Her Doctrine and Morals

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

20 October 2019


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Dear Friends,

Jesus presents us today with another parable of the Kingdom of Heaven. A great meal and celebration has been prepared and the invited guests are called upon to come. For various unworthy motives, these refused to come to the feast. Having refused the King's invitation they will never enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

The invitation is sent out again to call anyone and everyone that could be found. St. Gregory tells us that in this invitation the Kingdom of Heaven is seen in the Catholic Church. Everyone is invited and we find in the Church here on earth good men as well as evil men. We must strive to welcome all and tolerate the evil among us, as the weeds were permitted to grow with the wheat until the harvest. Jesus invited Judas among the Apostles and he walked and worked with them. The ill willed men in the Church are the occasion for increasing and perfecting the virtues of the good men. By tolerating them we have the perfect opportunity to practice patience. We are commanded not only to tolerate them but to love them. Even if they hate us and do evil against us, we must love them and always do good to them. We must treat them as we would wish to be treated. In this manner, we prove and perfect charity for our fellow men. We must not allow ourselves to become disconcerted because there are evils among us, let us simply remember that this life is temporary, there will be a Judgment Day when all order will be eternally established.

When the Supper (Church) is full then Jesus will enter and judge who is wearing a wedding garment and who is not. The wedding garment symbolizes charity. Charity has two aspects: 1) loving God without measure, 2) loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. The proper wedding garment needs to be complete and so charity needs to have both loves to be true and proper.

We see in this that it is not enough to have been baptized and to believe and thus enter into the true Church. We must also put on this garment of true love. Many know the Church's teaching that there is no salvation outside the true Church, but few seriously reflect that it is not enough simply to have entered the Church. Once we have entered in, we must make sure that we are wearing the proper clothing. We must make sure that we are covered with virtue and principally the queen of all the virtues: Charity.

There are probably many who have entered the Church, but harbor hatred toward their neighbors because of the good that the neighbors have received — envy. Or some plot secret revenge upon their neighbor — only waiting for the convenient time and place to seek this revenge. Outwardly, they appear to love God, but they do not truly love God because they will not obey Him and love their neighbors.

Perhaps some love their neighbors and are absorbed with humanitarian works, and thus leave little time for loving God. These too have failed to properly love. Their humanitarianism is not true love without the prerequisite of loving God.

These are tolerated within the Church for a time, while those with a true wedding garment on pray and do penance for their erring brothers. There is always hope before the Master comes that they will repent and do penance. This allows the good to become better, as it gives greater aid to those who are spiritually floundering.

As we examine our own consciences we should take heed lest we fall. Just because we may be standing in the right place wearing the correct spiritual garment today, does not mean that we are guaranteed that same grace for tomorrow. Likewise, if we are found wanting today, does not mean that we will necessarily be found wanting tomorrow. We must not try to judge for ourselves because we do not understand the hearts and minds of others, and much less the Mind of God.

We must work and pray for ourselves, and then for one another. We must pray, admonish, and correct one another just as we would want to receive these when we are straying from the paths of virtue. We cannot force ourselves into Heaven, nor can we force others, but we must not give up hope and continue in our efforts while there is still time in this life.

While many are called and many enter the Church, we must also frequently remind ourselves that few are chosen. If we have entered, then let us always seek to perfect and purify our wedding garment. And may we always invite others and pray and offer penances for their conversion and salvation. As we do to others, so will Jesus do to us. Let us love them so that we may be loved by Jesus.

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