Jesus often initiates His own teaching in the Gospels. But He also is prompted to teach certain truths at the instigation of others, or by some circumstance, as He does in today’s Gospel. The same is true for the Church and Her teachings. One of the important aspects of the Catholic Faith is our understanding and belief that there is a development of doctrine over time. This doesn’t mean that our teachings change, but that as new circumstances arise there is the opportunity (and oftentimes the necessity) of clarifying certain teachings. For instance, around the year 300 A.D., some Christians began to spread the idea that Jesus was not truly God, but rather a sort of “superman”, and a creature of the Father. In response, the Bishops met in council in Nicaea to clarify the true teaching about the nature of Christ. The result was the Nicene Creed, which we recite every Sunday. Does this mean that Catholics didn’t believe in the Trinity, or in the human and divine natures of Jesus, before the Council of Nicaea? Of course, they always believed them. But it was only when this belief was challenged that the Church made Her teaching clearer by the formulation of the creed. The same can be said about the Church’s teachings on the authority of the Pope, the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and many other doctrines. When challenges have been made, or when circumstances demand it, the Church follows the example of the Lord: She (the Church) teaches the unchanging Truth to address the questions of an ever-changing world.
We kicked-off the Diocesan Annual Appeal last week. All should have received their Appeal letter from the Bishop. If you didn’t, contact the parish office, or pickup Appeal materials at the Church entrance. I hope all our parishioners will make a generous gift, according to your means, to the Appeal!
May God bless you!