April 06, 2008

Jesus is Still Not Recognized

Scripture is full of instances of Jesus, during his time among us (both before and after Easter) walking about unrecognized. Many failed or outright refused to recognize Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah. Including, sadly, his own people-the Jews. The Apostles, frequently, failed to not only understand who Jesus really was; but they also failed to understand His words.

Today's Gospel reading from Luke 24:13-35 is about Jesus appearing to two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. The disciples fail to recognize Jesus-by no means the first time The Christ is unrecognized by his followers. The disciples are 7 miles from the town so they must have spent several hours with Jesus on the road. Not only does Jesus walk with them, he discourses, at length and we have to think with astounding wisdom and clarity, on the prophecies and histories in Scripture that relate to Him. The disciples still don't recognize Him. It is only later as Jesus breaks bread with them that they recognize His actions. They've seen that before. Before they can speak, Jesus vanishes from their sight.

Today, we see many Catholics who don't even recognize Jesus in the Eucharist much less by His words. Soon the Sucessor of Peter, Benedict XVI, now gloriously reigning, will visit our shores. Already, the press is bombarding us with, what they think, is revelatory prose about the state of the Catholic Church in the U.S.

Gentle Reader: We are not stupid. We know there are many who profess to know Christ, who claim to be Catholic, who no more recognize Christ during that one hour a week (if that) at Holy Mass on Sunday than they would if he appeared before a Yankees game, showed them His Sacred Heart, and repeated the entiriety of His message to all those gathered. He'd probably be treated like the President at the Nationals opener-with boos.

The press would have us think that the Holy Father is irrelevant and he does not have anything to say to the world. Many claim that they can't get a "reading" on the Holy Father because he's not as outgoing and approachable as Pope John Paul II. They can't understand what the Holy Father is saying about Catholic education. They don't get why that should be important. They don't understand why they should care that Pope Benedict has spent many of his weekly audiences teaching on patristics. They don't get why ad orientem worship is important. They don't understand why the Holy Father believes Catholicism contains the fullness of the Truth. They don't understand the meaning behind the motu proprio. They don't get why the Holy Father is still preaching that all human life is sacred from conception to natural death.

Of course they don't.

Friends: Does the Holy Father speak first to the world? or does he speak first to US?

By speaking to "us", I mean the Faithful, the Roman Catholics. Not only those who just say they are Catholics with their lips, but the Roman Catholics whose "hearts burn within them" like the disciples when they heard the words of Jesus.

It matters to me that the world "gets" the Holy Father. However, it CONCERNS me that CATHOLICS get the Holy Father.

I think the Holy Father, like Jesus, like the Apostle the Holy Father is a direct descendent of, tries to speak to the whole world. Unfortunately, only a few understand it and even fewer accept it.

I believe that Pope Benedict XVI will go down in history as one of our greatest Popes ever. Considering that's 2000 years worth of leadership that's saying something.

I will not be able to personally see the Holy Father while he is here. I will follow the website coverage on Pope2008.com, EWTN and Relevant Radio. Still, I feel like he's coming to see me. When he sees one of us, when he talks to one of us, he talks to all of us. Just as The Christ's message is to all who believe, so, too, is the Holy Father's. But, the message has profound meaning only to those, who not only believe, but accept. The true believers don't have to be on the road to Emmaus, nor do they have to be in Washington D.C. when the Pope is there. The message of Christ transcends time and geography. It speaks to the heart of the true believers everywhere and always.

The Holy Father, like his predecessors, brings Christ's message. How many will listen with an open heart and an open mind and recognize that the Holy Father is not always speaking for himself? He speaks for HIM.


Blogger Terry Nelson said...

"I believe that Pope Benedict XVI will go down in history as one of our greatest Popes ever."

I certainly agree with you on that!

April 06, 2008 6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



April 06, 2008 9:20 PM  
Blogger Tom in Vegas said...

As the Pope's arrival draws closer, expect the media to predictably go for issues of controversy and divisiveness. Expect statistics to suit their agenda, and a microphone and camera on the face of every dissenting Catholic is the U.S.. I expect to see Kennedy's and Kerry types glorified and interviewed, criticizing the Pontiff as well as every Catholic who is not as "progressive" as they are. In short, the media will place emphasis on the A-holes and ignore the OVERWHELMING part of the Church that is in prayer and in communion with the Pope.

April 07, 2008 2:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another excellent post!

April 07, 2008 8:36 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Go Cathy!! Very well said.

April 07, 2008 9:52 AM  
Blogger Angela M. said...

Great post!

However the commenter who slagged the NO is wrong.

April 07, 2008 1:16 PM  
Blogger swissmiss said...

I LOVE Pope Benedict. I was raised with JPII, but have such a fondness for Benedict. I think he's wonderful.

BTW: There are many parishes you can find Jesus in the NO. For one, come to St. Agnes in St. Paul...some unknowning folks think the Latin NO said there IS the Tridentine.

April 07, 2008 6:32 PM  
Blogger Vincenzo said...

"They don't get why ad orientem worship is important... They don't understand the meaning behind the motu proprio."

Thank God for Pope Benedict XVI.


April 07, 2008 6:43 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Vin: I wonder what that graph will be 2002-2008? My guess is it's ticking upward.


April 07, 2008 7:25 PM  
Blogger Vincenzo said...

I'll try to find updated info. I saw this also:

"In a seminal 1995 newspaper column, Omaha Archbishop Elden Curtiss cited additional ecclesial factors that have contributed to the collapse:

I am personally aware of certain vocation directors, vocation teams, and evaluation boards that turn away candidates who do not support the possibility of ordaining women or who defend the Church’s teaching about artificial birth control, or who exhibit a strong piety toward certain devotions, such as the Rosary. When there is a determined effort to discourage orthodox candidates from priesthood and religious life, then the vocation shortage which results is caused not by a lack of vocations but by deliberate attitudes and policies which deter certain viable candidates."

April 07, 2008 8:18 PM  

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