The Fall of Those in High Places
This Sunday’s Gospel is the fifth and final part of Chapter 6 of St John’s Gospel, which is Our Lord’s discourse on the Holy Eucharist. This is the first time in the Gospels that the fall of Judas is mentioned. Judas was an Apostle and a priest, ordained at the Last Supper by Our Lord Himself just before he went off to carry out his abominable act of betrayal.
In the light of recent revelations of grave clerical misconduct, particularly from the USA, this is a reminder to us all that even the highest in the Church can fall mightily. Judas, after all, had the vocation to be an Apostle and a saint. There is nothing that pleases Satan more than the fall of a priest or religious, because scandals of this sort will inevitably cause many to lose their faith and trust in the Church completely.
So what are we to do? Our hearts naturally go out to the victims of these terrible crimes and we should pray for them and for their healing. We ought also to pray that God grant the perpetrators the grace of true repentance and also for those guilty of covering up. There have been news items of a similar nature a bit closer to home too, although they happened some decades ago. How much damage this does to the Mystical Body of Christ. Please pray also for those members of the clergy and hierarchy who are striving to lead a good and holy life, and who are having to deal with a very difficult situation not of their own making. And in the words of our Prayer for Vocations, pray “that God give worthy priests to His Holy Church and Brothers and Sisters to Religious Orders.”
In the light of all this, I feel it would be appropriate for us as a Parish to have a Holy Hour in the near future to pray for the Church in this time of tribulation. We do this in the knowledge that we can only get through this crisis with God’s help. Let us also pray to Our Lady who is Mother of the Church who must be weeping many tears in these times.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!
Fr Paul Gillham, IC