So there we have it!!
THIS IS PRETTY REMARKABLE!!
If you are interested in evangelization, it seems like there has been a resurgence
We are praying for a NEW PENTECOST
We are praying for the NEW EVANGELIZATION
What is evangelization?
IT IS THE PROCLAIMING OF THE GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST!!
EUANGELION is GOOD NEWS
Remember what Jesus said at the GREAT COMMISION, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.”
Making disciples is part of the evangelization
He continues, “Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus HIMSELF connects the mission to EVANGELIZE with the mission to BAPTIZE
THE SACRAMENTAL MISSION!!
GO MAKE DISCIPLES AND HAVE BAPTISM
There is this ABSOLUTE CONNECTION
Pope Paul VI wrote the encyclical EVANGELII NUNTIANDI which means EVANGELIZATION IN THE MODERN WORLD
He makes it very clear that not only do we proclaim the Gospel in evangelization
We proclaim Jesus as Lord and what He has done for us
THAT IS IMPORTANT!!
IT IS NECESSARY!!
Evangelization is INCOMPLETE unless it also involves THE SACRAMENTS
Not just because Pope Paul VI says so
This is completely implied if not overtly stated in The Gospel of Matthew when Jesus says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
There is this DEEP AND POWERFUL CONNECTION between evangelization and the Sacraments
Because the Sacraments are there to bring the very SAVING ACTION OF JESUS present to us
THEY SANCTIFY US!!
THEY BUILD UP THE BODY OF CHRIST!!
THEY GIVE WORSHIP TO GOD!!
What are TWO THINGS that the Mass always does?
What are TWO THINGS that the Eucharistic Liturgy always accomplishes?
If you’ve gone to Mass before, you know the answer
What are two things that happen at EVERY SINGLE MASS?
You can tell word for word IN UNISON with everyone here what it is
“Pray, my brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the Almighty Father.”
We say, “May the Lord accept the Sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of His Name, for our good, and the good of all His Holy Church.”
THOSE ARE THE TWO PURPOSES!!
God is glorified
The holiness of all the Church
The world is sanctified
This happens at EVERY SINGLE MASS
The purpose of the Sacraments are those three things
BUILD UP THE BODY
GIVE WORSHIP TO GOD
Does that make sense?
When we approach the Sacraments, we have a degree of faith
The Sacraments DO something
They PRESUPPOSE faith
When we come to the Sacraments again and again they NOURISH, STRENGTHEN, AND EXPRESS OUR FAITH
You may struggle to trust the Lord and handing your heart over to Him
So what do you do?
You pray and wrestle with it
People sometimes bring that to the Sacrament of Reconciliation
THIS IS EXACTLY THE RIGHT THING!!
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a SACRAMENT OF TRUST
Maybe THE GOD that you are struggling to TRUST is the one that you TRUST WITH YOUR SIN
The God that you are struggling to rely on and lean into that in every Confession you ARE relying on and leaning into
Maybe you struggle with despair and hope
Maybe you are tired of this battle
Maybe you are tired of your weakness
Maybe you are tired of your own sins
Maybe you are tired of all of it
You might wrestle with despair
Going to Confession is CHOOSING HOPE
If you wrestle with TRUST, choosing Confession is CHOOSING TO TRUST
If you wrestle with DESPAIR, choosing Confession is CHOOSING HOPE
Paragraph 1123 says, “[The Sacraments] not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express [our faith].”
Maybe you don’t feel like you love the Lord
GO TO MASS!!
The Mass is the MOST INCREDIBLE EXPRESSION OF GOD’S LOVE FOR US
Especially if we don’t feel it, there is something POWERFUL that happens
While love can be a feeling, love is MORE than a feeling
There was a rock band that got that right… (Ooooh it’s been a long time since I got to do this!! Boston - More Than a Feeling (Official HD Video) 😃)
LOVE IS MORE THAN JUST A FEELING!!
LOVE IS ACTION!!
It’s NOT just AFFECTION
Love is EFFECTIVE
LOVE DOES SOMETHING!!
When we go to Mass and our hearts are feeling low…
“Ok, God. I am choosing to love you. I am choosing to worship you. This is the Eucharist. This is the Sacrament of love. I’m choosing to love you as you have asked me to love you. I am choosing to worship you as you have asked me to worship you.”
When we enter into those Sacraments, they not only presuppose our faith…
They NOURISH our faith
They STRENGTHEN our faith
They EXPRESS our faith
This is why it is SO IMPORTANT that we DO NOT STAY AWAY FROM THE SACRAMENTS WHEN WE ARE STRUGGLING
WE ENTER INTO THE SACRAMENTS!!
There is this principle: LEX ORANDI, LEX CREDENDI
This means THE LAW OF PRAYER IS THE LAW OF FAITH
THE CHURCH BELIEVES AS SHE PRAYS
We have SACRED SCRIPTURE
We have SACRED TRADITION
We have THE LITURGY
Paragraph 1124 says, “Liturgy is a constitutive element of the holy and living Tradition.”
It’s not just an add-on
How we BELIEVE is how we PRAY
How we PRAY is how we BELIEVE
Hopefully that makes sense!!
Paragraph 1125 says, “For this reason no sacramental rite may be modified or manipulated at the will of the minister or the community.”
What does that mean?
Here in the West we have The Roman Missal
It gives regulations on how the Liturgy of the Eucharist is to be celebrated
Your actions are written in RED and what you say is written in BLACK
You DO the RED
You SAY the BLACK
That Sacramental Rite has been given to us by the Church
It may not be modified or manipulated by the minister
The priest can’t decide to do something different on Sunday
The community can’t decide to do something different on Sunday
Not because the Church wants to be overly controlling
LEX ORANDI, LEX CREDENDI
The law of PRAYER is the law of BELIEF
We can’t change something in how we pray without possible expressing a change in belief
Let’s try this example
Look at the Alb, a piece of liturgical clothing
It is the white robe worn underneath the chasuble
Servers might wear a white alb
You can also wear a cassock
When it’s the alb, it is white for a reason
If you read The Book of Revelation, John is being given a tour of Heaven by an angel
He sees all these people dressed in white robes
The angel asks, “Who are these people?”
John basically says, “Um, I’m not the one who lives here. YOU live here. You tell me.”
The angel responds, “These are the ones who have washed their robes in the Blood of the Lamb.”
They could be martyrs
They could be THOSE WHO ARE BAPTIZED
In Baptism we are made FULLY CLEAN
Hence we are symbolized by the ALB
There are some sacristies (dressing rooms for the priests in church) and they may have off-white albs or even brown albs
Some people think that Jesus wouldn’t always wear white, maybe He would wear earth tones
That is changing the symbol
The symbol of the WHITE ROBE is that the person has been WASHED IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB
A tan or off white robe does not communicate the same idea
So the symbol cannot be changed without possibly changing the meaning of the symbol
NO SACRAMENTAL RITE MAY BE MODIFIED OR MANIPULATED AT THE WILL OF THE MINISTER OR THE COMMUNITY!!
NOT EVEN THE POPE can arbitrarily change the Liturgy
It has to be done in obedience of Faith and with respect to the mystery of the Liturgy
Hopefully that makes sense!!
When we encounter the Sacraments they are meant to MAKE US HOLY, BUILD UP THE CHURCH, AND GIVE GLORY TO GOD
Let’s talk about the last part
Every time we approach any of the Sacraments, GOD IS GLORIFIED
Any time we use the gifts of our Father, GOD IS GLORIFIED
Every time, whether we feel it or not, whether we are fully present or not, THE FATHER IS GLORIFIED
That is a gift that you can give to the Lord
The God who loves YOU and the God YOU LOVE BACK
EVERY SINGLE TIME WE SHOW UP TO THE SACRAMENTS!!
LET’S DO THAT!!
Maybe you can do that today
Today we can say thank you to the Lord
We can CHOOSE to walk in faith
We can CHOOSE to hope
We can CHOOSE to continue to enter into His love
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!