• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 21 August 2020 18:14

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time - 2020

Written by Fr Larry Nemer SVD


Sunday Reflection -21st Sunday 2020

Fr Larry Nemer SVD 150I have often wondered what the angels in heaven were thinking when they heard Jesus tell the apostles that He would share His divine authority with them: I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.; whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be considered loosed in heaven.  No doubt there were some angels who were astounded by the love Jesus had for His apostles to share His divine authority with them.  But I can also imagine some angels shaking their angelic heads and thinking: Jesus, you don’t know what you are doing!  You are taking the risk of them using this power for their own selfish reasons rather than for the good of the kingdom of heaven.

As a young priest I was often shocked by the stories I heard from people about why they stopped coming to Church. It often seemed to me to be a ”petty” reason: Father didn’t have time to talk with me – Father made a nasty comment at my grandfather’s funeral – Father wouldn’t allow my friend to sing at our Wedding Mass; we had to have the parish organist – etc., etc., etc.  Father was making their life more miserable because of his thoughtlessness, his rigidity in applying the rules, his refusal to take time to be with them when they needed his presence.  This is not why Jesus shared His authority with them.

When I began to teach Church History I could understand why some angels would have been shaking their heads at Jesus’ loving act.  Eamon Duffy, a very good Church Historian at Cambridge, wrote A History of the Popes.  He wisely titled the book: Saints and Sinners.  Some of the Popes were truly holy people who used the authority given to them by Christ to enrich the Church and spread the kingdom of heaven.  But also there were many Popes who used the authority given to them for their own political gains or to enrich their own families.  However even under their corrupt leadership the Holy Spirit guided the Church and preserved it from lasting damage.

But it was only after ordination that I realized what a privilege and gift it was to share in Christ’s authority.  The day after my ordination when I said Mass for and gave Holy Communion to my family I could see that I was no longer the son/kid brother acting like a priest.  It was the authority that Christ shared with me that made it possible for me to give them the body of Christ.  I could see it in their faces.  A few months later my first baptism was of a niece.  It was so special, because of the shared authority with Christ, to welcome her into our Christian family.  (I later gave her her First Holy Communion, celebrated her marriage, and baptized her children – all possible because Christ shared His divine authority with me.)

But it was especially in celebrating the sacrament of reconciliation that I appreciated the great power that Jesus had shared with me.  In the 1960s there were still long lines for confession in the confessional box and I could hear the relief in their voice when I assured them that God loved them and their sins were forgiven.  But it was especially after 1970 when most people came to confession face-to-face that I could see in their bodies the new freedom and joy they felt after being assured that their sins were forgiven.  One time a fifteen year old girl came to confession in the Rectory.  She was sure that she was an evil person and that God could never forgive her.  After her confession she sat there moving her arms and legs.  I said to her: you look like someone who has been tied up and is now free.  She said: that is exactly how I feel. Jesus had shared His authority to free people with me on that occasion.