God With Us

12-20-2020Eucharistic Adoration

“She will bear a Son, and you shall name Him Jesus for He will save His people from their sins.”—Matthew 1:21

In Advent the Church prepares for the three comings of Christ. She prepares for His coming as a little baby at Christmas. She prepares for His coming at the end of time, when He will come to judge the living and the dead. She also prepares for the coming of Christ in the Eucharist. Emmanuel means “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23). In the Eucharist Jesus is truly ‘God with us’. When Jesus came as a little baby He was vulnerable and weak; He hid his divinity. In the Eucharist Jesus continues to make himself vulnerable and weak, and hides both his divinity and his humanity. God came to save us from our sins 2000 years ago, yet He remains in the Eucharist to heal us from the effects of our sin.

Vaccines for COVID-19

12-20-2020Weekly ReflectionMost Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades

Important Message from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

There appears to be some confusion in the media regarding the moral permissibility of using the vaccines for COVID-19 developed by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna. We would like to offer some clarifications. Neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna vaccine involved the use of cell lines that originated in fetal tissue taken from the body of an aborted baby at any level of design, development, or production.1 They are not completely free from any connection to abortion, however, as both Pfizer and Moderna made use of a tainted cell line for one of the confirmatory lab tests of their products. There is thus a connection, but it is relatively remote. Some are asserting that if a vaccine is connected in any way with tainted cell lines then it is immoral to be vaccinated with them. This is an inaccurate portrayal of Catholic moral teaching. There are three documents from the Holy See that treat the question of tainted vaccines: 1) the 2005 study by the Pontifical Academy for Life, "Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Foetuses"; 2) paragraphs nos. 34-35 in the 2008 Instruction on Certain Bioethical Questions (Dignitatis Personae) by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; 3) the 2017 Note on Italian Vaccine Issue, by the Pontifical Academy for Life. These documents all point to the immorality of using tissue taken from an aborted child for creating cell lines. They also make distinctions in terms of the moral responsibility of the various actors involved, from those involved in designing and producing a vaccine to those receiving the vaccine. Most importantly, they all make it clear that, at the level of the recipient, it is morally permissible to accept vaccination when there are no alternatives and there is a serious risk to health.

The Three Comings of Christ

12-13-2020Eucharistic Adoration

In Advent the Church prepares for the three comings of Christ. She prepares for His coming as a little baby at Christmas. She prepares for His coming at the end of time, when He will come to judge the living and the dead. She also prepares for the coming of Christ in the Eucharist. Emmanuel means “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23). In the Eucharist Jesus is truly ‘God with us’. When Jesus came as a little baby He was vulnerable and weak; He hid his divinity. In the Eucharist Jesus continues to make himself vulnerable and weak, and hides both his divinity and his humanity. God came to save us from our sins 2000 years ago, yet He remains in the Eucharist to heal us from the effects of our sin.

Beholding the Glory of God

12-06-2020Eucharistic Adoration

“No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor has the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.”—1 COR 2:9

Heaven is the place where we shall behold the face of God unveiled. On this Earth we can also behold the face of God yet only the eyes of faith are able to recognize Him. St. Thomas says that on the cross Jesus hid His divinity but in the Eucharist He hides both His divinity and His humanity. It is only through faith that we can look upon the white host and recognize the Lord and giver of life, for “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen”— Hebrews 11:1. May we look upon our God with faith on this Earth so that we may behold Him in His glory in Heaven.