Sunday, July 14, 2013

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost



“...if you live according to the flesh, you will die;

but if  by the spirit you put to death the deeds of

the of flesh, you will live.”  Rom. 8:12

Today’s Epistle (Romans 8:12-17) again, as

in the previous two Sundays, emphasizes the

struggle within all of us between the flesh and the

spirit.  Fr. Gabriel of St. Magdalen, O.C.D. in his

book of meditations,  Divine Intimacy, comments

on today’s readings:  “...the life of the old man, a

slave to sin and the passions, from which come

the fruits of death and that of the new man, the

servant, or better, the child of God, producing

fruits of life: ‘...if you live according to the flesh,

you will die; but if,  by the spirit, you mortify the

deeds of the of flesh, you will live.’ Rom. 8:12  

Baptism has begotten us to the life of the spirit,

but it has not suppressed the life of the flesh in

us; the new man must always struggle against

the old man, the spiritual must fight against the

corporeal. Baptismal grace does not excuse us

from this battle, but it gives us the power to

sustain it.”  p.  732   Today’s Gospel (Luke 16:1-9)

teaches us in the Parable of the Unjust Steward, in

an indirect way, as Fr. Gabriel tells us, “how to be

wise in administering the great riches of our life

of grace.” p. 733   In the parable, the unjust

steward who is to be dismissed from his position

uses the master’s goods to advantage by favouring

the master’s debtors so that they will favour him

after he is dismissed.  Jesus does not praise the

conduct of the unjust steward, who is actually

stealing from his master by giving away his goods,

but he does praise his worldly prudence:   “The

children of this world are wiser in their

generation than the children of light. And I say to

you: ‘Make unto you friends of the mammon of

iniquity; that when you shall fail, they may

receive you into the everlasting dwellings.” 

The battle of “the children of light”

This life is a struggle and only those who

are willing to do violence to themselves will be

victorious.  Jesus said,  “...the kingdom of heaven

has been enduring  violent assault, and the violent

have been seizing by force.” Mt. 11:12  This

struggle should not frighten us for St. Paul tells us

of the graces given to the “children of light” who

are made children of God by baptism: “Now you

have not received a spirit of bondage so as to be

again in fear, but you have received a spirit of

adoption as sons, by virtue of which we cry, Abba!

Father!” Rom 8:15 Fr. Gabriel comments:  “Jesus

exhorts the  ‘children of light’ not to be less

shrewd in providing for their eternal interests

than the ‘children of darkness’ are in assuring

for themselves the goods of the earth.”  p. 733 

We too have received many gifts of supernatural

grace from our heavenly Father: “The Spirit

himself gives testimony to our spirit that we are

sons of God.” Rom. 8:14-6   The Holy Spirit within

us testifies that we are led by the Spirit of God and

that He prays within us to the Father.  The Holy

Spirit arouses confidence within us of our great

destiny:  “But if you are sons, we are heirs also;

heirs indeed of God and joint heirs with Christ,

provided, however, we suffer with him that we

may also be glorified with him.” Rom. 8: 17 

“This is our great treasure: to be children of

God, co-heirs with Christ, temples of the Holy

Spirit.” Fr. Gabriel, p. 733

“Charity covers a multitude of sins.” I Pt. 4:8

“The Parable of the Unjust Steward”

reminds us that we need to be even more clever

than the “children of darkness” in using what has

been given to us in the order of grace.  Just as the

unjust steward used the goods of his master to aid

his cause, so too we should use the goods that God

has given us in the order of grace to win for

ourselves our eternal salvation. Fr. Gabriel reminds

us of our spiritual treasures:  “We also, like the

steward in the parable, have received from God

a  patrimony to administer, that is, our natural

gifts, and more particularly, our supernatural

gifts, and all the graces, holy inspirations, and

promptings to good which God has bestowed on

us. The hour of rendering an account will come

for us too, and we shall have to admit that we

have often been unfaithful in trafficking with

the gifts of God, in making the treasures of

grace fructify in our soul. How can we atone for

infidelities.  This is the moment to put into

practice the teaching of the parable by which, as

St. Augustine says, ‘God admonishes all of us to

use our earthly goods to make friends for

ourselves among the poor. They, in turn,

becoming the friends of their benefactors, will

be the cause of their admission into heaven.’  In

other words, we must pay our debts to God by

charity toward our neighbour, for Sacred

Scripture tells us, ‘Charity covers a multitude of

sins.’  I Pt. 4:8  This does not mean material

charity alone, but also spiritual charity and not

in great things only, but in little ones too—yes,

even in the very least things, such as a glass of

water given for the love of God. These little acts

of charity, which are always within our power,

are the riches by which we pay our debts and

put in order ‘our stewardship.’” Fr. Gabriel, p.

“Make an account of thy stewardship, for thou

canst be steward no longer.” Lk. 16:2.

Dom Prosper Gueranger in his book, The

Liturgical Year Vol. II comments on the meaning

of “The Parable of Unjust Steward” as an allegory

of all of sinners.   “The rich man, then, of our

Gospel is Jesus, who in His sacred Humanity,

united to the Word, is heir of all things (cf. Heb.

1:2 & 3:8), and, as such, all things of the most

High God, created and uncreated, finite and

infinite, belong to Him...” Gueranger, p.209.  We

are the unjust stewards who have squandered the

goods and talents which our master, Jesus Christ,

has given us.  He owns all that we have and all the

resources of the world.  We are only stewards of

them. Now that we have misused the goods of this

world for our selfish ends with our sins, we need to

make up to  God for our sins.  Like the  Unjust

Steward   who went to his master’s creditors, we

need to go to all who need our charity and give

them of  our goods (which really belong to God in

the first place) and help them so that they will be

our witnesses before God when we come to be

judged.  This is what is behind the meaning of the

scriptural text,  “Charity covers a multitude of

sins.”  I Pt. 4:8  Dom Gueranger comments on the

need to give alms:  “Alms, whether corporal or

spiritual, secure us powerful friends for that

awful day of our death and judgment.”

Gueranger, p. 212   We too need creditors for when

we have to render an account of our lives:  “Make

an account of thy stewardship, for thou canst be

steward no longer.” Lk. 16:2.  These are the words

that Jesus will ask us at the end of our lives when

we have to give an account of what we have done

with His riches that He has given us. What have we

done with all the riches, talents and time which

God has given us?

“….and he that is unjust in that which is little, is

unjust in that which is greater.” Lk. 16:10

to this parable which is not included in today’s

Gospel.  Jesus had begun this series of parables,

“The Lost Sheep,”  “The Prodigal Son,” and

“The Unjust Steward,”  after the Pharisees and

There is another important meaning

Scribes had murmured about Him:  “This man

welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Lk. 15:2 

In addition to the meaning of the parables that He

had come to call sinners, He wanted the Scribes

and Pharisees, like the unjust Steward, to realize

that they were unfaithful in their roles as leaders of

the people.  Dom Gueranger comments on the

intention of the Church:  “...if we would

understand the whole intention of the Church in

her choice of the present Gospel—we must listen

to St. Jerome....Let us first listen to the words of

the Scripture which the saint quotes (they

immediately follow those of the Gospel):   ‘He

that is faithful in that which is least;  is faithful in

that which is greater; and he that is unjust in that

which is little, is unjust in that which is greater. 

If, then, ye have not been faithful in the unjust

mammon, who will trust you with that which is

true.” Lk. 16:10-4  These words, says St. Jerome,

were said in the presence of the scribes and

Pharisees; they felt that the parable was

intended for them; and they derided the divine

preacher.  The one that was ‘unjust in that

which is little’ is the jealous Jew, who, in the

limited possession of the present life, refuses to

his fellow-men the use of those goods which were

created for all. If, then, you avaricious scribes

are convicted of mal-administration in the

management of temporal riches, how can you

expect to have confided to you the true, the

eternal,  riches of the divine word, and the

teaching of the Gentiles....” Gueranger, p. 213 

We may add here that there are many of the

powerful elites, who are cheating and stealing the

goods of this world and which they think belong to

them, that they too will have to render an account

of their stewardship some day to God,  the just

judge.   “Make an account of thy stewardship, for

thou canst be steward no longer.” Lk. 16:2.

Thank God for all of His Blessings

Fr. Gabriel, quoting St. Augustine, reminds

us how we are to live our spiritual life with love

and gratitude to God for all His gifts to us:  “Oh!

How much I owe You, my Lord God, who

redeemed me at so great a price!  Oh! How

much I ought to love, bless, praise, honour, and

glorify You who have loved me so much! I shall

give praise to Your Name, O God, who made me

capable of receiving  the great glory of being

Your son. I owe to You all I have, all that is of

use for my life, all that I know and love. Who

possesses anything that is not Yours?  Bestow

your gifts on me, O Lord our God, so that made

rich by You, I may serve and please You, and

every day return thanks to You for all that Your

mercy has  done for me. I cannot serve You or

please You without making use of your gifts to

me.” (cf. St. Augustine). Fr. Gabriel, p. 734-5

Sister, Please tell the people that tea and coffee are

available in St. Joseph’s Hall after Mass

Sunday’s Offerings

There is no collection during Mass.  Please

put your offerings for the needs of the monastery

in the box at the main aisle  of the chapel.  Thank

you for your kindness! Remember, today’s gospel

message: ‘Charity covers a multitude of sins.’ I Pt.

The New Evangelization in the Church

“Without faith it is impossible to please God.”

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall

enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does

the will of my Father in heaven shall enter the

kingdom of  heaven.” Mt. 8:21  

“For this is the will of the Father who sent me

that whoever beholds the  Son, and believes in him

shall have everlasting life, and I will raise him up

on the last day.”  Jn. 6:40

Jesus Christ wishes all men to follow Him

and believe in Him with absolute faith. “Faith is

the theological virtue by which we believe in God

and believe all that He has said and revealed

to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our

belief, because He is truth itself.”  Catechism of

the Catholic Church  #1814    Jesus established

His Church on Peter:  “And I say to thee, thou are

Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,

and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 

And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of

heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth

shall be bound in heaven and whatever thou shalt

loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  Mt.

16: 18-19  Jesus commissioned His Apostles to go

into the whole world and preach the gospel: .   “Go

into the whole world and preach the gospel to

every creature. He who believes and is baptized

will be saved, but he who does not believe shall be

condemned.”   Mark 16:15-6

Heb. 6:11

Necessity of being in the Church

It is an absolute necessity for all souls to

believe in Jesus Christ and His Church founded

on St. Peter.  We need faith in Jesus’ words. 

“Without faith it is impossible please God.” Heb.

6:11

EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS

(No Salvation Outside the Church)

In Catholic Dogma, the Church teaches in 

a “de fide”  statement that all must belong to the

Catholic Church to gain eternal life: “We declare,

say,  define, and pronounce that it is absolutely

necessary for the salvation of every human

creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”

Pope Boniface VIII, (Unam Sanctam, 1302).

This assertion implies that all nonCatholic religions are false and that only the

Catholic Church contains the entire deposit of faith

given to the Apostles by Christ.  Although this

statement is denied and scorned by today's world,

it is fully in accord with common sense and the

constant teaching of the Church.  (Objectively:   “No

Salvation outside the Church”: Subjectively: 

God alone can judge a soul as to his dispositions; we

cannot judge the eternal salvation  of souls.)

Only One True Church

Only the Catholic Church was founded by

Jesus Christ.  All other Churches were founded by

men. 

Only the Catholic Church has the fullness

of truth.  Other faiths deny the Blessed Trinity and

the divinity of Jesus Christ.  Other religions do not

have the fullness of God’s moral truth and allow

practices condemned by the Ten Commandments

and the Sacred Scriptures (divorce, contraception,

polygamy etc.)

Only the Catholic Church has the means

of holiness in the sacraments instituted by Jesus

Christ to give grace:  Baptism to cleanse the souls

of original sin, the Holy Eucharist enabling the soul

to receive the Body and Blood of Christ (“Amen,

amen, I say to you, unless you eat of the flesh of

the Son of Man and drink his blood you shall not

have life in you.” John 6:51 and 54)  Penance to rid

the soul of sin (Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins

you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and

whose sins  you shall retain, they are retained.”

John 20:22), and Matrimony to give the husband and

wife the grace to fulfill their marital vows (“What

therefore God has joined together, let no man put

asunder.” Mk. 10:9).