01/21/2018 - "I CAME TO BRING FIRE TO THE EARTH, AND HOW I WISHED IT WERE ALREADY KINDLED!"
“I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” ~ Luke 12:49
St. Louise is our Father’s gift to our community! In our parish church, He has established the throne of His Son, Jesus! And we have seen together that encountering Jesus, hearing His voice, becoming aware of His presence, and being touched by Him when this experience is met with faith on our part, that it unlocks a Divine Power, a Divine Fire that begins to transform our lives. Although the externals might not change, the spirit with which we embrace all things does begin to change. The spirit with which we embrace our daily tasks, the care of our spouse and of our family, our study and homework, and our work becomes more and more a spirit of love. When we have experienced the love of Jesus, it begins to overflow into the lives of others!
What the human heart longs for, the nourishment it longs for is LOVE. The heart longs for communion, to be in a meaningful relationship, to live a shared life where it loves and where it receives love.
YOU WERE CREATED AND
ARE MEANT FOR A PERSONAL AND
INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD
Last Sunday, throughout the proclamation of God’s Word, Samuel, Andrew, John, and Paul confirmed that the reason your heart is beating right now is because you are meant to be in a personal and intimate relationship with the Lord. Just like Samuel, the Lord breaks into our lives and pursues us. He calls us by name and patiently waits for us to respond. Even if we don’t recognize His voice at first, He will never abandon us. And when we have those moments, when we do hear Him calling our name, just like Samuel, we experience an amazing joy and the gift of living our life with the Lord!
Sts. Andrew and John shared their experience of how amazing it was to see Jesus, to hear His voice, and to stay with Him. Although their eyes saw a man, the eyes of faith saw God, the Son of God!
NOURISHED BY THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS
The way Jesus establishes us in this intimate and personal relationship is through the seven sacraments. It is through the sacraments that Jesus shares His Divine Life with us and nourishes us with His Divine Love.
The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us.
The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph #1131)
THE SACRAMENTS ARE OF JESUS
AND OF THE CHURCH
During His Public Ministry, JESUS healed the sick, dried the tears of the mourning, forgave sins, reconciled sinners to His Father, blessed families and children, gave people the power to become sons and daughters of God, asked His Father to pour forth His Holy Spirit into our hearts, gave us His Body and Blood as our food and drink, offered His life to the Father as He died on the Cross to pay the price for our sins and rose from the dead.
During His Public Ministry and as He ascended to the right hand of our Father, each of these salvific actions of JESUS, HIS POWER to give us a share in Divine/Eternal Life. He entrusted to His Church to continue His mission of salvation till the end of time. We see this, in a beautiful way, in the sacrament of reconciliation. Jesus was constantly encountering sinners and forgiving their sins, reconciling them to the Father. Then, on Easter Sunday, He breathed the Holy Spirit upon His apostles and entrusted them with the Divine Power to forgive sins!
THE SACRAMENTS ARE OF FAITH
Mother Church teaches us that there is a beautiful relationship between the Bible and the Sacraments. The proclamation of God’s Word, the Good News, and our assent to what we hear, opens our lives to receive the Grace and Power our Lord gives us through the Seven Sacraments.
"The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men, to build up the Body of Christ, and finally, to give worship to God. Because they are signs they also instruct. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen and express it. That is why they are called 'sacraments of faith.'" CCC #1123
Sacraments affirm the goodness of creation and the goodness of how God created you: body, soul, and spirit. Being a Christian is not merely an intellectual or private affair. When we come to Church, it’s not simply a proclamation “Jesus loves you!” to which we respond “Amen!” Jesus takes our bread and water into His Divine Hands, by the Power of His Word and His Holy Spirit, they become His Most Holy Body and Blood! The experience of receiving His Body and Blood truly does nourish, strengthen and express our faith!
THE FIRE WITHIN US WILL LEAD
OTHERS TO FAITH IN JESUS!
When our Loving Savior speaks to us about the contrast between the life of faith and the life of the world, He teaches us that as the world draws closer to its end, it will become colder and colder precisely because the love of most will grow cold. Matthew 24:12
Through your response, your daily response to all that Jesus has done for you: your faithfulness and growth in your life of prayer, your immersion in Scripture, and your faithful and fruitful reception of God’s very own Divine Life through the Sacraments. Jesus will cause to arise, gradually, such a fire of His love in your life and home, that those who are cold, lost, and hurting will be warmed by your love and receive the gift of faith through the presence of Jesus in your life!
Have a blessed week. Pray for one another.