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in Troubled Times

 In Troubled Times, 
               A message of Hope 
              from Father Antonio

                     Homily September 2, 2018

      What is happening to our Catholic Church, to the Church of Jesus Christ?  Some members of the hierarchy of the Church are failing.  All of us assume that when a person is close to God, they behave very well.   Nevertheless, as we have seen on the news, not everyone behaves as God wants.

      In my 27 years of being a priest, I have known many bishops, priests, who are very holy and generous; very faithful to Christ and to His Church.  I believe that the greater majority of deacons, priests, and bishops are good people, thanks to God and Mary the Mother of all priests.  Of the twelve apostles who followed Christ, only one behaved badly = Judas Iscariot.  The others were faithful and died a holy death.

      Our Lord Jesus Christ tried to help Judas, but he did not let himself be helped.  He made bad use of his freedom.  Judas said “No” to God, to Jesus.  The disordered love for money guided Judas down the road of lies and hypocrisy, where the devil governs and rules. 

The corruption of the best is the worst.  When a person is close to God, but then is distracted by the things of life, or behaves badly, or lacks fight against temptation, this person distances himself from God.  When this happens, this person becomes weak; he finds himself alone, living in the great lie of selfishness, egoism, pride and vanity.  Here the devil can get anything he wants, and therefore, anything can happen; the worse can happen, sins that cry out to heaven, because of their malice, and graveness.

Let us remember that our Mother the Church is Holy because its head, who is Christ, is Holy and everything that He teaches is Holy.  This is the doctrine and the teachings of the Church.  The Church is also holy because many of its members are holy: Popes, bishops, priests, deacons and lay people.

In order for us not to get away from God, to be faithful to His Church and to the person of Christ, it is necessary to fall in love with God every day.  That is why we must pray and talk to Him every day. 

To fall in love with God and His Mother we must pray the Rosary with devotion and attention.

To fall in love with God, it is necessary to read the bible, read the catechism book and do many works of charity.

To fall in love with God, we must put our mind, our heart, our work, our intentions, desires and thoughts on the altar, so that when He descends over it, He may find all these things.  This happens when the priest recites the words of consecration.

Why are there priest who have committed such serious sins or have fallen so low?  It is because they have not prayed as they should.  They did not pray the Rosary, because they had other things to do, or because they rushed through the Mass thinking about other things.

When someone neglects his relationship with God, when he doesn't pray, the soul is emptied, and this person begins to deceive himself, others, and God, and ends up doing acts against charity.  It is necessary to be humble and religious , as St. James recommends in the second reading, in order to not fall into sin.

Only the humble will triumph and reach heaven.  The selfish person closes his soul to God, who in his infinite love wants to help us.  St. James also recommends to have an authentic religious life, perfected by works of charity. 

In the Gospel our Lord tells us to reject hypocrisy.  Only those who struggle against hypocrisy will be more authentic.  Hypocrisy is produced by original sin.  The Devil takes advantage of this reality because he is the prince of lies. 

Hypocrisy is a lie.  It appears to be something that it isn’t. 

Hypocrisy is to have a double life.

Hypocrisy is a lack of unity of life.

Hypocrisy is a lack of unity of soul and mind.

If we fight against sin, temptations, evil things, we are less hypocritical, we are more authentic.  Some Catholics in fact lead a double life, one life of masks, appearances, falsehood, which depends on the opinion of men; the other life a careless and selfish relationship with God.

We want to live a unity of life, without masks, double-talk and lies.

Jesus wants men and women who lead coherent and sincere lives of faith and love.  We should seek in everything, the truth, fleeing from hypocrisy and duplicity..  We will in this respect be imitating the life of the Lord.

In our day there is a special need for men and women who are true to their word, who live a unity of life.  Let us imitate the Lord in his love for the Truth.  He died for the truth.  Hail Mary, you who live in the truth, teach us to live in the truth.

The benefits of living in the truth include: peace and joy in the soul, rest and motivation for the mind and the heart. 

It is to meet the goal that God has set for us: 

- To be more like Christ everyday

- To be brave

- To be wise and prudent and to obtain Heaven

Only the humble love truth.  Saint Joseph teach us to be humble.

Let us pray more for the priests, let us do acts of penance, offering small sacrifices for their conversion.

Let us pray for the victims and for the parents involved.

Let us pray for the bishops, that they may do God’s will.

Guardian Angels, servers of God and men, help us to be more faithful to God.