It is a gigantic leap of presumed power to align President Trump with the Catholic Church and to align just about anybody else with the children of darkness. Endorsing him is at the least a questionable act. For millions President Trump personifies the very evil you decry. It was in fact a shameful letter.
The most positive thing I can say on this letter is indeed pray. Pray without preconception of the arrogance of knowing from your excess and treasure. No, pray from the poverty of your spirit.
Peace be with you,
Children of light (the preeminent Christian focus and phrase).
Children of darkness (usually associated with the Modernist movement). See Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius X PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS.
Offspring of the Woman
Offspring of the Serpent
Law of God
Kingdom of Heaven
Deep State – (circa 2000) – an alleged secret network of especially nonelected government officials and sometimes private entities (financial services and defense industries) operating extra-legally to influence and enact government policy.
Deep Church – No known generally accepted reference except to say shares the Deep State worries. Specific to the Church are the financial, sexual and liturgical norms of the Church being violated, diluted and ignored by a secret network..
Invisible Enemy – A Virus. A Satan. An unholy appliance between the Deep State and Deep Church. Multiple meanings.
References Used In His Letter
Appeal – Veritas Liberabit Vos (A document he wrote and posted and of which I previously responded).
Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana – modern Kosovo Serbia.
Apostolic Nuncio – former diplomat to the USA.
New World Order
Solve et Coagula – Dissolve and Coagulate (an Alchemy)
The appeal makes no attempt to document or prove any of its medical assertions.
The freedom of worship, expression and movement have been disproportionately and unjustly restricted in the name of good medicine.
Doubt of the COVID-19 contagiousness, danger and resistance to the virus.
To approve and spend money on ineffective vaccines and treatments.
To develop vaccines from aborted fetuses (he may have meant this as a generalized warning).
The appeal maintains that the true purpose of the epidemic response is:
The epidemic is a pretext to control the population.
To impose a permanent restrictions on freedom.
To isolate populations, i.e., ageism, ethnic or racial segregation.
To criminalize personal and social relationships, i.e., religious people.
To ignore shady business interests wanting to profit from the virus.
To allow experts to enjoy immunity of prosecution.
To reduce our lives to a virtual reality alone.
To establish an odious technological tyranny.
To eventually establish a world government beyond all control.
The appeal uses good and solid Catholic positions as well as the long standing governance worries into a certain synthesis of an argument of these multiple worries and concerns. It is an interesting blend of nationalism, Catholicism, and governance by way of political convention. Taken in context of the political language of the day, it is completely intertwined with American political drama.
It is better to describe the intention of the letter this way: Given the supernatural powers that attempt to subject humanity and the Church to oppression the Bishop sees the COVID-19 pandemic as a handy pretext to push forward this evil agenda.
The caution are as follows:
Medical assertions #1 to #4 above in the United States are matters of reasonable differences of opinion in support or against these statements (except #4 which seems a flip in for flavor).
Worldwide you would have to take a country by country review with a skeptical eye toward totalitarian nations.
As to the true purposes, I don’t buy most any of it. It’s a virus. It kills people and would by the millions if no intervention is attempted. We have hundreds of year experience with epidemics. No credible exaggeration.
The Church by the way once enjoyed ‘worldwide’ domination and simply had no problem with it. Just a reminder that those who dominate see no problem.
The disintegration of treaties and multi-State agreements makes the idea of a world government to be much less of a worry. Perhaps natural resource wars, trade wars and regional wars are a more immanent emerging problem.
Church Integrity – Free to
To govern itself.
To govern its members.
To perform its evangelization of the Good News.
To administer the Sacraments as the perpetual gifts of the Christ.
To opine and participate on governance of the population.
To offer prayer and supplication in the Name of God and His Son Jesus Christ for the salvation of and peaceful existence for humanity.
I don’t think any Catholic differs in this opinion. We must also agree that the Church, like the human family it is composed of, continues to learn the deeper meanings of the Gospel and adjust its social-cultural opinions accordingly. Faith and Science (including Sociology) play a part in informing the Church and the results in changes to the changeable doctrine. The steadfast and unchangeable remain. The wisdom to know the difference is a dynamic, constant progression in time just as the Divine revelation itself was and is a progression in time.
Real Common Good Worries
The virus need a cooperative and reliable response from all segments of the society. We are all at risk when any fail to do their part.
In the USA, some States suggested closing and some Sates ordered closings. In all cases, the Church decided on its own what to do. It wasn’t the State that restricted gatherings, the Church of its own good judgment decided so. Even still, the Mass continued with smaller gatherings according to the good judgment.
In other countries these worries are more palpable and such concerns should be addressed regionally.
Many people of good will and with no religion certainly agree about unregulated technology as tyrannical.
Many people of good will and with no religion agree that unregulated medical-industrial complex as oppression.
Irresponsible Arguments – Responsible Leadership
It is irresponsible to address the World Domination worry as the preeminent concern of this virus. We should not mirror the behaviors of others who commingle arguments in order to provide greater support for our core positions. It is beneath the Church to do so. The anti-religious have been around a very long time. Let’s not be their mirror.
The Gospel of Matthew in today’s reading is concerned with the necessity of reaching and living in the highest of love, that is the love of God. He helps us to let go by not holding so tightly the natural love of family in which we are born.
Really Jesus gives the list of tendency we have to limit ourselves and our acceptance of others.
Stopping our growth in love:
In our love of father or mother ‘more than’;
In our love of son or daughter ‘more than’; and
In our self-love by avoiding the costs of discipleship of loving others.
Letting Go Frees Up Our Hands
Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
The amazing expanse that is your life is beyond the known and comfortable. Jesus is describing the willingness to lose one’s self-limiting importance and capacity and cleaving to Jesus so you will find the infinite graces of the life that is lived Christ.
Making no mistake here that this homily is not about a self-help program or merely about personal growth for the sake of growth.
This is about the relational growth in the person of Jesus.
Jesus prescribes that we receive him and in receiving him we receive the Father. There are many ways in which to receive Jesus especially in the Eucharistic gift that is Holy Communion.
Here though Jesus outlines the two basic ways to receive him, the reward hinted at and the outcome that comes from that.
A prophet and a prophet’s reward. The reward of receiving the prophet is what the prophet offers. A prophet speaks in the name of God. A prophet prescribes knowing and understanding God and relational reality of God. Jesus being a Prophet rewards us with knowing and trusting the Father. This is Faith.
A righteous man and a righteous man’s reward. The reward of receiving a righteous man is the gift of being in right relation with God and Man. Jesus being a righteous man through his behavior brings us the hopeful expectation that righteousness brings. Acting righteous with others is the very essence of hope, hope for oneself, hope for the other, hope for peace with God and peace with your fellow man. This is Hope.
Ah, the charity of Jesus. It is always described by inference of the natural spiritual outflow of Faith and Hope. Faith and Hope yield Charity founded in the love of the Lord.
Saint Jerome said this about the cold water: That none should say, I am poor and therefore cannot be hospitable, He takes away even this plea by the instance of a cup of cold water, given with good will. He says cold water, because in hot, poverty and lack of fuel might be pleaded. And whosoever shall give to drink to one of the least of these a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.
This is Love (Charity).
So by now you have guessed I am speaking to the rewards of the gifts of the theological virtues. Faith, hope and Love (Charity). Jesus in his most gentle way is making an example of his life in these virtues whos power comes from the Father through the Holy Spirit.
Death-Life or Life beyond Death
Saint Paul describes the letting go in these terms: because of Christ’s ultimate victory over death… Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.
So a life limited as described in the beginning (the list I wrote above), is a death-life and holding firm in faith and hope we can life, the Life beyond the worries of death.
Greetings on this the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: JER 20:10-13; PS 69:8-10, 14, 17, 33-35; ROM 5:12-15; MT 10:26-33
Please be forewarned this is a hard hitting homily.
A good priest friend of mine celebrated his 55th year ordained a priest. As part of his reflection on the year completed and the year to come he said, ‘Next year I will be holy’.
Knowing him in excess of 20 years I recognized the twin message. A bit of humor at his own expense and a recognition that sanctification is a lifelong process. It requires all the disciplines of the Church recommended for priests as well as the prayers of the faithful to help priests on their path of sanctification. In fact, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus includes the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests. Maybe I should have prayed harder for him in 2020.
Never the less, he didn’t fail to examine his conscience as a part of his annual memorial of going prostrate and the kissing of the marble before the Lord.
Pitfalls and pratfalls abound in life. Jeremiah faced the constant possibility of any and all ‘misstep of mine’ would be the vector by which the attacks come. Sure enough this is a common reality that all of us should be able to relate to his situation in the ordinary sense of it. Office politics is a common phrase for it. Palace intrigue is the arena Jeremiah operated in the ancient Washington, DC.
In his case he was urging behavior in opposition to the popular sentiment. A stiffened necks and disobedient hearts had moved them to despise the warnings of Jeremiah and to look for any opportunity to destroy him.
Jeremiah was given a very difficult task about speaking the truth. Simply, ‘If you bring forth the precious without the vile, you shall be my mouthpiece. (Jer 15:19b). Not an easy task. Every prophet must master his desire to grow angry with a righteous anger that tramples the violator and the prophet together. Jesus instead insists upon being meek and humble.
Precious and Vile Time
We live in a precious and vile time. A time of contradiction and a fear that transcends viruses and bad governance but rather a fear of our own desires and the truth about those desires. The truth that exposes and reveals the inner fears we possess, rather, that possess us.
In modern language we call it rationalization.
Curses and Curses
(No names, true stories).
I have many acquaintances on LinkedIn from a long career in business. I also have many acquaintances of people I worshiped with in the Church. Both groups are on LinkedIn.
Years ago when our daughters were young my little girl developed some foul language. She taught another girl the same. Not the finest moment in the life but a story worth telling.
The parents of the second girl came to my home and retold the story as they know it. Fair enough I insisted my daughter listen to the complaint as it is in fact serious business to use foul language.
But things turned ugly. The father grew angrier and angrier as he told the same story over and over again. I would interject we understand and certainly apologize and will work to not repeat the problem. He insisted in repeating the story each time getting more and more agitated. I mean seriously agitated. Knowing something of people who have made a practice of entering in to a rage by slowly increasing volume and increasing the intensity of their feelings and comments something had to be done. Finally, I had to call an end to the diatribe. I explained he has made his point repeatedly, there is no point continuing and knew if I didn’t stop him this would enter possibly violent rage.
It took a bit to get him to stop and leave my home.
Story One Redux
Reading this man’s posts on LinkedIn he expresses by way of shares and link his disapproval of the Black Lives Matter movement. It hit me. Hard.
This man could barely contain himself over kids using bad words so much so that he might just have gone into a rage over it. Yet he explicitly will not defend Black men wanting to defend their family and children from implicit and overt racism.
In today’s Gospel Jesus warns ‘Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known’.
This error in thinking is described by Our Lord as FEAR. FEAR and all its entrapments. Fear of the different, fear of competing interests, fear of losing what you rightfully gained, and fear of every bias we are exposed to by the race baiters.
Being fearful and afraid are the enemies of the Christian life.
Even still Jesus warns if you deny him he will deny you. Period. You cannot act like a trapped animal or a discovered thief wanting to fight your way out of it.
Christian men who congratulate themselves on pious speech and the defense of proper grammar and yet scoff at men fighting for their very families by way of the BLM movement are fearful pagans. There is no Christ in them.
Met another former coworker in the grocery store yesterday. Pleasantries. Why aren’t you wearing a mask? Literally the litany of science denying, political advantage promoting excuses and proclamations.
I assured him that Covid-19 is very deadly not just for the aged whom he cares nothing for but for any who get sick. It is a complete gamble. I described my work in these days.
How many people have you seen die?
Really you ask such a question.
Can you be so willfully ignorant as to make claim the pandemic is a figment of imagination. Fear. Fear that your advantage will be lost by way of a virus.
He literally said the annual pneumonia deaths are equal to the COVID-19. Of course the difference is 3 months verses 12 months. The correlation is times 4. Madness. Fear of ideological loss nationwide allows him to calculate the death of old people as a statistical noise.
Natural death is not when we willfully allow those vulnerable to be subjected to mortal danger. There is no Christianity in this position.
Story Two Redux
Tomorrow I visit another family. In this case I must explain what induced coma is and the survival rate is 20%. In this case I have to describe how to be sanitary and isolation focused when six family members are infected and the head of household may never come home again. What did these people do wrong? Nothing, except be alive in a time where the President makes jokes about slowing down testing to improves his popular standing. A family facing possible annihilation. The Department of Health shrugs the shoulders. The newspapers write the warm fuzzy articles.
Even still Jesus warns if you deny him he will deny you. Period. You cannot act like a trapped animal or a discovered thief wanting to fight your way out of it.
Fear is Your God
How can it be that people are being discarded so thoughtlessly? COVID-19 families, do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. The Lord in his great love will answer you.
How can it be that people are being denied the fullness of BLM? Black families, do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. The Lord in his great love will answer you.
I say Fathers, Happy Father’s Day. Your Father in Heaven wants you to protect your families. Be persistent in BLM. Protest, march, speak up and let’s stop the madness.
But for you who act pious O warn you that you deny these little ones. Then know the certainty of Divine denial.
Triduum of the Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Gospel Reading: MT 5:43-48
Theme: Universality of Divine Love and the particular love we are given to share.
October 20th, 1672 Fr John Eudes first known instance (using various names)
One of the seven Feasts of the Lord in Ordinary Time Universal are: Transfiguration of the Lord, Triumph of the Cross and Feast of the Dedication. Western specific: Trinity, Corpus Christi, Sacred Heart of Jesus and Christ the King.
Eph 3:8 – boundless riches of Christ. Jn 19:37 – reparation and contemplating the pierced heart of Jesus since the first day.
Sacred Heart of Jesus is the revelation of the Father’s love.
Introduction to the sacred time between Corpus Christi and the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Greeting and Opening Prayer.
Introduction to the Mystery.
Triduum Prayer Service preceding the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The symbol of the love with which Jesus continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings without exception.
The wholeness of the Heart of Jesus is present in the heart of a Priest.
Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life, his agony, and his Passion and gave himself up for each one of us: “The Son of God . . . loved me and gave himself for me.”
He has loved us all with a human heart. For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation, “is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that. . . love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings” without exception.
Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis: “The new evangelization needs new evangelizers, and these are the priests who are serious about living their priesthood as a specific path towards holiness” (n. 82). Holy Thursday, by taking us back to the origins of our priesthood, reminds us also of the duty to strive for holiness, to be “ministers of holiness” to the men and women entrusted to our pastoral service. In this light we see how very fitting is the suggestion put forward by the Congregation for the Clergy that every Diocese should celebrate a “Day for the Sanctification of Priests” on the Feast of the Sacred Heart.
1. “So that your love for me may live in them” (Jn 17:26).
Christ prays in the Upper Room. Re prays on the evening in which he instituted the Eucharist. He prays for the Apostles and for all those “who will believe through their word” (Jn 17:20) down the generations and centuries. He is asking the Father that all “may he one”, as the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father: “That they may be one in us” (Jn 17:21).
To be one: the unity of Divinity and the unity of communion of the Persons – the unity of the Father in the Son and of the Son with the Father in the Holy Spirit. Unity through Love.
Christ prays for love: “So that your love for me may live in them” (Jn 17:26).
Christ reveals the secret of his Heart. Precisely this human Heart of God’s Son is an ineffable sanctuary which contains all the treasures of love: it is a Heart “overflowing with goodness and love” (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus).
2. The prayer offered by Christ in the Upper Room continues in the Church: from century to century, from generation to generation, it is a perennial “source of life and holiness” (ibid.). But there are particular moments in history, specially chosen places and persons who almost discover and reveal anew this perennial and undying truth about love.
Source: Pope John Paul II canonizes Claude La Colombiére May 31, 1992
Scripture Reading and Reflection. We are given to experience and share love in the same intentionality of God the Father – fully, unreservedly and universally. Loving the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the efficacious pathway to the Father. Reference Peter’s restoration Do you love me?
Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Gospel Reading: Mt 6:1-6, 16-18
Eph 3:8-9 – Hidden and revealed in plain view (Paul).
Eph 3:10-12 – through the Church.. God.. be made known to the rulers and authorities (including) in the heavenly places.
Jn 1:14 – the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
Rev 21:3 -Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race (and in the human person).
Theme: Selflessness of Divine Love and the particular acts of love we are given to share.
Gosh, you may be thinking, ‘No! Not another Lent homily’ After all, we treat this Gospel message of Jesus Christ quite extensively during Lent. The three disciplines of Lent are… Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. Nope, not going there. Not a repeat.
The Heart of God’s Son becomes, for the Apostle, the source of strength for all human hearts.
Hidden and Revealed
Short funny story – Father Son Bible and College…. hidden cash at different places in the bible but never found by Son.
The Christ was hidden in the Old Testament. Jesus was hidden in the womb of His Mother. Jesus’ early life was a hidden life of the Holy Family of Nazareth.And Mary held all this deep in her heart.
We seek to be hidden in God or we seek to hide from God and in the end we reveal how we are with God. Let me repeat.
We either seek to be hidden in God or we seek to hide from God and in the end we reveal how we are with God.
Example of the Western Wall, Herod’s Temple, Jerusalem, Israel. Also known as the Wailing Wall where people write supplications on little slips of paper and insert into the cracks in the wall. It is a massive and impressive wall invoking the knowledge of the power and towering strength of God and His ability to protect His people.
It is said, there are enough crevices in the Wailing Wall to contain all the prayers of every human person.
It is in these hidden places in the massive wall they place their prayers. The God of such symbolic magnitude nevertheless provides the hidden spaces for the most intimate hopes of people.
The sacred wound of Jesus is bidirectional. There is the outpouring of Grace upon the world. It is also the entry to the hidden place where God lives which is in the center of the heart of Jesus and what could be in the center of your heart as well.
Story #1 – Gift from Sito Tralala in Barangay Gordon Heights, Olongapo City, Philippines.
Story #2 – Gift from coworker at ChoicePoint (now LexisNexis).
Gifts from the Heart are precisely from where Jesus wants us to give our gifts. Giving from the Sacred Heart of Jesus (a font you have access to) is the gift par excellent. Give generously.
So then hide! Hide in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Let your prayers flow with divine grace, your gifts flow from the divine place and your sacrifice be from the divine place.
(It is advantageous to read the first reading from today – 2 KGS 2:1, 6-14. Here you will see the hidden calling to the heart of Elisha [step it up] and the heart of Elijah [give it up]. Hidden, God at work and the gift giving.
Note: Due to technical problems the radio broadcast started at 6:15 PM. I had to restart the WiFi router but it took a little while to figure out what the problem was.
Gospel Reading: Mt 6:7-15
Eph 5:25b-27 – Christ loved the Church. He gave himself up … to make holy, purified in word and water.. without stain.. to present her (you) to the Father.
Jn 3:30 – He must increase and I must decrease. CHALLENGING THOUGHT: John the Baptizer moves aside so we can see Jesus. Jesus moves aside so we can see the Father.
Our Priests are always challenged like John and Jesus, how can I be present and yet point them to the Father’s love? The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is also the Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests.
Theme: Direct access to the source of Divine Love and the particular intentionality of love we are given to share. In the Our Father, Jesus intentionally points us to the Father, not to himself, but to the source of all love. Abba, Father!
Jesus loves with an Everlasting. A love which he shares with the Father. Jesus is gentle and humble. Jesus shepherds us.
Story. Mother dressed kids for Holy Mass.
Story: Fr Nobert and a charming story of his new suit and his parish home in Les Irois, Haiti.
(Don’t tell my brothers I put this photo here. They would not be happy)
Priests would share the same thoughts as they try to prepare us for Holy Mass too!
Blood Poured out. Old and New. At the giving of the Tablet and at the Cross.
Jesus hares his Father with us. Jesus makes for the fullness meaning of the word OUR.
Solemnity of the Most Sacred HEart of Jesus
Today is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. We prepared during the Triduum three major aspects of this feast.
The selflessness and inexhaustible riches coming from/contemplation of the pierced heart of Jesus and in the heart of our being-sanctified Priests. Love unreservedly.
The selflessness nature of the hidden and revealing place of the Heart of Jesus. Loves source is the Father. Our acts are perfect when sourced from the Father’s love.
The selflessness of John the Baptist and Jesus, Son of God, making way for us to be revealed to and the revealing of the Father’s Love. The Our Father par excellence. Our priests and our Jesus prepare us. Love speaks in the deepest groans.
In today’s Gospel reading Jesus speaks about the hidden things and revealed things all in the service of Love. It doesn’t require exceptional qualities of a person to receive the Father but simply an accepting heart.
This spiritual journey from not knowing to knowing is what Jesus offers. In ancient times and in today’s time the journey seems so complicated and arduous. But Jesus reassures us that to find the Father of Love you need only Jesus. Here you find rest, guidance, knowledge and the pathway of eternal life. He is not the task master. He is not a demanding God but for the commandment to be like him meek and humble of heart.
God bless you.
Please leave a comment or a ‘Like.’
It’s like yelling into the Grand Canyon and hearing only my own echo.
Lord, I come to you at the start of this novena with a muddle of desires. Give me courage, to listen to what you want to say to me about these desires and give me the strength to accept your loving desires for me and for my loved ones.
Three Our Father, three Ave Maria, one Glory be.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
Lord Jesus, the needs of your people open your heart in love for each of us. You care for us when we are lost, sympathize with us in loneliness, and comfort us in mourning; you are close to us where we are weak. You love us most when we love ourselves least; you forgive us most when we forgive ourselves least; and you call us to spread your love in whatever way we can.
Lord Jesus, your heart is moved with compassion when we are suffering, when we need your help, and when we pray for each other. I ask you to listen to my prayer during this Novena, and grant what I ask. (Mention your intention silently.)
If what I ask is not for my own good and the good of others, grant me what is best, that I may build up your kingdom of love in our world.
LITANY OF THE SACRED HEART of JESUS
V. Lord, have mercy on us. R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.
V. God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us. God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us. God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mother’s womb. Heart of Jesus, substantially united to the Word of God. Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty. Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God. Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High. Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven. Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity. Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love. Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love. Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues. Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise. Heart of Jesus, King and center of all hearts. Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Heart of Jesus, in whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead. Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father was well pleased. Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received. Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills. Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy. Heart of Jesus, rich to all who call upon You. Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness. Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our offenses. Heart of Jesus, overwhelmed with reproaches. Heart of Jesus, bruised for our iniquities. Heart of Jesus, obedient even unto death. Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance. Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation. Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection. Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation. Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins. Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in You. Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in You. Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints.
V. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, R. spare us, O Lord. V. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, R. graciously hear us, O Lord. V. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, R. have mercy on us.
V. Jesus, meek and humble of Heart, R. Make our hearts like Yours
Let us pray.
Almighty and eternal God, look upon the Heart of your most beloved Son and upon the praises and satisfaction which He offers You in the name of sinners; and to those who implore Your mercy, in Your great goodness, grant forgiveness in the name of the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reign with you forever and ever. Amen.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
Citations: Unless otherwise noted, content is is my own or from various homilies by Pope John Paul II. Usually it would be obvious which is which. Really good stuff – JPII, bridging and recapitulations, mine.
The Christian belief of a triune God can be a challenge for those of other traditions. It is a revelation that comes about after the Pentecost event when the gift of the Holy Spirit is poured out.
Parts of Triune belief are rather easy. If God is Father and God is unchanging then one would conclude He is Father from all eternity. If so then Son (Jesus) is Son from all eternity. If the Son is co-eternal with the Father then he is equal in substance to God because there is no intermediate step or time of becoming Son rather he simply is the same substance of the Father since there is no division within him (he is One).
It get harder to accept the Holy Spirit using that same logic. Instead one must consider the experience of the Holy Spirit. Believers who surrender to the love of God in baptism and confirmation experience the personal relationship (we call it personhood) of the Holy Spirit. In addition, one would consider the mission of the Spirit which is a natural outflow form the Divine love expressed between Father and Son (here you are good to reread the Gospel of John and see how the love between Father and Son is a crucial component of the Gospel message and always presented within the continuing mission of the Holy Spirit to ‘sanctify them in the truth’.
So much is written on the topic and ‘getting it’ is a fleeting endeavor. Bringing into alignment Faith and Reason is a worthy journey but one that will never end in this life.
I don’t want my inferior attempts to bruise your faith in any way. So allow me to say it this way.
God has revealed to us that at His center is a dynamic, perpetual, always refreshed, never changing mystery of love. He is self-giving even within himself. He wants us to experience him not as simply ‘God’ like so many pagan thinking. Rather as a divine, all powerful self-giving love in the person of the Father who loves us without end, in the person of the Son who redeems us from our follies, and in the person of the Holy Spirit who sanctifies us from the inside out.
Perhaps the first reading might help.
In Sunday’s reading the first is the giving of the Law a second time. Yes, the tablets of the Commandments had to be recreated and represented to the people.
What happened? You recall that after the first set of tablets were given Moses came down from the mountain and found the people had rebelled casting the bronze calf.
Moses was not pleased. In fact Moses anger burned hot, he threw the tablets to the ground and they shattered at the foot of the mountain.
Hey, Moses was a good man of course. He even challenged God to not harm the people as God had warned Moses the people had revolted. But… but…
When Moses saw the golden calf his true, deeper feelings came out. He was pissed! His piety was enraged. He in that moment decided to deny them the Law and went about cleaning up the mess by slaying 3,000 sinners.
[Note: please allow the author of the Exodus his writing as he is writing to illustrate deep spiritual meaning. That being at the core Moses had more sanctification to go through for surely his outrage and outrageous murder was not the will of God. But I don’t want to ruin the story].
In the intervening time period (we are in Exodus 32, 33, 34 – sorry forgot to tell you) Moses is changing. Moses is being sanctified.
When Moses was ready he was given gifts.
A new set of tablets to replace the old ones.
A theophany. God appears to Moses.
God says, ‘the Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness’.
Moses quickly bowed his head and worshiped.
The LAW was given and poorly received in the heart both by Moses and the People although in different ways.
This time, the LAW is encased in the understanding of mercy, grace, steadfast love and faithfulness.
By now you should be able to accept this conclusion.
The TEN COMMANDMENTS are NOTHING (shattered) if not encased in the relation of mercy, grace, steadfast love and faithfulness.
Paul, knowing all this, perhaps for the first time prescribes a similar reengagement.
Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
So the Gospel message on Trinity Sunday honors the Trinity in this way. The very center of the inter-dynamics of God is love. God is love. Superabundant love. Beyond natural love. Self-giving, self-denial love.
We are condemned only if we refuse the way of sanctification. Moses for all his beautiful piety needed a serious realignment.
God provided. Moses accepted. And then the true meaning of divine law can then take root.
This is our journey too.
If you are using the divine law as a hammer, then perhaps you think everyone is a nail to be pounded into your view of righteousness.
When Jesus spoke on the Mount and gave us the Beatitudes he gave the most important one last in the Gospel of Matthew.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
I am sure it is easy to get stumped on this one. How is this about forgiveness?
And yet it is exactly about forgiveness. Blessed are those who having been criticized and punished for doing what is right and instead respond with forgiveness for this is exactly what the Kingdom of heaven is about (the forgiven).
Forgiveness even in the face of injustice.
Forgiveness even when one has harmed the innocent.
The Work of the Church is Forgiveness
In today’s Gospel the reading builds to exactly this. Let us see the steps leading to this conclusion.
Jesus brings his Peace (blessed are the peacemakers)
Jesus breathes on them.
Disciples receive the Holy Spirit.
Jesus sends them.
Disciples are to forgive (blessed are the persecuted).
The Council of Trent established definitively that the Gospel of John 20:23 specifically gives the Church the Sacrament of Reconciliation as power in Christ and the responsibility to offer forgiveness again and again.
Forgiveness: fully, completely, generously, forever, without reservation.
And yet with discernment. With an eye to justice. With consideration to restitution. Not so as to deny a pathway to forgiveness but to allow the fullness of the necessity of forgiveness.
Law of Love is the Law of Forgiveness
You have heard it said from Jesus, this is my command, love one another as I have loved you.
But, ahem, how can love be commanded? Isn’t love, de facto, a voluntary act not subject to command?
Yet, indeed it is. For the law of love is the law of forgiveness of which we can certainly be held accountable.
This new law is a life principle, a way of being, that Jesus calls us to life.
Theme of My Life, Theme of the Church
The Psalmist says it well Let my theme (meditation) be pleasing to Him; As for me, I shall be glad in the Lord.
Pentecost is a harvest festival. A harvest of charity. Jesus having placed the charity of God for all to see and experience on the cross of redemption is due his harvest. Pentecost harvest.
This is the theme of the Church. This is her mandate from Jesus.
Forgive sins. Teach those who are not ready for forgiveness, and wait like the Father of the Prodigal Son for any sign of readiness to be forgiven.
In the first attempts at commentary they were on FaceBook which are lost to me as this is a service I no longer subscribe. I remember telling the story of “Policia!”. I wish I had the content available to me again as a retelling would be a shadow of the post given in the hour of the encounter. Even the photo I took of the makeshift memorial for Victor I cannot find. I simply remember the father mourning his son and expressing / accusing from the deepest parts of his soul, “Policia”.
Of my earliest posts were in regard to the shooting of Victor Arango of Lake Worth 24 y/o Thursday, June 7 2012. These posts won’t make a lot of sense without the current event, well, current. Nevertheless…