24th Sunday in Ordinary Time – The Prodigal Son

The old man of sin still sleeps within the heart of the baptized Christian, who is always free to make compromises with evil. And it is very difficult to strip oneself completely of the mentality of the kingdoms of earth which one inherits in being born into the world — and which sleeps in the dark depths of the heart with all its perversions and its selfish law of the jungle — in order to put on the “new man” of rightness and perfection. The evil and sin in the world saturate us and attack us from every direction. And in our own hearts there are always rationalizations which will give them an entry.

Luckily enough for humankind, God loves man with an obstinate love which follows him everywhere, no matter how far he wanders. God loves us like the father of a boy who lets himself be reconquered by the spirit of evil. The sinner loses his divine status, his rights as a citizen of the kingdom of God. But God waits for him always. He stands at the roadside, ready to welcome him, to give him the dignity of a son. The only thing necessary is for the errant boy to express a gesture of regret, to take the first step homeward. And he’ll see God come out to meet him.

The priest is the one who has received this mission to make known to the world the limitless goodness of God for man and to dispense forgiveness in his name with open hands. His, then, to live in contact with the greatest sinners — with Jesus’ help and all the good sense necessary.

Father Eusebe Menard in his book At All Times.

 

 

 

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Jesus is Disconcerting

 

Yes, my God is unexpected:

            He is close to us and above all things.

            He is sweet and he is violent.

            He is eternal and is born every day.

He created us for happiness and feeds us on suffering.

            He blesses what so many fear.

            He loves what so many despise.

            He asks from us what seems impossible.

He came to bring war and he is peace-loving.

He is God and he is man,

one and Trinity.

He reproves those who are unjust, and bears with injustice.

He is Father almighty – and allows suffering to go on torturing the world.

He demands that we conquer the world, that we live in the world,

that we love all that is human, and he wants us

to think of eternity.

He asks sanctity of everyone and chose as head of his Church

the apostle who denied him.

His predilection goes to the weak and the poor, and those are

the ones who go on suffering most.

He engraves his law in everybody’s conscience, and founded a Church

whose Magisterium at times creates conflicts with the

voice of people’s conscience.

He is always present and nobody sees His face.

He who loves his neighbor loves Him, – however

he goes on being unique.

He is our whole life, and He has no name.

The nearer you come to Him, the more you love Him,

the less you understand Him.

He is freedom, and came to obey.

He is love, – and Hell exists.

He praises marriage to the extent of making it a sacrament and the

image of his union with the Church, – and He and his mother

are virgins.

He is the heart of our history; not a single hair falls from our

head without his leave, and millions of men go on without knowing

of his existence, or else consider Him superfluous.

He is joy and pain at the same time.

He is holy, and was the friend of sinners.

He is all purity, and allowed the prostitutes

to touch him and to love him.

He loudly condemned the rich – and ate with them.

My disconcerting God is difficult for the man who wants

to measure Him completely, – or for those who want to

impose a logic upon him.

But my God escapes all logic and all our measures.

My God is both marvelous and ineffable,

unique and disconcerting.

He is being and He is motion.

He is what has been, what is

and what will be.

He is all, and nothing is Him.

My disconcerting God is the one

            in whom one believes without seeing Him,

            whom one loves without touching Him,

            in whom one hopes without understanding Him,

            whom we possess without deserving Him.