Dear Friends in Christ
I returned on Friday from our Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes along with a number of others from the Parish Family. It was, as ever, a time of grace and spiritual renewal when we most assuredly prayed for the Church at this time, and for the needs of our Parish here.
The Gospel this Sunday is a number of short parables or similes of what the kingdom of God is like. They describe the nature of the Church in its make-up which reminds us that the Church exists for the salvation of souls. The Lord teaches this same truth on many other occasions. His Church contains saints as well as sinners, His friends and also those who have abandoned Him. We all belong to Him in different ways. Sinners belong to the Church despite their sins. They still can return to the house of their Father, even if it be at the last moment of life. Having received Baptism, they carry within themselves the hope of reconciliation which not even the most grievous sins can erase. The sins which the Church finds in her children do not belong to her. They belong to her enemy. It is always a great sadness when people judge the Church on what she is not. St Pope John Paul II said: The Church is a Mother, through whom we are born to new life in God. A mother should be loved. She is holy with regard to her Founder, her works and her doctrines, but she is, nevertheless, composed of sinful men. It is our duty to make a positive contribution to the life of the Church to help her progress along the way of faithful renewal. This is not accomplished by negative criticisms.(7.xi.82). Therefore, as devout members of God’s Faithful People, we ask the Lord to increase our desire for personal holiness so that we might be more worthy sons and daughters of the Church and so let the authentic face of Christ be seen in our world.
God bless you all!
Msgr Kevin Hale