Father Bryce’s Message
February 18, 2018
Reflection: Repent, and believe in the gospel!
“This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
“The evangelists indicate the salvific meaning of this mysterious event: Jesus is the new Adam who remained faithful just where the first Adam had given into temptation. Jesus fulfills Israel’s vocation perfectly; in contrast to those who had once provoked God during forty years in the desert. Christ reveals himself as God’s Servant, totally obedient to the divine will. In this, Jesus is the devil’s conqueror: he ‘binds the strong man’ to take back his plunder. Jesus’ victory over the tempter in the desert anticipates victory at the Passion, the supreme act of obedience of his filial love for the Father.” (Cath. Catechism of the Church, 539)
SIX WEEKS TO EASTER!
What is Lent all about? [read again the quotation from St. Mark’s Gospel above] Lent is the time in which the Church calls us to turn off the noise, go into our room, close the door, sit down and take a long look in the mirror.
At my Baptism I was received into the Church of Jesus Christ. My parents and godparents promised to help me come to know Jesus, love Jesus and to live the way Jesus wants me to live. In the Sacraments of the Church I meet Jesus who feeds me (Eucharist), who gives me His Spirit (Confirmation), who helps me go deep down in my soul and figure out what He wants me to do with my life as I grow older. When I make that truly serious commitment, He promises me all the divine help I will need to keep my word (Matrimony, Ordination).
The Journey is not easy and Jesus knows that the Devil, [the same Tempter that encountered Him in the desert when and where He prepared for his public life,] works overtime to call us off the path on which Jesus wants us to walk. The path is called the “Highway to Sanctity”. Yes, Jesus expects us to become Saints! When the time comes for Him to meet me at that intersection of time and eternity He provides in a most generous, loving way the anointing which makes the passage blessed (Anointing of the Sick).
Now we continue looking at the mirror and wonder “What does Jesus see in me, since He knows me totally”? My take on that assessment calls me to meet Jesus in the Confessional (Penance).
What is Lent all about? It’s about “repent and believe in the Gospel”. Jesus is the Good News. What can I do in these “40 Days” to get better control on my behavior? Walk with Jesus in mind and heart. Read the Gospels
for your Lenten preparation for Easter.
February 11, 2018
Reflections: Understanding the Rigors of Catholic Morality
“I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.”
BARRON + ALLEN continued:
Finally, Barron says he often finds that one good way to help people appreciate how the Catholic Church approaches sex is to shift the focus for a moment to some other topic of moral concern more congenial to a postmodern sensibility.
One thing I find helpful is to move out of the sexual arena for just a second. For instance, go back to the church’s teaching on what constitutes a “just war.” It’s every bit as demanding as sexual teaching. If you follow it, and all of its rigorous details, one could argue there’s possibly never been a just war. World War II, maybe, in terms of the motives for the war, but the way it was fought? Forget it – Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Dresden, Tokyo, none of it would correspond to the requirements of a just war. Now, would you say we better dial it down, that we’re being unrealistic? In 1945, if you had polled Catholics in America on whether we should drop the atomic bomb, I’d say 95 percent would have said, “Yes, of course. End the damn war, save lives!” So, should we have lowered the bar; should we have said, “Bring it down, it’s unrealistic?” Today, I think most people would say no, the Church should stay very high in its moral demand. [p. 82f.]