Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!


Ave Maria!
Third Sunday after Easter—17 April AD 2016



Ordinary of the Mass
Latin Mass Text-3rd Sunday
 English Mass Text-3rd Sunday

    In today's collect we hear that  “God shows the light of truth to those who are in error,  so that they may return to the path of right living, rejecting whatever is opposed to and upholding everything in accord with the name of ‘Christians.’”[1]

    Christianity is certainly a religion of Faith--there are a number of truths that we are expected to believe, as well as any number of falsehoods that we must reject.  But Faith is only half of what we prayed for in that collect--there is also evil to be resisted and good that must be done.

    In his epistle, Saint Peter reminded us that we live in society.[2]  If it is a just and functional society, those in authority will govern in accordance with God’s laws, and will allow the citizens the liberty to do what is necessary for their spiritual and physical wellbeing.  They will “praise the good” and work God’s “vengeance on evildoers.”  Yet, the vital work of converting the non-Catholics cannot be done by the government—even the best governments are coercive bodies—they work largely through force or threat of force—and conversion to the Faith must be a voluntary thing.  One must come willingly to accept the truths God has revealed –one must come willingly to doing good and avoiding evil.

    The most compelling evidence we can give to those who have not yet accepted the Faith is our good example.  Back when I was studying to become a priest, I used to think that it was enough to preach the truth—that truth was powerful and attractive enough to convince anyone who would listen—boy, was I ever wrong!  People tend not to think with their brains, but more with their hearts.  The most clearly worded logical argument in world will not move them as much as the admiration they have for someone who makes a good impression on them.

    After discussing this, one of our priests gave me a copy of a brief paper, written by the former Cardinal Archbishop of Paris back around the time of World War II.  It was written as an instruction to the priests of his diocese during very trying times, entitled “Priests Among Men.”  The Archbishop was Emmanuel Célestin Suhard, who served until his death in 1949.  Some of you have heard me mention Suhard before, for his work contains at least one quote that I think bears repeating now and again.

    He wrote about bearing witness to the things of God to the unbeliever.  Such witness did not require miracles or even carefully worded propaganda.  He wrote:

    [T]o be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda, nor even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery.  It means to live in such a way that one's life would not make sense if God did not exist.

    Quite likely, living in this way is difficult for all of us—we are all tempted to make life as pleasant as possible for ourselves—we may be careful to avoid breaking God’s laws, but yet, we center our actions on ourselves rather than on God.  This may be why the Church has us read today’s Gospel.[3]

    We do not always have Jesus Christ around us:  Just as He ascended into heaven and no longer walked personally with the Apostles, He is often out of sight and out of mind to most Catholics.  Even in the Blessed Sacrament, He seems distant to those of us who have not received the gift of contemplative prayer.

    But in today’s Gospel we have the promise of a direct encounter with Jesus!   “Your sorrow will be turned into joy…. and your joy no one shall take from you.”  Those who keep the Commandments are promised a personal and everlasting encounter with Jesus in the Beatific Vision of God in Heaven.  We may sorrow in the present world, but we have the promise of eternal joy.

    This is not like any earthly promise.  It is all too common that we are disappointed  by the promises made to us by mortal men and women—but God never breaks His promises—more than simply truthful, God is Truth—He can never deceive or be deceived.

    We should look forward to union with God with confidence and anticipation.  By doing so we will be able to bring many converts to the true faith.  By focusing on the joys of Heaven rather than on the discomforts and distractions of earth, it will be much easier

To live in such a way

That one's life would not make sense

If God did not exist!


[1]   Cf. Collect of today’s Mass

[2]   Epistle: 1 Peter ii: 11-19


Dei via est íntegra
Our Lady of the Rosary, 144 North Federal Highway (US#1), Deerfield Beach, Florida 33441  954+428-2428
Authentic  Catholic Mass, Doctrine, and Moral Teaching -- Don't do without them -- 
Don't accept one without the others!