Sunday, March 19, 2006

New Homily

You can read Dom Brendan's homily from today's liturgy here.

I had the opportunity to give a Lenten reflection to the Widows and Widowers association at St. Bernadette's parish today. I found the time preparing for this conference to be quite invigorating, as is often the case when we approach Scripture from a new point of view. Perhaps at some point, I will summarize what I learned. What was most striking in reflecting on Church Tradition regarding widows is the sense that theirs is a vocation and not a mere state of life defined by bereavement. Beginning with 1 Timothy 5:6 and continuing through the homilies of St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom, we see a tremendously high regard for the widows of the congregation. In fact, along with the consecrated virgins, they occupy a prominent place in the liturgy and an almost prophetic station. We have re-instituted the charism of Consecrated Virginity lived in the world. Might we not rediscover the gift to the Church that widows are? How counter-cultural this would be! But let us at least recall that our compassionate God will weigh our culture in large part based on how we treat the stranger, the orphan and the widow. How are we doing?

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If I, who seem to be your right hand and am called Presbyter and seem to
preach the Word of God, If I do something against the discipline of the Church
and the Rule of the Gospel so that I become a scandal to you, The Church, then
may the whole Church, in unanimous resolve, cut me, its right hand, off, and
throw me away.

Origen of Alexandria
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