Thursday, August 28, 2014

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, 31 August 2014

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
31 August 2014

“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I say to you, many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and they have not seen it; and to hear what you hear, and they have not heard it.” Lk. 10: 23-4

In today’s readings, we have a profound teaching on the coming of Jesus Christ and the subsequent effects of divine grace on the soul. St. Paul in the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (3:4-9) contrasts the glory of the Old Covenant of Moses and the Jews with the glory of the New Covenant which Jesus Christ, the Son of God, brought to fulfilment by His sharing of His divine life with each person who is baptized. The glory given to Moses pales in comparison to the eternal glory given to men by Christ: “For if there is glory in the ministration that condemned (Old Covenant), much more does the ministration that justifies abound in glory (New Covenant).” II Cor. 3:9 In the Gospel (Lk. 10:23-37) Jesus is asked a question by a lawyer, “Master what must I do to gain eternal life?” Lk. 10:25 Jesus replies by telling the lawyer and the other Jews present The Parable of the Good Samaritan, which is the quintessential gospel message of charity towards one’s neighbour. This message is so important that only those who practice this charity, which is given at Baptism with divine grace, will inherit the glory of heaven. Only they will have the eternal glory that Christ promises to all those who have faith in him and follow His teachings. This is why Jesus praises those who see him and believe in Him: “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.” Lk. 10: 23

The Glory of the Old and New Testament
Dom Prosper Gueranger in his book, “The Liturgical Year,” Vol. II comments on the differences between the glory of the Old and New Testament: “But let us examine what is this ‘glory’ of the new Testament, which so fills the apostle (Paul) with ecstasy, and, in his mind, almost entirely eclipses the splendour of the old. Splendour there undoubtedly was in the Covenant of Sinai. Never had there been such a manifestation of God’s majesty, and omnipotence, and holiness, as on the that day, when, gathering together, at the foot of the mount, the descendents of the twelve sons of Jacob, He mercifully renewed, with this immense family, the covenant formerly made with their fathers, and gave them His Law in the extraordinary solemn manner described in the Book of Exodus. And yet, that Law, engraven as it was on stone by God’s own hand, was not, for all that, in the hearts of the receivers; neither did its holiness prevent, though it condemned, sin—sin which reigns in man’s heart. (cf. Rom. 7:12-3) Moses, who carried the divine writing, came down from the mount, having the rays of God’s ‘glory’ glittering on his face (cf. Ex. 34: 29-35); but this ‘glory’ was not to be shared in by the people of whom he was the head; it was for himself alone as was likewise the privilege he had enjoyed of speaking with God face to face; it ceased with him, thus signifying, by its short duration, the character of that ministration, which was to cease on the coming of the Messiah, just as the night’s borrowed light vanishes when the day appears. And, as it were, the better to show that the time was not as yet come, when God would manifest His glory—the children of Israel were not able to gaze on the face of Moses; so that, when he had to speak to the people, he had need to put on the veil. Though a mere borrowed light the brightness of Moses’ face represented the ‘glory’ of the future Covenant, whose splendour was to shine, not, of course, externally, but in the hearts of us all, by giving us ‘the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus.’” II Cor. 4:6 Gueranger, p. 292-3

“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!” Lk.10:23
How blessed were those who heard Jesus speak in today’s gospel about how the Good Samaritan truly loved his neighbour. Only those who have been enlightened by God’s grace can practice such charity. Dom Gueranger comments on the interior “glory” given to those who have faith in Jesus Christ: “Jesus, the Man-God, of whom Paul was but the servant, reveals to us, in the Gospel, the perfection of that Law, which He came to give to the world. And as though He would, in a certain way, unite His own divine teachings with those of His apostle, and justify that apostle’s enthusiasm, it is from the very depth of His own most holy soul, and in the Holy Ghost (cf. Lk. 10: 23-4) that having thanked His eternal Father for these great things, He cries out, turning to His disciples: “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!” Lk.10:23 .... Faith, which guides the just man, is enough to make him estimate the life of the senses for what it really is,-- miserable and grovelling. With the aid of ordinary grace, he easily lives in that intimate retirement of the soul, wherein he knows that the holy Trinity resides; he knows it, because he has it from the teaching of Scriptures (Cf. Jn. 14:23). His heart is a kind of heaven, where his life is hidden in God, together with that Jesus upon whom are fixed all his thoughts (cf. Col. 3:3): there he gives to his beloved Lord the only proof of love which is to be trusted, the only one that this Lord asks at our hands, keeping of the commandments (cf. Jn. 14:21). Gueranger, p. 298-302

“Faith which works through charity.” Gal. 5:6
The key to understanding today’s gospel is the realization of what St. Paul tells us: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision is of any avail, nor uncircumcision, but faith which works through charity.” Gal. 5:6 Dom Gueranger comments on the absolute need for charity: “If all perfection be included in love,-- if, without love, no virtue produces fruit for heaven,--it is important for us to remember, that love is not of the right kind unless it includes our ‘neighbour’; and it is only after stating this particular, that St. Paul affirms that love fulfilleth the whole law (cf. Rom. 13:10) ... and we are told that the love we have for God is only then what it ought to be, when we love not only Him, but also what He loves, that is, when we love man whom He made to His own likeness (cf. I Jn. 4:20). Gueranger, p. 303-4. In the parable of “The Good Samaritan,” Jesus needed to explain this to the Jews who only saw their neighbour as one of their own race. Dom Gueranger explains how Jesus makes His will known: “This time, He does not make His voice heard amidst thunder and fire, as on Mount Sinai. He, as Man living and conversing with men, reveals to them, and in the most intelligible way possible, the whole import of the eternal commandment which leads to life. (cf. Baruch 4:1) ...our Jesus describes there was a man who went forth from the holy city, and how he fell in with a Samaritan, that is, with a stranger the most despised and disliked of all those whom an inhabitant of Jerusalem looked on as his enemies. And yet, the shrewd ‘lawyer’ who questions Jesus, and, no doubt, all those who have been listening to the answer, are obliged to own that the neighbour, for the poor fellow who had fallen into the hands of robbers, was not so truly the ‘priest,’ or the ‘levite (though both of them were of their own race), as this stranger, this ‘Samaritan,’ who forgets all national grudges as soon as he sees a suffering creature and cannot look on him in any other light than as a fellow-man. Our Jesus made himself thoroughly understood; and everyone present must have well learnt the lesson, that the greatest of all laws, the law of love, admits of no exception, either here or in heaven.” Gueranger p. 304-5
Other Christs
The charity of the Good Samaritan is only possible in the Christian soul by the grace of God which has been given in Baptism, the sacrament of the New Covenant. The Old Testament was only a preparation for the New; only in the New Testament are all souls, not just Moses, given the “glory” of God as St. Paul tells us: “But we all, with faces unveiled, reflecting as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into his very image from glory to glory, as through the Spirit of the Lord.” II Cor. 3:18

The First Friday, 5 September
2014
Now is a good time to continue (or begin) the devotion to the “Nine First Fridays” of the Month. The Sacred Heart of Jesus promised to St. Margaret Mary: "I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment." There is no better way to honour the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus than doing the “Nine First Fridays” every month.

First Saturday, 6 September 2014
Our Lady told Sr. Lucia in 1925 “…I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me." If only we would do what Our Lady asks, we would be assured of eternal salvation. Our Lady promises us all the graces necessary for our salvation if we keep The Five First Saturdays! Just think that when you are about to die the Blessed Virgin Mary will be there with you to help you get to heaven! “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen” How many times have you said these words in your lifetime?

Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix
6 September 2014

On the First Saturday of every month, we will have our monthly formation program for those who are interested in affiliating themselves with the Marian Spirituality of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. The day begins at 9:30 AM and goes until 4 PM and includes two conferences, Holy Mass, adoration and the rosary. (see flyer on door)
This spirituality is Marian and Franciscan and includes the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Maximilian Kolbe and other Franciscan saints. “The fundamental aim of the MIM is the fulfilment of God’s plan for the salvation and sanctification of all souls through the maternal mediation of the Immaculate to the supreme glory of the Most Holy Trinity.” (Article 2: Statute)
We hope that all of you will consider joining the MIM and work for your own sanctification and the sanctification of so many souls. Our Lady said at Fatima in 1917: “Many souls will go to hell because no one will pray and sacrifice for them.”


The New Evangelization VI

Popes on “Outside the Church there is no Salvation.”

• Pope Leo XIII (1878–1903), Encyclical Annum Ingressi Sumus: "This is our last lesson to you; receive it, engrave it in your minds, all of you: by God's commandment salvation is to be found nowhere but in the Church."
• Pope St. Pius X (1903–1914), Encyclical Jucunda Sane: "It is our duty to recall to everyone great and small, as the Holy Pontiff Gregory did in ages past, the absolute necessity which is ours, to have recourse to this Church to effect our eternal salvation."
• Pope Benedict XV (1914–1922), Encyclical Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum: "Such is the nature of the Catholic faith that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole, or as a whole rejected: This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved."
• Pope Pius XI (1922–1939), Encyclical Mortalium Animos: "The Catholic Church alone is keeping the true worship. This is the font of truth, this is the house of faith, this is the temple of God; if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation… Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ, no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors."
• Pope Pius XII(1939–1958), Encyclical Humani Generis, August 12, 1950: "Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation."
• Pope Pius XII (1939–1958), Allocution to the Gregorian University (17 October 1953): "By divine mandate the interpreter and guardian of the Scriptures, and the depository of Sacred Tradition living within her, the Church alone is the entrance to salvation: She alone, by herself, and under the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit, is the source of truth."
• ,Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 14: "They could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or to remain in it."
Addenda: Invincible ignorance
• The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) #847: This affirmation (outside the Church there is no salvation) is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own do not know Christ and His Church:
• “Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience –those too may achieve eternal salvation.”-Catechism of the Catholic Church:
(Please note:) Those who do not know the ten commandments must keep the natural law i.e. to do the will of God. This is not easy. This is why St. Anthony Mary Claret said: “It is not necessary to be a Catholic per se, but where else are souls to get rid of their mortal sins.”
• Note also, this is why the great English writer, Gilbert Keith Chesterton said that he wanted a Church in which his sins would be forgiven.

• CCC #848 “Although in ways know to himself, God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please Him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize men.”