lundi, novembre 05, 2007

Sermon for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost

With November, comes the end of the liturgical year and the liturgy invites us to anticipate the end of the great cycle of life. The liturgy of the dead, a couple of days ago, reminded us that this life has a term, which will come soon for each one of us. It is just a matter of years, of months or perhaps just days. Then, will come the time of our death, which is not an end but rather a change, as the preface of the requiem Mass says. This change will be for the best or for the worst, according to the life we have lived. For each one of us, there will be only one alternative: eternal happiness with God in heaven or eternal pain in hell. There is no other option. Hell or heaven, that’s all! And our eternity will be definitively fixed at the time of our death.
This is something which is not said too often from the pulpit today and it is a shame because people need to know this truth. They need to know in order to make the good choice and conform their lives to their faith. They need to know that there is only one Savior, who is Our Lord Jesus Christ and that there is only one means of salvation which is the Church that He has founded, namely the Catholic Church. They need to know that baptism is necessary for salvation as it has always been preached since our Lord made it a condition of redemption. They need to know that confession is necessary to recover the Divine grace if it has been lost by a mortal sin. They need to know what a mortal sin is and what its consequences are. All of these are elementary truths that every one should know and that should be taught in catechism.
Throughout the liturgical year, we had the opportunity to meditate on these truths. We have heard Jesus preaching to the crowds about His Kingdom and performing miracles, manifesting His mission. He is the One that we have to listen to and follow, because He is the only one who can lead us to heaven and free us from sin.
Today we can hear in the gospel that He has power over death. The resurrection of the little girl is a symbol of the resurrection of our souls. The Church, acknowledging the power of her Founder, turns to Him and asks in today’s collect: Absolve, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the sins of Thy people; that we may be delivered by Thy goodness from the bonds of sins, which by our frailty we have committed.

Our sins are obstacles on our journey toward heaven. The most terrible thing is that we ourselves put these obstacles in our way. Certainly, there are temptations and we have to take into consideration our weaknesses, but they do not excuse ours sins which are always acts of our will. If you have committed a sin, it is because you wanted to do it. At one point you had a choice between God and a creature and you chose the creature rather than God. This was an act of your will and you do not have to find any excuse to justify your bad choice or to lessen your responsibility. We often try to justify ourselves, even in front of God. Look at Adam: The woman whom thou gavest me to be my companion gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And then Eve: The serpent deceived me and I did eat.
Like Adam and Eve you can find many excuses: because of temptations, bad examples around you or because of pressures. But ultimately, your sins are yours. Nothing can force you to sin. You should even be ready to give your life rather than to commit one mortal sin under pressure. Just as Queen Blanche de Castille used to teach her son Louis, who would become King Saint Louis. I love you my dear son, as much as a mother can love her child; but I would rather see you dead at my feet than that you should commit a mortal sin. She understood that the life of the soul is more important than the life of the body.
This life will have an end soon anyway. This insight of wisdom should push us to consider what will happen after death and help us to prepare ourselves now for this important moment. Saint Paul says that our conversation is in heaven! We should already anticipate the glory of heaven by being one mind in the Lord. But it is not possible to do this as long as we do not renounce to sin. Jesus has the power to free us from sin, but we still have to want to be free. The choice is ours. Let us make the good one and let us prepare ourselves now for our eternity.

May Our Lady intercede for us and help us make the right choice so that we could join her to sing the glory of God for all eternity.

1 commentaire:

Anonyme a dit…

Father, you probably don't know me, but I am a member of your Latin Mass community in Arkansas. I come down from college during the summer. Anyway, I was hoping you could answer a question for me. Would it be appropriate for a schola from a regular Catholic parish to offer to sing in a chapel run by the SSPX and could I morally participate in such an activity? You can e-mail me your response.