Posted by: fvbcdm | June 4, 2015

Feast of Saint Francis Caracciolo (4 June 2015)

At the beginning of human creation, God is portrayed in the book of Genesis as acting as if he were a potter. He took clay from the earth, prepared it, and fashioned it into the shape of a human adult male.  There it lay, beautiful but not alive.  So then God leaned down and breathed into its nostrils and mouth his own divine breath, and the clay came alive. The first human being had been brought forth.  God had not done this with all the other animals, birds, insects, reptiles, and sea creatures.  Only man breathes and lives by the breath and life of God. And then, to make a mate of the same species, God is portrayed as fashioning a woman for Adam from one of his ribs, so that she would share his nature and his life- and love-relationship with God.

Now, let’s go forward to the time of Jesus. He, too, intended to bring forth something new in this world. So he fashioned his Church, the Mystical Body of Christ as Saint Paul delights in telling us.  He gave it its body with all the necessary parts and functions.  Its members (Our Lady, the apostles, and early disciples); its means of accomplishing his purposes: the gospel, the sacraments, and the first pope and bishops by whom the Church would be taught, led, and governed, since every group must have leadership exercising authority.  Now, only one thing was missing: the life of this new thing.  So, just as God breathed into the face of Adam, so now Jesus, having ascended into heaven, sent upon his incomplete Church that which would complete it: its soul, its life. And that is nothing other than the third Divine Person of the Blessed Trinity: the Holy Spirit. The coming of the Spirit on that first Pentecost was to the Church and to us as members of it, similar to what God did by breathing into the face of Adam. Except that God gave Adam human life; the Holy Spirit gives us divine life. The Church is the divine reality of which Jesus is head, we are members, and the Spirit is the soul. When the apostles and disciples locked themselves behind the doors of the upper room on that first Pentecost morning, they were fearful and sought protection. After the Spirit fell upon them as wind and fire, they threw open those locked doors, began to proclaim Jesus as Lord, and made three thousand converts that first day. The Church existed.  The Church lived. The Church began to operate as it will until the end of time. Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago.


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