The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

5th Week of Easter

Date: 
Tue, 05/16/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Our first reading at daily Mass during Easter time
is basically a history of the Church during apostolic times.
The apostles plus one, Paul, go out into the world as instructed.
We hear of their success and their failure, their acceptance and rejection,
their accomplishments and their hardships.
They speak to the world of their personal experience of Jesus Christ.
They use the Hebrew Scriptures, the OT, to show that Jesus is part of God’s plan for human history.
They explain why Gentiles are now invited to be part of the community of believers.
They give testimony that they saw Jesus’ execution
and told the unbelievable story of encountering the Risen Lord.
 
From the get go, one of the problems was maintaining and insuring the purity of the Gospel.
There was the constant threat of heresy, of blending together the current religious practices of people
with Christianity.
The apostolic Church had to confront deviation, dissent, misinterpretation, opinions of all sorts.
Two major elements contributed to the need for preservation of the truth of Jesus Christ.
 
1.) apostolic authority:  if and when controversy arose it was brought to the attention of the apostle who first proclaimed the Gospel.  The word of that apostle settled the matter.
[When Jesus did not return as expected, it was important to put the story of Jesus in writing, to get testimony of the apostles before they died.  Many of the Pastoral letters in the NT were written to settle problems.]
 
2.) the Eucharist:  the breaking of the bread.  Jesus told his apostles to “do this” in memory of Him. 
This is the memorial of the Lord’s death and resurrection.
Think of it this way:  a tombstone is a memorial.  It is made out of stone.  It will last a long time.
And whoever sees it will know what it means, will know what it signifies….
especially those whose lives were interconnected with the person who died.
 
The Eucharist is a living memorial, a way for believers to remember and celebrate what Jesus did….
he died on the cross and he rose from the dead.
His death is a sacrifice.  Sometimes a person must die in order for another to live.
His death is offered to the Father in atonement for the sin of the world.
His sacrifice lead to the revelation of God’s power.  The resurrection gives witness to the defeat of Satan.
Jesus’ death, like the death of the Passover paschal lamb saves the world from eternal death.
And just as part of the Passover ritual the paschal lamb was eaten,
we eat of the body of the New Paschal Lamb. 
Why? To give us strength for the journey….for our journey to God.
 
The Catholic Church has persevered for 2000 years (inspired by the grace of the Holy Spirit)
because it is founded on and remains grounded upon these two realities.
 
As Church, we are part of God’s work in the world…not all of His work,
but the most important part of His work.
With the celebration of Eucharist, we gather together and we remember
the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Not only do we remember, we enter into the mystery of God’s salvation.
We are given the strength to live a Gospel centered life.
 
With every one of us, there is always the danger of heresy, of deviation, of misinterpretation, of error.
Imagine today: one of the apostles is your constant companion, seeing everything you think and choose.
And commenting on these so as to preserve the purity of the Gospel in your life.
 
Today’s prayer:  “O Lord, I pray that my life will make the glorious splendor of Your Kingdom known in this world.  Save me from the sin that would tempt me to stray from the truth of the Gospel.  Amen!”