The “voice crying in the desert” did not hesitate to accuse the guilty, did not hesitate to speak the truth. But why? What possesses a man that he would give up his very life?
Each of us has a calling to which we must listen. No one will ever repeat the mission of John, and yet all of us are called to that very mission. It is the role of the Christian to witness to Jesus. Whatever our position in this world, we are called to be disciples of Christ. By our words and deeds others should realize that we live in the joy of knowing that Jesus is Lord. We do not have to depend upon our own limited resources, but can draw strength from the vastness of Christ’s saving grace.
~ Both quotes from AmericanCatholic.org
How does one follow this model? Humility, Service and Honesty.
Father Mario’s Homily yesterday dealt with Pope Benedict XVI’s call for a “New Evangelization” a call that the Blessed Pope John Paul II had been making as well.
Now more than ever, we must truly BE Disciples of Christ. Live our Faith. Bring back to Him those that are Lost, Confused, Hurting…we do this “when we choose to live at the heart of the Church for the sake of the world” (Catholic.org Page 1).
This is almost identical to the life of him whom we remember on this day, with one very, very important difference. Whereas St. John the Baptist went at it “alone,” we have our Mother Church to lead us, guide us and stand beside…and yet, it is so difficult for us.
Difficult because living in this world, we are told that She is just an Institution. We are told to be Politically Correct and not really Evangelize because then we aren’t respecting others’ faiths. We are, as Father Mario pointed out, almost forced to wear a Mask to please Society and Others and with this mask, we say what is most palatable though it is a lie.
Father made it quite plain and simple. To begin to combat this New Paganism called – by the Representative of Christ on Earth, the Pope – the Dictatorship of Relativism (Catholic.org Page 2), we must Tell the Truth!
Easy! Right? Well, here’s the thing…you must ALWAYS tell the Truth and on top of that, you must accept any and all repercussions that come your way from having told the Truth. Even if that means you become less popular, less or not Politically Correct at all, less acceptable in our Society, etc.
Father Mario said that to combat this New -Ism, we must remove our Masks and be who we are, Catholic Christians, Disciples and Follower of Christ. Our Heavenly Father’s Children and though I believe we all know this, it is worth reiterating, Sons and Daughters of our Mother Church.
In the article found on Catholic.org by Deacon Keith Fournier, he stresses how many of us have lost Respect and Love for our Beloved Mother Church. How a common occurrence in our society is to say that we are Followers of Christ…BUT…we don’t go to Mass, don’t follow the Teachings of our Mother Church, we don’t agree with, acknowledge, know or even stand with St. Peter’s successor, our Pope.
Saint Cyprian (A.D. 258) wrote, “He who has turned his back on the Church of Christ shall not come to the rewards of Christ; he is an alien, a worldling, an enemy. You cannot have God for your Father if you have not the Church for your mother. Our Lord warns us when He says: `he that is not with Me is against Me, and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth.’ Whosoever breaks the peace and harmony of Christ acts against Christ; whoever gathers elsewhere than in the Church scatters the Church of Christ.” (On The Unity of the Catholic Church)
Deacon Keith makes it very clear that we cannot belong to the Head and not be a member of His Body. A notion, as he points out, that is a very contemporary malady.
Every era has had its challenges. We definitely have our own. But as we have seen:
Church history demonstrates that such seasons of purification are followed by times of great restoration and revival for the Church. So it will be in our day. This Church called Catholic is not a mere human institution. If it were, it would have shipwrecked long ago.
~ Deacon Keith Fournier