THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Her Doctrine and Morals
The Fourth Sunday after Easter
10 May 2020
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The Sunday Sermon Archive
In the Gospel for today, Jesus is preparing us for His Ascension into Heaven. He promises to send the Holy Ghost to "convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believe not Me: and of justice, because I go to the Father; and of judgment, because the prince of this world is already judged."
The sin that the Holy Ghost is concerned about is that of not believing Jesus. There are many other sins, but this is the critical one. St. Augustine tells us that many believe that Jesus is, but not everyone believes in Him. We believe in historical persons like King Henry VIII, Abraham Lincoln, etc. This appears to be the same kind of belief that many have of Jesus. This is not a belief that will save us. We must believe in Him. That is, we must hope in Christ, and love Him. St. Augustine says: "Should he have faith, but be without hope and without love, he believes that Christ is, but he does not believe in Christ. He, therefore, who believes in Christ, believing in Christ, Christ comes to him, and he is in a certain manner united to Christ, and made a member of His Body. This cannot be unless hope is added and likewise charity."
This is the one sin that the Holy Ghost has come to judge and condemn because all other sins are forgiven to those who believe in Jesus. The Christian that has faith, hope, and love in Jesus Christ, washes away his sins in Penance and builds up stores of grace through the reception of the Holy Eucharist and the other Sacraments. All those without faith in Jesus Christ remain in all their sins. So, it is as if this sin of unbelief in Jesus Christ is the only sin. Likewise, True Faith in Jesus Christ is the one grace that opens to us all the other graces.
It is justice that Jesus goes to the Father because this is where He came from and where He belongs. It was mercy that brought the Son of God to this earth to redeem us from our sins, so it is justice for Him to return. We have been told that no one ascends to the Father but the Son. If only the Son ascends to the Father in Heaven, then our only hope for entering Heaven is to become one with Jesus. We are to be members of His Mystical Body. The Body is One, even though it is made up of many members. The Head of the Mystical Body is in Heaven, it is only natural that the Body will follow the Head.
In mercy, Jesus came to forgive us our sins and to incorporate us into His Body. We partake of or receive a reward of justice because the justice of Jesus is given to us or applied to us. After we have humbled ourselves and received the mercy of God through Jesus, we are then incorporated into Him through His Mystical Body the Church. In this manner Justice becomes ours, or rather we become one with Justice. Only in this manner will we be permitted to enter Heaven.
The prince of this world has already been judged. Just as the believers in Jesus are one with Him, so all the evildoers are one with the Devil and his associates. Jesus and all those united to Him ascend into Heaven; Lucifer and all those united to him descend into Hell. The many good men become one in Jesus and the many evil men become one in the Devil.
In this world, we vacillate between good and evil, in the next life we will no longer vacillate. We will be entirely good or entirely evil. Our goal is to firmly unite ourselves with Jesus and no longer hesitate or look back to a life of sin. In renouncing sin and uniting ourselves with Jesus we become one with Him. We spiritually rise from the grave of sin and live the life of grace. Our thoughts and desires belong in Heaven with Jesus. Though we physically live in this world, we already spiritually live in Heaven. Our Head is in Heaven and the true believers in Jesus, even in this life, are granted glimpses of this eternal beatitude from time to time. Our Head, our Treasure is in Heaven and that is where our hearts and minds must naturally turn.
We should not sorrow as if Jesus has left us or abandoned us. He is with us if we will accept Him. He lives in us (His Mystical Body the Church). He is with us in the Holy Eucharist. We must rejoice that Our Head is in Heaven because where the Head is the Body will follow. Where Jesus is, so will all those truly united with Him be also.
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