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Regarding Rebels

In 13 Today's Church on 2016/02/21 at 12:00 AM
  • The prophet Ezekiel recounts for us today how the Lord sent him to the Israelites. The Lord says that the Israelites are “rebels who have rebelled” against Him; people who are “hard of face and obstinate of heart.” Certainly biblical history bears this out.
  • Although they were God’s chosen people, and despite the many miracles and wonders our Lord wrought in their midst, there were many times when the Israelites rebelled against our Lord and His ways – and always to their detriment.
  • Yet does not our country today resemble the Israelites of old? Is not our country today filled with many people like those our Lord describes to Ezekiel: people who have obstinately rebelled against the laws of God and the natural order?
  • As a nation we have been blessed beyond any other the world has ever known. And yet are we not turning away from our Lord and His laws by some of the laws that we have created?
  • So many things that are manifestly contrary to God’s law, most notably the destruction of innocent life through abortion, are not only legal but regarded as sacred rights in our country today. Thus, as a nation, we now find ourselves amidst terrible culture wars.
  • The arguments that we are having on so many issues – like abortion, contraception, same-sex unions, euthanasia, and even whether or not God & religion have a place in public discourse – will only become fiercer if the citizens of this country do not seek the truth of these issues.
  • And there is a truth to these issues; there is a right and wrong answer to these moral issues.
  • If we do not seek the truth, the fighting will continue because laws not based on truth will almost always lead to strife and division, for the truth is not something that can be destroyed.
  • While we may be able to hide it, distort it, or suppress it, Truth always has a way of eventually making itself known. This is because Truth is not a thing or simply an idea or concept. Truth is a Person: none other than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
  • In looking through the course of history and the way evil has punctuated it, we can see that man has often positioned himself as an enemy of Truth. In order to fulfill his own political agenda, man often tries to distort, bend, or even destroy Truth.
  • But evil men can only distort, bend, or try to destroy the Truth if people who are committed to Truth do not stand up and fight.
  • And so that we might know the Truth, God gave us the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit. Founded by Jesus Christ, Who is the way, the TRUTH, and the life, to the Church has been entrusted the full revelation of Jesus Christ.
  • By the power of the Holy Spirit that truth has been passed down faithfully for 2000 years through Scripture and Tradition. The Catholic Church safeguards Christ’s truth, which we call the Deposit of Faith, and it has been enshrined in the constant teachings of the Church.
  • As Catholics we know that the Truth is a given. It’s not something that changes or evolves over time. It is what it is. Truth is eternal, and our Lord has written it upon our hearts.
  • We set ourselves up as the children of God to the degree that we conform our lives to the Truth, and we fashion ourselves as God’s enemies to the degree that we depart from it.
  • But it is not enough for us to know the truth in order for us to change our country so that it better reflects God’s laws. As I mentioned last week at the end of Mass, if we want to make our country a godly nation once again, we must be holy.
  • Because of our inherent tendencies toward selfishness and rebellion, holiness is difficult to attain. The remedy for our sinfulness that obstructs our ability to be holy is the cross.
  • When I say the cross is the remedy for our sins, I mean not only the salvation won for us by Jesus’ death on the cross, but also the crosses that come into our lives – the sufferings that we endure as part of life.
  • Every form of suffering that God allows to enter into our lives is meant to be an instrument in the hands of the Divine Physician to excise our sinfulness and help us grow in holiness.
  • It’s for this reason that our Lord rarely removes our crosses miraculously. So many times when suffering enters our lives, we beg our Lord to take it away, do we not?
  • Yet most of the time our Lord allows us to suffer our crosses – at least for a while – so that we might grow in holiness by carrying them.
  • In those moments of pain, we must remember the words of our Lord to St. Paul today: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”
  • But our Lord does not expect us to carry our crosses and endure our sufferings all alone.
  • To help us in our times of suffering, our Lord has given us His Mother Mary! As a loving mother Mary understands our weaknesses, and when we entrust ourselves to her loving care, she helps to correct our faults and failings through the power of her spouse, the Holy Spirit.
  • Our Lady also obtains for us the grace we need to carry our crosses with courage and dignity, and to profit by them. In short, if we give ourselves to her, Mary works to make us holy.
  • Indeed, St. Louis de Montfort stated that consecrating oneself to Jesus through Mary is “the surest, easiest, shortest, and the most perfect means to becoming a saint.”
  • It is for this reason that last week at the end of Mass I invited all of you to consider consecrating yourselves to Jesus through Mary this coming August 15th: the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the anniversary of our parish founding.
  • As the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, Mary’s role in the divine economy now “is to give spiritual birth to Christians, to feed and nurture them with grace, and to help them grow to full stature in Christ” (33 Days to Morning Glory, p. 25).
  • By consecrating oneself to Jesus through Mary, one is giving our Lady full permission to take on her motherly role of forming us into ever more perfect likenesses of her Son, Jesus.
  • Just as she gave birth to the Christ Child over 2000 years ago in Bethlehem, by her intercession and motherly love, Mary helps us to grow into the likeness of her Son, in whose image we were created. Consecrating ourselves to Jesus through Mary is the way that we fully entrust ourselves to her maternal care.
  • Because of the importance and solemnity of such a consecration, it is important toprepare. And we will do so by setting aside 33 days, beginning this Friday, July 13th,to do some readings and meditate upon them.
  • As I mentioned last week, these readings will come from Fr. Michael Gaitley’s book:33 Days to Morning Glory, which you can purchase from the Poor Clares or from an on-line retailer. We’ve also dedicated a special section on our parish website to the consecration.
  • For those of you who would like to make this consecration, I invite you to purchase Fr. Gaitley’s book, and then on Friday, begin with the reading for Day 1, and then simply follow the outline set forth in his book.
  • Then, after all of the Masses on August 15th, those who have prepared will make the consecration together.
  • If we want to change our country, we must be holy. If we want to be holy, we need Mary.
  • As a parish, let us enter into these 33 days with heartfelt prayer for one another as we strive to abandon ourselves to Mary’s loving task of making us holy.
  • While this retreat will be intimately personal, let us set out together, united in faith, to beg the help of our common Mother.
  • O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

08 July 2012

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio .
To enable the audio, please go directly to Fr. Reid’s homily homilies and select the matching date.

Link to Homilies:
http://stanncharlotte.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=61

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