Sunday, July 31, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Thus, we see the centrality of the Eucharist in the Christian mysteries. A true Christian is a believer in the Eucharist. A true Christian cannot live without the Eucharist because the Lord Jesus himself said: “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you cannot have life in you.”
This makes me wonder how non Catholics can afford not to believe in the Eucharist even in spite of the wealth of Scriptural proof and Apostolic witness. How could they get past St. John’s chapter on the Bread of life without seeing the clear Eucharistic doctrine? I once chanced upon a non-Catholic commentary on the Bread of life chapter of John’s gospel which tried to explain that the Bread of life is actually the Word of God because Jesus, at the temptation in the desert, quoted to Satan an Old Testament passage which said: “Man does not live on bread alone but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God.” Thus, the center of non-Catholic worship is the sermon of the pastor. The center of the non-Catholic sanctuary is the pulpit.
But the story of the multiplication of the loaves proves this point wrong. If the Bread of life were simply the word of God, then the multiplication of the bread should not have taken place. After all, the Lord spent the whole day preaching and healing the people of their infirmities. But the Lord would not dismiss the crowd without feeding them. Thus, he took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to the crowd to eat. The center of worship is not the sermon but the Eucharistic sacrifice. Blessed John Paul made it clear that the proclamation of the Word of God prepares us to recognize the Lord at the breaking of the bread: “It is significant that the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, duly prepared by our Lord's words, recognized him at table through the simple gesture of the ‘breaking of bread’. When minds are enlightened and hearts are enkindled, signs begin to ‘speak’. The Eucharist unfolds in a dynamic context of signs containing a rich and luminous message. Through these signs the mystery in some way opens up before the eyes of the believer.” (JPII, Mane Nobiscum Domine, 14.) Although we all appreciate a good sermon, let us not forget that the real reason we are here is to assist at the offering of the Lord’s body and blood to the Father and to receive him through Holy Communion. The Lord himself made it clear that what he wanted to give for the life of the world is his body: “My flesh is the food that I give for the life of the world.” Let us heed the invitation of the Lord: “All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat…Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what fails to satisfy? Heed me, and you shall eat well.” Having listened to the word of the Lord, assist now at the offering of the Eucharist. Eat his body and drink his blood so that you may have life in you. “For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed,” says the Lord.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
“It is to simply know that we are before God himself and that He came to us and that we are undeserving,” the prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments said in an interview with CNA during his visit to Lima, Peru.
The cardinal’s remarks came in response to a question on whether Catholics should receive Communion in the hand or on the tongue.
He recommended that Catholics “receive Communion on the tongue and while kneeling.”
Receiving Communion in this way, the cardinal continued, “is the sign of adoration that needs to be recovered. I think the entire Church needs to receive Communion while kneeling.”
“In fact,” he added, “if one receives while standing, a genuflection or profound bow should be made, and this is not happening.”
“If we trivialize Communion, we trivialize everything, and we cannot lose a moment as important as that of receiving Communion, of recognizing the real presence of Christ there, of the God who is the love above all loves, as we sing in a hymn in Spanish.”
In response to a question about the liturgical abuses that often occur, Cardinal Canizares said they must be “corrected, especially through proper formation: formation for seminarians, for priests, for catechists, for all the Christian faithful.”
Such a formation should ensure that liturgical celebrations take place “in accord with the demands and dignity of the celebration, in accord with the norms of the Church, which is the only way we can authentically celebrate the Eucharist,” he added.
“Bishops have a unique responsibility” in the task of liturgical formation and the correction of abuses, the cardinal said, “and we must not fail to fulfill it, because everything we do to ensure that the Eucharist is celebrated properly will ensure proper participation in the Eucharist.”
Spanish cardinal recommends that Catholics receive Communion on the tongue :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Priest attacked, guilty of celebrating the Latin Mass
Tue, 26/07/2011 - 15:24
"You have been tough, but we will smash your head. Signed, Your friend Satan". That was one of several threatening messages sent to Father Hernán García Pardo, parish priest of San Michele, in Ronta [Mugello region of the Province of Florence, Tuscany]. His fault [was] that of celebrating the Latin Mass, liberalized by Benedict XVI in September 2007.
The warnings, which had been recurrent for some time, had not made the priest, who despite everything has continued to say Mass according to the ancient rite, give up. The last chapter [took place] last Wednesday, when he was beaten up by a 'faithful' in the town's rectory in the presence of his aged mother. The beating led to bruising on his back; having been sent to the emergency room of Borgo San Lorenzo, he was medicated.
The news item was published today in the Giornale della Toscana; the accusations made against Father Hernán are those of scattering the flock; above all, he is not forgiven for distributing communion in the mouth [to the] kneeling [faithful], instead of on the hand, in the same manner as Benedict XVI. For others, the Italian-Argentine priest has only brought back some sacred austerity to the parish, excluding guitars from the functions and bringing back to within the walls of the church the ancient Gregorian chant. ...
Monday, July 25, 2011
"But Solomon's example is valid for every man. Each of us has a conscience to be in a certain sense 'king,' that is, to exercise the great human dignity of acting according to a properly formed conscience, doing good and avoiding evil. Moral conscience presupposes the capacity to hear the voice of truth, to be docile to its instructions. Persons who are called to the office of ruling of course have a further responsibility, and therefore -- as Solomon says -- have even more need of God. But each person has his own part to perform in the concrete situation in which he finds himself. An erroneous mentality suggests that we ask God for nice things and privileged situations; in fact, the true quality of our life and social existence depends on each person's properly formed conscience, on the capacity of each and every person to recognize the good, separating it from evil, and to attempt patiently to realize it.
So, let us ask for the help of the Virgin Mary, Seat of Wisdom. Her "heart" is perfectly "docile" to the Lord's will. Although she is a humble and simple person, Mary is a queen in the eyes of God, and as such we venerate her. May the Holy Virgin help us also to form, with God's grace, a conscience always open to the truth and sensitive to justice, to serve the Kingdom of God.
ZENIT - On Solomon's Heart
Friday, July 22, 2011
By announcing the resurrection of Christ, Mary Magdalene became an Apostle to the Apostles; may she be our loving advocate with the God who chose her! (Magnificat Antiphon)
My paternal grandmother used to bring out the Magdalena for the Holy Week procession in her little town of Sara, Iloilo. When she died, the care of the image was passed to me. Although I never had the opportunity to bring the image out in the yearly procession in Iloilo, I saw to it that we brought her out wherever I am assigned as pastor. This little custom deepened my relationship with the Apostle to the Apostles. Sinner turned saint, the Magdalena is an eloquent witness to the Redeemer's triumph over sin and death.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
"As far as I know, since the publication of a decree in 1963 there is nothing to stop a Catholic from being cremated, even if the Code of Canon Law (1983) "earnestly recommends the pious custom of burial be retained" (n. 1176). The Church also usually requires that the body must be present for the public Requiem Mass - so that the temple which housed the Living God may be properly reverenced. Since 1997, though, the Holy See has allowed some Bishops' Conferences to permit cremation before the funeral, as long as the urn is placed on a stand next to the paschal candle during the Mass. After cremation, the Church teaches that the ashes must be kept in an urn for burial or deposition in a place such as a Columbarium - as far as I know, the scattering of ashes is still forbidden. Also, of course, the Catholic Church teaches that cremation should not be used to "demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body" (CCC n. 2301).
"Right from its earliest days, and rooted to its Judaic heritage, the Church taught that cremation was an abhorrent practice - both a denial of the resurrection of the body and a desecration of the work of God's hands. According to Fr John Dietzen, though, in his book Questions and Answers (quoted in a Catholic Culture article), "the first general legislation banning the burning of bodies as a funeral rite came from the Vatican's Holy Office in May 1886, noting the anti-religious and Masonic motivation behind the movement. The 1918 Code of Canon Law continued that ban because cremation was still considered a flagrant rejection of the Christian belief in immortality and the resurrection." To this day, though, even though it normally lacks any anti-religious motivation, many traditional Catholics remain opposed to the notion of cremation, and the practice is still banned in the Orthodox Church - in which those who normally choose to be cremated, unless it is for some "good cause", are usually denied an ecclesiastical funeral or the Church's official prayers for the dead. "
Follow the link: A Reluctant Sinner: Bishop Michael Evans' body will be cremated. Is th...:
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Perhaps that was in the mind of the slaves who suggested to the Master: “Do you want us to go and pull them out?” It must have surprised them that the Master decided to keep both the wheat and the weeds till harvest time when the segregation will take place: “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning but gather the wheat into my barn.”
Let us remember that the parable is not a lesson on gardening. Rather it is the Lord’s explanation on the co-existence of good and evil people: “He who sows good seeds is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, the enemy who sows them is the devil.” When confronted by the reality of evil people who make the lives of the just miserable, we always ask: “Why does the Lord allow them to thrive? Why does he not simply eradicate them from the face of the earth?” The answer is given by the Book of Wisdom: “There is no god besides you who have the care of all…though you are master of might, you judge with clemency, and with lenience you govern us…And you taught your people by these deeds, that those who are just might be kind, and you gave your children good ground for hope that you would permit repentance for their sins.”
Why does God allow evil men to thrive? It is because he is merciful. He does not want the sinner to die but rather to repent and live! In fact, the Lord does not only patiently wait for the evil man’s conversion. He does not simply wait and ask: “Kailan kaya mauuntog sa katotohanan ang taong ito?” No, the Lord aggressively acts. He produces opportunities for conversion. And he makes repentance accessible. To St. Faustina, the Lord Jesus said: “Write, speak of my mercy. Tell souls where they are to look for solace; that is in the Tribunal of Mercy (confession). There the greatest miracles take place and are incessantly repeated. To avail oneself of this miracle, it is not necessary to go on a great pilgrimage or to carry out some external ceremony. It suffices to come with faith to the feet of my representative and to reveal to him one’s misery, and the miracle of Divine Mercy will be fully demonstrated. Were a soul like a decaying corpse so that from a human standpoint, there would be no hope of restoration and everything would be lost, it is not so for God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores the soul in full. How miserable are those who do not take advantage of this miracle of God’s mercy! They will call out in vain but it will be too late.” (Diary 1448)
But you may protest that God’s mercy spoils the evil men. What about the just? Should he not take care first of those who strive to be faithful to him? To St. Faustina, the Lord said: “Both the sinner and the righteous have need of my mercy. Conversion, as well as perseverance, is a grace of my mercy.” (Diary 1577) “Let souls who are striving for perfection particularly adore my mercy, because the abundance of graces which I grant to them flows from my mercy. I desire that those souls distinguish themselves by boundless trust in my mercy. I myself will attend to the sanctification of such souls. I will provide them with everything they will need to attain sanctity. The graces of my mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to me, because I pour all the treasures of my graces into them. I rejoice that they ask for much, because it is my desire to give much, very much. On the other hand, I am sad when souls ask for little when they narrow their hearts.” (Diary 1578.) as St. Paul wrote to the Romans: “The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness.”
When the Master chose to let the wheat and the weeds grow together, his choice was on account of his mercy. On account of his mercy, he prolongs his patience towards evil men in the hope that his grace will bring them to repentance and to salvation. On account of his mercy, he fortifies the just with his graces so that they may be sanctifies and by their perseverance they may win their lives.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Mount Carmel, on account of its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea and by abundant dew, is marked by its luxurious vegetation, aromatic plants, and wild flowers. Its beauty accounts for the meaning of its name: “the garden.” On this mountain the prophet St. Elijah lived, fasted, and prayed. On this mountain the Lord revealed himself to the prophet in a gentle voice. On this mountain, the prophet challenged the priests of Baal to a contest that would prove the God of Israel as the true God. This mountain is sacred to the Lord. It is a privileged place of encounter with the Lord. Even from olden times, Mount Carmel has attracted seekers of God to find him in prayer along its slopes. It is a beautiful garden conducive for this privileged encounter with God – the place where one can be still to know the He the Lord is God.
In a way, we can see that Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, is like Mount Carmel. She is the garden enclosed spoken of in the Canticle of Canticles: “Hortus conclusus soror mea, sponsa, hortus conclusus, fons signatus" ("A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up.”) (4:12). She is the garden enclosed who is open only to her Divine Spouse who is the Holy Spirit. A beautiful garden she is so that men and women of the Spirit loved to apply to her the name mentioned by the Prophet Isaiah: Décor Carmeli – the Flower of Carmel, the Beauty of Carmel. Made beautiful by the fullness of grace which the Lord bestowed upon her at the first instant of her conception, Mary was the garden untouched – totally reserved for God alone. Her heart was the fitting dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, her womb for God the Son. Hers was the singular dignity of being God’s daughter, God’s spouse, and God’s mother. “Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” – these words of St. Luke show Mary as the teacher of interiority, teacher of the things of the Spirit. She was already living out what her Son would later on teach: “When you pray, go to your room and close the door and pray to your Father in secret.” Mary does not only pray. She teaches us how to pray. Her greeting disposed Elizabeth for the reception of the Holy Spirit. After the Lord’s ascension, the disciples “gathered in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus.” Like Mount Carmel that disposes hermits to meet the Lord, Mary disposed the disciples to encounter the Holy Spirit.
In this way, Mary is the pattern, the image of the Church. Towards the end of the Great Jubilee of the year 2000, Blessed John Paul pointed out “that all pastoral initiatives must be set in relation to holiness.” (Novo Millenio Ineunte, 30.) He spoke of the high standard of ordinary Christian living which cannot settle for “a life of mediocrity, marked by a minimalist ethic and a shallow religiosity” (NMI, 31.). Training in holiness is an imperative. This training in holiness calls for “a Christian life that is distinguished above all in the art of prayer.” (NMI, 32.) Recognizing the widespread demand for spirituality despite widespread secularization, Blessed John Paul made reference to the great mystical traditions of the Church as our response to this demand. He mentioned in particular the legacies of the great Carmelites St. Teresa of Jesus and St. John of the Cross. “Our Christian communities must become genuine ‘schools’ of prayer, where the meeting with Christ is expressed not just in imploring help but also in thanksgiving, praise, adoration, contemplation, listening and ardent devotion, until the heart truly ‘falls in love’” (NMI, 33.).
And here is where Mount Carmel, Mary, and the Church meet: they all are genuine schools of prayer. And we are here, at the foot of Mount Carmel, sons and daughters of Our Lady, gathered as Church. We come here as disciples, as learners in the school of the Spirit. We repeat to the Lord the request made of him by his disciples: “Lord, teach us how to pray.” To this request comes the Lord’s response: “When you pray, go to your room and close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.” Let us enter the inner room, the enclosed garden. Let us search for him. Let us seek his face. Let us climb the mountain of the Lord.
O Mary, Décor Carmeli, Beauty of Carmel, glory of Libanus, purest of lilies, mystic rose in the flowering gardens of the Church, pray for us.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Thank you, dear Bishops for your witness! In humbling yourselves, you stand very tall!
"Honorable Members of the Senate:
"We thank this august body for inviting us to shed light on an issue that has deeply saddened not only the seven of us but all the Catholic faithful. We hope that our presence will aid your work of legislation. We shall reply with great respect to your questions as far as the facts enable us.
"We are from provinces that have some of the most difficult areas that we as Bishops have to reach. Most of us are from calamity or conflict-stricken areas. We serve communities some of which are the poorest of the poor. Our vocation is to help them in so far as we can with our resources. When we lack resources, we seek the assistance of others, especially from those whose mandate is to provide assistance, particularly in health services and in charity. Some of us received service vehicles from PCSO that are heavy duty 4 x 4 pick-ups in order for our social, health, and charitable services to reach remote areas. Others received vehicles that have multiple purposes of bringing indigent sick people to hospitals or distribute food, medicines, and clothing to calamity stricken families.
"We are very grateful for the help extended to us. We still believe that we have not violated any law, or even the Constitution. We express our sadness that our sincere desire to help people and receive necessary assistance for doing so has confused, disturbed and even scandalized many of the Catholic faithful. As our pastoral statement has said, we honestly “failed to consider the pitfalls to which these grants could possibly lead.” We also express our “readiness to do everything that is necessary to heal this wound so that we can all move forward in hope.”
"For this reason, regardless of whether the acquisition of the vehicles has been lawful or unlawful, constitutional or unconstitutional, we are returning the vehicles. The vehicles in Mindanao are ready for immediate turnover to a duly authorized PCSO official. The vehicles in Luzon are right now outside the Senate for immediate turnover to PCSO officials.
"Again, we thank Your Honors for this opportunity to voice our sentiments on this matter.
"Thank you and God bless you."
Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, O.M.I.
Bishop Rodolfo Beltran
Archbishop Ernesto Salgado
Bishop Leopoldo Jaucian, SVD
Archbishop Romulo Valles
Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos
July 13, 2011
Statement of Bishops Before The Blue Ribbon Committee
Monday, July 11, 2011
“The second kind are the Anchorites or Hermits: those who, no longer in the first fervor of their reformation, but after long probation in a monastery, having learned by the help of many brethren how to fight against the devil, go out well armed from the ranks of the community to the solitary combat of the desert. They are able now, with no help save from God, to fight single-handed against the vices of the flesh and their own evil thoughts.
“The third kind of monks, a detestable kind, are the Sarabaites. These, not having been tested, as gold in the furnace (Wis. 3:6), by any rule or by the lessons of experience, are as soft as lead. In their works they still keep faith with the world, so that their tonsure marks them as liars before God. They live in twos or threes, or even singly, without a shepherd, in their own sheepfolds and not in the Lord's. Their law is the desire for self-gratification: whatever enters their mind or appeals to them, that they call holy; what they dislike, they regard as unlawful.
“The fourth kind of monks are those called Gyrovagues. These spend their whole lives tramping from province to province, staying as guests in different monasteries for three or four days at a time. Always on the move, with no stability, they indulge their own wills and succumb to the allurements of gluttony, and are in every way worse than the Sarabaites. Of the miserable conduct of all such it is better to be silent than to speak.
“Passing these over, therefore, let us proceed, with God's help, to lay down a rule for the strongest kind of monks, the Cenobites.”
Is it true that the word of God has lost the power which was referred to in the first reading? What stifles the word of God? The parable of the Sower gives us answers worth considering. “Some seed fell along the path...others on rocky ground…others fell amongst the thorns.” The seed is the word of God and the various kinds of soil upon which the seed fell stand for the different hearts of men. Of course, the word of God did not survive in the hearts of those who outrightly rejected it. But there are those who have accepted the word of God and yet, end up stifling that word they received. These are the ones represented by the rocky ground and the thorns. In the Gospel, the Lord mentions 2 factors that stifle the word of God: love for the things of the world and fear of suffering.
Basically, these two characterize the secular spirit of the world: worldliness and fear of suffering. We have a term for this – we simply call it the “good life.” This kind of life is one that mistakenly associates comfort with goodness and, on the opposite end, suffering (or inconvenience) with evil. Pleasure is something which we should pursue and discomfort should be avoided. Basically, this is the fear of the Cross. This mentality is all around us. Artificial contraception is attractive because it separates sexual pleasure from the responsibilities that go with it. Now, you can enjoy the sex without worrying about its consequences – parang Coke Zero: real coke taste without the calories. Divorce is very attractive because it separates the pleasures of marriage from the obligation of “till death do us part.” I once heard a DJ over the radio say that he is allergic to sacrifice. “Basta enjoy lang nang enjoy. Pag naging mahirap ang sitwasyon, talikuran mo.”
And this is dangerous because secularization shortens our vision and limits it to the horizons of the visible world. Secularization falsifies reality by limiting it to only what is visible and makes us oblivious of the greater part of reality which is the invisible world. By instilling in us too much love for the things of the world, secularization condemns us to the world that passes away. By instilling in us the fear of suffering, secularization deprives us of that one instrument by which man is truly saved by Christ – and that is the Cross. In our shortsightedness, we fail to appreciate the redemptive value of our sufferings when they are endured in union with Christ. “Our sufferings in the present are nothing as compared to the glory that is waiting to be revealed in us,” so said St. Paul to the Romans in the 2nd reading. Remember that our sufferings and sacrifices are good for us. On the human level, such create in us a sense of character. On the supernatural level, such prepare us for the glory of our revelation as children of God.
If we want the word of God to bear fruit in us, we have to engage in self denial as an antidote to worldliness. We have to face our fear of suffering and carry our Cross because only in such way can we follow Christ who conquered the world and makes all things new. St. Paul tells us that athletes deprive themselves of many things in order to win a crown of leaves. Let us do the same. Let us cast away everything that encumbers our steps. Let us run the race so as to receive from him the crown of victory.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
The wise and the learned in the ways of the world turn out to be the real fools, deprived of the wisdom of Christ. For all their arrogance and erudite arguments, they have not received the secrets which the Lord reveals only to the little ones: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, you have revealed them to little children.” What the world-wise people regard as valuable information turn out to be trivialities for the Lord – knowledge that does not save nor gives eternal life. And they are going to oblivion where their predecessor are now: “Kingdoms and empires have passed away; peoples once renowned for their history and civilization have disappeared; time and again the nations, as though overwhelmed by the weight of years, have fallen asunder; while the Church, indefectible in her essence, united by ties indissoluble with her heavenly Spouse, is here today radiant with eternal youth, strong with the same primitive vigor with which she came from the Heart of Christ dead upon the Cross. Men powerful in the world have risen up against her. They have disappeared, and she remains. Philosophical systems without number, of every form and every kind, rose up against her, arrogantly vaunting themselves her masters, as though they had at last destroyed the doctrine of the Church, refuted the dogmas of her faith, proved the absurdity of her teachings. But those systems, one after another, have passed into books of history, forgotten, bankrupt; while from the Rock of Peter the light of truth shines forth as brilliantly as on the day when Jesus first kindled it on His appearance in the world, and fed it with His Divine words: ‘Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass’ (Matth. xxiv. 35).” (Iucunda Sane, 8.)
Anyone who wishes to receive the wisdom that counts must turn to Jesus who said: “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” “No one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” And to whom did the Son reveal the Father? He revealed the Father to the Church – to his disciples whom he called his friends “for I have revealed to you everything I received from the Father.” Mankind can learn from Christ only by turning to the Church. We need to be reminded of “the absolute necessity of having recourse to this Church in order to have eternal salvation, to follow the right road of reason, to feed on the truth, to obtain peace and even happiness in this life.” (Iucunda Sane, 9.) “Wherefore, to use the words of the Holy Pontiff (Gregory the Great), ‘Turn your steps towards this unshaken rock upon which Our Savior founded the Universal Church, so that the path of him who is sincere of heart may not be lost in devious windings’ (Reg. viii. 24, ad Sabin. episcop.). It is only the charity of the Church and union with her which ‘unite what is divided, restore order where there is confusion, temper inequalities, fill up imperfections’ (Registr. v. 58 (53) ad Virgil. episcop.). It is to be firmly held ‘that nobody can rightly govern in earthly things, unless he knows how to treat divine things, and that the peace of States depends upon the universal peace of the Church’ (Registr. v. 37 (20) ad Mauric. Aug.).” (Iucunda Sane, 10.)
As for ourselves, it would do us well to keep in mind what St. Paul said to the Romans: “You are not in the flesh; on the contrary you are in the Spirit…We are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Let us learn not from the world but from the Lord who is meek and humble of heart. In him let us find our rest for his yoke is easy and his burden is light.
Friday, July 1, 2011
“The Lord has set his heart on you and chose you,” Moses affirmed in the first reading. “God loved us,” John affirmed in the second reading. But with what did God love us? “He has loved us with a human heart. For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation is quite rightly considered the chief sign and the symbol…of that love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings without exception.” (CCC, 478.) He, who in his divinity is so much unlike us in every way, loved us with a human heart, that is, loved us in his humanity which is so much like us in every way except in sin. That is why he tells us: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened.” He invites us to draw to him – not as someone who does not understand human toil and burden. He understands our toil and burden because he has his own: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
Indeed, the human heart of Christ, as well as his blood, are worthy of our adoration “because it is part of Christ’s human nature, and because the Word united himself to a perfect nature. The same adoration we give to the Divine Person of the Word extends to all that to which he is personally united, all that subsists in and through the Person of the Word. This is true of Jesus’ human nature as a whole; it is true of each of the parts of which it is composed. The heart of Jesus is the heart of one who is God.” (Marmion) The blood of Jesus is the blood of one who is God. Because this is the heart of one who is God, it is the symbol of the love which the Incarnate Word bears for us. Because this is the Blood of one who is God, it is the price of our redemption.
Before this tremendous mystery of the Divinity and the humanity of Christ, let us humble ourselves like little children – for only by doing so will we be the objects of his love: “The Lord set his heart on you and chose you, for you are really the smallest of all nations.” He reveals the secrets of his heart to children: “although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, you have revealed them to little children.” We toil and bear our burdens like adults. Let us surrender these “adult things” to him who, though is Lord and God, is also meek and humble of heart. From him, let us learn. In him, let us rest “for my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”