlawfully harm the good reputation which a person enjoys, or violate the right of every person to protect his or her privacy.


Since the Church did not make either of these laws [divine laws], she cannot be their arbiter—only their guardian and interpreter. It could never be right for her to declare lawful what is in fact unlawful, since that, by its very nature, is always opposed to the true good of man.

The Church must remain faithful to the protection of life by way of the Gospel.

Christian Compassion

  1. Now it is an outstanding manifestation of charity toward souls to omit nothing from the saving doctrine of Christ; but this must always be joined with tolerance and charity, as Christ Himself showed in His conversations and dealings with men. For when He came, not to judge, but to save the world, was He not bitterly severe toward sin, but patient and abounding in mercy toward sinners?

The collision is the boundary of Church and differing opinions.
We clearly must teach the sanctity of human life and family life.
We clearly must assert within the Baptized the fullness of regulation of family life.

We must be patient and merciful toward those who do not share our view of life.
It is painful to live in a society that does not value life as the Church teaches.
But it is our common space.
Our witness to love is our greatest gift to all.

We must learn from the lesson of LOT as Saint Peter himself describes:
(I think some Bishops have stopped reading scripture)

And if he rescued Lot, a righteous man oppressed by the licentious conduct of unprincipled people (for day after day that righteous man living among them was tormented in his righteous soul at the lawless deeds that he saw and heard), then the Lord knows how to rescue the devout from trial and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment (2 Pet 2:7-9).

Lot was the only voice of reason is an unreasonable place.
How could it be that God would abandon Sodom, for he did not, until the judgement.

Note: the outcomes of Lot and his children are historical glosses to explain division.

In ancient times, some Popes would meet and negotiate with barbarians outside the city, to prevent the destruction of Rome and the structures of civilization. I have read that some bishops, in territories controlled drug dealers and traffickers, meet with them to try to steer their very real and nasty power in more humane directions. Jesus spoke with Satan more than once, even instructing him in proper understanding of scripture.

There are solid precedents to this distasteful work.

First reading
The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying.

Responsorial Psalm
The Lord takes delight in his people.

Alleluia Verse
The Spirit of truth will testify to me, says the Lord,
and you also will testify.

Gospel Portion
In fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.

We, the Church, cannot be the instrument of death either in the first instance nor the second instance, and certainly not in the final instance. We, are the People of Mercy.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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