Monday, June 18, 2018

Sunday Sermon, June 17 -- St Barnabas and the Early Church (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Born in Cyprus, a Jew of the tribe of Levi, Joseph, having converted to Christianity shortly after Pentecost, sold all that he had and donated his vast riches to the Apostles. On this account, and because of his skill in preaching, the Apostles named him "Barnabas" (meaning, "son of consolation" or "son of exhortation") and ranked him among there number.

St Barnabas is one of the most important saints in the history of the Church: He brought St Paul into the Christian community, he was the first "Apostle to the Gentiles", he shows us the power of mercy and was a man without any prejudices.  After serving as the first Bishop of Milan, he was martyred in Cyprus and laid to rest with a copy of the Gospel according to St Matthew which he had made with his own hand.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Adult Formation, June 12 -- Q&A on Marriage (Series on Marriage, part 6 of 6 -- Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

A final session on the theology of marriage in Scripture and in the Church. Q&A format, with concluding reflection on the most controversial matter in the Church today - Why those in an irregular "marriage" (example, divorced and remarried) must be refused communion if they present themselves.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Sunday Sermon, June 8 -- Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

We begin with a consideration of the "brothers and sisters" of  Jesus who are mentioned in this Sunday's Gospel. The word "brother" can mean "cousin" and is often used this way in both the Old and New Testaments. Furthermore, we know that names of some of these "brothers" (James, Joses, Jude, Simon), and we also know their parents' names -- Cleophas (or Alphaeus) and Mary (not the Blessed Virgin, but another woman named Mary who was a close friend of the Virgin Mary). Thus, it is clear, that these are not children of Mary the Mother of God, nor even children of St Joseph by some previous marriage.

We consider the sin of "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" as the unforgivable sin.  The Fathers of the Church debated a great deal about what this sin was, and St Augustine considers that it is the sin of despair leading to final impenitence, death in the state of mortal sin. This is certainly part of the answer.

St Thomas Aquinas goes further and specifies that "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" is when sin is committed out of malice, or hatred of God, rather than out of weakness or ignorance. Such sins are particularly damaging to the spiritual life as being contrary to love.

Finally, we propose that devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (the Heart of Love) is a primary means whereby we might avoid falling into blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Adult Formation, June 5 -- Marriage and Celibacy (Series on Marriage, Part 5 of 6)

Objectives of Session 5 – Marriage and Celibacy
1) To know the key teachings of our Lord about virginity
2) To appreciate the Church’s magisterial teachings about celibacy
3) To be able to defend the Church’s discipline of clerical celibacy

Corpus Christi Sunday Sermon, June 3 -- The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

The Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano (in the year 700) has been studied by scientists numerous times over the past 1,300 years (most recently in 1970) -- the Host visibly turned to a piece of human heart tissue, the Chalice sensibly changed to blood.  I have seen this miracle myself, and there are hundreds like it.

Jesus, on the night before he died, desired to express his great love for us -- and he said, "This is my body." With these words, he would both offer himself as a sacrifice for our salvation, and remain with us forever as our companion and friend.  We consider the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, a heart of love.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Adult Faith Formation, May 29 -- Matrimonial Consent and Indissolubility (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Objectives of Session 4 – Matrimonial Consent and Indissolubility
1) To recognize what is required for valid marital consent
2) To appreciate the four “marriage scenarios”  
3) To understand why all marriages are intrinsically indissoluble although some are extrinsically dissoluble
4) To be able to explain the difference between an annulment and a divorce