The New Gasparian
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A journal dedicated to the life and mission of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, and to a life lived in response to the call and the cry of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our on-going mission is to share good news of hope and communion.

Thursday, April 10, 2003
Mission Day Four

I will be using the same notes as I did at St. Anselm. The difference in today's talk is that the main illustration will be provided by Precious Blood Companion Peggy Doherty who will join me in the preaching.

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 7:19 PM link
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Thursday of the Fifth Week

The Readings
Gen 17:3 9, The Covenant with Abraham
Psalm 105 The Lord remembers his covenant forever
John 8:51 59 Before Abraham ever was, I AM

St. Gaspar this devotion we have a compendium of faith itself; that is why, in the consecration of the chalice, we say: "mysterium fidei"; and, consequently therein lies the salvation of souls. In fact, it is to this that the prophetic oracles, the predictions, the symbols, the figures, the sacrifices of the old covenant have their focus. As we read in Genesis: He washes his garments in wine and his robe in the blood of grapes. (Gen. 49:11). The Hebrews were ordered to taint their doorposts with the blood of the lamb in order to be freed from their chastisements in Egypt, a symbol of the liberation of our souls from diabolical servitude... Without saying too much further, what did Moses do for his people? For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you." ... Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Heb 9:19 22) Hear, now, what the Apostle says: If the blood of goats and calves sanctify such as are defiled, how much more shall the blood of Jesus Christ cleanse our conscience. (Heb 9:12 14) Without saying everything that could be said, the divine Scriptures are loaded with sacred citations... Why then is thy apparel red. (Isaiah 63:2) And he was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood. (Rev 19:13) .One should add only that by means of this devotion the remembrance of our baptism, through which our souls were purged, is revived; we are reminded of penance and the other sacraments. And when asked why, we conclude that it was because: Thou hast redeemed us to God, in thy blood, And hast made us to our God a kingdom and priests. (Apoc. 5: 9 10) Other devotions are all means for facilitating Catholic piety, but this devotion is the basis, the sustenance, the essence of all.

Growing stronger in brotherly love, let us endeavor to understand more and more the purpose for which God has united us together in our community houses: namely, to be a mutual help in attaining the spirit of fervor and knowledge, in doing the work of the priesthood, in wielding the mystic armaments of the spirit, and no less in acquiring the means conducive to the attainment of our goal. Because of the covenant of the Lord, and the laws of their fathers, the saints of God abode in brotherly love, for one spirit and one faith was ever in them.9 Blessed, then, are they who , according to their calling, dwell in the house of the Lord, either by preparing themselves for the ministry, as our seminarians, or by doing actual ministerial work, or by participating in these respective occupations as do the lay Brothers. I say: "Happy those who live in your house and can praise you all day long."

On the occasion of this holy retreat, let us retire into the Sacred Heart of Jesus which is the Center of peace, the Furnace of love, the Ark of safety, and the mystical banquet hall. Our purpose will be to raise our souls to that height of virtue and sanctity through which we become dear to God and accepted by the people --- "beloved by God and men."2 The urgent need that we have of profiting spiritually from the good that is to be done, the twofold spirit that we must acquire in effecting our own renewal as well as that of others, the particular and general needs of the Church --- all of these furnish us with special incentives to benefit from the Word of God during these days.

The passages from John's Gospel continue to prepare the Catechumens and us for the Easter mysteries. Jesus' contemporaries were scandalized by his insistence that he was one with the Father, but that is the very faith these catechumens will take on in their baptism. Jesus fulfills the ancient covenant with Abraham, and everything from Abraham on points to Jesus. Jesus is greater than their ancestor Abraham. Jesus can promise freedom from death, something that Abraham could not do.

The Ancient covenant was inaugurated in Blood, and as everything from Abraham on points to Jesus, for St. Gaspar all these things point to a devotion and a spirituality that is the summary of and essence of all the faith. This is the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. As Jesus points out how Abraham pointed to him and rejoiced to see his day, Gaspar points out all the marks of the old covenant that point to the spirituality of Jesus' Most Precious Blood. The old covenant drew people together into a common bond and enterprise doing God's work, how much more should this new and everlasting covenant bind people together in a bond of Charity? As our faith accepts him as the fullness of all revelation, taking on the name of God, our belonging to him marks the way we live and work together in mutual and lasting charity.

- What does it mean for me to belong to God's family?
- How has belonging to God changed my life?
- How do I rejoice in the presence of God made flesh?

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 1:27 AM link
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Mission Day Three

I used
these outlines for today's talk. It is the same one I used for the St. Anselm mission a couple of weeks ago. (It was Day Two in St. Anselm.) The Prodigal Son is still my favorite preaching outline. When the St. Bede tape is on-line I will link to it.

Here is a picture that was taken during tonight's preaching:

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 1:02 AM link
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