Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
Today’s Communion verse has us remind the Lord of the word that He spoke to us. What is this word? We can safely say that there are a number of words which, throughout the course of our life, are given to us at particular times and which are destined to shape the way we are to please God by living according to His most holy will. But there are also words which the Church is reminded of in the dark periods of her history. One of them that consoles many of us in these times is the final verse of St Matthew’s Gospel, in which Our Blessed Lord tells us: I am with you always until the consummation of the world.
Often in history, there have been times when we could very well have thought: this time our sins have reached such a level of perversity that God has abandoned us. And then we are reminded of those words: I am with you always. Always is always. Always means He never abandons us, he never gives up on us. We might very well deserve a good chastisement, but the chastisement is always for our correction.
That correction demands something of us, namely that we acknowledge our sins, as the introit of today’s Mass tells us. If so many awful things befall us – and we read of them in the third chapter of the prophet Daniel – it is because we have not obeyed the commandments. Such is the origin of all our woes, disobedience to God’s commandments. As long as we are ready to acknowledge our failures, and return to the Lord with a contrite and humble heart, He is ready to forgive and to restore all things.
What makes that forgiveness and that restoration impossible, however, is to refuse to acknowledge our sins. Worse, to make ways of allowing for sin. We call it something else, we create confusion, we blind ourselves, and then we are no longer capable of pardon, because we are no longer capable of saying: Yes, Lord, this is sin, and I have done it, and I had no excuse.
At the moment, we must pray much for the world and for the Church. Terrible catastrophes hang over our heads because some of our shepherds put man in the place of God; they seek to enshrine ways of acknowledging God’s law and setting it aside at one and the same time.
May Mary Immaculate look down upon us and may she touch those brazen hearts and minds that say that they want to acknowledge God but seek to live as if He did not exist. Lord, have mercy upon us.