Thursday, 25 May 2017

Go into all the world, to every creature

The Paschal Mystery is, liturgically speaking, complete. Our LORD ascends to heaven to prepare a place for us. He did so after forty days, not forty-three.

Mark 16:14-20 
14 At length he appeared to the eleven as they were at table: and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen him after he was risen again. 15 And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues. 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover. 19 And the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God. 20 But they going forth preached everywhere: the Lord working withal, and confirming the word with signs that followed.

Homily by Pope St. Gregory the Great29th on the Gospels
I may be allowed to say that the disciples' slowness to believe that the Lord had indeed risen from the dead, was not so much their weakness as our strength. In consequence of their doubts, the fact of the Resurrection was demonstrated by many infallible proofs. These proofs we read and acknowledge. What then assureth our faith, if not their doubt? For my part, I put my trust in Thomas, who doubted long, much more than in Mary Magdalene, who believed at once. Through his doubting, he came actually to handle the holes of the Wounds, and thereby closed up any wound of doubt in our hearts. 
Now confirm to our minds the trustworthiness of the fact that our Lord did indeed rise again from the dead, it is well for us to remark one of the statements of Luke Acts i. 4. "Eating together with them, He commanded them that they should not 1 John xiv. 16, 17 xvi. 7. depart from Jerusalem and a little afterward: "While they beheld, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight." Consider these words, note well these mysteries. After "eating together with them He was taken up." He ate and ascended: that the fact of His eating might show the reality of the Body in Which He went up. But Mark telleth us that before the Lord ascended into heaven, He upbraided His disciples; with their unbelief and hardness of heart. From this I know not why we should gather, but that the Lord then upbraided His disciples, for whom He was about to be parted in the body, to the end that the words which He spoke unto them as He left them might be the deeper imprinted on their hearts. 
When then, He had rebuked the hardness of their heart, what command did He give them? Let us hear. "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature." Was the Holy Gospel, then my brethren, to be preached to thing insensate, or to brute beasts, that the Lord said to His disciples: "Preach the Gospel to every creature"? Nay, but by the words "every creature" we must understand man, in whom are combined qualities of all creatures. Being he hath in common with stones, life in common with trees, feeling in common with beasts, understanding in common with angels. If, then, man hath something in common with every creature, man is to a certain extent every creature. The Gospel, then, if it be preached to man only, is preached to every creature.

Any man who would equate this, the "Great Commission," with the Jihad of the Mohammedans, is suffering from a delusion, proffering deception and possibly under some kind of diabolical possession. 

When those Shepherd's fail to "preach the Gospel to every creature," they disobey the very LORD GOD Himself. The very Jesus, that come to earth as man in the womb of the Virgin, lived, taught, suffered, died, arose and ascended. This very Jesus, they defy.

Praised by Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen.


Kathleen1031 said...

Thank you for your great words and witness to Christ.

JayJay said...

..."not forty-three". Great line - says it all! Love ya buddy!!!! Happy Feast Day to you and all!

Anonymous said...

Quotquot said: I heard that JPII used to joke, "what day is Ascension Thursday on?" The newchurch wrecking ball has been swinging for some time now.