Advent + St. Andrew

stjoeparishpicYour unworthy servant customarily delivers little talks during the seasons of Advent and Lent.

The talks for Advent this year will attempt to communicate the teachings of Gaudium et Spes, Vatican II’s Constitution on the Church in the Modern World.

All are welcome at St. Joseph church in Martinsville, Va., at 4:00 p.m. on the next four Sundays. We will also celebrate Vespers together, with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction.

In the event that you might be interested in perusing the notes for the talks, I thought I would publish them here, one at a time. Click away for Gaudium et Spes Notes 1.

…Here’s a homily for St. Andrew Day:

The Apostles received the commission to preach to everyone about Jesus and to baptize all who believed.

Sounds simple, and it is.

But, of course, the Apostles received their commission as Jews; their Lord, the Son of God, had lived the life of a faithful Jew; the Jewish people had a long history of direct dealings with God; and the salvation of the human race had been worked by none other than Yahweh of the Jews—Whose people, everyone knew, had highly unusual customs, not all of which could just be lightly thrown aside, since they had been the customs of the Son of God, customs which He had infused with full meaning by celebrating them Himself.

standrewHence the need to focus, and re-focus, and focus again on precisely what Jesus had commissioned the Apostles to do. With what exact task did He commission the patriarchs of His New Covenant? To distribute the graces of His work–all of which graces are based on faith in Him, in Jesus.

And to have faith in Jesus Christ means believing completely in the Old Testament, as well as the New. It means understanding the Old Testament for what it is, namely the account of the preparations for the coming of the fullness of time.

And it means understanding the New Testament for exactly what it is, namely the written documents left by the Apostles during the first generation of the life of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, governed by St. Peter and his successors in office.

Salvation by faith? Yes, of course. But not faith in anything vague, not faith in anything that my own imagination has produced, or that the imagination of any other mortal has produced. Faith in the actual, true God—triune, attested-to infallibly by the Sacred Scriptures in their entirety, fully revealed in the Person of the man from Nazareth, Whose grace we receive in the Church governed by the Pope.

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