08/27/2017 - "IF FOR THIS LIFE ONLY WE HAVE HOPED IN CHRIST, WE ARE OF ALL MEN THE MOST TO BE PITIED!" 1 COR 15:19

“IF FOR THIS LIFE ONLY WE HAVE HOPED IN CHRIST, WE ARE OF ALL MEN THE MOST TO BE PITIED!” 1 COR 15:19

In Chapter 15 of St. Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthians, he illustrates with stunning clarity, the glory of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. St. Paul also shows that we too will rise from the ashes! At the end of time, Jesus will call us by name, the Holy Spirit will descend upon our bones and ashes, and we will rise in our glorified bodies! In the words of the righteous man Job, we will see our Savior in our flesh! The Gift of Jesus is Eternal Life! We love Him, we hope in Him, and we follow Him, not just so that our life on earth will have a few less bumps, but because He is our loving and mighty Savior and He has opened the Gates of Heaven for us!

THE GLORY OF JESUS SHINING FORTH IN HIS MOTHER ASSUMED INTO HEAVEN!

On August 15th, we lifted our eyes to Heaven to contemplate the glory of Jesus shining forth through His Mother. Yes! Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven! She, with her heart, with her eyes, with her ears, and with all her being beholds the Glory of our God who is love: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You see, in Mary, the promise of our own resurrection already shines forth. As we gaze with wonder upon the glory of Jesus in His Mother, we are inspired to place all our hope and trust in Jesus! He is faithful! He promised us that our bodies will rise from the grave and He will do it!

LOVING JESUS IN ALL THINGS AND ABOVE ALL THINGS!

This past Sunday, the Bride of Jesus, Mother Church, encouraged us to lift our eyes to heaven! When we do this, our Father fills us with the warmth of His love! To desire to be with Jesus in our resurrected bodies for all eternity is at the heart of the Good News! Mother Church teaches us that the only way to get to heaven is by loving Jesus in all things and loving Him above all things. Something extraordinary happens in one’s life when they strive to do all things for love of Jesus. When you wake up in the morning, there is a newness and a hope to each new day!

OUR PARISH CHURCH: A HOUSE OF PRAYER TO WHICH OUR FATHER INVITES ALL OF HIS CHILDREN!

The prophet Isaiah spoke a glorious word about our parish Church. Isaiah shows us that once our Father establishes a Parish Church in a given territory, it becomes a House of Prayer for all the peoples living in our parish boundaries. Our Parish Church is not an elite club for members only. Our Father is actively calling and inviting all of His children to come home to His House of Prayer. Here, at St. Louise, they will truly encounter His Son and experience His love, mercy and power in their lives. It is for this reason that we, as a parish family, have been praying our 6pm Prayer. We are joining our hearts and efforts to those of our Father’s as He draws all people to His Son! Think about it: when Peter and Paul went to Rome, they didn’t set up an elite club for members only. The Gospel would never have spread across the face of the earth. They preached the Gospel to all peoples and invited all peoples to repent and embrace the Good News of Jesus!

WITNESSES OF THE POWER OF HIS MERCY!

St. Paul helped us to understand that one of the ways you and I are empowered to cooperate with our Father in His Great Plan of Salvation, is to experience His Mercy ourselves! When you and I place our entire lives into the hands of Jesus: our weaknesses, sins, wounds, strengths, hopes, and joys, we experience the transforming power of His Mercy on our lives. We then become ministers and witnesses of His Mercy to those we meet. When I was serving three months in Federal Prison for prayerfully and peacefully shutting down an abortion clinic by blocking the doors, I encountered the first person I had ever met that didn’t know about the mercy of Jesus. He was a young man that was going to be in prison for a long time for his crimes. As I spoke to Him about Jesus, about how He died on the Cross so that all our sins could be forgiven, a tear welled up in his eyes and began to fall: “You mean, my sins can be forgiven!” We can no longer and never again assume that the people in our lives and those we encounter have heard the breadth of the Good News of Jesus!

THE SILENCE AND HARNESS OF JESUS LEADS TO THE GIFT OF FAITH, TO THE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE!

All of this journey thus far has been to help us draw near to Jesus. In this past Sunday’s Gospel, so that we might understand His silence and harness towards the Canaanite woman, St. Matthew tells us how Jesus and His apostles went into a pagan territory and how a Canaanite woman approached Jesus. The people in that area had begun to hear about Jesus and what He had been doing, but they didn’t understand the fullness of the Gospel. The woman asks Jesus for His help: her daughter is possessed by a demon. Jesus is silent. Jesus is silent because He sees her heart! He sees that she doesn’t know Him. She is coming to Him so that He might fix up her life and help her daughter. She doesn’t recognize that Jesus is about to lay down His life on the Cross so that all her sins can be forgiven and so she and her daughter can inherit Eternal Life. When we turn to Jesus only to ask Him to fill in our potholes, He isn’t able to help us. When we turn to Jesus with faith and place our whole life and hopes in Him, then He is able to give us many other gifts, but only once we have received the Gift, that of Eternal Life!

Fr. Michael