Friday, October 17, 2014

Ignatius House
St. Matthias Parish
Lanham, Maryland

Pope Francis' Reflection                    Sacred Scripture

Dear Friends,

In today's homily at St. Martha Chapel, Pope Francis, celebrating Mass honoring St. Ignatius of Antioch, a martyr, speaks about the beginning of our heavenly life here on this earth.  The "seal of the Holy Spirit" which we receive during the celebration of our own baptism is the "ticket" for us to earn our way into God's heavenly kingdom.

It is God's gift to us in our beginning days as a child or as adult later coming to the Sacrament of Baptism.  The Holy Father also point out that this seal of the Holy Spirit is indeed our characteristic.  It is our identity.

The Pope reminds us that we do have a free will at the same time because we can become "lukewarm Christians" when we "dull down" our identity as Christian men and women sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Believing in the Gospel preached by Jesus Christ, we are marked with the Christian identity.  This is the heart of the message that St. Paul wrote to the Ephesians that is contained in the first reading from today's liturgy.

St. Paul and Pope Francis also remind the Christians that there are very definite gifts that this sealing, this identifying by the Holy Spirit are given to us to strengthen us on our faith journey.  "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. And this is our path to Heaven, it is our road, so that Heaven may begin here..."

Oremus pro invicem,

Fr. Milt