pastor's corner

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Hello folks,

The Lord be with you! In today’s Gospel, the Lord is “resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,” and opposition does not stop Him, and neither does the appeal of good things such as His (possible) disciples’ requests to do good things before following Him. He is on His way to the Cross and Resurrection, through which He saves us and redeems the world. Discipleship of Jesus means eventually following Him whole heartedly and being willing to let go of anything that would hold us back. One view of the mission of the Church is precisely to “Go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” More than just following the Lord, as was the case when Jesus walked physically among His disciples, we are called to union with the Lord (while still following Him interiorly to where He wants to lead us). This union occurs in baptism, when the Holy Spirit is poured upon us to dwell in us, and our bodies become “temples of the Holy Spirit.” This union occurs when Christ gives His entire Self to us in Holy Communion. This union is broken however by sin, and impeded from occurring also by fear (most importantly by fear of what embracing our calling might ask of us, including sometimes fear of speaking the Truth). Our Lord says that unless we eat His Body and drink His Blood, we cannot have life within us. However, we are also warned by Our Lord not to offer sacrifice unworthily, and by Saint Paul not to receive the sacrifice of Our Lord’s Body and Blood unworthily lest it bring judgement upon us. This was echoed in the (optional) sequence for Corpus Christi last weekend. This aspect of our teaching seems neglected, and will probably bring some form of judgement upon us teachers of the Faith, who know the Truth, but sometimes fear to communicate it.

As our religious education committee continues meeting, these questions are pressing ones: have those who have passed through religious education in our parishes become disciples of the Lord, desiring full union with Him and taking the steps to make it so? (Indeed, what will happen as we enter eternity at the end of our lives on earth if we are not lovingly pursuing or wanting this union?) It seems in many parts of the northeast of the United States that the majority of religious education students are not seeking that full union with Christ, and thus we have to seriously re-examine what we have been doing, and ask the Lord what He wants us to do? Certainly, we need to seek that conversion ourselves with the help of His gracious guidance. These can be challenging questions to ponder. Please pray that we not fear them, but be willing to allow God Who made us, Who knows us, and Who loves us, to show us the way forward, and to be resolutely determined to journey to the Heavenly New Jerusalem.

God bless, Father Maher