“At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep.”
My dear faithful today is called informally Good Shepherd Sunday. There is a corollary to Our Lord’s statement about Himself that He is the Good Shepherd and of course it is found in scripture, but we are reminded of the relationship between the corollary and the Good Shepherd by the Benedictus antiphon from the breviary of this morning from the office. and that is Our Lord also besides the Good Shepherd, describes Himself as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And it is about these two things that I would like to say something this morning.
Our Lord is the Way, the Truth and the Life and I think sometimes the way we read it lessens the effect of what that really means. We might want to read it as the Lord saying, I am The Way, The Truth and The Life, meaning the unique Way, the unique Truth and the unique Life.
First of all, the Way – and these relate to being the Good Shepherd because for the sheep the Good Shepherd is the Way, the Truth and the Life as far as the sheep are concerned. And of course, where are those flocks or those sheep? So the Way, the Truth and the Life. The Way means there is no other way to heaven except explicitly through Jesus Christ and the Church that He founded. He was making that quite clear. There are not many ways to heaven, there are not many ways to eternal life – there is The way and that way is Our Lord, His teachings, and the sacraments of His Church.
The Truth – another way of saying that, not only like I said, The truth but “truth itself” and this is an important concept to grasp because Our Lord God is Truth, and you know some will ask as Pilate did at Our Lord’s trial when he had Truth standing in front of him, Truth, what is that? Well, truth is what is. Like Our Lord, “I Am Who Am. Before Abraham ever was made I Am”. Truth is what is what truly is. Something is true or not depending on whether it corresponds to what actually is, but the interesting thing to point out about this is that Our Lord God is the only source of truth and I don’t mean just religious truths. I mean everything that is true; Our Lord is the source of all truth. So if something is true then it comes from Our Lord. If something is false it does not come from Our Lord. This applies to Physics and Mathematics and gardening, any place that something is true, corresponds with reality, then that is something that comes from Our Lord. And so we have to be very careful about seeking the way and the truth – now seeking the truth in particular, especially in the midst of what we are going through ostensibly because of this virus. I have seen people losing their minds and losing their ability to reason and I firmly believe that it is because they are being brain washed and whipped into a frenzy by the mass media. The mass media could have been founded by Goebbels*, they are an instrument of propaganda and I won’t go into it too much other than to say if anyone is listening to this, if you watch any major news network you’re nuts. They are lies, lies and damn lies as the quote goes. They are there for mind control and to whip you into a frenzy over this thing. You know, I’ve seen people driving along in cars with masks on. I’ve seen people riding their bicycles with masks on. I’ve gone out of my house to get into my car and I’ve seen people on the sidewalk stop a hundred feet away from me and look in terror because I didn’t have a mask on.
You know, look for the truth of this. The truth is starting to come out but it’s not available through CNN or ABC or NBC or any of these networks. If you watch those you are in the near occasion of sin because you are seeking lies that come from the father of lies which is the devil. You are not seeking the truth. Look elsewhere on the internet or whatever, but not the major news networks.
The truth is coming out that the mortality rate is the same or maybe a little less than that of the seasonal flu, yet we’ve shut down our country, destroyed our economy and people are in absolute terror of each other and any kind of contact. That is insane and that is the result of not seeking the truth which is the truth that comes from God and Our Lord Jesus Christ.
So the Way, the Truth and the Life, the Life because He gives us life, He raised us to the supernatural life by His life, death and resurrection. He gave us the life of the supernatural, the possible life of the supernatural for us. Also He gave His life for us and that is why He is the Life.
Now back to the Good Shepherd for a minute. There are a lot of people maybe watching this video right now. I’ve seen many visitors to Our Lady Help of Christians parish and I am very happy, I’m happy that people get to experience our parish here. I hope that after we get out of this nonsense we’re in at the moment, that some of you at least will consider continuing to come to Our Lady Help of Christians Parish and I’ll tell you a couple of things. People, your own priests, bishops, whatever, friends, will try to discourage you from coming here. And I want you to consider ignoring them. I’ll tell you why in a minute. But look, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth His life His sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and flieth: and the wolf catcheth and scattereth the sheep: and the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling, and he hath no care for the sheep.” How many of your priests and bishops and clergy are hirelings. How many of them abandoned you in this situation? I want you to ask yourself that. And who provided the sacraments for you in the face of that? We did – it’s the inspiration of God, He provides the sacraments but through us.
Now you will hear things by your priests – Oh, they’re schismatic there, they’re schismatic. Okay, so we teach what the Church has always taught, we believe what the Church has always believed and we do what the Church has always done. The parish you go to in the diocese doesn’t do those things, but they’re calling us schismatic. That’s the definition of Catholic. We are defined by passing on what came from Christ through the apostles. So it’s clear who is schismatic and it’s not us. So if you want to get back with Catholicism consider coming here.
The other thing that I’ve heard, even somebody who is supposed to be a traditional priest telling people is, Oh, their sacraments aren’t valid. Okay, to this I would just say either that priest is lying or he is ignorant. Either way anybody here can go on the internet, look up the 1983 Code of Canon Law on the Vatican website, look up Code 1335 which guarantees that my sacraments and all the sacraments of Our Lady Help of Christians are valid no matter what. If you have real priest, Canon 1335 gives faculties to any priest who is asked by any member of the faithful for whatsoever reason for a sacrament that that guarantees the validity. So don’t worry about that.
Then you will hear, Well, we are not under the bishop. Just very quickly I’m going to tell you a little story that goes back 1700 years. I won’t cover every one of the 1700 years, but there was a time in the Church when nearly the entire Church was in the grip of a heresy and that heresy was called Arianism, and I mean nearly the entire Church. A handful of bishops and priests were not Arianists. Now Arius was the priest who started this heresy that Christ was not God. And you think how can that be? That’s such an obvious thing that Christ is God, that’s an obvious teaching of the Church. How could that envelop the whole Church, that heresy? Well, it did. There were various means, Arius was intelligent. He actually knew the influence of music and he wrote songs with his heresy in them. They were catchy, they spread them through the Roman Empire and the Eastern Empire and people were singing these songs and got this idea into their head from the songs and other things from Arius that Christ was not God.
By the way, that can still happen. Now how many people here or in their local parishes who will watch or are watching this have heard in their local parish the hymn Amazing Grace? You know, very catchy tune, very catchy – wish I had written the tune – I would have written different words though because when I was in the seminary the organist was doing vespers or something and was playing Amazing Grace. The president of our seminary Canon Augustine O’Donnell, God rest his soul, a mighty man, came in and unplugged the organ. Why? Because it’s a heretical hymn. It embodies the Lutheran concept of grace, the Lutheran heretical concept of grace. We don’t as Catholics sing heretical hymns because of what Arius did and the success he had with them. On the other hand, there are perfectly good Catholic based hymns that Protestants love. For example, All Creatures of Our God and King. You never hear it in Catholic Churches. We should, beautiful hymn, but people go, Oh, well Protestants sing it. Yeah, I heard a beautiful recording of it actually, one of the nicest by the Morman Tabernacle Choir. I’ve never heard too many Catholic choir recordings of it. And it’s because Protestants like it. But who was it written by? St. Francis of Assisi – so we have two cases.
In any case this heresy of Arianism spread through the Empire and almost the entire Church. The saying is the Church awoke to find itself Arian. There were some principal players but the major one is one, St. Athanasius. And I encourage you to look up the Life of St. Athanasius and what he did. But at the time of St. Athanasius – I’m relating this to our parish – all the local parishes were in full communion with the bishop. They were under the bishop, they were in communion with Rome and they were all preaching heresy, almost every last one of them. Now I won’t get into the controversial parts because some say that Pope Liberius imbibed Arianism and was an Arian. Those are all sketchy. He did sanction a version of the Creed that was watered down to specifically be tolerable to Arius. There’s also controversy about how many times St. Athanasius was excommunicated. But the point is Athanasius remained faithful to the Catholic Church and was one of the only ones who did. All the local clergy, everybody who was under the bishop and in full communion with the bishop and with Rome, they were all heretics and because of the likes of Athanasius the Church survived Arianism. It’s just something to think about when people tell you all kinds of bad stories about our parish. All that’s taught here is Catholicism. Do they want to try to say that I’m not a real priest? Good luck!
Anyway, I just want to finish with this because I want you to ask yourself – or read the gospel again. Are your priests, your bishops who did not feed the sheep during this, are they hirelings? Are they good shepherds or are they hirelings? You know they’re saying they’re shutting down the Churches; they have no sacraments for fear of this virus. What good does it do to keep the body alive if it’s dead because of a sickness and it can’t become reanimated through the grace of the sacrament of confession? What good is it to preserve your life if you can’t feed your soul on the Blessed Sacrament? Really! Where are their priorities? So if any priest would like to come and join me here I don’t care if you don’t know how to say the traditional Mass yet. I will show you how. These things can be learned. I suggest you get out of where you are though if you are in one of these places that have hirelings in charge of you.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep.” And some say, Well, Monsignor you might get this virus. Okay, but I’m giving my life for my sheep if I do. So I die, okay, there are worse things.
“But the hireling and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and flieth: and the wolf catcheth and scattereth the sheep; and the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling, and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd: and I know Mine, and Mine know Me, as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father: and I lay down My life for My sheep.”
My dear faithful, this is a one of the most beautiful gospels of the year. Father Schell who began this Mass nearly fifty years ago here – probably his favorite image of Our Lord was that of the Good Shepherd. By this I’m not saying I am the Good Shepherd, I am saying that I follow the Good Shepherd who is The Way, The Truth and The Life and I try to transmit that by my speaking and through the sacraments of the Church to as many of the faithful as possible.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
*Joseph Goebbels – 1897-1945; Nazi politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda. One of Hitler’s closest associates.