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.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Homily Notes Fourth Sunday of OT Year B 2012

Homily Fourth Sunday of the
Year 2012

NB: NOTES do not reflect ad libitum delivery of actual homily

One of the customs of the late Pope John Paul II that was so
powerful to see as people throughout the world saw him on television was his
custom of kissing the ground when he visited a country. He recognized the beauty of every land and
people he visited.

He made over 100 trips to different countries because he was
committed to evangelizing the world and bringing the glad tidings of the Gospel
of Jesus Christ to people everywhere.

Today we have the option of celebrating a Mass of
Thanksgiving for the beatification of Pope John Paul II, which took place in

We thank God for a pope of tremendous love, faith and impact
on the life of the Church. He gave us a
new Catechism of the Catholic Church, and so we have a resource to go to that
shows us how to live out the Scriptures and the teaching of the Magisterium in
our daily lives. He gave us a new Code
of Canon Law and a number of encyclical letters on every aspect of Church teaching. His emphasis on youth and establishment of
WYD brought a whole new generation into joyful relationship with the Lord. He helped the whole Church to learn the teachings
of Vatican II and make them bear fruit in sound teaching and sacramental celebration. His celebration of the Mass on the altars of
the world brought the living presence of Jesus to men and women of every race
and language. Crowds of millions sat in
stillness as they listened to his beautiful words.

For 28 years we were blessed to be lead and inspired by this
holy pope, who as a celibate priest and a holy man of God, was, in the words of
Saint Paul, “anxious about the things of God!”

John Paul taught us that being faithful to the Church is the
sure path to Christ, in whom alone we find salvation and in whom we are made a
new creation: brothers and sisters of Jesus and children of God.

We saw the beauty of God’s love radiant in the life of John Paul
II. We found in his smiling face and in
the brightness of his eyes the assurance that God loves us. In every trial and heartache and sin and
struggle we face…we can be certain that God’s love never fails. That’s what he taught us: to have confidence
that God always loves us and that Church is always here to help us draw closer
to the Lord.

He taught with authority…the authority of Christ as the
Vicar of Christ and successor to the Apostles.
As we face questions of faith and morals and life in our daily lives, we
can be confident on Christ’s love for us and thus remain strong in our defense
of what we believe, after the example of Pope John Paul.

The issue facing us today centers around health care. New government policy will require insurance companies
and hospitals, including Catholic and other faith-based institutions, to provide
coverage in their health plans for procedures that violate their beliefs, such as
contraception and abortion. This is a
previously unheard of, dangerous and destructive policy from the department of
health and human services. It would
require every person’s health insurance to cover these procedures, thus threatening
our hospitals and attacking the freedom of every human person to make decisions
on faith and life according to his or her own conscience.

Following the example of John Paul II, a prophet of God’s
truth and love, this is the time for us to stand up for our Christian moral
teachings and the God-given freedom of every person to follow God and live his
life according to his conscience.

Our bishops have spoken out against this policy and called
all Catholics to action. Archbishop
Dolan, president of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference is on YouTube speaking about
the issue. Others such as Cardinal
Weuhrl of Washington, D.C., have issued strong statements. They have called us to fasting and prayer and
urged us to write to our congressmen and senators, to encourage them to oppose
this policy and protect the rights of conscience.

Indeed, this is a time to pray that the hearts of all people
will be open to the grace of Christ…a vision John Paul dream of and worked so
hard to achieve.

This is the time of the new evangelization – a time of not
only opposing issues like the health care policy but a time of re-introducing
Christ to the world and, even more fundamentally, deepening our own faith so
that we have something solid and beautiful to share with others.

The new evangelization begins in the Church by helping each
other, and the next generation, to know the person of Christ and learn the
faith of His Church. We long for every
heart to know Christ, and so we remain committed to spreading the good news of
Jesus to the ends of the earth. We believe
that the Word of Christ has power to save and make us whole. Just as Jesus drove out the demon in today’s
Gospel and spoke with amazing authority to the people of His time, so we know
that the word of Jesus can heal and save and renew us and our broken world

In the Eucharist we receive today in Holy Mass, we are given
the gift of the presence of Christ, who loves us and gives us strength to
continue learning our faith and defending what we believe in our world

Blessed Pope John Paul II, help us by your prayers to love
Christ more fully, to deepen the knowledge of our faith and to be confident missionaries
of the new evangelization, proclaiming the good news of Jesus to the ends of
the earth!

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