Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Homily Trinity Sunday 2009

Dietrich Bonhöffer, a young theologian of great promise,
was killed by the Nazis for participating in a plot against the life of A. Hitler. His writings have since greatly influenced theological thought.
His poetic article “Who am I?” appeared in the Journal Christianity and Crisis,
on March 4, 1946.

Who am I? They often tell me
I stepped from my cell’s confinement
Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,
Like a squire from his country-house.
Who am I? They often tell me
I used to speak to my warders
Freely and friendly and clearly,
As though it were mine to command.
Who am I? They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
Equally, smilingly, proudly,
Like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really all that which other men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?

Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?

Who am I? This or the other?
Am I one person today and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
And before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army,
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am Thine!

In the darkness of imprisonment,
Bonhöffer grappled with questions of human identity
and yet returned to the fundamental truth that…whatever he endures…
he belongs to God.

On the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity,
we celebrate the reality of God,
to whom we belong
and to whose image we owe our very identity as human persons.
We understand who we are by knowing who God is.

God is an eternal and indissoluble unity of three divine persons…
at the same time one and yet three distinct persons.

From eternity, God the Father begets the Son in an act of pure self-emptying love,
and the Son is not born or created
but is begotten from the Father’s very being
and is of one substance with Him.
From eternity as well, the love of the Father is reciprocated by the Son,
and together Father and Son live in perfect harmony
as sharers of one divine substance.
The shared love of the Father and Son is so perfect and powerful that it bears fruit
in a distinct and third divine person: the Holy Spirit.

It is love, perfect and infinite, that binds the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
in perfect unity…in a loving communion of three divine persons.
Thus we can profess with Saint John that God is Love!

As a creature made not out of necessity but through a loving act of God,
made in the image of God, who is Love,
the human person contains a capacity for love and relationship.

To love…to empty oneself for the sake of others…
is therefore the fundamental vocation inscribed in the human person…
This vocation founded in our identity as children of God
created in and sealed with the image of God who is Love itself.

We know who we are when we know who God is!
The fundamental human vocation to love
is manifested in the three vocations of the Christian life:
marriage, priesthood and religious life.

Husbands and wives realize their human identity according to their vocation
by giving of themselves totally to one another in a life-long covenant
which bears fruit in mutual care and in the procreation of children.
Celibate religious brothers and sisters live out their vocation
in total dedication to Christ and the Church
according to the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience
and their love is fruitful in works of education, service, and pastoral care.

The priest is a man called, consecrated, and ordained by God
to stand in the person of Christ the Head of the Body, the Church
both in his ministry and in his whole manner of life.

Today’s Gospel applies in a broad sense to all Christians
but Jesus’ words to the apostles contains a uniquely priestly commission:
“Go forth, to teach all nations and baptize.”
To preach the word and celebrate the Sacraments
are the unique and essential priestly duties.

In the morass of all that broken human life involves…
good and evil...sanctity and sin…wholeness and heartache…
stands the Catholic priest...ever blessing, consecrating, forgiving.

At every hour, on the altars of the world...
Jesus Christ again and again descends into our world in the Eucharist
in the hands of a priest.

By the example of a chaste celibate life
and a heart that beats with the pulse of Christ's truth and love
the priest brings Jesus to the world and the world to Him.

In his wisdom, Pope Benedict XVI has announced a special “Year of the Priest” –
a year dedicated to encouraging priests to strive for holiness,
recognizing the gift of the priesthood in the life of the Church,
appreciating our priests, and praying for priestly vocations.

It is indeed a time of grace for every priest to grow closer to Christ
and a much-needed opportunity for the whole Church
to give thanks for the priesthood.

The Year of the Priest will begin on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart,
and our parish will be celebrating with a vigil Mass at 7:00 pm on the 18th.
Please be attentive to the bulletin for more details
and plan to join priests from the Stark Deanery in celebrating the priesthood.

Saint John Vianney once wrote quite beautifully that
“the priesthood is the love of the Heart of Jesus.”
On the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
we will celebrate the love of the Heart of Jesus revealed in the priesthood –
divine love manifested in the ministry of sinful men.

It is this divine love that sustains the Church, strengthens us in our own vocations,
and serves as the image of our very identity.

Who am I? I am a priest…called…despite my unworthiness…
to reveal the love of the heart of Jesus in my life.
Who are we all? Persons made in God’s image…
summoned and destined to reveal to the world the love of the Trinity!