Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pope St. PiusX

In today's Gospel we hear about the wedding banquet that we are invited to attend. We hear that all are invited not according to their merits but because of the King's pleasure. However once in attendance, guests are expected to be properly prepared for the celebration. One of the great gifts that Pope St. Pius X gave to the Church was the call for the faithful to receive Holy Communion frequently. In fact he was responsible for lowering the age at which children could receive to seven. That is the age of reason. In essence then Pope St. Pius X is one of the servants in the Gospel today who goes out to invite people to the King's banquet. That is the Eucharist. In accepting the invitation we must be properly prepared. Now where did the guests receive their wedding garments but at the hall before coming in. The King not only invited them but knowing their various conditions coming from all over he provided his guests a garment to wear. The silent man accepted the invitation but refused the gift thinking he knew better than the King. The same is true today with millions of Catholics. How fortunate, how blessed we are that our King mercifully suffers for our arrogance rather than throwing us out into the dark. We accept the invitation to the Banquet of the Eucharist but many refuse the gift of the garment. What is the garment that I speak of? That of mercy. Mercy found in the confessional. Found in every Catholic Church (banquet hall) in the world. Preparation to celebrate the Eucharist is found in the Sacrament of Confession. It is disgraceful that so many follow the bad example of the silent man in today's Gospel. Refusing the gift thinking that they know better than the King. What can you say when Jesus asks you why you have not gone to Confession? Silence born of embarrassment precedes the darkness. How many faithful Catholics come to Church but refuse the garment of Mercy that prepares you for Holy Communion. You are not okay, and God is not okay with your arrogance, your reasons, or your sins. The King came to destroy sin and death, and to bring healing and mercy. He continues to do this even now through the Sacraments which he himself instituted. Was he wrong in giving us Confession as a Sacrament? Why? Because your embarrassed by your sins. Then why cling to them and not go to receive healing and mercy. This refusal by many Catholics to confess their sins is a plague that is particularly virulent in the United States and our Priests suffer as well. 30 minutes a week is often all that is offered to the people for this great Sacrament of healing and mercy. Today it would be good to pray the King raise up another Pope St. Pius X to call the faithful to frequent Confession in preparation for the Banquet of the Eucharist. We are required to confess our sins a minimum of once a year and more often as our life dictates. However it is said that Mother Teresa went every week and John Paul II went every day. I have no proof of either, but if what is said of them is true, then we do not have an excuse to not follow their example and begin going to Confession regularly.

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