Monday, September 1, 2008

Get Behind me Satan! *updated*

So the title of this comes from the Gospel from Sunday Aug. 31st, it was the continuation of the Gospel from the week before. The idea of St. Peter being so good one day and so bad the next as always amused me, as well it really does sum up how must of us are. I was once told to read the Passion, and watch Jesus of Nazareth (the movie) during Holy Week to "make up" for what I thought was a "bad Lent" and to see whom I was most like. Sometimes I say Mary because of my name, but almost always when I think about it, I'm Peter. We all are, one day I can say OK JESUS, and the next day unfortunately deny Jesus, but when it comes down to it and it matters I say THAT'S RIGHT I'M WITH JESUS.

Interestingly the word deny comes up in the Gospel. "Deny one's self, take up your cross and follow me" are the words of Jesus we hear. Recently I've been leaning towards wishing to hear Fr. Brian's homilies, but Fr. George did a good job with this one. I laughed when the homily started because Fr. George did his typical joke to get everyone to pay attention and because I said to myself "I didn't read Fr. Jim's homily before Mass this week, must mean this one will be decent." It's usually true that if I read Fr. Jim's homily via his blog before I go to Mass that the one at St. A's is lacking. Fr. George's was decent, it didn't blow me out of the water, but honestly most don't.

Fr. George focused on the aspect of deny one's self which leads many times to taking up a cross that was expected yet unexpected and finally it all leads to following Jesus. I remember Fr. George saying that deny one's self meant we didn't need all the material possessions that we so often want and "need." He spoke about how when we deny ourselves something that we can gain from in. In denying one's self one is to cling to Jesus, hence why this line usually get quoted by people. Fr. George mentioned at one point and I remember this because I'm usually surprised when he touches upon the topic of "pro-life" activities from the pulpit. He spoke about how taking up one's cross means going against the tide in some cases and while those are not his exact words, it did make me think of the election and the "pro-life" movement. It was a basic stand up for what you believe in type homily, which I guess I need reminding of everyone once in a while.

The week before I happened to have Fr. Brian at Mass, and it tells you something that nearly 2 weeks later I still remember the homily. I happened to be sitting in the first pew, which I haven't done since my days at Seton Hall. I felt a little too close to the presider's chair, but alas that wasn't too big of a deal. The week before August 24th was the Gospel where Jesus commends Peter for knowing who He is and getting it right. Jesus does add in, this was revealed to you, which it is. Fr. Brian tied this into the apostolic succession and the succession of St. Peter to the current Pope. I remember Fr. Brian speaking about Humane Vitae and how we should read what the popes have written especially the current Holy Father and the last one. I laughed as Fr. Brian said that because I have read the writings of JP2 and I am currently reading Jesus of Nazareth by PB16 (as Fr. Brian calls him)and was reading Humane Vitae. Fr. Brian spoke of how Paul VI's document was prophetic in essence and he went on to point out 3 passages about how if artifical contraception was allowed that the country would do down hill, well as Fr. Brian put it, "I think he (Pope Pius VI) hit that one on the head.

What makes Fr. Brian's homily so interesting is that later on that night while a good friend and I were watching TV our other good friend called us to complain about the homily she got. (Side note the 3 of us earned the nickname unholy- holy trinity, as the 3 of us were RCIA sponsors and well for the most part inseparable in college) Any way my friend's homily was about how there were three major mistakes in the Church: Galileo, the Crusades, and Humane Vitae. I turned to my friend who was watching tv with me when I head her repeat what she heard and I said, oh no way, let me tell you about my homily.

At one church you have a good holy priest speaking about how Humane Vitae was a great document and that we need to read what the Popes have written and to listen to what they say, while at another you have a deacon who speaks of how the same document was a giant mistake in the Church.

This is why people don't know what to do, or what to believe. It amuses me that on on the same day these homilies were given that Nancy Pelosi was stepping in the largest pile of crap she could find. Props to the bishops who have used this as a teaching moment and those that continue to do so. It saddens me when people don't know or fully understand the Church that they were raised in, let alone ordained to a ministry in. People are confused because they can hear two different things and nothing is said as to whom is right. Thankfully the bishops came out and defended the Church and Her teachings.

May St. Peter continue to pray for us as we need it.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I think that "get behind me Satan" is something that all of us have to learn to say when the society in which we live is promoting what JP2 called the "culture of death".

You're definitely right when you say that sometimes taking up our cross and following Jesus does mean standing up for the sanctity of life which secular society has seemingly rejected.

I expect that, because of her strong pro-life beliefs, Sarah Palin will have to carry her cross when the Democrat media really starts attacking her.

I agree with you about Humanae Vitae, too. Paul VI saw very clearly where artificial contraception was leading - i.e. to the culture of death.

Speaking on behalf of the Church, he effectivedly said to the culture of death "get behind me Satan", and taught Catholics how best to take up their cross and follow Jesus in their family lives and relationships.