Truth Blossoms

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for May 21st, 2014
Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Opt. Mem. St. Christopher Magallanes & Companions

Liturgical texts here


Christ True Vine, Unknown

 

 

WHEN Jesus promised that He would send the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth, that did not mean that doctrines would come easily without need for discernment, prayer, and dialogue. That’s evident in today’s first reading as Paul and Barnabas seek out the Apostles to clarify certain aspects of the Jewish law. I am reminded in recent times of the teachings of Humanae Vitae, and how there was much disagreement, consultation, and prayer before Paul VI delivered his beautiful teaching. And now, a Synod on the Family will convene this October in which issues at the very heart, not only of the Church but of civilization, are being discussed with no little consequences:

The future of the world and of the church passes through the family. —ST. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio, n. 170

There were no lone-rangers in the early Church. St. Paul, despite the powerful revelations he received directly from Christ, humbled himself before the Apostles. It says in the first reading:

They were sent on their journey by the Church… they were welcomed by the Church.

This should and must become the circuit for everyone who claims to be a follower of Christ: I go forth from the bosom of the Church, in obedience to her voice… and I continue to go to her for wisdom, counsel, and nourishment. This is also what it means to “remain in” Christ—to remain in His word. Anyone who does not remain in this word, and out of deliberate carelessness or self-directed arrogance appropriates to themselves the authority to interpret Scripture apart from Sacred Tradition, “will be thrown out like a branch and wither.” For it is noteworthy that Jesus says to the Apostles:

You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. (Gospel)

That is to say that the “deposit of faith” that Jesus imparted to them is the pure root from which all truth grows. Dogmas are not grafted to the Vine, but blossom from the trunk which is already there. The unity of the Church, visibly preserved in the Pope and guarded by Christ’s own charism of infallibility, is closely linked to this “root of truth.”

Jerusalem, built as a city with compact unity. To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD. (Today’s Psalm)

This is why, when it comes to the Church’s teachings on marriage, divorce, homosexuality, co-habitation, etc., no bishop—not even the Pope—has the authority to change what the Father Himself has planted through Christ Jesus. This does not mean that there will not be deliberations, disagreements, and discernment as new moral challenges face the Church. But woe to the one who tries to remove a Branch from the Vine, or add one that did not spring from the root. [1]cf. Rev 22:18-19

Our era needs such wisdom more than bygone ages if the discoveries made by man are to be further humanized. For the future of the world stands in peril unless wiser people are forthcoming. —ST. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio, n. 17

This is the hour to pray for the holy priesthood as never before, brothers and sisters, that those in charge of the Father’s Vineyard be faithful gardeners who tend and protect the Vine… not lay the dull axe of presumption and heresy to her.

 

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Footnotes

1 cf. Rev 22:18-19
Posted in HOME, FAITH AND MORALS, MASS READINGS.