DURING SEPTEMBER 3-5, 1999
FRIDAY EVENING MASS HOMILY – FATHER RAY BOURQUE
We need to find a message in the readings of the Mass.
Who is Jesus? He is the image of the invisible God, the perfect image. You see one, you see the other. We are made in the image of God. Four billion people do not know Jesus. They do not know who they are.
The Son - Word of God - is the first born of all creatures. "In the beginning was the Word." In Him, the Word, everything came to be and everything in Heaven and on earth was created. All things were made - visible and invisible. All were created through Him. The world was created through Him and for Him. He is not only Creator; He is sustainer - keeps it going. Christ is exalted Head of the Church. We have to look like we fit on that body. Christ is the beginning of the Church and first born of the dead. Christ rose as first born from the dead.
Primacy may be His in everything; Jesus is number 1. We should cry, "Jesus is number 1!"
The fullness of God is in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the perfect image of the fullness we can attain. We can be reconciled with the Father in Jesus. Jesus made peace through the blood of the Cross. Find out who we are, whether we are a visual person or an auditive person.
In reflecting on the Gospel, Father spoke about Jesus being the groom. God loved Israel like a bride. God is in love with us as a husband. God wants a virgin people. Look at ourselves as the bride of Jesus Christ.
There is the old way and a new way. It is a better thing - a continuation of God's plan. God's plan is holy, blameless and full of love. It did not change.
Fall in love with the Word. In John 6:53, Jesus said, "the words I spoke to you are spirit and life."
FATHER RAY BOURQUE'S BIBLE STUDY
The Father created us in His image. Jesus Christ is the perfect image of the Father. Jesus said, "When you see me, you see the Father."
The Holy Spirit wants us to look just like Jesus. We have to become saints. Jesus said, "I have come to call sinners." To say "I don't sin" is to say I don't need Jesus. God dumped all the sins on Jesus so that we can become holy.
We need to forgive. As Catholics, we cannot have a black list. In Luke 7:37, "forgive others, and God will forgive you." Our smallest sin is an infinite offense. We are forgiven conditionally. We are forgiven if we forgive. As Christians, our mission is to forgive. We are supposed to be ambassadors for Christ. We are sinners. We need forgiveness to get forgiveness.
In Confession, the priest and Jesus are one. The priest acts in the name of Jesus Christ. He is there as a judge, doctor, counselor and father. In Confession, we have a rendezvous with Christ. As a penitent, you point your finger at yourself. You condemn yourself. You are the accused and the accuser. Tell the priest one line about yourself to give him a picture of yourself. Accuse yourself well. The priest must know what you are being accused of.
To make a good Confession: Tell the priest how long since your last confession; say to the priest what you mean so that he can understand your sins; do not forget mortal sins; a vague confession is bad; a confession is bad if you did not say something on purpose; if you forget to confess something, it is not a bad confession. The devil loves rehashing. Make a good confession and believe in faith in the forgiveness of sins and then forget it.
SUNDAY MASS HOMILY - FATHER RAY BOURQUE
In the Gospel, it points out that if one sins, you should point out to him his fault, summon another if he ignores you, and refer the matter to the Church if he continues to ignore you.
Think of who God is, the beauty of God, think for God Himself. God made us in His image. Adam and Eve lost this image when they sinned. God sent His son, Jesus Christ, who is the perfect image of the Father. He is just like His Father. God sends the Holy Spirit to us so that we can look like God. We cannot do it on our own.
What is the real mission of the Holy Spirit? It is to see that we look like the Holy Spirit.
We have the freedom of the children of God. We lost fraternal correction. We do not do it well. If we warn someone and they do not listen, it is their responsibility. Jesus came to show us how we are to live. If someone does something wrong:
What is the biggest gift of the Holy Spirit? Love.
God will hold us responsible if we do not correct a person of his wrongdoing.