Pastor's Message

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 28-29 January 2023

HS

JMJ

My Dear Fellow Saints-in-the-Making,

Greetings in Christ our Lord and Savior!

As the month of January comes to a close, we hear Jesus preach His powerful Sermon on the Mount, providing us with the very familiar Beatitudes: Blessed are the poor in spirit; those who mourn; the meek; those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; the merciful; the clean of heart; the peacemakers; the persecuted. 

The Beatitudes are the guidelines of how to live our life as faithful Catholic disciples of Jesus Christ. They are what Dr. Bryan Thatcher, Director of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy and contributor to EWTN’s  Cenacle of The Divine Mercy, Series II, calls the “ ‘How to Be’ Attitudes,” as mentioned in an article on TheDivineMercy.org.

Dr. Thatcher writes that the “ ‘How to Be’ Attitudes give us a roadmap for sanctity and deal a lot with compassion and courage. They speak about virtues needed as we traverse the earth. And they speak about action - being merciful and showing compassion.

“We know what James wrote in Chapter 2:17: ‘faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.’ We are to live the Beatitudes in our daily lives!”

This way we are blessed but as importantly if not more importantly, we become a blessing to others so that they themselves may become blessed.

Which means we are to be attentive to avoiding sins of omission, that is, those acts of charity that we could have done in the moment but chose not to do. Have you seen someone recently who is burdened by sadness? Do you reach out and remind them they are loved by God? Have you seen someone in need of an encouraging or reassuring word? Do you remain silent or speak a word of charity to them? Have you encountered someone who is lonely and needs to talk? Do you listen patiently and engage them in conversation? 

These are acts of compassion as well as acts of mercy, and Jesus reveals to us in His Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”

Dr. Thatcher writes that “The Lord told St. Faustina, ‘... before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice ...’ (Diary of St. Faustina, 1146). Ask yourself this question: When you see Jesus face-to-Face, will you be pleading for mercy or will you be asking for His justice? I can tell you that without reservation I will be asking for mercy.”

How can we become more merciful and so receive God’s mercy more?  Dr. Thatcher recommends this daily prayer prayed by the Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy: 

"I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection, O Lord. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of your unfathomable mercy, pass through my heart and soul to my neighbor" (163). 

May we show mercy to others as we ourselves have been shown mercy. 

God love you! I do.

Fr. Lewis

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Jesus must increase; I must decrease. John 3:30