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A Letter From Our Pastor: Transforming Our Hearts and Accepting God’s Love
We are celebrating a National Eucharistic Revival! The Revival is a work of God! How might the Lord want to use this Revival for a deeper transformation of your own heart? In this newsletter and the next, I will be sharing with you some insights.
Both human and spiritual growth can be seen to pass through three stages: Self-knowledge leads to self-acceptance, which leads to self-gift. The goal of our Christian life is self-gift, but we have to start with self-knowledge and self-acceptance. As St. John Paul II said in his very first encyclical, “We cannot live without love. If we do not encounter love, if we do not experience it and make it our own, and if we do not participate in it, our life is meaningless. Without love we remain incomprehensible to ourselves” (Redemptor Hominis, 10). Do you know how much God loves you? Can you accept that love? To understand this more, let’s look at God’s plan to heal the world: “Though he was in the form of God, Jesus did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness, and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2: 6-8). This is the way God loves you and redeems you. The cross of Jesus is the healing for you and your model to imitate. The cross is fundamentally the greatest act of worship that you enter into at every Mass. You give yourself to God as God has given Himself to you through Jesus.
Pope Francis made this clear in a recent letter: “The content of the bread broken is the cross of Jesus, his sacrifice of obedience out of love for the Father. If we had not had the Last Supper, that is to say, if we had not had the ritual anticipation of his death, we would have never been able to grasp how the carrying out of his being condemned to death could have been in fact the act of perfect worship, pleasing to the Father, the only true act of worship, the only true liturgy” (Desiderio Desideravi, 7).
Why does Jesus make this present in the Eucharist? So that we can learn to give the same way. Pope Benedict wrote, “Christians, in all their actions, are called to offer true worship to God. Here the intrinsically Eucharistic nature of Christian life begins to take shape. The Eucharist, since it embraces the concrete, everyday existence of the believer, makes possible, day by day, the progressive transfiguration of all those called by grace to reflect the image of God. There is nothing authentically human — our thoughts and affections, our words and deeds — that does not find in the sacrament of the Eucharist the form it needs to be lived to the full” (Sacramentum Caritatis, 71).
The world still does not know this! But you do! Maybe you know of some who have forgotten this or got lost along the way in the twists and turns of life. Share this with them! Invite them back! Next month, I will be sharing with you some new insights on the old suggestion to “offer it up!”
May the Lord give you peace!
Reverend Mark Zacker, Pastor