23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time
The Deacon's Corner-A Reflection from Deacon Loris
The Gates of Heaven
Jesus said that we must do four things to get into Heaven.
First, we must love God over and above everything and everyone and also love other people since God created them, too.
Second, we must keep His Commandments. Hopefully, we know what they are.
Third, we must receive the sacraments which Jesus to help us on that path to Heaven.
Fourth, we must reach out to our brothers and sisters through Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.
To help us with these works of mercy, Jesus gave us seven sacraments to help strengthen us and keep us on the path of holiness. These sacraments are seven special ways God gives us in the grace we need. Most of us have already received the Sacraments of Baptism, Penance and Holy Communion (Eucharist). As we grow older we receive the special Sacrament of Confirmation to make us strong in our beautiful Catholic faith, so that we don’t abandon the Church, or deny our belief in God, especially during these days when our faith is constantly being tested.
There are three elements to each of these sacraments:
they are visible and effective signs that we can see taking place. Pouring water over our heads is the visible sign of Baptism;
they were given to us by Jesus Himself. For example, Jesus told the apostles to“go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).
Their purpose is to give us grace, which is God’s divine help.
These sacraments are also special encounters between God and us in which God uses ordinary things, such as water, oil, bread and wine, to bring about extraordinary spiritual results. It’s important to remember that all the sacraments get all their power from the actions of Christ Himself. It is Christ who baptizes, not the priest or deacon. It is Christ who confirms, not the bishop. It is Christ who changes the bread and wine into His Body and Blood, not the priest.
The Sacraments of Initiation into the Church are Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy
Eucharist. The Sacraments of healing are Confession (Penance) and Anointing of the Sick. The Sacraments of Vocation or Service are Holy Orders and Matrimony.
All seven sacraments can be found in Sacred Scripture, so we know that they came from God. I should not neglect to mention that in addition to the sacraments, God also gives us other signs called sacramentals. These include holy water, rosaries, medals, blessing, and exorcisms.
God bless...Deacon Loris
September is the Month of Our Lady of Sorrows
September 5 2021
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