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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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The Mystery of Love & Life

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We all want to love and to be loved.  We are drawn to Christ because he exhibits a perfect love to which we yearn and yet are unable to find in our ordinary personal experience.  Our own efforts fall short and too often what we call love is a mere posturing with hidden pragmatic and selfish motivations.  The Christian definition of love seems oddly connected to two apparent contradictions:  joy and sacrifice.  We seek happiness and yet all that appetite and passion has to offer is a fleeting exhilaration.  This is even true in the lives of human lovers.  The body can only hint at the happiness the spirit might know.  Ordinarily we regard sacrifice as loss and not as gain. We strive to escape its grasp.  It is most often associated with pain and injury.  Jesus demonstrates one who embraces the darkness, not in despair but as a witness to hope and a light we would not otherwise see.  While he agonized in the human flesh, his divinity transformed the Cross from a sign of defeat into one of victory.  It is in our participation or personal offering in that oblation that we might begin to find the consolation and joy that has for so long eluded us.  It is the path or doorway to an eternal elation of the soul— where we can know the prospect of no more sorrow, no more pain, no more sickness and no more death.  The union begins as a seed with Calvary and blossoms as a flower on Easter morning.  We die with Christ so as to live with him.  Our hearts bleed for a love that is perfect, lasting and real.  It is only when our hearts are joined to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary that this love can be realized.  Hearts must be pierced so as to allow divine grace to enter inside.  At Christmas true Love is born into our world.  That same Love on Good Friday ruptures the membrane or wall separating this world from the next.  It forces its way to where none have gone before.  The dead are given entry into heaven and Easter joy invites all to a share in the life of the kingdom.  We shall abide within the Trinity, where the angels and saints see God face-to-face.  Everything changes with the mystery of Christ.  Nostalgic and pious memory is replaced with the appreciation that God knows our names. We are listed in the roll book of heaven.  We do not have to fear the oblivion of the grave.  The grave no longer means eternal silence but rather our participation in the chorus of heaven.  The love for which we yearn is real and attainable.  It is measured by the infinite sacrifice of the Cross and yet its joy eternally resounds with a share in the divine love and life.  The love that we crave is only consummated or genuine in union with Christ and in the accompanying communion of the saints.

 

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