The Power and the Glory
By Fr. Robert J. Carr
©Catholic Online 2005
As I looked over Last Sunday's readings, these words struck me...
"Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you."
Of Course, these words from the 17th chapter of John are from Jesusí prayer to the Father just prior to his arrest. Yet, when we look at them in light of all the readings it is time to reflect. This is a special Sunday in the year one of the most important. It is that Sunday between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost. It is in a sense a time of mystery, waiting for God to show his glory. We are in great expectation, yet, we are also waiting.
Historically this time, which recognizes those same days of prayer after Jesusí resurrection, are the end of a time of silence maintained by Jesus and his apostles. Paul states, in the oldest eyewitness account we have of the resurrection of Jesus, that Our Lord appeared to no more than five hundred people. He never returned to the town square and really never preached again in public. His resurrection was something enjoyed only by his closest disciples.
WAITING IN GREAT EXPECTATION
After Jesus resurrected from the dead, it is the apostles led by the Holy Spirit, a person in God they had never experienced previously, who continued Our Saviorís ministry. So, now is the time we remember this as we celebrate their message handed down to us over the centuries and alive in our lives. This is a time of joyful expectation as we await the arrival of Pentecost Sunday. It is a time for all of us to be in prayer asking for a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit next week.
Yet, we have gone through a painful time for these last several years. Some have described this time as the post Christian era and have announced that we have evolved to the point that humans no longer need to believe in God. It is a ridiculous statement, made more ridiculous by the fact that no person who understands evolution could say it. Yet, here you and I are in this time in joyful expectation saying Lord let your spirit come upon us and upon all your people next week.
GODíS HAND PRUNING HIS CHURCH
If you read media accounts it would appear that the Catholic Church is falling apart. Yet, when you step back a moment you can see that it is stronger than ever. However, you must step back to see this. This is Christís Church and as Christ said, the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. So what is happening? It is just as Jesus said would happen. His light is growing within the Church and those places in our church and in our world that have thrived in darkness are coming to light and being dealt with, not by our hands, but by Godís hands. You are watching God prune his church and he is doing it well.
There is an interesting phrase that has been part of media accounts lately, it is Romans 1:18
The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from Heaven against every impiety and wickedness of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness. For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes. Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies. . . . (And they pay $42,000 a year to walk down this path!!!!) Sound Familiar?
Since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper. They are filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed and malice; full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery and spite. They are gossips and scandalmongers and they hate God. They are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wickedness and rebellious toward their parents. They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know the just decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Many take that as Godís condemnation of homosexuality. It actually is more than that. It is a description of the judgement of God, not for any particular sin, but for choosing to reject the sovereignty of God in our lives. They reject his wisdom and light and, therefore, God leaves them to suffer the effects of their own darkness ...
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