Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sun 33A: "A man called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them": the salvation of all is entrusted to the Church, the Body of Christ

We expect to be nourished and cared for by persons in positions of leadership and "trust" but, tragically, in the mystery of iniquity in the world this is not always so. Recent events within a university sports program remind us of the need to all be vigilant for the sake of protecting God's precious gift of our children and young people.

We all frankly acknowledge that trust has been breached by individuals within the Church as well.

Failure to protect the most vulnerable persons among us, beginning with the unborn child in the womb, is a sin against the most precious possession which God entrusts to us on the natural level: the only creature He has made in His own image and likeness. All of us are called to be a leaven of a new society in which everyone cares for all of his brothers and sisters without exception from the newly conceived child in the womb to the most elderly of persons.

Our children must be educated from a young age to be comfortable saying they are uncomfortable. We must be willing to listen to anything they have to say so that no child will ever be harmed again.

“When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls.”

The Church is placed in the world with God's authority, called to be that "worthy wife" of infinite value because charged with the task of the infinite gift of the world's salvation. How great is the responsibility that all of us share in the Church to protect all human persons and to call them to salvation? The Church is espoused to God as a wife is bonded through love to her husband.

That we may be nourished in saving love, God has left His Bride the Church, the Spouse of Christ, in which we may grow and thrive. For these reasons the Church is also our Mother in the life of grace. Through all the gifts of the Church, and in particular the sacraments, He treats us gently as His children with tenderness befitting one who cares for the very smallest needs of those for whom He is responsible.

"The Church, further, which is called 'that Jerusalem which is above' and 'our mother', is described as the spotless spouse of the spotless lamb. It is she whom Christ 'loved and for whom he delivered himself up that he might sanctify her.' It is she whom he unites to himself by an unbreakable alliance, and whom he constantly 'nourishes and cherishes.'" (CCC 757)

"A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.”

The journey is the distance we experience between God and us. It is also the time which elapses between the Son's return to the right hand of the Father, where He intercedes for us, and our own journey there. In the face of the most daunting evil of sin, God accompanies us on our path through the life of grace in the Church. Above all this is true of the Eucharist, the very Body of His Son.

"At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.'" (CCC 1323)

The Body of Christ, His Son, is the Father’s dearest possession. Will you, will I, use our talents, God’s grace, that we may truly grow in faith, hope and love? Will we protect the natural gift of life of every human person, beginning with the youngest and most vulnerable persons? In this way the call of God to salvation in Christ is prepared and anticipated.

The Church is our Mother and leads us to salvation, above all as we worship together on the Lord's Day.

"Holy Mother Church believes that she should celebrate the saving work of her divine Spouse in a sacred commemoration on certain days throughout the course of the year. Once each week, on the day which she has called the Lord's Day, she keeps the memory of the Lord's resurrection. She also celebrates it once every year, together with his blessed Passion, at Easter, that most solemn of all feasts. In the course of the year, moreover, she unfolds the whole mystery of Christ. . . . Thus recalling the mysteries of the redemption, she opens up to the faithful the riches of her Lord's powers and merits, so that these are in some way made present in every age; the faithful lay hold of them and are filled with saving grace." (CCC 1163)

We are called to flourish in joyfully receiving through the Church the most precious gift of the Father, especially in the Eucharist, the very Body and Blood, truly present, of His dearly beloved Son, for forgiveness of sins so as His children we may inherit holiness, and for life eternal, so we may enter into His heavenly dwelling when the Church on Earth is no more at the end of the world.

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