Her Doctrine and Morals

Fourth Sunday in Lent

31 March 2019


The Sunday


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The Sunday Sermon Archive

Dear Friends,

Today we read that Jesus fed five-thousand men from five barley loaves and a few fishes. The spiritual writers suggest to us that these five loaves represent the Old Testament Pentateuch. (The first five books of the Bible recorded by Moses.) The Old Testament fed only a few people, that is the Chosen People of Israel. But, when these books are put into the hands of Jesus, they are fulfilled, enlarged, and expanded so that many more may partake of them. As Jesus multiplied bread, so He multiplied the revelation of God to mankind. The Old Testament fed a few, and this Jesus multiplied to feed many in the New Testament.

Jesus did not start something new, but rather, He fulfilled and completed the first revelation of God to men. The Laws of Moses were seen and interpreted in mainly a material or physical manner. With the words of Jesus, they are given greater meaning and understanding as He shows us the spiritual meaning of them. The Ten Commandments are not done away with or set aside. These same commandments apply to us today as they applied to their first beneficiaries in the time of Moses. The difference today is that we now have the benefit of the added understanding given to us by Jesus.

We now know that besides the physical observance we must also keep the spiritual observance of these laws. It is not enough to worship God with our tongues in prayer — we must unite our hearts and spirits in prayer. It is not enough to refrain from physical murder — we must also refrain from unjust anger. It is not enough to avoid adultery in deed, we must also avoid the thought and desire of adultery.

Jesus has taken something we thought we clearly saw and understood, and has opened our eyes to show us much more than we could ever imagine. It was there all the time, but could never be seen, valued, appreciated, or used until Jesus revealed it to us. The material world is a reflection of the spiritual world. Everyone knows what a tree is, yet there is always something more to it than we see at first glance. Scientists examining a tree tell us that there are leaves, stems, trunks, roots, then we can begin to look into the cells, the chlorophyll and the amazing properties of photosynthesizes, and a whole realm of microbiology that this acting and interacting to make this tree what it is. In the material realm, there is always more for us to discover if we are willing to look for it.

The life of our souls holds similar limitless realms of discovery if we will only make the effort to find them. Jesus has shown us that the immortal souls that we have are not isolated cells, but are rather, members of a much greater Body. Every baptized person is a member of the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. He is our Head and we are His members. We are one as the vine and its branches are one. As the life of the vine flows through the branches so the Life of Christ flows through His Church.

Not only this, but we are Temples of The Holy Ghost. The Third Person of God lives within us, filling us with His Grace. Through the Church, the Sacraments and grace we advance in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. As a giant oak tree is hidden in the tiny acorn, in the same manner, great saints are hidden in the tiny baptized infants. It takes some faith to see this, but it is there and will expand and develop all of this if we allow it to. If we plant, protect and nurture the acorn it will grow, and over time will become a strong tree. If we baptize an infant, protect and nurture the graces within his soul, he will in time become a saint in Heaven.

With the grace of God, we see that there is so much more to life than meets the eye. We must always strive to see beyond what physically meets our eyes. There is always so much more that is hidden. When we see our fellow men, we must strive to understand that there is an immortal soul standing before us. Every person that we see has a soul that has experienced many unknown joys and sorrows, untold pain and pleasure, hidden hopes and desires. Most importantly we should strive to see either the life of God or the potential life of God that is hidden in this person — no matter what our physical eyes tell us. From even the greatest of sinners, Jesus makes the greatest of saints. He can take one good aspect or grace and multiply it without limit if we let Him.

We are invited to see in the multiplication of bread and fishes a similar multiplication of life, grace, and virtue. Jesus multiplies Himself in the Holy Eucharist as He invites us to receive Him and increase our own lives with His.

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