Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Two Ways to Be Close to God

At my parish worker's Mass this morning, Msgr. Brennan, our pastor, had a very brief but worthwhile homily about today's readings (Tues after XXV Sun in Ord: Ez 6:7-8, 12b, 14-20; Ps 122; Lk 8:19-21).

He briefly noted that Ezra and the Jews were set free from Babylon by the Persian king in order to go rebuild the Temple of God. For them, this was the ultimate blessing because God's Temple was literally where He resided, where He was at home, where they could be close to Him.

In the New Covenant, because of the Eucharist, we have the presence of God, physically and really, in every Catholic parish in the world. If we cannot feel His presence out in the world, surely we will be aided by going into our neighborhood parish.

Luke recounts our Lord saying that they are close to Him who do His will. By moral conformity to God's will, by allowing Him to change our hearts to be like His, we can be close to Him at all times - so close as even to be kin, his brother or his mother.

Of course, in receiving holy communion we receive the Eucharist, the Body of Christ, into our bodies. If we do so in a state of grace, the grace (the shared life of Christ) we already have inside us will be multiplied in proportion to our willingness to follow him, our conformity to the moral law. We thus become living tabernacles, living temples of God, and then bring Him with us wherever we go, so far as we don't go far from Him.

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