Thursday, August 30, 2018

Jesus Wept! A Homily for Those Broken by the Abuse Even So, Let Us Not Forget We Have Hope!

I want to share a beautiful and profound homily by Reverend Edmond 
Kline. Many people have offered thanks to me for sharing this sermon- even  
dear friend who's husband committed suicide after being abused by 
a predatory priest.   
She said: 
"I printed out this homily and will read it again and again."  
Because it is so worthy, I wanted to share it's profound beauty with a 
wider audience. 
You can find it online here as well.
May it be a blessing for you! 
"Yesterday, I went to ICU to give a Catholic patient Holy Communion.  I could see the patient was clearly distressed. She said, “Father you have no idea how much I have been wanting to receive Jesus in Holy Communion.”  
I gave her Holy Communion and was about to walk out of her room when she said, “Father I am so upset.  What do you think about all those priests abusing those children?” 
She said, “When the Boston scandal came out years ago, I was going to leave the Catholic Church. But my husband convinced me to stay and I was glad I did. Now, my husband wants to leave the Church and I want to stay”.
She said, “I love my Church. I can’t imagine becoming Episcopalian or Lutheran or some other religion, yet I am so disgusted with my Church.”  
I said, “I am so angry that so many priests abused all those innocent children. It’s disgusting.” 
I said, “I am not only angry because of the children abused. I am angry because some of the bishops covered it up.” 
I said, “Pride caused the bishops to be more concerned about protecting their status, then protecting children.”  
I said, “Don’t leave the Church, the Catholic Church is one true Church founded by Jesus Christ. The Church is going through terrible times, but it’s the bride of Christ and Jesus will purify His Church. He will make all things better. The Catholic Church has the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. All of this depravity is caused by the devil, who is attacking our Church and we need to stand up for our Church and we need to tell the devil, to go to hell.” 
She said, “Will you speak about it from the pulpit? I know my priest from my parish won’t say a word.” 
She said, “You probably feel like everyone is looking at you as though you have done something wrong.” 
I said, “Yes, I will speak about it. And yes, I feel like people stare at me as though I have done something wrong.” 
We both said we would pray for each other and then I departed her room. 
My dear friends, the revelation of the abuse of children by Catholic priests and the covering up of the abuse by bishops-- has caused many to be scandalized. We are angry, we are sad. We feel shame.  Yet, there is one person who has suffered more than anyone else, who feels more pain than anyone else and that person is Jesus. There are two words in the bible I think that best express the way Jesus feels today. The words are John Chapter 11 verse 35. “Jesus wept.” 
Do you recall why Jesus wept? He wept because of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a symbol of the Church. Today, He weeps because of what is happening in His Church. 

I have a picture of Jesus crowned with thorns over my bed. It’s called the “Ecce Homo” picture, which means “Behold the Man”. 
In the picture you can see a tear falling down the face of Jesus. 
Jesus wept, when each child was abused. 
Jesus wept when the families of the children found out about it. 
Jesus wept when Our Lord saw His sacred ministers use the authority of their status to hurt children. 
Jesus wept when they offered the Holy Mass making it a sacrilege due to their sin. 
Jesus wept when He saw the sacred priesthood defamed. 
Jesus wept when he saw the children grow up to become adults and have emotional problems. 
How they fail to come to know God’s love because they were betrayed by someone who represented God.  
Jesus wept when His bishops, who are apostles betrayed the children. 
Jesus wept when He saw the people of His Church and the people throughout the world scandalized.  
Jesus wept, when He saw people leave His Church and others not to join the Church because of this scandal. 
Love. Forgiveness. Reparation. Call to Action. Hope.What is our response today?  We are to love the abused and love the abusers. Most especially, we should show our love for those who have been hurt that they will come to know Jesus suffered with them at that terrible moment. Our love will cause us to make sure we help establish ways to protect children.
Our love will cause us to pray they discover God’s love and healing. Sexual abuse is not limited to the Catholic Church, it’s in every institution and every religion. Over years as a priest, I met many sexually abused by their father, by their uncle, or by someone else they trusted and have seen real healing occur by those who spend time before Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration. Over a period of time, when committed to making a weekly Holy Hour, Jesus gently and slowly helps them to heal and begin to feel loved. He can change their lives.It’s tempting for us to want revenge and to feel deep anger and even hatred to those who abused children. But that’s not Christian. Jesus even loved Judas. All He wanted Judas to do- was to be sorry for his betrayal. To trust in His mercy. But Judas despaired and as far as we know did not ask for forgiveness. God’s mercy is for everyone, but it needs to be asked for.Do you recall Jesus was betrayed with a kiss, by Judas. Our Lord was stripped of His clothes. He was held down and nailed to the Cross. He was defiled.  He was innocent. He was pure. He was sinless. He was like a lamb led to the slaughter. Jesus said, “What you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me.” What they did to the children, they did to Jesus. Our Lord suffered in the children. God is inside us through baptism and so when we feel pain, or sorrow or distress, Jesus feels that pain, sorrow and distress.In Eucharistic prayer one, it describes the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist as: “The pure victim. The holy victim. The spotless victim.” Jesus understands the pain and suffering of the innocent victims of child abuse because He Himself was a victim. He knows what it is like to be betrayed by someone whom He trusted.  The word “Host” means victim. On the altar Jesus comes inside the Host as the eternal victim and then comes to give us His love in Holy Communion. The more abuse victims receive Jesus in Holy Communion, the more love they receive from Him, allow Him to soothe their pain and comfort them in their sorrow. When receiving Communion, the divine Victim gives His love to the human victim.We must love the Judas betrayers who victimized children. In the simplicity and the purity of their hearts, children trust adults, but woe to those who betray their trust by hurting them. Jesus said, “It is inevitable that scandals will come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and to be thrown into the sea than to cause one of these little ones to be scandalized.” 
There is a poem Fr. Leo Clifford used to recite about Judas and Jesus.  The poem goes like this: 
Judas, if true love never ceases
how could you, my friend, have come to this:
To sell me for thirty silver pieces
and betray me with a kiss?
Judas, remember what I taught you,
do not despair while hanging on the rope.
It's because you sinned that I have sought you;
I came to give you hope.
Judas, let us pray and hang together,
you on your halter, I upon my hill.
Dear friend, even if you loved me never,
you know I love you still.

Forgive. We need to forgive our priests and bishops in their colossal moral failure. Though we can never understand how someone’s mind can become so depraved as to defile innocent children for their own pleasure, we must forgive. We need to pray for the priests who have injured the innocent, tarnished the priesthood and gave scandal to believers and non-believers alike.  We must forgive the bishops who placed their reputations and pride over the safety of innocent children. We need to pray for them. We need to pray that those who have been abused will be able to open their hearts to forgive their abusers.
Reparation. We need to make reparation to console the Heart of Jesus so wounded by these sins. We can make reparation by making a Holy Hour once a week before Jesus in an adoration chapel or before Jesus in a tabernacle in any church. We can make reparation by offering the graces from the Masses we attend and the graces from our Holy Communion. 
Call to Action.  It is time for the laity to get involved and make things happen. You must take action. What action can you do? First, pray the Holy Rosary, knowing the Rosary is powerful against evil. Second, fast. To fast once a week for the victims and to fast for bishops and priests that they may be holy. Fasting is powerful against the workings of the devil. Third. We need to pray the St. Michael prayer every day and do the Novena requested by the Bishop. We are battling against evil --against the diabolical. Fourth. We need to make our voices heard demanding the Vatican and the US Bishops adequately deal with this crisis to prevent it from happening again. 
Hope.  We have hope because Church is the bride of Christ and He will never forsake her. Jesus said, “the gates of hell shall not prevail” against her. Our hope is founded on Jesus Himself. God is always victorious. In the end, we win. In the end, the devil will be cast into hell forever and the victims will be rewarded in heaven for being faithful, for trusting God, for persevering. We have hope that these terrible crimes of abuse are very rare today. We have hope because in 2005, the Vatican said those who have homosexual inclinations should not be ordained. We have hope because Pope Benedict changed canon law to clerics who abuse children are excommunicated from the Catholic Church.  We have hope because the report dating back 70 years taken from the secret files of the dioceses chanceries indicated only 2 out of 300, of the accused, were still in active ministry today. They are either dead or no longer in ministry. We have hope because due to the policies implemented 12 years ago by the US bishops, the percentage of credible accusations dropped from 4% to .005 in the past two years. We have hope because there are many good and holy priests, who sacrifice themselves for God’s people and proclaim the truth.  And the words of Jesus about His true presence in the Eucharist give us hope. He said, “If you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you will remain in me and I in you”. And “If you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you will live forever.”My friends, as we gaze upon the victim of victims in the Sacred Host, we see the face of God, who loves us, is with us in our suffering and wants to give us His peace. Through the intercession of Mary, may God make all things new and restore the Church to its original beauty as His spotless bride." 
You can find more of Father Kline's homilies online at:  

http:// SundayHomiliesforSundayHomilyS

Much love and prayers for each of you!

May God continue to bless and heal us and His Church!

© Janet Moore 2018. All Rights Reserved.

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