Yesterday was Ascension Thursday, still a Holy Day of Obligation in my diocese, one of the remaining few in the United States which has not transferred the Feast to the following Sunday to make the practice of the Faith more convenient. That it was a day of Obligation didn’t matter to most “Catholics”, of course, these days, and it seems that the Mass was less attended than past years. Those who were there I recognized as the “regulars”, my fellow parishioners I see every Sunday, at Good Friday services and other Church functions. These are the committed members of my parish. These are the people who know the Faith, practice the Faith, and pay attention to matters in the Church, not just locally but what happens at the Vatican and around the world.
As the Gospel was read, the words reverberated and a palpable heaviness overcame us. It was very noticeable. For the words of Saint Mark’s Gospel are a direct contradiction of what the Pope and many bishops, Cardinals and priests tell the Faithful and the world these days. It is quite obvious that what these men say loudly and regularly has sunk in, and their message has been internalized by even those who regularly practice the Faith to the point where today the Gospel makes them uncomfortable because it is not the message of “tolerance”, or “nicety”, of “all dogs go to Heaven” that Pope Francis and the majority of Catholics want and demand these days.
So what was the Gospel?
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Go into the whole world
and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.
But they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
How does what Jesus says compare to the message preached by the greater Church today? Whoever is not baptized and does not believe is CONDEMNED??!! They don’t believe that anymore, do they?
It’s not nice to say that anymore, right???!!!
Go out into the world and proclaim the Gospel? Isn’t that, as good humble Pope Francis, the darling of the worldly, says “solemn nonsense”?
It was quite evident to me that this Gospel passage, the words of Jesus, are no longer welcome in the Church, that He is now an embarrassment to the majority of those hearing them. After all, that is not what the Church says anymore, right?
As good Pope Francis has repeatedly told Catholics and the world, it doesn’t matter what you believe but only that one is “good”. It doesn’t matter whether one is baptized and believes since the “God of Surprises” is all merciful and condemns no one, no matter what they do or don’t do. No one is condemned anymore, but only “annihilated” at most.
My question today is who is the liar? Who is the deceiver? Jesus or the good Pope Francis?
Curiously, I cannot find that the Heresiarch gave a homily for the Feast. How convenient.