November 2, 2020
All Soul’s Day
Dear Family of Mary!
“Dear children! Pray in this time of grace and seek the intercession of all the saints who are already in the light. From day to day may they be an example and encouragement to you on the way of your conversion. Little children be aware that your life is short and passing. Therefore, yearn for eternity and keep preparing your hearts in prayer. I am with you and intercede before my Son for each of you, especially for those who have consecrated themselves to me and to my Son. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (October 25, 2014)
Fr. Leon gave a beautiful homily yesterday on the Feast of All Saints for English Mass in Medjugorje. Our shipmate, Stefanie, has transcribed it for us! Thank you, Stefanie!! It is worth a reading and praying over!!
English Homily in Medjugorje
Sunday, November 1, 2020
Father Leon Pereira
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
At that time seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs Is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account, rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
During the ordination rite of a priest, the bishop hands him a paten and a chalice and he says to him these words: “Accept from the holy people of God the gifts to be offered to Him. Know what you are doing and imitate the mystery you celebrate. Model your life on the mystery of the cross.”
Those words, “Know what you are doing,” pre-supposes, “Know who you are.” Hence, the bishop’s injunction to a newly ordained priest to imitate and model his life on the divine mystery he celebrates; that is: the sacrifice of Christ on His cross.
Now – this is a true story – a friend of mine; he looked in his diary and he saw – it was a Tuesday, I think he saw 10 o’clock in the morning – there was a lecture. And it was on something that he was interested in. And it even gave the place where the lecture was meant to be. So, on that day, at that time, he went very excitedly; and thought, “This is fantastic! This is a subject that I really want to know more about.” And when he got to the lecture hall, he saw there these big posters with his face on it, and it was saying that he was giving the lecture. And this caused great panic. And this is very amusing for all his friends, including me.
Now, however amusing it is, it comes as a huge shock. Knowing who you are… Knowing, sorry… Knowing what you are doing – that you are meant to give the lecture – implies that you have to know who you are – that you are the lecturer in question.
Now in small matters, not knowing what we are doing might be comical or annoying; but in graver matters, it could prove more dangerous. Mistaking a mine field for a picnic ground is not a good idea. But not knowing who we are is a greater mistake by far. Not knowing our authority – or not knowing our limits – are manifestations of now knowing who we are. And so, how we act becomes restricted.
This is a tragedy in the individual lives of Christians when they do not recall that they are God’s children, as the second reading tells us: “A new creation through the cross of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit.”
Pope St. Leo the Great in his famous Christmas homily said: “Christian, remember your dignity. And now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition. Bear in mind who is your Head, and of whose Body you are a member. Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom.”
On a larger scale, if the church did not realize what she is doing, she might think that she is in the business of facilitating meetings, of proffering biscuits and pouring tea. But really and truly, what the church ought to be doing is to make war.
She is at war already, as scripture says in Ephesians, Chapter 6, Verse 12: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
This is not something we are “about to face.” This is what we are “already” in the midst of doing: waging war, whether we like it or not. It is because she is at war that on earth the church is called: The Church Militant. That is what she is, a church of soldiers at war.
The first reading with its vision of heaven uses militaristic language, “the huge number impossible to count shout out, ‘Victory!’” and they are the martyrs, as scripture says, “who have washed their robes white again in the Blood of the Lamb.”
The “Te Deum,” that beautiful hymn of praise that we sing every Sunday – or most Sundays of the year – calls them the, “Martyrum Candidatus Exercitus;” “The White-Robed Army of Martyrs.”
And the military images do not stop there. The scriptures apply to Our Lady – popularized by the Legion of Mary; there’s a clue in the word “Legion,” again, army term – it says, in the Song of Songs, Chapter 6, Verse 10:
“Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising,
Fair as the moon, bright as the sun,
Terrible as an army set in battle array?”
And lest we think that this is some kind of western exaggeration, the eastern church goes much further. They call Our Lady: “Yper-machịtikós Stratịgós.” Now, “Yper-machịtikós;” “Super-fighting.” “Stratịgós,” this is where we get the word “strategy” from; it means, “general.” “Super-fighting General.” Or, really, we translate this as, “Champion General,” or “Champion Leader.” In the “Akathistos Hymn,” we say that again and again. “Champion General.”
Remember in the medieval… those paintings of Our Lady, she is holding a huge bat and she is beating these demons; she is whacking the stuffing out of them. This is who she is, Our Champion General. We are at war, and it is a disaster if we do not realize it.
When instead of fighting we are willing to lie supine and to surrender, then it is Christ we are surrendering. It is Christ we are betraying when the church adopts the errors of the world and embraces the spirit of this current age. If we are wedded to the spirit of this age – the Zeitgeist; if we embrace the intolerant dogmas of our times and what passes for wisdom and compassion amongst celebrities, politicians, Freemasons, the Media, “The Elite;” if we are wedded to that spirit – and it is intolerant, you know it is; it is unforgiving, there is no mercy in the Religion of Woke-ness – then, we will not attain through the Holy Spirit to the eternal life of the world to come.
This would happen if the Church forgets who she is. And if she fails to believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, then we would be left with a travesty of mercy. If sin be no longer sin, why would you need mercy? To tell someone their brain tumor is just a headache and that all they need is paracetamol, is not mercy; it is cruel, and unloving. But this is exactly what many Catholics and their leaders do right now.
They pretend sin is not sin. They lie to the prodigal and tell him that his pigsty is a palace; that is, the Father’s Bosom. And if that is true, the prodigal will never get up and leave for the Father’s house. That is not love. It is pure hatred for God’s creature, and hatred for God masquerading as mercy and compassion.
Tomorrow we commemorate the Church Suffering. And today we remember the Church Triumphant. All the Saints, not merely as examples to emulate or an encouragement to our final goal, but also as a practical help to us. The saints are our friends and our brothers and sisters. They show us what ordinary humans can become and do by God’s help. They spur us on. And they help us as our friends in Christ.
We, the Church Militant, need the prayers of the Church Triumphant as we wage this war against darkness. A War of Love; real love – over fear. A War of Life; true life; pro-life – over death. A War of Grace; God’s grace – over sin.
Christian, remember your dignity. Know what you are doing. But that means, know first who you are. You are a Christian called to be a saint. You must become a saint. There is no viable alternative. It is either you become a saint, or you go to hell. “There’s only one tragedy in life,” says Léon Bloy, “and that’s not to become a saint.” And that would be living this life in such a way that we never get remembered today. Do not go there. Be a saint. Be a saint today.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Thank you, Fr. Leon!
I think I am going to use the title for Our Lady that Fr. Leon taught us, “Champion General”!!! My confidence and hope just increased a 1000-fold! Our Lady is the Champion General in the army of heaven, and she comes to us every day in Medjugorje. We are in good hands!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
©Mary TV 2020
PS. Here is our Donate link! Thank you for all the help with the Matching Grant. It is still active!!