Cleansing Fire

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THE MISSION IS NOT COMPLETE; WOE TO ME IF I DO NOT PREACH THE GOSPEL

April 2nd, 2013, Promulgated by Dominick Anthony Zarcone

Full Series Title: “DOMINUS IESUS: A MILESTONE IN RATZINGER’S LEGACY WHICH ASSURES OUR FUTURE IN HOPE”

Too many times we have been assaulted by the fictitious exhortation: “Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.”

Saint Francis never said it; none of his biographers ever wrote he said it; and the saint’s own writings never include it. https://www.americancatholic.org/messenger/oct2001/Wiseman.asp

People of good will who repeat that apocryphal line think it is what Saint Francis meant when he wrote, “All Friars, however, should preach by their deeds.” That particular order to preach by good works follows the instructions in his 1221 Rule which detail who can preach what.

“No brother should preach contrary to the form and regulation of the holy Church nor unless he has been permitted by his minister. The minister should take care not to grant this permission to anyone indiscriminately.” (See Chapter 17, Rule of 1221; 1-4)

Saint Francis himself was a passionate preacher who boldly told his listeners the truth in love. Within his writings we even read of the saint’s warnings:
“Woe to those who do not die in penance, for they shall be the children of the devil whose works they do, and they shall go into the eternal fire. Beware and abstain from every evil and persevere in good until the end.” Saint Francis did not mince words. (See Chapter 21, Rule of 1221; 1-9) http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/wosf/wosf06.htm

In order for us to announce the saving announcement, we announcers must use words!

In fact, we must look for opportunities to announce Christ by word to both believers and unbelievers. (CCC 905 references the Second Vatican Council and states “This witness of life, however, is not the sole element in the apostolate; the true apostle is on the lookout for occasions of announcing Christ by word, either to unbelievers . . . or to the faithful)

Whether we refer to Sacred Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Conciliar documents, or papal encyclicals and apostolic exhortations, it is the same message. The message is Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen LORD.

DOMINUS IESUS opened with four significant reminders. The Lord Jesus COMMANDED us to proclaim the Gospel; the MISSION to proclaim, make disciples and baptize is FAR FROM COMPLETE; inter-religious DIALOGUE does not replace evangelization, but IS A PART of the Church’s mission TO EVANGELIZE; the Magisterium supports evangelization and references 1 Corinthians 9:16 as an important reason to evangelize.

“For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”

Do we sense that a necessity is laid upon us? Do we honestly resonate with Saint Paul who wrote “woe to me if I do not preach the gospel”?

I am convinced the Declaration DOMINUS IESUS assures our future in hope.

Because the document’s substance reiterates and re-emphasizes truths which were being ignored or denied, a dereliction detrimental to the Church’s identity and mission, the faithful’s confidence in Christ Jesus and in his great commission once again has been restored.

“Thank you, Pope John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict for your faithfulness in strengthening your brothers.” (Luke 22:32)

We know who we are and we know what we are about. Our hope is not misplaced. Our future in time and in eternity shines brightly because the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is trustworthy. The Holy Spirit increases our desire for the holiness with which he supplies us. And, we move forward as Catholics in God’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ.

“Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13b-14a)

This good news is not for us alone. It is for the whole world. We cannot keep the good news of Jesus Christ to ourselves. We must herald the message. We must proclaim the Savior. “God our Savior, ….desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3b-4) We must tell everyone that our future can be assured in hope through Jesus Christ.

“The proclamation of the Word of God has Christian conversion as its aim: a complete and sincere adherence to Christ and his Gospel through faith…..conversion is expressed in faith which is total and radical…..a dynamic and lifelong process which demands a continual turning away from ‘life according to the flesh’ to ‘life according to the Spirit’. Conversion means accepting by a personal decision the saving sovereignty of Christ and becoming his disciple. The Church calls all people to this conversion…..every person has the right to hear the ‘Good News’ of the God who reveals and gives himself in Christ, so that each one can live out in its fullness his or her proper calling.” (Redemptoris Missio, 46)

From deep within our hearts and with all of our hearts, souls and minds, let us shout out with the same conviction what the two missionaries excitedly uttered to the former Cardinal Ratzinger: HOW LONG WE HAVE WAITED FOR THOSE WORDS.

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2 Responses to “THE MISSION IS NOT COMPLETE; WOE TO ME IF I DO NOT PREACH THE GOSPEL”

  1. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Years ago I heard Father Benedict Groeschel
    define “devout Catholic” to be a Catholic who
    was deeply aware personally that God knew him
    and loved him.

    How astute. Any and all relationships with
    the LORD start with God. God loves us first.

    So in a matter of speaking,
    my devotion is a consequence of God
    being devoted to me.

    We have so much good news to share!
    We have so much to tell others!!

    By the way, solid resources and faithful resource
    people are other news worthy matters which
    we can’t keep to ourselves. Speaking of which
    I gladly share this link:

    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/2133/evangelical_catholicism_pope_francis_and_the_21stcentury_church.aspx#.UVt26rd5mc0

  2. avatar raymondfrice says:

    Very SPIRITUALLY uplifting as well as challenging.


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