Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Third Sunday of Lent, 8 March 2015


The Third Sunday of Lent
8 March 2015
He who is not with me is against me; and
he who does not gather with me scatters.”
Lk. 11: 23
Today, the Church cautions us in both the
Epistle (Ephesians 5:1-9) and Gospel (Luke 11:14-
28) to choose Christ and not evil. These days, we
see how many people compromise the teachings of
the Church for their own convenience and
inevitably suffer tragic consequences. Msgr.
Patrick Boylan comments on the widespread
sinfulness of our time: “On all sides one hears the
voices raised against every attempt to check the
growth of profligacy, every effort to restrict evil
amusements and evil literature. We hear
constantly of the ‘sacred rights,’ of freedom—
freedom, that is, to disregard the moral code, to
follow the blind guidance of passion, to satisfy
every form of curiosity, to see everything, to read
everything. Popular literature is full of the
‘empty words’ with which all that is seductive to
sense is represented as innocent because it is
‘natural, ‘ or ‘healthy,’ or because it ‘develops
the personality!’” (The Sunday Epistles and
Gospels, p. 191) To counteract this spirit of the
world, that Msgr. Boylan indicates, St. Paul warns
us of the dangers of worldliness: “Let no one lead
you astray with empty words; for because of these
things the wrath of God comes upon the children
of disobedience.” Eph. 5:6 In the gospel, Jesus is
even more emphatic as He condemns the leaders of
the Jews for allying themselves with Satan. He
who is not with me is against me; and he who does
not gather with me scatters.” Lk. 11:23 Those who
are with Christ are in the light; those who choose
sin and evil are children of darkness and Satan.
“Walk, then, as children of light.Eph. 5:8
In today’s Epistle to the Ephesians, St. Paul
reminds his converts to live according to the light of
Christ. Hitherto, they were in the darkness of
uncleanness and sin. Now they are to be imitators of
Christ who sacrificed Himself for them and is a
sweet odour to God: “...walk in love, as Christ also
loved us and delivered himself up for us an
offering and a sacrifice to God to ascend in
fragrant odour.” Eph. 5:2 St. Paul warns the
Ephesians about immorality and uncleanness: “But
immorality and every uncleanness or
covetousness, let it not even be named among you,
as becomes saints: or obscenity, or foolish talk or
scurrility, which are out of place;” Eph. 5:3-4
Those who choose these sins will have no place
with Christ: “For know this and understand, that
no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous one
(for that is idolatry) has any inheritance in the
kingdom of Christ and God.” Eph. 5:5 Although
St. Paul does not mention the devil by name, it is
easy to see that those who choose evil are with the
devil and not with Christ.
Two Kingdoms
In today’s gospel from St. Luke, Jesus casts
out the devil from a man who was dumb; St.
Matthew has the man both blind and dumb. “The
Fathers, joining the two, make this man into one
of the most unhappy beings one could imagine,
blind, dumb and possessed by Satan....
Spiritually, this man represents the soul in sin.
He who might have been a son of God is now
possessed by the devil; blind to the light of truth
and dumb so far as singing the praises of God is
concerned.” (The Preacher’s Encyclopaedia: Lent
and Eastertide, p. 121) Those who do not believe in
Jesus and accuse him of casting out the devil
because He is a devil are themselves of the
kingdom of the devil. After the miracle, some of
those present (the Pharisees in St. Matthew’s
gospel) said: “By Beelzebub, the prince of devils,
he casts out devils.” Lk. 11:15 Jesus reads their
thoughts and shows them the unreasonableness of
these words: “... Every kingdom divided against
itself is brought to desolation, and house will fall
upon house. If, then, Satan also is divided against
himself, how shall his kingdom stand.” Lk. 11:
17-8 Jesus then goes on to tell them the parable of
the strong man: “But if I cast out devils by the
finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come
upon you. When the strong man, fully armed,
guards his courtyard, his property is undisturbed.
But if a stronger than he attacks and overcomes
him he will take away all his weapons that he
relied upon and will divide his spoils.” Lk. 11:20-
22 This stronger man is Jesus Christ who has
come to conquer the kingdom of Satan and all his
followers. Those who believe in Christ belong to
His kingdom; those who do not believe in Jesus and
deny His miraculous power belong to the kingdom
of Satan.
Returning to Mortal Sin
Very few souls realize the dire
consequences of returning to one’s sins after the
devil has been expelled either by an exorcism or a
good confession: “When the unclean spirit has
gone out of a man, he roams through waterless
places in search of rest; and finding none, he says,
‘I will return to my house which I left.’ And when
he has come to it, he finds the place swept. Then
he goes and takes seven other spirits more evil
than himself, and they enter in and dwell there;
and the last state of that man becomes worse than
the first.” Lk. 11:24-26 Dom Prosper Gueranger in
his book, The Liturgical Year, Vol. 5, comments on
this passage: “But the enemy of mankind never
despairs of regaining his prey. His hatred is as
active now as it was in the very beginning of the
world, and he says, ‘I will return into my house,
whence I came out.’ Nor will he come alone. He is
determined to conquer; and therefore, he will if
he thinks it needed, take with him seven other
spirits, even more wicked than himself. What a
terrible assault is being prepared for the poor
soul, unless she be on the watch, and unless the
peace, which has granted her, be one that is well
armed for war! Alas! With many souls the very
contrary is the case; and our Saviour describes
the situation in which the devil finds them on his
return: they are swept and garnished, and that is
all! No precautions, no defence, no arms. One
would suppose that they were waiting to give the
enemy admission. Then Satan, to make his
repossession sure, comes with a sevenfold force.
The attack is made; but there is no resistance,
and straightways the wicked spirits entering in,
dwell there; so that the last state becometh worse
than the first; for before there was but one
enemy and now there are many.” Gueranger, p.
251
The Kingdom of God
Those who believe in Jesus cry out in praise
of Jesus like the woman who praises the mother of
Jesus: “Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and
the breasts that nursed thee.” Lk. 11 27 Jesus
shows that this is true of His Mother especially
because she is obedient: “Rather, blessed are they
who hear the word of God and keep it.” Lk. 11:28
Those who believe in God and keep His
commandments belong to His kingdom. These
believers will enter His kingdom as they gather
graces for eternal life by their faithful obedience.
“Therefore I say to you, that every kind of
sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men; but
the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be
forgiven” Mt. 12:31
In St. Matthew’s gospel account of the
miracle of casting out the devil from the blind and
dumb man, Jesus says: “Therefore I say to you,
that every kind of sin and blasphemy shall be
forgiven to men; but the blasphemy against the
Spirit will not be forgiven” Mt. 12:31 This is the
sin by which a person refuses to acknowledge his
sin, and, therefore, will not be forgiven. This is
what the Pharisees do in today’s gospel. They
blaspheme by saying, “By Beelzebub, the prince of
devils, he casts out devils.” Lk. 11:15 They refuse
to see the good that Jesus does and accuse Him of
evil. If they had acknowledged Jesus’ miracle, they
too would have been cured like the dumb man. St.
Jerome tells us: “Three miracles in one man; the
blind sees, the dumb speaks and the possessed
finds himself free of the devil a thing which also
happens in the case of those who begin to believe
and who, once the devil has been cast out,
receive the light and the faith opening their lips
in the praises of God.”
Sins against the Holy Spirit
Other sins against the Holy Spirit are: 1.
Presumption, 2. Despair, 3. Resisting the known
truth, 4. Envy of another’s spiritual good, 5.
Obstinacy in sin, 6. Final impenitence. (The
Penny Catechism, p. 54) Those who are guilty of
these sins have hardened their hearts against the
Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, and refuse to see
their sins because of their pride. This is the
reprobate sense that St. Paul speaks of in the Epistle
to the Romans: “And as they have resolved
against possessing the knowledge of God, God has
given them up to a reprobate sense, so that they do
what is not fitting, being filled with all iniquity,
malice, immorality, avarice, wickedness; being full
of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity;
being whisperers, detractors, hateful to God,
irreverent, proud, haughty, plotters of evil;
disobedient to parents, foolish, dissolute, without
affection, without fidelity, without mercy.” Rom.
1: 28-32 This final state of the reprobate sinner is a
state that will take a miracle of grace to overcome.
This is why Our Lady said at Fatima, “Many souls
go to hell because no one prays and sacrifices for
them.” Let us pray our rosary every day and
sacrifice so that many sinners can be saved.
First Friday: 6 March 2015
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."
Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix
(MIM) 7 March 2015
On the First Saturday of every month, we will
have our monthly formation program for those
who 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)
It is most important at this time in our world
to come together and learn about Our Lady and
her messages especially Fatima. Pope John Paul II:
On November 9, 1976 said in the USA as Karol
Cardinal Wojtyla: “We are now standing in face of
the greatest historical confrontation humanity has
gone through. I do not think that the wide circles of
American society or the wide circles of the Christian
community realize this fully. We are now facing the
final confrontation between the Church and the
Anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-gospel.”
We hope that all of you will consider joining the
MIM and work for your own sanctification and the
sanctification of so many souls who are in danger of
being lost for all eternity in hell as Our Lady said at
Fatima.
The First Saturday: 7 March 2015
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!
Why the Rosary is so important!
“Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will
conquer the world.” Pope Blessed Pius IX
“If you persevere in reciting the Rosary, this will
be a most probable sign of your eternal
salvation.” Blessed Alan de la Roche
“The greatest method of praying is to pray the
Rosary.” Saint Francis de Sales
“When the Holy Rosary is said well, it gives
Jesus and Mary more glory and is more
meritorious than any other prayer.”
Saint Louis de Montfort
“The Holy Rosary is the storehouse of countless
blessing.” Blessed Alan de la Roche
“One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular,
Our Lady will save the world.” Saint Dominic
“If you say the Rosary faithfully unto death, I do
assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your
sins, ‘you will receive a never-fading crown of
glory’ (1 St. Peter 5:4).” Saint Louis de Montfort
“You must know that when you say ‘hail’ Mary,
she immediately greets you! Don’t think that she
is one of those rude women of whom there are so
manyon the contrary, she is utterly courteous
and pleasant. If you greet her, she will answer
you right away and converse with you!” Saint
Bernardine of Siena