What it Means to Welcome Sinners

 

THE call of the Holy Father for the Church to become more of a “field hospital” to “heal the wounded” is a very beautiful, timely, and perceptive pastoral vision. But what exactly needs healing? What are the wounds? What does it mean to “welcome” sinners aboard the Barque of Peter?

Essentially, what is “Church” for?

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We are God's Possession

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for October 16th, 2014
Memorial of St. Ignatius of Antioch

Liturgical texts here

 


from Brian Jekel’s Consider the Sparrows

 

 

‘WHAT is the Pope doing? What are the bishops doing?” Many are asking these questions on the heels of confusing language and abstract statements emerging from the Synod on Family Life. But the question on my heart today is what is the Holy Spirit doing? Because Jesus sent the Spirit to guide the Church to “all truth.” [1]John 16:13 Either Christ’s promise is trustworthy or it’s not. So what is the Holy Spirit doing? I will write more about this in another writing.

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1. John 16:13

The Inside Must Match the Outside

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for October 14th, 2014
Opt. Memorial of St. Callistus I, Pope and Martyr

Liturgical texs here

 

 

IT is often said that Jesus was tolerant towards “sinners” but intolerant of the Pharisees. But this isn’t quite true. Jesus often rebuked the Apostles as well, and in fact in yesterday’s Gospel, it was the entire crowd to whom He was very blunt, warning that they would be shown less mercy than the Ninevites:

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A House Divided

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for October 10th, 2014

Liturgical texts here

 

 

“EVERY kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house.” These are Christ’s words in today’s Gospel that must surely reverberate among the Synod of Bishops gathered in Rome. As we listen to the presentations coming forth on how to deal with today’s moral challenges facing families, it is clear that there are great gulfs between some prelates as to how to deal with sin. My spiritual director has asked me to speak about this, and so I will in another writing. But perhaps we should conclude this week’s meditations on the infallibility of the papacy by listening carefully to Our Lord’s words today.

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The Two Guardrails

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for October 6th, 2014
Opt. Memorial for St. Bruno and Blessed Marie Rose Durocher

Liturgical texts here


Photo by Les Cunliffe

 

 

THE readings today could not be more timely for the opening sessions of the Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family. For they provide the two guardrails along the “constricted road that leads to life” [1]cf. Matt 7:14 that the Church, and all us as individuals, must travel.

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1. cf. Matt 7:14

On Angel's Wings

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for October 2nd, 2014
Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels,

Liturgical texts here

 

 

IT is remarkable to think that, this very moment, beside me, is an angelic being who is not only ministering to me, but beholding the face of the Father at the same time:

Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven… See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father. (Today’s Gospel)

Few, I think, really pay attention to this angelic guardian assigned to them, let alone converse with them. But many of the saints such as Henry, Veronica, Gemma and Pio regularly spoke with and saw their angels. I shared a story with you how I was awakened one morning to an interior voice that, I seemed to know intuitively, was my guardian angel (read Speak Lord, I am Listening). And then there is that stranger who appeared that one Christmas (read A True Christmas Tale).

There was one other time that stands out to me as an inexplicable example of the angel’s presence among us…

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Resolute

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for September 30th, 2014
Memorial of St. Jerome

Liturgical texts here

 

 

ONE man laments his sufferings. The other goes straight toward them. One man questions why he was born. Another fulfills His destiny. Both men long for their deaths.

The difference being that Job wants to die to end his suffering. But Jesus wants to die to end our suffering. And thus…

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The Everlasting Dominion

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for September 29th, 2014
Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels

Liturgical texts here


The Fig Tree

 

 

BOTH Daniel and St. John write of a terrible beast that rises to overwhelm the entire world for a short time… but is followed by the establishment of God’s Kingdom, “an everlasting dominion.” It is given not only to the one “like a son of man”, [1]cf. First reading but…

…the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High. (Dan 7:27)

This sounds like Heaven, which is why many mistakenly speak of the end of the world after the fall of this beast. But the Apostles and Church Fathers understood it differently. They anticipated that, at some point in the future, God’s Kingdom would come in a profound and universal way before the end of time.

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1. cf. First reading

Hell Unleashed

 

 

WHEN I wrote this last week, I decided to sit on it and pray some more because of the very serious nature of this writing. But nearly every day since, I have been getting clear confirmations that this is a word of warning to all of us.

There are many new readers coming aboard each day. Let me briefly recap then… When this writing apostolate began some eight years ago, I felt the Lord asking me to “watch and pray”. [1]At WYD in Toronto in 2003, Pope John Paul II likewise asked us youth to become “the watchmen of the morning who announce the coming of the sun who is the Risen Christ!” —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Message of the Holy Father to the Youth of the World, XVII World Youth Day, n. 3; (cf. Is 21:11-12). Following the headlines, it seemed that there was an escalation of world events by the month. Then it began to be by the week. And now, it is daily. It is exactly as I felt the Lord was showing me it would happen (oh, how I wish in some ways I was wrong about this!)

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1. At WYD in Toronto in 2003, Pope John Paul II likewise asked us youth to become “the watchmen of the morning who announce the coming of the sun who is the Risen Christ!” —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Message of the Holy Father to the Youth of the World, XVII World Youth Day, n. 3; (cf. Is 21:11-12).

The Guiding Star

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for September 24th, 2014

Liturgical texts here

 

 

IT is called the “Guiding Star” because it appears to be fixed in the night sky as an infallible point of reference. Polaris, as it’s called, is nothing less than a parable of the Church, which has its visible sign in the papacy.

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