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POPE FRANCIS SPEAKS OUT ON THE DANGER OF LIVING FAITH WITHOUT THE SACRAMENTS AND COMMUNITY
 

Our Holy Father Pope Francis, in his homily on April 17th, spoke out on the danger of trying to live the Catholic faith apart from the Sacraments. What is a result of a situation of emergency is not to be taken as an alternative, new-and-improved way of nourishing one’s faith-sense through the virtual reality of the internet.

Here follow summary thoughts from Pope Francis’s homily:

Making an act of spiritual Communion in the absence of access to sacramental Communion has its value, but “this is not the Church.

Our relationship with the Lord Jesus “is intimate, it is personal, but it is in a community.” Without the community and the Eucharistic assembly of the Mass-sacrifice, “it is dangerous.” Why? Because people can try to live their relationship with God “for just myself, detached from the People of God.

The Gospel Books show the disciples gathered together in their relationship with the Lord Jesus as a community. “They gathered at the table, a sign of community. It was always with the Sacrament, with bread. I am saying this because someone made me reflect on the danger of this moment we are living, this pandemic that has made all of us communicate, even in a religious sense, through the media, through means of communication.” At his broadcast Mass only a very small number of people were there to receive the Eucharist, but people watching on-line only have “spiritual Communion. This is not the Church.”  

Pope Francis said it was a bishop (whom he did not name) who “scolded him” for celebrating Easter Mass in an empty St. Peter’s Basilica. The bishop questioned the decision: “When St. Peter’s is so big, why not put thirty people at least so people can be seen in the congregation?

While he did not at first understand what this bishop was getting at, when they spoke Francis was told to be careful not to make the Church, the Sacraments, and the People of God something that is only experienced or distributed on-line. “The Church, the Sacraments and the People of God are concrete.

Therefore the relationship of the faithful with God must also stay concrete, as the Apostles lived it, as a community and with the People of God, and not lived in selfish individualistic ways, or only “virally” on-line. “May the Lord teach us this intimacy with Him, this familiarity with Him, but in the Church, with the Sacraments, with the holy faithful People of God.” 

About Our Parish

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes is Newton and Needham Massachusetts's oldest Roman Catholic Parish. Founded as Saint Mary's Parish in 1870 it was renamed "Mary Immaculate of Lourdes" when the new Church was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1910. In addition to being a regular territorial parish of the Archdiocese of Boston it is also a "Mission Parish" since 2007 with a special apostolate for the Traditional Latin Mass (1962 Missal).

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