vendredi, avril 28, 2006

As newborn babes, desire the rational milk without guile


Sermon
for
Quasimodo Sunday
Quasi modo geniti infantes, rationabile, sine dolo lac concupiscite.
As newborn babes, desire the rational milk without guile


These words by Saint Peter, which compose today’s introit, are the advice the Church gives to her newly baptized. In the early Church, the neophytes who had received the Sacrament of Baptism during the Easter Vigil, used to wear white clothes during the entire week of Easter. For that reason, this Sunday is also called Dominica in albis, which means Sunday in white.

The Baptism is just the beginning of Christian life, and now the new Christians must live as such and follow Our Lord. Therefore, the Church, as a good mother, encourages them: desire the rational milk. This milk is the doctrine of Jesus Christ. Further, it is Jesus Christ Himself, who is the Word of God, the eternal and uncreated Word. Baptism gave us the life of God and now we have the duty to keep this life within us as our most precious treasure. I say the duty, because it is, in fact, a duty, but I would say that keeping the life of God in our soul is merely a matter of loving God. For those who truly love God, His commandments are the expression of his love for us rather than a yoke we would have to bear. Saint Augustine understood this when he said Ama et fac quod vis – Love, and do what you wish. He who loves God, keeps the commandments of God. He who loves God, does His will, which is that we have His life. Jesus has revealed that He is come that we may have life, and may have it more abundantly.
So the Church, faithful to the words of her Divine Founder wants us to have life. She feeds us and gives us the rational milk we need to keep the life of God in us. First, this life supposes Faith. For that reason, the Church reminds us, through the pen of Saint John, of the fact that Faith is our victory over the world. He who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, overcomes the world. And Jesus Christ came by water and blood. Saint John insists well: not only by water, but by water and blood. This is to signify His death, which is the way chosen by God to redeem us.
Christ died. Then he rose from the dead. As we proclaim in our Creed, we believe in His death and His resurrection. Be not faithless, but believing! These words spoken to Saint Thomas are also for us. We must believe in Jesus Christ risen from the dead. Here is our victory. Our Lord values Faith as the principle of our life: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed. The miracles performed by Christ have no other purpose but to make us believe. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name.

Christians, consider the great gift you received when God gave you Faith. Acknowledge that it is the principle of the life of your soul and a precious possession you must keep and protect, even at the cost of your life. It is better to be a martyr than to be an apostate. Let us ask God to grant us the grace to accept it, if one day we are called to give this supreme testimony of Faith. Who knows ? With the growth of Islam in Europe, and even in America, this day may come soon. Considered with the eyes of Faith, martyrdom is not a loss but a gain. For whatsoever is born of God, overcomes the world. Remember that you are born of God on the day of your Baptism. By the way, I’m very surprised to hear that many Catholics even don’t remember the day of their Baptism. It’s a little bit strange, not to mention very sad, that one can forget the most important day of his life, the day when he received the life of God and was made His child.
So, the day of your Baptism, you overcame the world. Now you have to benefit from this first victory of your life. You have to repeat and to renew it every day of your life until the last and final victory, which will be the day of your birth in Heaven. You have to mature in your Faith, to become an adult. And for this you need the rational milk. The milk that gives you strength and nourishes your Faith.

The Church wants to feed us. As newborn babes accept the milk from their mothers, let us accept the spiritual food of Our Mother the Holy Roman Catholic Church, dispenser of the true doctrine of Jesus Christ.
May Our Lady help us to be good children of God!

5 commentaires:

Shelley a dit…

Did Pope Jean-Paul II ever talk about martyring oneself because of the growth of Islam in Europe? I don't think so, and I think there is a reason.

Father Demets a dit…

Well, the reason is probably because of the oecumenical views of Pope John Pope II. But, obviously wherever Islam is a majority and has power in a country, Christians are persecuted. It has always been like that for 13 centurie. And I don't see any reason for a change, just because the persecution of non Muslims is required by the Coran. The History and the Muslim theology tell us that we are about to have persecution in Europe. Muslims themseleves even don't hide this fact and say publicly that it will be so.

So, just be ready... and pray God to be faithful.

Shelley a dit…

Well, your statement would need to be qualified: for example, in tbe Middle Ages, in some places Christians were treated with tolerance because the Muslims respected "People of the Book" (Jews were considered thus too). They were permitted to practice their religion if they paid a tax. Concerning your remark about persecution of non Muslims or "Jihad", the Koran says (Father, have you read it cover to cover?) "The greatest Jihad a man can fight is within himself." This would seem to suggest that a violent Jihad is not the only option open to Muslims.

I know you remember in the Bible when everyone expected Jesus to bring the Kingdom of God militarily, but this is not the way Jesus did it, and I have grave doubts as to Jesus would have us do it (imitatio Christi!).

Have a good evening Father.

Shelley

Father Demets a dit…

"I know you remember in the Bible when everyone expected Jesus to bring the Kingdom of God militarily"

Well, this statement appears to be false, because there was no time when everyone expected Jesus to bring the Kingdom of God militarily. That would be a misunderstanding of what truly is the Kingdom of God, which is a Kingdom of grace not from this world. Maybe the Apostles in the beginning... But Our Lord reprimanded them for such a thought. We cannot convert people by force, since conversion is a free act of our will. In fact, the Hystory of the Church shows that those who are mistreated are rather the missionnaries who try to bring this Kingdom by leaving an authentic Christian life in the pagan or non Catholic countries. And we have to expect more martyrs soon... Muslims tell us: they want to behead us!
I believe them !

Islam is the third totalitarism after communism and fascism... But this one is worse and more dangerous, because it is a religious one.

Anonyme a dit…

Yes, you are right: "everyone" is too general a term to be accurate. I suppose I was speaking of the events of "Palm Sunday" when people hailed him as a Messiah, but thinking that he would free the Jews from the yoke of the Romans. In fact I agree with you concerning the Kingdom of heaven not being of this world. I was concerned, though, that your statements about martrydom suggested that people in Europe might be called on to fight militarily, or with weapons anyway, against the muslims. This evoked for me eerily some thinking behind the various "ethnic cleansing" events throughout history. I am pretty sure you would not approve of these events; however, your remarks on Islam and martyrdom left me feeling a bit uneasy. As a point of clarification, though, I need to state that I do not put Islam and Islamists (the latter being a fringe fanatic, terrorist group, the former being a mainstream religion) in the same category, and I hope you do not either. Have a good Sunday Father.

Shelley