dimanche, juillet 08, 2007

Sermon for 6th Sunday after Pentecost

It is a fact that Baptism has changed our beings and printed Christ’s character in our souls. Saint Paul tells us in today’s reading that we became one with Jesus Christ. It is another fact that this transformation is not effective enough to make us live consequently as another Christ as we are supposed to do. The reason is not a defect of the Sacrament of Baptism, but a defect of our own will. God has given to us a great gift, but we have this "treasure in earthen vessels."(II Cor. 4:7) For a mysterious reason, we have the amazing ability to resist the grace of God.

I am talking now about us, Christians who have been baptized, who have received many times the grace of the Sacrament of Penance, who know what our duties are toward God and how much God loves us, but yet, we are still putting obstacles before the work of divine grace. The French writer Leon Bloy once said: "There is but one sadness, and that is for us not to be saints." It is really a sadness, because if we are not a Saint, it is our fault. God wants us to be saints and He gives us the sufficient means for this. But we don’t accept them, because they come to disturb our habits of life. We don’t see them, because the eyes of our souls are not open to the Divine realities, which are invisible to the eyes of our bodies. Yes, dear brethren, we can be sad for not being saints, because we are so careless concerning the graces that God gives everyday. How many occasions lost! How many graces missed!

Baptism made us saints, but once we have reached the age of reason, it is definitively not sufficient to keep us in a state of holiness. And God knows this. And He has mercy on us. And He comes to make up for our deficiencies. "I have compassion on the multitude, for behold they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat." (Mark 8:2) Then he would feed his disciples Himself. Saint Ambrose explains that the Prophet Elias walked during 40 days, fed by an angel, but if Jesus feeds you, you will walk until you arrive into the homeland populated by the saints.
In other words, those who receive Our Lord in the Sacrament of the Eucharist can reach heaven, because this Sacrament makes them saints and only the saints go to heaven.

Baptism is a beginning. Beatific vision is the end. Between our Baptism, birth to the supernatural life, and our birth in heaven, we need to be encouraged, improved, sustained and strengthened, because the road is hard and long. But we have Jesus with us and for us, so that we can walk the long road toward our eternal homeland.
So dear Brethren, we have no excuse for not being saints. We just have to use the good means, and to use them well. Do not neglect what you have received the day of your Baptism. Keep the precious gift of God preciously. As the queen Blanche de Castille used to say to her young son, the future King Saint Louis, that it is better to die rather than to commit a mortal sin. And the best way to avoid mortal sin is frequent communions, in good disposition, which means, frequent confessions.

May Our Lady help us to understand this and to keep the grace of God in our souls.

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