Sunday, August 25th Pastor Corner
Last weekend we learned more about the role of the prophet and specifically Jesus the Prophet. As I explained at the 9:30 and 11:00, I left out one of the most important characteristics of a prophet: disillusioning people. It seems most ironic that the greatest persecutions Jesus faced came from those who were the “pillars of the Jewish religion”.
They persecuted Jesus because He turned their religious world upside down and took away their illusions about what was pleasing to God and how God the Father wanted to lead His Chosen People. He castigated them for “doing holy things without becoming holy!” This week He tells the people that God the Father was going to take away their blessings (their spiritual inheritance) and give it to the very people that the Leaders and self righteous had decreed were unworthy of God’s blessings.
What does our faith journey look like? Do we think that just because we attend Mass, obey the commandments, say Lord Lord and pray the rosary we have a free pass to heaven? Not likely! Echoing the command of Jesus, Pope Francis has challenged us to take Jesus to the streets and to seek out the lost, the poor, the uncertain and the antagonistic. For most of us this is foreign territory and thus far outside our comfort zone.
Yet in the Pope’s latest encyclical Lumen Fidei (Light of Faith) he traces the gift and power of witnessing to the Good News that cleanses, heals and restores the blessings which God has in abundance for all of his faithful people. This is not done from the pews on Sunday but in everyday living and entails true union with Jesus. Paragraph 57 states: “Nor does the light of Faith make us forget the sufferings of this world…Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey. To those who suffer, God does not provide arguments which explain everything; rather, his response is that of an accompanying presence, a history of goodness and opens up a ray of light.”
Our responsorial Psalm takes up the clarion call: Go out to all the world and tell the Good News. What is it: Jesus came to forgive sins, heal the brokenhearted and announce a Year of Favor from the Lord. As our Year of Faith continues let us strive, not to be first, not to have lives full of competition but to serve and cooperate with the abundant graces from our God.
We will soon start an educational and spiritual journey called “Catholicism.” I believe it will help us to truly experience the God of history who wishes to bless us today.
Alleluia to the Lord on High!!