lundi, septembre 10, 2007

Sermon for the 15th Sunday after Pentecost

As usual, the Church uses the words of the apostle, Saint Paul in order to encourage us on our spiritual way towards God. Last week, we were told that it is necessary to reject the works of the flesh, because they are contrary to the Spirit. Now we have to walk in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit is not simply an idea, but a reality. It means that we live according to God’s will, following the inclinations of the Holy Ghost. In fact, it even means more than this: it means that Christ lives in you, and if Christ lives in you, it is visible, because it changes your life. It makes you a saint.
Well, dear brethren, let us look at the saints. What does characterize them? It is certainly the heroic character of their virtues, and this is the mark of God in a soul. We are amazed when we see how they have practiced the virtue of temperance or humility or chastity or patience or any other virtue, all based upon the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity.

Charity! Let us take a look at this one. It is the most important one because it is the one which gives a real sense to all the others. You can practice all the other virtues to a high degree, but if charity is lacking, they are absolutely useless for eternal life.
So practicing virtues is undoubtedly necessary but still insufficient without charity. Charity is precisely the mark of the saints. It is so characteristic of them that the non-Christian could even recognize the disciples of Jesus by their love: "Look at how much they love each other." After 20 centuries of Christianity, there is no reason that we cannot be recognized in the world by our love for each other.
We are the saints of the XXI century, because we have been chosen by God. We are truly saints by our baptism and we now have to preserve the grace of our baptism, as we have to preserve the wonderful heritage of our elders. Our attachment to the traditional liturgy of the Church is not based on a pure motive of aestheticism or sentimentality. It is our heritage received after generations and generations of Christians. We have to keep it, not only for ourselves, but for the coming generations. Saint Paul says to the Corinthians: "Tradidi quod et accepi I delivered unto you that which I myself have received. "(1 Cor.11:23; 1Cor.15:3)

This is the principle of the Tradition. And the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the most precious gift that we have received. We cannot squander such a treasure. And, we, priests of the Fraternity of Saint Peter, have no other desire than to help you to keep our heritage. We have been founded for this reason; we have been approved and blessed by the Saint Peter speaking through Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI who has finally recognized the legitimacy of the Antique Liturgy of the Latin Church. By this coming Friday, any priest of the Latin Rite will be able to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the traditional Missal of 1962.
For us, faithful Catholics of Arkansas, it is a reason to rejoice. We will celebrate this event Friday in a spirit of gratitude and joy. But let us not forget what we are first. We are a Catholic community living in a world which has rejected God. The world has already been judged by Christ. Now, our duty is to love God and to love each other so that we can fulfill the law of Christ as Saint Paul says. I have been here for three weeks now and I have already seen many good things. Many of you have a real desire for holiness and good inspirations. I give thanks to God for that. Now let us complete these desires and inspirations with a real and deep charity. And let us not content ourselves with what we have. We have to be missionaries. We have to spread the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and this task is huge. There are many things that we must do for the Kingdom of God. There is one thing which is certain: we will not do any good if we do not have charity. So, the best way to spread the gospel is certainly first to love each other for the love of God. Maybe one day people will say about us: look how much they love each other!

There is nothing more I can wish for us. Let us entrust this intention to our Blessed Mother. From her, we can learn how to love!

Aucun commentaire: