Every year, immediately after having celebrated the New Year, what follows are the Diocesan pledges.
This puts us in a real bind, for our parish priests set up the whole scheme with utmost chicanery, in order to persuade and make those who attend Mass to sign up. On other occasions, they admonish us about the “tithes,” yet, of course, these are proper to Israelite history or the Jewish religion.
However, the number one problem here is that even though an enormous multitude exists, there’s an absence of faith. The Apostle Paul says that faith comes from preaching, but who can preach to the multitudes in thirst of faith?
Our Lord Jesus Christ says in Matthew 5, 14-16: “You are the Light of the world. A city that’s situated on a mountaintop cannot be hidden, nor does someone light a lamp and then place it under a piece of furniture, but instead it’s placed atop a chandelier to light up the house for all who live there.”
“Therefore, let our light shine before mankind so that our good deeds may be seen and all may glorify our Father who is in the heavens.”
Our Lord Jesus Christ came to bring us his Spirit so that we would bear witness to Him and his Father. And as of late, what we have is a priesthood where, with great difficulty, do they appropriate themselves of the Gospel, and so we’re always having to refer back to the examples set by Our Lord Jesus Christ because we ourselves cannot exemplify Christ. Therefore, who will be able to have faith?
In other words, the priesthood must do as the apostle Paul says, “Be my imitators, as I am of Christ.” Yet the priesthood says, “Be imitators of Christ,” and by saying it in this way, everyone ends up being exempt of their duty to the Gospel. In other words, we are all obligated to be like Christ, and if neither our priests nor all of us together can utter a single word that comes from Christ, how then can we, members of the Church, move mountains? …if there is no faith!
Now then, our Lord Jesus Christ has ordered that we also become Christs just like Him, bearers of our own Gospel and for His Gospel to be ours, and that we defend it with our own lives—giving up our life for that which we ourselves announce and believe in.
Via the Gospel of John the Apostle (Jn 17, 18-20), Christ says, “As you have sent me into the world, I too have sent you into the world. And by them I sanctify myself so that they may also be sanctified in the truth. I not only pray for these but also for those who, through their words, will believe in me, so that everyone may be one.”
Evidently then, all who pronounce the name of Christ must defend, with their own words and deeds, the full confidence they have in their gospel, that is, if they really are united to Christ…no longer defending only Christ’s gospel but their own as well, being united to Christ and courageously showing that they themselves have confidence in the words of their Master, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
If the priesthood is not convinced of knowing Christ and cannot bear live witness to Christ, how then could we make the multitudes responsible for the economic responsibilities of our dioceses?…if there is no faith!
We need priests and laymen who are truly holy and loyal to Christ. However, the priesthood, knowing full well the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: “Let your light shine before men, so that your good deeds may be seen and everyone may glorify your Father who is in the heavens,” they end up, many times, hiding the light which Christ puts for others to see, under a piece of dusty furniture, so that no one may come to discover the message that Christ has sent to his people in need of divine light and His salvation.
The multitudes are in need of someone who knows Christ personally and demonstrates it with loyalty and faithfulness, someone who’s life and words resonate with the one and only voice of the Redeemer in order to be won over and be transformed by the power of Christ.
When someone is sent by Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in him, and the power of the Holy Spirit of God gives him the knowledge and the ability to speak with authority, without abusing of the charity unto others and without making gospel-related errors.
A priest, or all those who love and obey Christ, must have—and does have—ears only for God. His mind and heart are solely one—that of Christ’s, and there isn’t or won’t even be the slightest chance of getting something wrong in terms of evangelization subject matter. Such a person, therefore, who is faithful to Christ, is the one who projects the very light and the same voice as his lord, the voice of Christ.
When a man is sent by the Most High and gives testimony that both resonates in his character and testifies to his gospel duty or responsibility, such a person is able move Mountains or multitudes in the name of Christ.
When a man, a priest, or a messenger of the Most High speaks with full confidence in his Lord, only the voice of his Owner can be heard and thus the world recognizes that the presence of Christ in this man who isn’t ashamed to give testimony of God, his One True God. Christ is capable of transforming, of moving mountains of multitudes, and of changing the entirety of humanity if there existed but a single man capable of trusting in Him.
If Christ can move Mountains with just one little itty-bitty, ordinary man who trusts in Him completely, what would the face of the Earth look like if there were many men and priests trusting in Him only?
The man who wishes to speak to the multitudes and take the true message to the needy must be one who walks alongside Christ, one that lives in His presence, who’s eyes only see the divinity of Christ and who’s ears listen to only the voice of his master.
And avoid evil, says the Apostle Paul, all who call on the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ because the Lord knows those who are his own.
And all those who take pride in themselves and recommend themselves to others are not worthy of Me.
Let anyone who wants to boast, boast in the Lord, for it is not through self-commendation that recognition is won, but through commendation from the Lord Jesus Christ.
The mission that Christ entrusted to our priests, every bit as much as He did to everyone in the Church is that of trusting in Him fully, since without faith in Him, we won’t be able to spread the evangelic mission to the multitudes.
That is why our Lord Jesus Christ says (Mark 11, 20 & subsequent): Have faith in God. In truth I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, “Be pulled up and thrown into the sea,” with no doubt in his heart, but believing that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” If just one man can move mountains, what would the face of the Earth be like if our priests and laity—men and women—loved and put their full trust in Christ? Surely, enormous mountains would move, and the peace of God would come to the world.
The responsibility of our Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church is in the hands of all Catholics and our priests, and it’s in our responsibility of fulfilling Christ’s mission, which is also our Mission.
Our Diocesan obligations are not only financial. They are even greater, since the Church grows and grows by the millions, and there isn’t a single man or priest capable of nourishing a people that dies constantly because of the absence of Christ in their lives.
There are hundreds of ministries within our communities, and sometimes not even one good ministry is formed from any of those, since all that is preached are monetary funds and sales.
The Clergy must never lock away the light that Christ sends to his Church or People. On the contrary, the Church or Clergy must place it up high so that everyone may be illuminated with Christ’s light.
Whoever said that Christ isn’t present today in the twenty-first century? False! We are living witnesses that Christ is more present than ever before, and there isn’t anyone more blind than the one who doesn’t want to see Him; for, He is speaking this very day.
Reflections from your lowly brother,
Jesé “My Messenger” Retoño—An Apocalyptic Wolf
Translation by León Jesuita.
Image art by Javier Calvo.