This post is a transcription of one of Fr. Richard’s homilies. You can listen to the homily here.
“I didn’t pray for what she asked.”
I was on retreat this past week – five days of silence.
I put on Facebook and Twitter and all the various things that I’ll be on a five-day retreat, and that if you want me to pray for you, let me know and I will pray for you.
So of course, there were 2,000 requests that came in! So that took most of the week to pray for each person and their intention. It’s crazy.
But I want to go now to the gospel and how it relates to one of the prayer requests that came in.
This request didn’t last long. I didn’t pray for what she asked.
She prayed for the death of Pope Francis and that the Church would get out of the heresy of the English Mass and everything else and went on and on and on. So you could tell this person didn’t know me and so I did pray for her but her conversion and her humility, which wasn’t present at that moment.
Upon this Rock…
So in the midst of that, that was part of what got me ready for this homily. Remember, when Jesus says,
“Upon this rock I will build my church.”
I hope we can all agree that it’s the will of God to found the Church, right? This is God’s will.
Jesus said, “I’ve come to found my church” and so He didn’t come to found a literary club, he didn’t come to found a Bible.
He came to found a church.
And before he founded the Church, he asked that question,
“Who do people say that I am?”
And they all gave different interpretations, right?
Only Peter had a revelation, not what people said, but a revelation from God. He understood and said to Jesus, “You are the Christ.”
And then after Peter had this revelation, to clarify all the other errors that were out there, Christ says,
“You are Peter and upon you I will build my church. Not only that, but I give you, Peter, the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you, Peter, find on Earth, will be bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on Earth, I will loose it in heaven.”
So that’s the will of God. That was explicit, explicit in the scripture.
“The gate of hell will not prevail against it.”
So it’s still true today.
The same church, the same Peter, is still chosen by God and the promise is still there and the gates of hell will not prevail against it because of Peter.
Because, see, the problem is if each of us were Pope, we would all do it a different way now, wouldn’t we? You’d do it one way, I would do it totally different than a lot of other people and that’s why I’m not the Pope, right? So would you.
It would be the same problem as in so many other places. Let’s say I interpret scripture one way and those of you who like what I say come follow me and there’d be a group that would do that.
But then some would say,
“Well I don’t like what Father Larry does”
and they’d go over here and say,
“Let’s do it this way. This is what I believe about the church and everybody who likes this follow me”
and then we’d have another section.
Then someone else would be back here and say, “No, no, no they’re both wrong. I have the true interpretation of the gospels. This is the way it should be” and you go, “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” and a group follows them. Then there are all these different people following different ways.
The Power of the Papacy
God only promised to one person that the gates of hell would not prevail against it.
So you can follow those other things, you’re a free person.
But you need to know that the will of God has not changed.
That God established Pope Francis to be the one, by the Holy Spirit, to be the one who leads the Church.
And we can agree with him or disagree with him but if we disagree with him and we say we won’t follow what he’s teaching, you’ve got to know you separate yourself from the true Church, right?
Because if you and I say,
“I know better. I know more than he does,”
I am no longer in the boat of Peter and to no longer be in the boat of Peter means I am no longer a Catholic. De facto.
So we’ve got to know that our decisions make consequences, right? Then we’ve got to know how do we deal with this.
“He will never let us stray.”
When that person emailed me that, I know she didn’t have two things.
She didn’t have humility and she didn’t have obedience. Do you think that if you have humility and obedience that God will let you go astray?
No. If you and I approach his Church and we approach him with humility and obedience, God promises to take care of us.
And the gates of hell will not prevail against us either.
But what happens is we don’t have humility, but we have pride. This is what I think.
But what God is calling all of us to be is to know that it’s his will that he established a church and he established a Pope and how do we deal with that best? By being people of humility and people of obedience.
He will never let us stray.
If he does let us stray, then Jesus Christ is a liar.
Jesus is either a liar or he’s not a liar. He said this is the Church, you are Peter, the gates of hell will not prevail. And if you and I stay faithful and we’re humble and obedient then God promises us the same thing he promised to Peter.
So today let us conform our will to the will of God.
Let us be people who pray every day for humility and obedience that we may grow stronger as a church and we may grow stronger in our faith.
You got it?
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