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Sunday Evangelium - Systematic Homilies

Here are 'systematic homilies' by Father Marcus Holden and Father Andrew Pinsent.

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The Creed

by Father Andrew Pinsent      

"In preparation for the Year of Faith beginning on 11th October 2012, I would like to devote some homilies this year to a systematic exploration of the faith, beginning with the Creed. As we have just celebrated Christmas, it is also appropriate to focus on the central section of the Creed, devoted to Jesus Christ. The words of the Creed are of course familiar to all of us who attend Sunday Mass but that very familiarity means it is tempting perhaps to recite the words without thinking about them. But these words are like gold, and just as gold is purified by fire to burn away dross, these words were chosen, tested and purified through centuries of debate and considerable suffering, in order to assist in our salvation."

The Creed (2)

by Father Andrew Pinsent      

"Regardless of the success or otherwise of all impersonal substitutes for God, a deeper problem remains. We are ourselves personal beings, and so it is unsatisfactory to propose that whatever created the cosmos is sub-personal. More specifically there is a natural desire not only to know that there is a God, but to know God, to be able to relate to God in a first to second person way, as an 'I' to a 'you'. On this point therefore the denial of a personal God therefore creates unusual dangers for humanity. If God, the Father Almighty, the true God, is denied or rejected, then there is an incompleteness in us, like a house that is left empty. And the problem with leaving a house empty is that it can be occupied by squatters or parasites. To give an example, the lesson of recent centuries is that in those places where Christianity was suppressed, those countries were not left in a state of spiritual neutrality, but tended to end up worshiping something else, often accompanied with a reign of terror."

The Creed (3) - on the Holy Spirit

by Father Andrew Pinsent      

"My own answer to the question of why so few Christians experience the Holy Spirit is this: the Holy Spirit is experienced mainly in divinely inspired action, but very few Christians are willing to surrender to such action, a surrender that is associated with genuine love of God, with sacrifice and the renunciation of the deceptive love of evil. Many of us, to a greater of lesser extent, are like the people that Jesus first encounters in the Gospels. We want God to help us and to heal us - but mainly so that we can then get on with our lives in peace and prposperity. God will, of course, help us often in material ways, but God wants us to go further than this. He wants us to surrender our whole lives over to Him, to really be able to say "thy will be done", not in the manner of a slave but in the manner of a beloved child. This surrender is an entirely different matter from merely asking for gifts, and it is something that we tend to find very hard. This difficulty of this surrender is, I think, why the coming of the Holy Spirit is the final revelation of the Godhead and happens only on the far side of Calvary, the ultimate surrender to the will of God in love."