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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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FINAL BLESSING & DISMISSAL

Announcements can be made, especially on Sundays.  Then comes the final greeting, “The Lord be with you” and the people respond, “And with your spirit.”  Given that the Eucharist is the Risen Christ, the old maxim takes on a heightened significance, “You are what you eat.” Our spiritual food is transformative. Priest and congregants alike are to take the graces of this abiding presence into the world.

The priest blesses the assembled.  Just as Mass begins with the sign of the cross, it ends with the same sign:  “May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.” The admonition of Christ, “Take up your cross and follow me,” finds its realization here.  As we go out the church doors, we are all marked with the Cross. That which was once a curse and sign of dreadful foreboding is now extended as a blessing and sign of joyful hope.

There is one final dialogue between the priest or deacon and the people.  The dismissal is really a “sending forth.”  There are four variations:  (1) “Go forth, the Mass is ended.”  (2) “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.”  (3) “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.”  (4) “Go in peace.”  The people respond, “Thanks be to God.” There may be music at the end but it is not mandated. 

Back when I was a boy I was told a story from WWII about a cathedral damaged by bombing in France.  A number of American servicemen assisted the faithful in making repairs, restoring the pews and much more.  The church rose again from the ashes and rubble.  Then they turned to a statue of the Sacred Heart that had been damaged.  No matter how hard they tried, they could not fashion proper hands for those destroyed.  So they left the statue standing without hands, placing an adjacent plaque with these words: “I have no hands but yours.” Over the years I have heard virtually the same story but from Germany and England and even the United States.  The third variation is dated around 1980 with a statue damaged by vandals outside a church in California. The words are taken from a poem by St. Teresa of Avila: “Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours.” To this very day, the statue lacks hands.

3 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Nelson MCBS.

  2. First time on your site. I tried to leave very positive comment after your sad case of fr gruner facts but it says: “duplicate message detected” which is not true.

    Anyway, thanks for pointing out the facts and truth!
    —-Mark

    FATHER JOE: Not sure what that means . . . there must be an issue with the website software.

  3. Test

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