Do Not Be Afraid to Welcome Christ

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Carson Weber, Oct 19, 2003.

  1. Carson Weber

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    John Paul II's Homily on 25th Anniversary of Pontificate

    "Do Not Be Afraid to Welcome Christ"


    VATICAN CITY, OCT. 19, 2003 (Zenit.org)
    - Here is a translation of John Paul II's homily from the Mass in St. Peter's Square last Thursday, the 25th anniversary of his pontificate. The homily was in Italian.

    * * *

    1. "Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo -- I will sing of thy steadfast love, O Lord, for ever" (see Psalm 88:1). Twenty-five years ago I experienced the divine mercy in a particular way. In the conclave, through the College of Cardinals, Christ said also to me, as he once did to Peter on the Lake of Gennesaret: "Tend my sheep" (John 21:16).

    I felt in my soul the echo of the question then addressed to Peter: "Do you love me more than these?" (see John 21:15-16). Humanly speaking, how could I not tremble? How could such a great responsibility not weigh on me? It was necessary to have recourse to divine mercy so that to the question: "Do you accept?" I could respond with confidence: "In the obedience of the faith, before Christ my Lord, commending myself to the Mother of Christ and of the Church, conscious of the great difficulties, I accept."

    Today, dear Brothers and Sisters, I am pleased to share with you an experience that has been prolonged for a quarter of a century. Every day in my innermost heart the same dialogue takes place between Jesus and Peter. In the spirit, I fix my eyes on the benevolent look of the risen Christ. He, despite knowing my human frailty, encourages me to respond with trust like Peter: "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you" (John 21:17). And then he invites me to assume the responsibility that he himself has entrusted to me.

    2. "The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep" (John 10:11). While Jesus pronounced these words, the apostles did not understand that he was talking about himself. Not even John, the favorite apostle, knew it. He understood it on Calvary, at the foot of the cross, seeing him offering his life silently for "his sheep."

    When the time came for him and for the other apostles to live this same mission, they then recalled his words. They realized that, only because he had assured them that it would be he himself who would work through them, they were able to fulfill the mission.

    Particularly well aware of this was Peter, "witness of the sufferings of Christ" (1 Peter 5:1), who admonished the elders of the Church: "Tend the flock of God that is your charge" (1 Peter 5:2).

    In the course of the centuries the successors of the apostles, guided by the Holy Spirit, have continued to gather the flock of Christ and lead it toward the Kingdom of Heaven, aware that they could assume such a great responsibility only "through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ."

    I had this very same awareness when the Lord called me to carry out the mission of Peter in this beloved city of Rome and at the service of the whole world. &gt;From the beginning of the pontificate, my thoughts, prayers and actions were animated by only one desire: to witness that Christ, the Good Shepherd, is present and works in his Church. He is in constant search of each lost sheep, leads it back to the sheepfold, bandages their wounds; looks after the weak and sick sheep and protects the strong. This is why, from the first day, I have never ceased to exhort: "Do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power!" I repeat forcefully today: "Open, better still, open wide the doors to Christ!" Let yourselves be led by him. Be confident of his love!

    3. At the beginning of my pontificate I appealed: "Help the Pope and all those who wish to serve Christ and, with the power of Christ, serve man and the whole of humanity!" While I give thanks with you to God for these 25 years, entirely marked by his mercy, I feel a particular need to express my gratitude also to you, brothers and sisters of Rome and of the whole world, who have responded and continue to respond in various ways to my appeal for help. God only knows how many sacrifices, prayers and sufferings have been offered to sustain me in my service to the Church. How much good will and concern, how many signs of communion have surrounded me every day. May the good God recompense all abundantly! I ask you, dear brothers and sisters, not to interrupt this great work of love for the Successor of Peter. I ask you once again: Help the Pope, and all those who want to serve Christ, to serve man and the whole of humanity!

    4. To You, Lord Jesus Christ,
    only Shepherd of the Church,
    I offer the fruits of these 25 years of ministry
    at the service of the people that you have entrusted to me.
    Forgive the wrong done and multiply the good:
    All is your work and to you alone is due the glory.
    With full confidence in your mercy,
    I present again to you, again today, those that years ago
    you entrusted to my pastoral care.
    Keep them in love, gather them in your sheepfold,
    carry the weak on your shoulders,
    bandage the wounded, take care of the strong.
    You be their shepherd, so they will not scatter.
    Protect the beloved Church that is in Rome
    and the Churches of the whole world.
    Penetrate with the light and power of your Spirit
    all those you have placed at the head of your flock:
    that they hasten to carry out their mission as leaders, teachers and sanctifiers,
    while awaiting your glorious return.

    I renew to you, through the hands of Mary, beloved Mother,
    the gift of myself, in the present and the future:
    May all be accomplished according to your will.
    Supreme Shepherd, stay in our midst,
    so that we can proceed in safety with You,
    toward the house of the Father. Amen!
     
  2. BobRyan

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    Here is a mere man who like Billy Graham has encouraged millions of people to renew their commitment to Christ.

    Millions of Christians today look to these two men as the old guard - the old soldiers - each one about to lay down his armor and pass on.

    May God bless them both with light and grace - and a knowledge of whether their work has been that of gold and silver building on the "One Foundation - for no other foundation can be laid other than that which has been laid - Jesus Christ" 1Cor 3 - or whether it be in some cases - "hay and stubble".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  3. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    We noticed how John Paul II weaved his name into such a great person as Peter. Add to this a dash of 'Mary' and it should have made a very good day for Catholics to hear his homily.

    Billy Graham claimed to be a servant of Jesus Christ and does not have to include his name among the apostles because he was/is a messenger of Jesus Christ to the people. Our preachers have no line of succession; but then we have not accumulated a half ton of church tradition that has nothing to do with Christ or Christianity. A humble man of God does not need to be a drama prelate dressed in clothing fit for a king on a throne. The Apostle Peter only spoke of himself as 'a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ.' And what are all the titles that the pope gladly welcomes to himself?

    Perhaps the pope should write a check from the church's Vatican banks and send it along to Boston for legal settlements, rather than bleeding the poor clinetelle in the local parishes around the world.
     
  4. WPutnam

    WPutnam
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    Ray wrote the following:

    Ray,

    It is with a great deal of self-discipline that I do not call you precisely what you are, so I will refrain.

    But to read this then then look at your profile and see "Christ lives in my heart" at least has me ask you this question:

    Does Christ really live in your heart, Ray?

    God bless,

    PAX

    Bill+†+


    Lord, grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change,
    the courage to change the things that I can,
    and the wisdom to know the difference.
    Living one day at a time,
    enjoying one moment at a time;
    accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
    taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is,
    not as I would have it;
    trusting that you will make all things right
    if I surrender to Your will;
    so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
    and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
    Amen.
     
  5. Carson Weber

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    Bill,

    I would suggest not starting a fruitless feud with Ray, which he's looking for.
     
  6. WPutnam

    WPutnam
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    If he would simply answer the question honestly, at last to himself, never mind answering ME, it would be worth it!

    But if he indeed, does what you say he is asking for, I will disconnect...

    Come, holy Spirit...

    God bless,

    PAX

    Bill+†+

    Christus Vincit! Christus Regnat! Christus Imperat!
     
  7. Jude

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    I had the privilege of seeing the Pope -in the late 70's- when he came to Iowa. He is a godly man, and it is so-sad to see him 'wasting away' with Parkinsons. I pray that the next Pope will be as godly, and, that he will come to see the wisdom of having married priests! [​IMG]
     
  8. swaimj

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    This paragraph appropriately falls in the center of his message as it contains the central false assumption of his position; apostolic succession. I'm sure the Pope is a nice man. I'm sure he means well. But, he simply is wrong. There is no apostolic succession. [​IMG]
     
  9. Carson Weber

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    Of course there isn't swaimj.. that is, if you ignore the history of Christianity and assume Jesus appointed 12 apostles just to jumpstart what would really be an eclectic mix of anonymous congregations vying over how to translate a book.

    "It is possible, then, for everyone in every church, who may wish to know the truth, to contemplate the tradition of the apostles which has been made known to us throughout the whole world. And we are in a position to enumerate those who were instituted bishops by the apostles and their successors down to our own times, men who neither knew nor taught anything like what these heretics rave about" (Irenaeus, Bishop of Gaul, Against Heresies 3:3:1 [A.D. 189]).

    * * *

    Here's a copy of an email I just received from my friend Mike - a fellow M.A. student - who is studying in Rome this semester in our study abroad program:

    Hi all!
    Rome continues to amaze me. This past weekend was incredible! On Thursday night, we had tickets to go to St. Peter's Square to celebrate Mass led by Pope John Paul II on the night of the 25th anniversary of his pontificate!
    How cool it was. The only bummer was that the air temperature was also quite cool and I had only a dress shirt and when that sun went down, whoo Nelly was it chilly! But it was so amazing I was able to withstand the chill. Cardinal Ratzinger gave a tribute speech to the pope, but it was in Italian so I didn't understand more than 1/15 of what he said. But I cheered wildly with the rest of the crowd. As I looked around the crowd, there were flags all over the place. It seems like every nation was represented.
    The highlight of Friday was meeting Fr. Emelio (I think that's his name); he is the... what's the word... ah, Superior will do, the guy in charge of the entire Franciscan TORs worldwide! He was so humble it was easy to talk with him, except for one moment as we stood there in the kitchen and kind of ran out of things to talk about; I stood a bit uneasy and I held up my thumb and said something like, "Look at this bandage; it is covering a blister I got trying to figure out this dumb oven." He chuckled heartily.
    On Saturday, by chance I heard that a church, the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua, had a tribute to Mother Theresa, so I went to check it out, and it was incredible! They had pictures of Mother and words on panels going through the various stages of her life. They also had her sandals, sari/habit, crucifix that she had for some 50 years, and other things she used. Oh yeah, also the Nobel Peace Prize she won and other prizes. It was very neat. I went back today, after her Sunday beatification, and they gave me a Mother Theresa prayer card with a relic attached!
    The highlight on Sunday was, of course, the beatification of Mother Theresa! We got to St. Peter's a little after 6 AM and after they let the crowd fill into the Square at 7, it was jam packed by 7:20! Hundreds of thousands, they say. As with the crowd at the pope's 25th anniversary Mass, this crowd was very diverse and tons of flags were waving. It was cool talking to the people around me to find out where they were from and such things. There were priests and religious all over the place! After hundreds upon hundreds of bishops and cardinals ascended the steps by the altar, out came JPII to a rousing ovation. Mass began, and when JPII read the Rite of Beatification, a large banner of a smiling Mother Theresa was unveiled on the facade of St. Pete's, and the crowd erupted. It was so cool... Blessed Mother Theresa for the first time! Much of the Mass was in English, I guess that's the main language of the Missionaries of Charity.
    AFter Mass, the pope was driven around through the crowd on a cart and the people were just absolutely thrilled. It was so cool to look back (I had a good seat) and see waves of folks standing on their chairs, cheering, chanting. A few hours later, I had a ticket to see a documentary film, "Mother Theresa, the Legacy" of Mother Theresa at the Pope Pius VI (?) center near St. Peter's Basilica. I think it was the public premier of the film. Archbishop John Foley and AMerican Peggy Noonan (saw her on ETWN not long ago) spoke before the movie and the current Mother Superior of the Missionaries of Charity, Sr. Nirmala, was present and received a huge ovation. The documentary was in English and it was excellent. At the end of the film, it showed Mother Theresa and JPII embracing and the audience gave a huge standing O! It was just an amazing weekend. Not sure what can happen over the next 12 weeks to come close to matching this.
    So are my Cubbies winning the World Series? A strange rumor went around Rome that the Cubs choked and the Fish made it instead. I know this is a horrible rumor though since Prior and Wood were to pitch games 6 and (if necessary) 7, and they never lose back to back, right? Plus Sammy said Cubs would win the world series. Ah well, there's always next year....
    Arriva derci! Blessed Mother Theresa, pray for us!!
    Mike
     
  10. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    WPutnam,

    You may rest assured that my post was not a personal attack on either you or Carson Weber. If you were in my neighborhood I would like to interact with you over breakfast probably a couple of times or more a month.

    My criticism is with the prelates who have not taken a strong stand again violating human beings. One would have thought that you two would also be outraged; my in-laws are deeply troubled about the matter and they too are devout Catholics.

    Perhaps if the Magisterium/pope would have not negated Almighty God's Divinely spoken words in I Timothy 3:1-2 this ancient church might have had less, less problems to deal with. But God is not mocked; He had and has a reason for every word that He has spoken in His most holy and trustworthy Word of truth. Are the clergy wiser than the Lord God?
     
  11. WPutnam

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    You can rest assurred that I did not see your post as an attack on me, or Carson, but on our faith, specifically upon the papacy with a comment not worthy of you or anyone else.

    I am troubled too, just like some of my local friends in other Christian communities who have experienced similar "falling into sin" situations where I too can criticize those who did not react quickly enough, but I don't...

    There is a "beam in my eye," you see...

    And thank God that for every 1 fallen clergyman, there have been hundreds, even thousands of good and holy men and women who live faith, practice the faith (like the recently Beatified Mother Theresa) within the Magisterium and the guidance of the pope!

    God help you, Ray! You need to join me in prayer that for ALL clergy, Catholic and non-Catholic, that they set the example of Christ in their vocations and their mission!

    And for those who fail, they need your prayers too, don't you think, Ray? Or are you going to stand on your street corner like the Pharasees did, and declare, "I am not like those other men..."

    PAX

    Bill+†+


    Christus Vincit! Christus Regnat! Christus Imperat!
     
  12. swaimj

    swaimj
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    My friend, you are ignoring the very words of Peter when he spelled out the qualifications of one holding the office of apostle. Acts 1:21-22 "Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection."

    Was Pope John Paul II with Jesus the whole time he went in and out among the apostles? No

    Was Pope John Paul II there as a witness and as one who received John's baptism? No

    Was Pope John Paul II there when Jesus ascended back to heaven? No.

    Was Pope John Paul II a witness of the resurrected Jesus? No.

    Pope John Paul II meets none of the requirements Peter set forth for one to hold the office of apostle. Therefore, according to Peter, Pope John Paul II is not an apostle. The Pope's visions and mystical experiences merely reveal him to be a man who is deluded and your allegiance to him shows that you are deceived. God help you to see the truth, my friend.
     
  13. John Gilmore

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    That may be but I see nothing in scripture that forbids an historic episcopacy. If Catholic churches wish to maintain an "apostolic sucession" polity in the selection of priests, why should Protestants object?

    To me, allowing women to participate in a vote that extends a divine call is scripturally more problematic than the historic episcopacy. The Roman Catholic Church does not have women usurping the authority of men as do many Protestant churches.
     
  14. Carson Weber

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    Hi swaimj,

    No one is claiming that the successors to the Apostles are the original 12 Apostles themselves.

    You forgot to apply your criterion to St. Paul. ;)
     
  15. Briguy

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    Hi Carson, been awhile, hope you are well!! [​IMG]

    I think what is being said here is that the Apostles stand alone. They are a special breed with "powers" given from on high! To say that there is an absolute succession in "knowledge" or "wisdom" of the truth but then none of the abilities that go with that absolute W or K, seems to be just pure logical error. Just to clear things up in regards to "powers" I am talking about the ability to "raise the dead" and "heal all those brought before them", just for starters. The point is the Apostles got the church started and handed it over to the written Word, not other men. Men can and always will be corruptable. The Bible, the written Word remains the same throughout the ages. My proof of this I have brought up before and no one has ever offered a substantial reply. The proof? Simply look at the problems with the early churches, Corinth and the churches (assemblies) from Revelations. Assemblies started having problems within 20 years of the birth of the corporate body of Christ. Again Men make mistakes, they are fooled, they corrupt. I guess that is why we need Jesus now and needed him then.

    Take care Carson!

    Bill, I say this with love and mean no attack, please understand that. It seemed that your post after Ray's first post had a strange "defending" quality. It was almost like you would defend the Pope to the end kind of thing. I think even the Pope would want you to defend Christ, not him.

    That was just a social worker observation there and something I wanted you to be aware of. [​IMG]

    In Christ our Lord,
    Brian
     
  16. thessalonian

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    Ray,

    It is with a great deal of self-discipline that I do not call you precisely what you are, so I will refrain.

    But to read this then then look at your profile and see "Christ lives in my heart" at least has me ask you this question:

    Does Christ really live in your heart, Ray?

    God bless,

    PAX

    Bill+†+


    Lord, grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change,
    the courage to change the things that I can,
    and the wisdom to know the difference.
    Living one day at a time,
    enjoying one moment at a time;
    accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
    taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is,
    not as I would have it;
    trusting that you will make all things right
    if I surrender to Your will;
    so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
    and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
    Amen.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Bill,

    These lines about what the Catholic Church should do with it's money always remind me of 1 verse.

    "But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5"Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages.[2] " 6He did not say this because he cared about the poor..."

    Blessings
     
  17. trying2understand

    trying2understand
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    [​IMG]
     
  18. swaimj

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    John Gilmore said
    John, I think there are two separate issues here. One is the question of whether historically, a succession from the apostles can be proven. The other is whether the authority of the Apostles was passed on to others. Based upon Acts 1:22-23, I contend that the authority was not passed on. Specifically, Pope John Paul II does not personally possess Apostolic authority as he claimed in the message this past weekend. His claim is false and heretical. Carson's reply
    does not address this issue. Rather it is an attempt to shift the argument and avoid the issue. I am not accusing the Pope of claiming to be the original twelve apostles. It is his claim to possess Peter's authority that I contest.

    Also, John, even if there is an historic apostolic succession, such is not necessary for there to be a church. There are several churches in the NT accounts which were started by people other than apostles.

    Perhaps you could elaborate on this comment. I am not certain as to what you are saying.
     
  19. John Gilmore

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    John, I think there are two separate issues here. One is the question of whether historically, a succession from the apostles can be proven. The other is whether the authority of the Apostles was passed on to others. Based upon Acts 1:22-23, I contend that the authority was not passed on. Specifically, Pope John Paul II does not personally possess Apostolic authority as he claimed in the message this past weekend. His claim is false and heretical. Carson's reply
    does not address this issue. Rather it is an attempt to shift the argument and avoid the issue. I am not accusing the Pope of claiming to be the original twelve apostles. It is his claim to possess Peter's authority that I contest.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Yes, I am aware of the RCC's false claims regarding the power and primacy of the pope. However, every Christian pastor on earth is, in a sense, a successor to the Apostles (1 Cor. 4:1, Acts 20:28, 2 Cor. 2:10, John 20:23, Matt. 18:18, etc.). The Bishop of Rome selected by a college of cardinals and a Baptist minister called by a house church share the same divine office instituted by Christ.

    Also, John, even if there is an historic apostolic succession, such is not necessary for there to be a church. There are several churches in the NT accounts which were started by people other than apostles.

    I agree. Even RCs admit that apostolic succession is not absolutely required for the validity of the sacraments.

    Perhaps you could elaborate on this comment. I am not certain as to what you are saying.


    Paul in 1 Tim. 2:11,12 teaches that women may not have authority of men in the church. When a church votes to extend a divine call, the congregation is exercising authority over the man by placing him in the Office of the Holy Ministry.
     
  20. trying2understand

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    That depends upon the sacrament.

    In the case of Baptism, I would agree.

    In the case of the Eucharist, that definitely would not be true.

    With the remaining five sacrament, my thought (without absolute certainty) is that it would also not be true.
     

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