Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!


Ave Maria!
Eighth Sunday after Pentecost—10 July AD 2016


[Ordinary of the Mass]
[English Text]
[Latin Text]

“…you have received the spirit of adoption of sons,
whereby we cry: Abba (Father).”[1]

     If you have been in this parish any length of time you have probably heard me talk about “original sin.”  Obviously “original sin” is not a sin that we ourselves have committed—rather it consists of the graces that we did not inherit from our first parents, Adam and Eve.  In many ways this is like the rich man who gambled away his entire fortune, and has nothing left to leave to his children—it is not the children’s fault, but they still don’t receive any money.  In a similar manner, we are born without the sanctifying graces that would make us holy.

    Only with the Sacrifice of the Cross did God make it possible to acquire sanctifying grace.  We make this acquisition through the Sacrament of Baptism as infants, or through an Act of the Faith accompanied by Baptism as adults.  The infant is intellectually incapable of rejecting the Sacrament, but the adult must first submit to God’s prevenient grace and believe what God reveals to us through His Son’s Church. 

    To as many as receive Him, He gives the power to become the sons [and daughters] of God, to them that believe in his name.  Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of [the will of] God.[2]

The Baltimore Catechism informs us that:

    Q. 316.  Baptism takes away original sin; and also actual sin and all the punishment due to them, if the person baptized be guilty of any actual sins and truly sorry for them.

    Q. 317. The effects of the character imprinted on the soul by Baptism are that we become members of the Church, subject to its laws, and capable of receiving other sacraments.[3]

It is safe to say that the Baptismal Character identifies us as WHAT Saint Paul describes as the “heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ.”  It is this Character that renders us capable of calling God “Abba,” which the Scripture translates as “Father,” but which comes from the Aramaic and is “used as the term of tender endearment by a beloved child – i.e. in an affectionate, dependent relationship with their father; ‘daddy,’ ‘papa.’”[4]  Thus, by virtue of our Baptism we are able to address God with the same term of endearment as our Lord used in calling on His Father during His agony in the garden, “Abba.”[5]

    Saint Paul tells us that “you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption.”  An important aspect of Sanctifying Grace is that it makes us radically holy, giving us the right to call on God for the strength to resist the powers of the devil—as a good Father, He is our provider and protector, and has assumed the responsibility of granting us adequate graces for our eternal salvation.  We must still make the effort to cooperate with those graces, but we can never say that we didn’t have an ample opportunity.

    Now, that is where today’s Gospel comes in.[6]  It should be obvious that our Lord was not commending the unjust steward for his dishonesty.  Yet He was commending him for his prudence.  The steward knew how to make us of his master’s goods for his own benefit.

    We are urged to similar prudence to benefit from the lavish gifts God has bestowed upon us.  If we are prudent, we will not miss an opportunity to gain God’s graces.  We can do that in any number of ways.  We can take advantage of frequent Confession and Communion.  We can attend daily Mass—especially if we live close enough.  There should never be a day without at least five decades of the Rosary—fifteen is even better.  There are always indulgences that we can gain [LINK].[7]  The Holy Bible is an inexhaustible treasure of spiritual reading [LINK].[8]  Some will enjoy reading the writings of the great Fathers of the Church [LINK].[9]  The Divine Office, especially at Matins, combines both the Scriptures and the Fathers [LINK].[10]  No day should pass without at least one spiritual or corporal work of mercy [LINK].[11]  (If you go to this sermon on the Parish Website, you will find links to all of these resources.)  There are opportunities to pray with your fellow parishioners, and you can always pray alone.  The point of all of this is that our Lord expects us to make prudent use of His graces, both to gain His favor, and to protect ourselves against the loss of our immortal souls.

    He expects us to call upon His help:

“…you have received the spirit of adoption of sons,
whereby we cry: Abba (Father).”


Dei via est íntegra
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