Sunday, September 23, 2007

You cannot serve both God and mammon

I spent this past week with my brother priests in Flagstaff, as we do once every three years, for a time of study, prayer, and fraternity. The theme was “Cultivating Unity” among us as the presbyterate of the Phoenix Diocese; our relationships with one another and the Bishop.

About half-way through the week, Bishop Olmsted shared a quick reflection based on the work we had done up until that point. His words of wisdom guided us through the remainder of our time together. His brief comments were about how we priests manifest the Four Marks of the Church. “We believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” we say in the Creed.

One – By the simple act of gathering together we manifest unity. It is our common beliefs which bring us together.

Holy – We believe that we are continuing the Mission and Ministry of Our Lord Jesus Christ through the Sacraments of the Church.

Catholic – The Church of God has gone “to the ends of the earth”; we are indeed universal.

Apostolic – The faith of the Twelve has been transmitted to us in succession from the first Holy Thursday without interruption.

All of this is testimony to the service of God by His priests and His people. We consciously choose to serve God rather than to “serve” mammon, that is, material possessions. Why we are brought together is a mystery. The answer will only come to light when Jesus returns, and establishes the fullness of His kingdom in the New Heaven, and the New Earth.

I take seriously my vocation as a priest of God. My vocation prompts me to work on the salvation of my own soul, and the souls of those entrusted to me. I desire the ultimate unity between God and me, and, God and us. Our immortal souls are united to our Creator in heaven by our words and works here on earth. This is the reason I take the teachings, guidance, and wisdom of the Church so seriously. The manner in which we pray is the manner in which we believe; the manner in which we believe is the manner in which we pray. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass must take us outside of ourselves and place us before those heavenly gates in the moments we find ourselves at the altar.

Jesus tells us today: “The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones…” Small matters: a smile, a handshake, a hug – Great matters: living our faith in Jesus Christ. Small matters: our lives of kindness and mercy here on earth – Great matters: living with the God of kindness and mercy forever in Heaven.

May our authentic worship of God this day manifest the Four Marks of the Church--One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic--so that our souls may be perfected in the sight of God.



Blogger marylua5 said...

padre gonzales:

que alegria volverlo a escuchar atravez de su homilia...
que dios le sigua colmando de eternas bendiciones..
el mensaje ha sido de bendicion para mi alma .
especiamente por que se que habla su alma enamorada de quien lo llamo a ser su sacerdote, su elegido, su amigo...
gracias, por amarnos con tal amor.
gracias, por darnos a cristo.
gracias, por ser valiente aun en este mundo que no logra entender.
que nuestra madre, la reyna la mas hermosa creatura, lo cuide y lo mantenga siempre en su regazo maternal..

7:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the American Heritage New Dictionary:

A New Testament expression for material wealth, which some people worship as a god. Figuratively, it simply means money.

[Chapter:] The Bible

2:13 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home