2cornucopias

An Unpreached Sermon: “a layman thinking like a priest”.

In 12 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2014/11/29 at 12:00 AM

My dear friends in Christ,

Christmas is spiritual joy because it is the beginning of our redemption. God the Son has taken on a human form so as to represent humanity in the process of atonement. Yet, because He remains God, His future sacrifice on Good Friday will be acceptable to God the Father. Without Christmas and Good Friday, no one, regardless of how well he has lived on earth, could ever get into heaven. Without Christ original sin would condemn us all to hell. Something to be grateful for to say the least.

The next part of this sermon some of you might not like. Let me preface it by stating that when a man is ordained a priest (assuming the correct understanding, motives and intentions) he become an alter Christus (another Christ). In his spiritual ministry he acts in persona Christi (in the person of Christ). Thus in every Mass and Sacrament, it is Christ Himself in operation through His duly ordained priest. Now I am speaking in persona Christi because I am responsible for the spiritual welfare of all of you.

Christmas is also a time of sadness. When I look out and see the extra crowd of people at the Mass, I know that many of you are either Christmas-Easter “Catholics” or you are intermittent and casual Mass attenders.

(In all my years of attending Christmas and Easter Masses, I have never heard the slightest reference to the lapsed Catholics sitting right in front of the priest. I wonder if Christ Himself would have ignored the loss sheep.)

Let me tell you what he and she has done to themselves:

1. You live in a world of make-belief. God has commanded us to worship Him (third commandment), but you have decided that, for you, the command is optional. We are are nothing compared to God and we simply do not have a choice or right to reject a divine command. The Church has made it relatively easy to obey this directive by mandating Sunday Mass (two hours at most out of one hundred and sixty eight) yet, in your crass stupidity you have decided that you will worship Supreme Being according to your own whim. That is unrealistic!

2. This makes you the unwisest of people. The divinely-set goal for humans is to be united with God for all eternity. You, by amassing mortal sin after mortal sin, have shown a total lack of wisdom. (A wise person knows what is important and valuable and acts on it appropriately.) At this rate, no matter what worldly success you achieve, you will be a total failure in spiritual matters and that is what really counts against you. A truly wise person knows this.

3. Your salvation (goal) is at risk every second of your life. You don’t know when you will die, and if you die loaded with serious sin, you will have objectively chosen hell for yourself. Death is not the exclusive activity of the elderly; many, many younger people die through sickness, accident, life-style and crime. If you are young it is true that you will likely be alive a year from now, BUT, it is not guaranteed, and that’s the problem. It is rather dumb to risk hell for whatever activity you have decided is more important than Sunday Mass. “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and suffers the loss of his soul.” Sometimes people will take risks for noble reasons such as to save lives, but to risk your soul for mere two hours a week is neither realistic nor wise.

4. You have cut yourself off from God. (If you have unconfessed mortal sin today, do not come up for Holy Communion because that would be a sacrilege which is a worse sin than skipping Mass.) The only grace you can legitimately pray for is the grace of repentance through Confession. While you live, Christ can forgive a million mortal sins, if repentant. After death, there is no mercy available, only judgment. The game is over and you have either won or lost.

5. Your spiritual life has probably been further ruined because failure to attend Mass regularly is often the result of other habitual sins that make Mass attendance seem useless. Bishop Fulton Sheen used to say that no one left the Church because he sat down and examined its doctrine and found them to be false. It can’t be done. The underlying reason, he said, was habits of serious sin such as marital infidelity, alcoholism, drugs, pornography, etc…

If you are in this very negative situation, my words are spoken in persona Christ. He may be offering you that grace of repentance because He knows you do not have long to live. Or you may actually feel a terrible burden combined with fear of the future. If Christ is speaking and calling you today, don’t be dumb and ignore it because the Bible tells us that He will loose patience with stubborn sinner who consistently ignore His grace and they become spiritually hard-hearted.

Christmas is a great day for family and feast but I will be here after Mass today to hear Confessions and forgive you in the name of Christ for as long as anyone wishes to come. This would be your greatest Christmas gift.

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