Saturday, May 26, 2012

``Yes, Lord: You know that I love you`.` Reflection on a Gospel from a Novus Ordo Mass for Friday, Seventh Week of Easter Cycle 1/Year 1 at Lunchtime

Hello Everyone.

It's kind of exciting that I'm getting 20-50 page-views per day now. Gives me a little hope now as things aren't exactly peachy keen in my personal life.

Any ways, I decided to go on my lunch break Friday to a parish that is a 5-minute walk from my workplace. The best part is that because it is a parish whose priestly order has a charism that focuses on redemption and the offering of sacraments that was contrary to the challenges in the Church at the time of its foundation. So They offer confession before almost all their major masses and every one on Sunday (Thank the Lord! Here's an order and a parish that knows about the worthy redemption of the Sacrament of the Eucharist!!!!!).

So obviously I went for confession, but also I stayed for Mass because I wanted to offer prayers and my spiritual work of being there to the Lord concerning an  intention in a minor, but personal important spiritual conflict I am having, and feel that I know what the outcome will be based on a key statement.

The homily was given by the chaplain from my workplace. The Gospel reading for Friday, May 25 in the Novus Ordo from the CCCB lectionary for Canada, was from John 21:15-19. Nutshell version: Jesus wants Peter to be a leader and step up and spread the mission of His Church but also he hints that he will die not by his own hands or naturally (that is he will undergo the Passion, Death and Resurrection). He does a well-known reversal of when Peter denies Christ 3 times in the Passion: Christ asks him 3 times ``Do you love me?" and of course Peter says yes, but Christ replies "Feed my lambs."

The chaplain decided to focus on this famous reversal, speaking about the theme of Love. His ending on the topic was a little weak, and personally I felt that the priest could have gone a bit more into explaining about the virtue of Charity (which is also called Love) or explaining more about the highest level of Love which the trinity expressed perfectly: Divine Love, or Caritas. You can read Pope Benedict's Encyclical on that Caritas in Veritate (Love in Truth) with regard to that.

However, what struck me from that day's homily, was that he likely used a recent tragedy as a literary device in order to emphasize a point about the Love of Christ. The summation is that  a young man, who fell in love with a woman, was rejected. He then proceeded with a firearm to her, threatens her or someone else, and in the end he shot himself. I thought I heard "students" or "student" in the homily so after an internet search, this is the story that matched the most times in links. The news item is from India and it is fairly recent, having happened last week involving young university students:

After relating the story, the priest said that yes, the man "loved" the woman, but is this really love? That question, got me thinking a bit, and I can conclude that, no it's not. Love should not end in a person shooting one's self, and further love cannot be present in forcing another person to do one's bidding or express emotions not there. Instead, all that is present is submission to a more dominant person, fear, and unhappiness. The main point that I remember the priest speaking from this, is that the love of the Trinity has to be present at the core of us as Catholics (I think he used the Holy Spirit. It would make sense as some priests and a doctoral student I know has said that the Holy Spirit is Love.). If our actions are devoid of true, Christian love, well .... I cannot remember what the priest said about that, but I can say that obviously if faith without works is dead, the reverse can also be (and in Catholicism must be,) true. If part of our faith is that our Trinity expresses the most perfect form of love, Caritas, and we ourselves are vessels for the Holy Spirit from Baptism and must carry out God/Christ's Love as part of our Catholic life, then yes, Love/the Theological Virtue of Charity/Caritas must be at the very core of what we do as Catholics (how we do it, though, and how this teaching has been misapplied, is another kettle of fish).

It was a nice little piece of mind that day, concerning that conflict I had and still do on my mind. I pray and hope in that conflict that the Theological virtue of Love will be present. It was definitely my verbal spiritual nourishment, in addition to the ULTIMATE spiritual nourishment found in the Eucharist of our Blessed Lord as his Glorified body present on Earth.

Hoped you enjoyed what I have shared, Pax. YCRCM.


  1. Hello YCRCM,

    Thanks for your blog, I really enjoyed it... and yes, true love is a big topic. The interesting thing is that I heard that Gospel yesterday at my friend's ordination to the priesthood (on that note, could you pray for him, he was ordained yesterday for the St. Catherine's Diocese). The Bishop also talked about love, focusing on the love that the two young men who were ordained had in dedicating themselves to God as priests, forever to be 'in persona Christi' to those they meet esp. in celebrating the sacraments. But, also talking about how love was living out a 'yes' to God's will every day of our lives. Saying 'God, you will be done,' daily even when it is difficult.

    The thing that got me thinking the most was looking at Father's face when he was giving his first blessing. The joy was beaming! He also did something that I thought was incredibly loving, with each one of his cards of remembrance he handed out a scripture verse... a different one to each person... (well, actually, there were two typed out on each piece of paper). I got two great ones, but the one that hit me was Isaiah 40:31 "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

    Though we are constantly struggling with love, and how to love properly, and the Theological virtue, God has it covered! We experience his love every day, but esp. in the Mass when we receive Him in the Eucharist. I am not sure what bible passage, but it says something about the greatest love being a man who lays his life down for his friends. In the Catechism one def. of love is "willing the good of the other." Well, God is always willing our good... and he is calling us to be as generous. As the Bishop said yesterday, "God will not be outdone in generosity." It is true, he died for us....

    I was reading a book called "NOW" which is talking about life and how we are called to live 'now', this moment with God as the centre. God is not calling us to live and love ten years down the road, but He is calling us now and we have the ability to respond in love with our own yes to the duty of the moment/day/week all the while doing it out of love for God and offering it up as a prayer (even if we don't particularly like it... I need that reminder sometimes:)).

    That was a bit of a long point, but your blog made me think. God bless, and I will keep you in my prayers (esp. concerning whatever conflict you may be going through).

    F.P. (Frances)

  2. Before I reply specifically to F.P., other readers just note I am making an exception for F.P even though he blogs as "anonymous", because he does I.D. himself at the end of posts with a pseudoname, and he's not a hardcore blogger, he just comments.

    F.P., Thank you for your wonderful insight about love and your friend's ordination. I will definitely keep him in my prayers for, as Fr. Z. keeps saying, the Devil is roaming about like a lion bloodthirsty for us, especially priests and he's really attacking the Church at full speed right now. Surely he'll try to take your friend down or make him deficient in his role as priest/pastor now and in future.

    Ans also, thank you for the prayers about my conflict. I cannot delve too much into detail our of respect for the parties involved, but all I can say is that it concerns a decision that need to be made by someone I trust with great prudence and responsibility. However, something the person said to me has revealed to me enough, that I fear only prayer will help us resolve this decision in a true, Catholic manner, and we do not walk away with hardened hearts. "Come Holy Spirit, and enkindle in them the fire of your Love ....". Holy Spirit, pray for us (Me, the other person, F.P, his priest friend .....).