I was inspired by the second reading of the Office of Readings from Thursday, September 20 . It's from the final exhortation of Saint Andrew Kim Taegŏn, priest and martyr (Pro Corea Documenta, ed. Mission Catholique Séoul, Séoul/Paris, 1938, vol. 1, 74-75):
My brothers and sisters, my dearest friends, think again and again on this: God has ruled over all things in heaven and on earth from the beginning of time: then reflect on why and for what purpose he chose each one of us to be created in his own image and likeness.READ MORE
My brothers and sisters, Jesus in our Gospel speaks of a place called Gehenna, which is Greek for Hell. In today’s day and time, Hell is not a topic that anyone wants to think about or even believe that it exists. And we certainly don’t want to think that anyone might be sent there for all eternity. However, Gehenna is based on a real place. The root of it- ‘Ge’ means land, and ‘henna’ comes from Hinnom- so Gehenna literally means the Land of Hinnom. The land of Hinnom is a real place, East and Southeast of Jerusalem. Jeremiah chapter 7 talks describes the Land of Hinnom as the place in which there were horrific sacrifices and occult activities, the worship of pagan deities, and even human sacrifice. It was the place where the pagan people actually offered their own sons and daughters as holocausts to the wretched god, Molech. Can you imagine such a place- a place of occult worship filled with unquenchable fires from the holocausts of their own children? Gehenna or Hell truly is a demonic place. If you are appalled that such a place exists, you should be. If you think that I am trying to scare Hell out of you, you are right!READ MORE
My brothers and sisters, in last week’s Gospel we heard Jesus’ first prediction that He would be handed over to the authorities, suffer greatly, die, and will rise from the dead on the third day. In my homily last week, I answered why Jesus suffered, as well as why we are called to suffer and pick up our Crosses and follow Him. I talked about the tremendous value there is in uniting our suffering to Christ’s, and how doing so helps us to see from God’s perspective and allows God’s will to be done through it. This week we hear Jesus’ 2nd prediction telling his disciples what He would go through to save us. What I want to do in my homily this week is kind of a sequel to my homily from last week. Several people told me that they found my homily last week on the purpose and value of suffering beneficial, so I encourage you to read it. You can find it on our website under homilies. This week we are called to learn from how Jesus suffered, and learn how to unite our suffering to His.READ MORE
Last week, the Church celebrated Catechetical Sunday onSeptember 16 with the theme “Enlisting Witnesses for JesusChrist.” Every year, Catechetical Sunday provides a wonderfulopportunity to reflect on the role that each of us plays, by virtueof our Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to theGospel. Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity for all to rededicatethemselves to this mission as a community of faith.READ MORE
Why do we suffer? Where does suffering come from? Why do bad things happen to good people? These questions are some that every person asks, and which I want to try to answer today.
First of all, we need to remember that originally, suffering was not in the plan of God, but is the result of the Fall, a result of the sin of Adam and Eve. For example, because of the fall one of the consequences is that there is pain in childbirth- sorry Ladies, but thank you, you can blame Adam and Eve for that! But originally, there was not suffering in the world, and all suffering is a result of sin.READ MORE
Three weeks ago, I preached at all the Masses about the current scandal in the Church. Several times in that homily (which you can read on the website), I called out those bishops and priests who tried to hide the truth, to call a sin a sin. Now, in reaction to the complacency and silence, the truth is coming out, thanks be to God. Though it is difficult to face, it will set us free and the Church will be healed when we stand for the truth.READ MORE
My brothers and sisters in Christ, Jesus does a couple things that are little peculiar in our Gospel today, but the reason is of the utmost importance not only for this man, but for us too. So, let us begin our reflection.
Our Gospel begins by saying, “Jesus left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis”. What is peculiar about the areas of Tyre and Sidon, and also of the Decapolis is that they were predominantly Greek cities where Gentiles lived, places most Jews never wanted to go. Therefore, can you imagine what would be in the mind of the disciples accompanying Jesus into these unclean Gentile regions, unsure of what Jesus was doing or why. I assume they were feeling both apprehensive and uncomfortable. Already by this point, they saw Jesus cast out a demon and perform several miracles, but the healing of this man in today’s Gospel was especially telling. For by this healing the disciples learn that Jesus is not just an ordinary prophet but might just truly be the Messiah they’ve been waiting for. But He was not only going to save the Jewish people, but wanted to save every person, even Gentiles.READ MORE
Kenneth Hensley, Online Resource & Pastoral Care Coordinator, The Coming Home Network, www.chnetwork.org - August 2018 CHNewsletter
In Part 1, I described how I came to see that the unanimous testimony of the early Church thoroughly supported a Catholic and sacramental view of Baptism. But what about sacred Scripture?
In his Emergence of the Catholic Tradition, the great Church historian Jaroslav Pelikan summarizes the early Church's view of what occurs in Baptism. The early Church believed, Pelikan explains, that Baptism effects "the remission of sins, deliverance from death, regeneration, and the bestowal of the Holy Spirit."READ MORE
Kenneth Hensley, Online Resource & Pastoral Care Coordinator, The Coming Home Network, www.chnetwork.org - July 2018 CHNewsletter
As a "Bible Christian," I would have said I loved the writings of the Fathers. Of course, what I would have meant is that I loved to read Luther and Calvin and the other heroes of the Reformation. What Christians believed in the early centuries of the Christian era didn't matter too much to me.
And why should it? After all, when it came to determining Christian doctrine, all that really counted was, "What saith the Scriptures?"READ MORE