2022-06-26 Merciful Love
Presence of God – O Jesus, reveal to me the infinite treasures of mercy contained in Your Heart.
“Today’s liturgy is a warm invitation to confidence in the merciful love of Jesus. Even from the beginning of Mass, the Church has us pray thus: “Look toward me and have pity on me, O Lord, for I am desolate and unhappy. See my misery and my sadness, and pardon all my sins” (Introit); then in the Collect we add: “O God… pour out upon us Your mercy,” and a little later we are exhorted: “Cast your care upon the Lord, and He will support you” (Gradual). But how can we justify all this confidence in God since we are always poor sinners? Because we have confidence in Jesus’ infinite mercy and forgiveness of sins.
“I say to you, that even so there will be joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, more than over ninety-nine just who have no need of repentance.” It is not easy for finite creatures with a limited spiritual outlook to understand this ineffable mystery completely; not only is it difficult to understand in respect to
others, but it presents a problem even in what concerns ourselves. However, Jesus said and repeated: “There will be joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, more than over ninety-nine just” thus giving us to understand what great glory a soul gives to God when, after many falls, it comes back to Him, repentant and confident.
“O Jesus, I know that Your Heart is more grieved by the thousand little imperfections of Your friends than by the faults, even grave, which Your enemies commit. Yet it seems to me, that it is only when those who are Your own are habitually guilty of thoughtlessness and neglect to seek Your pardon, that You can say: “These wounds which you see in the midst of My hands I have received in the house of those who love Me.” But Your Heart thrills with joy when You have to deal with all those who truly love, and who after each little fault come to fling themselves into Your arms, imploring forgiveness”.
(cf. T.C.J. L-C) --Divine Intimacy
The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown will join other dioceses in the United States in launching a Eucharistic Revival on June 19th – the Solemnity of the Corpus Christi – the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
The Eucharistic Revival is a three year movement in the Catholic Church in America that aims to increase every Catholic’s understanding of and devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
It comes at a time when, according to polling, most self-described Catholics say they do not believe that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ during Mass. In other words, they do not believe that Jesus is truly present in the Sacrament of Holy Communion, and they consider the bread and wine as symbols.
The mission of the Eucharistic revival is to renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord in the Eucharist.
The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown will mark the launch with special observances in Loretto on June 19th. The faithful are invited to Eucharistic Adoration inside the Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel from 3:00-6:30pm. During those hours, various priests will be available to hear Confessions. At 7:00pm, Bishop Mark Bartchak will celebrate a special outdoor Mass at the Our Lady of the Alleghenies Shrine, next to the Basilica. Those who attend the Mass are asked to bring their own lawn chair. After the Mass, a solemn Eucharistic procession will occur around the grounds of the Shrine. The faithful are invited to join in the procession if they are physically able.
The diocese is especially encouraging children who received their First Holy Communion earlier this spring and their families to attend this special celebration. The children may dress in their First Holy Communion attire.
From the launch on June 19th, 2022, through June 11th, 2023, the first phase of the movement will focus on diocesan revival. The second phase, from June 11th, 2023, through July 17th, 2024, will foster Eucharistic
devotion at the parish level, strengthening liturgical life.
A national Eucharistic Congress will convene July 17th-21st, 2024, in Indianapolis. At this historic event, Catholics will gather to reconsecrate their hearts to the Source and Summit of the faith. At the conclusion of the Congress on July 21st, 2024, through the Solemnity of Pentecost 2025, the year will be dedicated to going out in mission to share the gift of our Eucharistic Lord.
“From Advent until today, the Church has had us consider the magnificent manifestations of God’s mercy toward men; the Incarnation, the Redemption, Pentecost. Now she directs our attention to the source of these gifts, the most Holy Trinity, from whom everything proceeds. Spontaneously, there rises to our lips the hymn of gratitude expressed in the Introit of the Mass: “Blessed be the Holy Trinity and undivided Unity; we will give glory to Him, because He has shown His mercy to us”: the mercy of God the Father, who so loved the world that He gave it His only-begotten Son” (cf. Jn 3:16); the mercy of God the Son, who to redeem us became incarnate and died on the Cross; the mercy of the Holy Spirit. who deigned to come down into our hearts to communicate to us the charity of God and to make us participate in the divine life.
“Today’s feast draws us to praise and glorify the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, not only because of the great mercy They have shown to men, but also and especially in Themselves and for Themselves: first, by reason of Their supreme essence which had no beginning and will never have an end; next, because of Their infinite perfections, Their majesty, essential beauty & goodness. Equally worthy of our adoration is the sublime fruitfulness of life by which the Father continually generates the Word, while from the Father and the Word proceeds the Holy Spirit. The Father is not prior to or superior to the Word; nor are the Father and the Word prior to or greater than the Holy Spirit. The three divine Persons are all coeternal and equal among Themselves.
“You are the supreme and infinite Good, good above all good; good which is joyful, incomprehensible, inestimable; beauty exceeding all other beauty; wisdom surpassing all wisdom, because You are Wisdom itself.
(St. Catherine of Siena)
Pentecost is the Plenitude of God's Gift to Men
On Christmas Day, God gives us His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus, the Mediator, the Bridge connecting humanity and divinity. During Holy Week, Jesus, by His Passion, gives Himself entirely for us, even to death on a Cross. He bathes us, purifying and sanctifying us in His Blood. At Easter, Christ rises, and His resurrection, as well as His Ascension, is the pledge of our own glorifica-tion. He goes before us to His Father’s house to prepare a place for us, for in Him and with Him, we have become a part of the divine Family; we have become children of God, destined for eternal beatitude. But the gift of God to men does not end there; having ascended into heaven, Jesus, in union with the Father, sends us His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. The Father and the Holy Spirit loved us to the point of giving us the Word in the Incarnation; the Father and the Word so loved us as to give us the Holy Spirit. Thus, the three Persons of the Trinity give Themselves to man. -Divine Intimacy
“O Holy Spirit, substantial Love of the Father and the Son, uncreated Love dwelling in the souls of the just, come down upon me like a new Pentecost and bring me an abundance of Your gifts, of Your fruits, and of Your grace; unite Yourself to me as the most sweet Spouse of my soul.
“Come, O life-giving Spirit, to this poor world and renew the face of the earth; preside over new organizations and give us Your peace, that peace which the world cannot give. Help Your Church, give her holy priests and fervent apostles. Fill with holy inspirations the souls of the good; give calm compunction to sinful souls, consoling refresh-ment to the suffering, strength and help to those who are tempted, and light to those in darkness and in the shadow of death” (Sr. Carmela of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.)
Father Mark Groeger is the Parish Administrator of Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA.