CATHOLIC PRIEST IN THE CHURCH, IN THE WORLD AND IN THE FUTURE BASED ON THE TEACHINGS OF PASTORES DABO VOBIS

Paper presented by Bro. Anoop Augustine OFM Cap, on St. Bonaventure’s day, July 15, 2014.
Introduction

pope-john-paul-II            Priesthood is a wonderful gift of God given to humanity. Through the Holy Orders one is consecrated in Christ’s name “to feed the Church by the Word and grace of God.”[1] In this paper I would like to highlight the sublime aspects of the Catholic Priest based on the post Synodal apostolic exhortation, Pastores Dabo Vobis. This well valuable document by John Paul II gives an integral and full meaning to the christocentricity of the ministerial priesthood as the sacramental participation in the power, ministry and charity of Christ.

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Kingdom of God

The term “kingdom of God” signifies God’s sovereign, dynamic and eschatological rule. The kingdom of God lay at the heart of Jesus’ teaching. The message of the kingdom of God (basileia tou theou), which mostly appears in Matthew as that of the kingdom of heaven (basileia ton ouranon), is the central element in the preaching of Jesus. Mark sums up his message in the words: “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mk 1:15). This announcement of the kingdom of God, more precisely, of the lordship or reign of God must be understood in the light of OT expectations of the kingdom of God. 

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Renewed

Four of our Brothers renewed their vows at St. Antony’s Friary Church, Tillery

- Bro. Wilson Jerald, Bro. Shibin Varghese, Bro. Thomas Babychan, Bro. Jobin V.

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Renewed

Four of our Brothers renewed their vows at St. Antony’s Friary Church, Tillery

- Bro. Wilson Jerald, Bro. Shibin Varghese, Bro. Thomas Babychan, Bro. Jobin V.

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St. Thomas

Biography:

Thomas, whose full name was Didymus Judas Thomas, lived in Galilee when it was part of the ancient Roman Empire and became one of Jesus Christ’s disciples when Jesus called him to join his ministry work.

His inquisitive mind led him to naturally doubt God’s work in the world, but also led him to pursue answers to his questions, which ultimately led him to great faith. Thomas is known in popular culture as “Doubting Thomas” because of the famous Bible story in which he demands to see physical proof of Jesus’ resurrection before believing it, and Jesus appears, inviting Thomas to touch the scars of his wounds from the crucifixion.

When Thomas believed, he could be quite courageous. The Bible records in John chapter 11 that when the disciples were worried about accompanying Jesus to Judea (because the Jews had previously tried to stone Jesus there), Thomas encouraged them to stick with Jesus, who wanted to return to the area to help his friend Lazarus, even if that meant being attacked by Jewish leaders there. Thomas says in verse 16: “Let us also go, that we might die with him.”

Thomas later asked Jesus a famous question when the disciples were eating the Last Supper with him. John 14:1-4 of the Bible records Jesus telling his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas’ question comes next, revealing that he’s thinking of physical directions rather than spiritual guidance: “Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Thanks to Thomas’ question, Jesus clarified his point, uttering these famous words about his divinity in verse 6 and 7: “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Beyond his words recorded in the Bible, Thomas is also credited as the author of the non-canonical texts The Gospel of Thomas, The Infancy Gospel of Thomas (which describes miracles that Thomas said Jesus performed as a boy and told him about), and the Acts of Thomas.

In his Book of Thomas the Doubter: Uncovering the Hidden Teachings, George Augustus Tyrrell comments: “It may be that Thomas’ critical mind compelled Jesus to explain the teachings more deeply to him than to the credulous disciples. For the prologue in the Gospel of Thomas states: ‘These are the secret teachings the living Jesus spoke and Judas Thomas wrote down.’”

After Jesus ascended into heaven, Thomas and the other disciples each traveled to various parts of the world to share the Gospel message with people. Thomas shared the Gospel with people in Syria, ancient Persia, and India. Thomas is still known today as the apostle to India for the many churches that he formed and helped build there.

Thomas died in India in 72 AD as a martyr for his faith when an Indian king, angry that he couldn’t get Thomas to worship an idol, ordered his high priest to stab Thomas with a spear.

Patron Saint Of:

people struggling with doubt, blind people, architects, builders, carpenters, construction workers, geometricians, stone masons, surveyors, theologians; and places such as Certaldo, Italy, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka

Famous Miracles:

Saint Thomas is most famous for how he interacted with Jesus Christ after the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The Bible records in John chapter 20 that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to some of his disciples while they were together, but Thomas wasn’t with the group at the time. Verse 25 describes Thomas’ reaction when the disciples told him the news: “So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’”

Shortly afterward, the resurrected Jesus appeared to Thomas and invited him to examine his crucifixion scars and in exactly the way Thomas had requested. John 20:26-27 records: “A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’”

After getting the physical proof he’d wanted of the resurrection miracle, Thomas’s doubt turned to strong belief: Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” (John 20:28).

The next verse reveals that Jesus blesses people who are willing to have faith in something that they can’t see right now: “Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’” (John 20:29). Thomas’ encounter with Jesus shows how the right response to doubt — curiosity and searching — can lead to deep belief.

Catholic tradition says that Thomas witnessed the miraculous ascension into heaven of Saint Mary (the Virgin Mary) after her death.

God performed many miracles through Thomas to help the people with whom Thomas shared the Gospel message — in Syria, Persia, and India — believe, according to Christian tradition. Right before his death in 72 AD, Thomas stood up to an Indian king (whose wife had become a Christian) when he pressured Thomas to make religious sacrifices to an idol. Miraculously, the idol shattered into pieces when Thomas was forced to approach it. The king was so enraged that he ordered his high priest to kill Thomas, and he did: Thomas died from being pierced by a spear, but was reunited with Jesus in heaven.

Feast Days:

the 1st Sunday after Easter, October 6th, June 30th, July 3rd, and December 21st

 

http://angels.about.com/od/MiraclesReligiousTexts/p/Who-Was-Saint-Thomas-The-Apostle.htm

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IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

IMMACULATE HEART.Immaculate heart of Mary The physical heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a sign and symbol of her compassion and sinlessness, and the object of devotion by the faithful. Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary gained international prominence through the Fátima apparitions in 1917, and their subsequent approval by the Holy See. A widely used prayer capsulizing this devotion reads:
“Virgin of Fátima, Mother of mercy, Queen of heaven and earth, refuge of sinners, we consecrate ourselves to your Immaculate Heart. To you we consecrate our hearts, our souls, our families, and all we have.
“And in order that this consecration may be truly effective and lasting, we renew today the promises of our Baptism and Confirmation; and we undertake to live as good Christians – faithful to God, the Church and the Holy Father. We desire to pray the Rosary, partake in the Holy Eucharist, attach special importance to the first Saturday of the month and work for the conversion of sinners.
“Furthermore we promise, O most holy Virgin, that we will zealously spread devotion to you, so that through our consecration to your Immaculate Heart and through your own intercession the coming of the Kingdom of Christ in the world maybe hastened. Amen.”

IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY, SCAPULAR. Badge of the Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is white, with a picture of the Heart of Mary surrounded by flames, surmounted by a lily, encircled with roses, and pierced by a sword.

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What is the Meaning of the Sacred Heart of Jesus?

Sacred Heart, modern, blue robeSACRED HEART. The physical Heart of Christ as the principal sign and symbol of the threefold love with which he loves his eternal Father and all mankind. It is, therefore, a symbol of the divine love he shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit but that he, the Word made flesh, alone manifests through a weak and perishable body, since “in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). It is, besides, the symbol of that burning love which, infused into his soul, enriches the human will of Christ and enlightens and governs its acts by the most perfect knowledge derived both from the beatific vision and that which is directly infused. And finally it is the symbol also of sensible love, since the body of Christ possesses full powers of feeling and perception, in fact more so than any other human body (Pope Pius XII, Haurietis Aquas, II, 55-57).

SACRED HEART DEVOTION.

The subjective response of the faithful to the objective fact of Christ’s love, divine and human, symbolized in his physical Heart. Historically the Devotion to the Sacred Heart is an outgrowth of devotion to Christ’s sacred humanity, which the Church has more than once defended as adorable because the human nature of Christ forms one Person with the divine nature, and that Person is divine. A series of mystics over centuries contributed to the development of this devotion, notably St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), St. Bonaventure (1221-74), St. Mechtilde (1210-80), St. Gertrude (1256-1302), St. Frances of Rome (1384-1440), St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), and St. John Eudes (1601-80). But it was especially St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-90), whose revelations before the Blessed Sacrament gave the devotion its modern aspect and importance. Through her Jesuit spiritual director, Claude de la Colombiere (1641-82), the Society of Jesus made promotion of the cultus of the Sacred Heart part of its institute, notably through the Apostleship of Prayer.

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