Sunday, August 01, 2010

From the Homily of Fr Dwight Longenecker

This touched my heart when I read it today. I am not Catholic, very protestant, but I have found this priest who really blesses me from time to time. I pray this will also bless you. Here is the link.

"I spoke about the cross being made up of the vertical beam and the horizontal. The vertical represents our worship of God and fulfills the first commandment to Love God. Therefore the first priority of the church is not social work or pastoral concern or political change or being nice people or even education or catechesis, but worship, devotions, prayer and the sacramental life. Therefore the parish priest's first job is to lead the people to "worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, bow down before him his praises proclaim." Part of that job at OLR is going to be to build a new church. Plans are well underway and you can follow the progress of that exciting project here.

"The second beam of the cross is the horizontal. This fulfills the second of the greatest commandments, to love our neighbor as our self. This horizontal relationship is not possible without the vertical. You can't have the horizontal beam on the cross unless the vertical is established first. There's nowhere to hang the horizontal if the vertical isn't in place. There are two sides to the horizontal: pastoral care--which involves fellowship, looking after the sick and the poor and the housebound and the elderly; looking after the children, the needy, the prisoners, the bereaved; helping the poor both in our parish, our community and the wider world. The other side of the horizontal beam is evangelism and education. Sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the fullness of the faith in the Catholic Church. We plan to be pro-active in evangelism at OLR, using the new media, using the old media and using personal contacts and witness to share the faith.

"Finally, we consider who is on the cross. It is Christ the King. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord, Strong and Mighty. It is through the cross that we encounter Christ. It is, as we bear the cross that we encounter Christ. This is why Catholics insist that the crucifix is front and center. We preach Christ, and him crucified. This cross of Christ is where we meet the King of Kings. It is where we encounter him, and it is in this crossing place of the vertical and horizontal--loving God and loving neighbor that Christ is experienced and passed on."

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