jeudi, février 01, 2007

Sermon for 4th Sunday after Epiphany

Our Lord was sleeping when a storm arose. The disciples, afraid, went and woke Him: “ Lord, we are perishing.

Lord, we are perishing! We are probably tempted to repeat this often. We are perishing because things are going badly in the world and in the Church today. And it is true, as it was true of the storm which scared the disciples. It is also true that there is a real danger. The old societies have almost disappeared and have given way to a kind of worldwide society almost similar everywhere. The Nations lose their identities under the force of the new world order, which provokes many social and political disturbances. Thousands – if not millions – of youth today have no social or cultural roots and are ready to accept anything in order to give a sense to their lives.

The Church herself is shaken by a huge earthquake which comes to weaken her foundation. It seems that the boat of Peter is about to sink. The words of Pope Saint Pius X at the beginning of the XX century appear to be true: modernism really is the ruin of religion. In many places around the world churches are closed and empty. And even in the churches, which are full of people, I am not sure that, there, the true God is adored according to a true worship. In addition to this, and perhaps as a result of the loss of Faith and of a true evangelical spirit within the Church, we are assailed by false religions and many different kinds of sects due to the rise of the New Age movements. So, we have indeed many good reasons to cry out: “Lord, we are perishing!

One day Saint John Bosco had a dream, a little bit different than Martin Luther’s dream. He saw a naval battle. Many ships were fighting against one ship which fought alone, and this lone ship was the symbol of the Church. This ship was damaged many times by the cannonballs of the enemies. But it was never destroyed. It was led by the Pope who brought it to port where the ship could be anchored between two big columns. On the top of one was a big host with the inscription “Salus credentium” – salvation of the faithful. On the top of the other one was a statue of the Immaculate with the inscription “Auxilium christianorum” – help of Christians.

Dear Brethren, as long as we remain faithful we have no reason to cry out that we are perishing. Nourished by the Holy Eucharist, daily if it is possible, and helped by the Immaculate Virgin Mary, we are, under the authority of the Pope, visible head of the Church, in good hands. And this is a matter of Faith – faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ whose words cannot be wrong and which cannot deceive. It is not human confidence in a man, whatever his name is – Karol Wojtyla or Joseph Ratzinger – but in Jesus Christ who has established them to rule His Church.
But you can trust Jesus only if you know Him, which means only if you take time to be with Him. You can trust Him only if you speak to Him and if you listen to Him every day. This is all the secret of Christian life: a close intimacy with the Lord who loves you. This is the fulfillment of the Divine grace in a soul that unites it to Jesus Christ. Then there is nothing to fear because you are with God, with Jesus Christ and with His Blessed Mother, safe inside the Catholic Church, the new Arch of Salvation.

Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Don’t you understand that if you had Faith, you could do anything? Our Lord doesn’t need a bunch of fearful people complaining constantly but rather He wants an army of brave disciples ready to do anything for the love of God. Let us be those men and women animated by the same love of Jesus Christ. May Our Lady help us to remain faithful until the end and to strengthen our faith. Those who have a strong and deep faith are not perishing.

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