Consider the relationship between knowing Christ and knowing oneself…
As we mark the culmination of the current church year and prepare to conclude our Sunday journey with the Gospel of Luke (we will commence with Matthew beginning next weekend until 2022), we are presented with the encounter of our Crucified Jesus with the two criminals, two of “The King’s subjects.” The one refuses to own his status as a condemned man and simultaneously questions the identity of Jesus: “Are you not the Christ?” The other criminal is ready to accept: “…we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes.” Yet, he does not hesitate to ask something of the King, affirming His power: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
This suggests to me a strong connection between recognizing the Lord and gaining greater self-knowledge. He who is known as the “repentant thief,” at one and the same time, is accepting of the consequence of his own choices and confident in opening himself up to what the Savior is offering. In the Mass, immediately prior to presenting ourselves for Holy Communion, this dynamic plays out, as we echo the words of the centurion in the Gospel, pleading with Jesus on behalf of his servant who is ill: “Oh Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
Here is a quotation from Qua Primis, the1925 encyclical of Pope Pius XI, in which he universally established the Solemnity which now closes our church year:
If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls, or to use the words of the Apostle Paul, as instruments of justice unto God. If all these truths are presented to the faithful for their consideration, they will prove a powerful incentive to perfection.
We welcome a new member to the Saint Mary staff. Sarah Nussbaum, who with her spouse, Matthew, and their four children (Ava, Carsten, Mary Grace and Cole) have been members of the parish since 2010, has accepted the position of Secretary for the Office of Faith Formation. She succeeds Donna Lohnes, who has served faithfully in this role for fourteen years. Blessings, Donna, as you begin a new phase of your journey.
Join us for Mass on Thanksgiving morning, November 29, at 9 a.m. Once again, donations of food will be accepted at the time of the Preparation of the Gifts and subsequently delivered to People to People. On behalf of ALL the staff, a blessed Thanksgiving to the members of the household of Saint Mary and all those whose lives you will intersect in these days.
To view the complete November 24 bulletin ONLINE, please go to: https://www.parishesonline.com/find/st-mary-of-the-immaculate-conception/bulletin/file/November%2024th%20Bulletin