What the Murder of Father Hamel Teaches Us.

The Seventeenth Wednesday of Ordinary Time.

Lessons from the secondary feria, according to the ordinary form of the Roman Rite:

• Jeremiah 15: 10, 16-21.
• Psalm 59: 2-4, 10-11, 17-18.
• Matthew 13: 44-46.

The Tenth Wednesday after Pentecost; and, the Commemoration of Saint Pantaleon, Martyr.*

Lessons from the dominica,** according to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite:

• I Corinthians 12: 2-11.
• Psalm 16: 8, 2.
• Luke 18: 9-14.

If a Mass for the commemoration is taken, lessons from the common "Lætábitur…" for a Martyr not a Bishop:

• II Timothy 2: 8-10; 3: 10-12.
• Psalm 36: 24, 26.
• Matthew 10: 26-32.

The Tenth Wednesday after Pentecost; the Feast of the Holy Great Martyr Panteleimon; and, the Remembrance of Our Holy Father Clement the Wonder-Worker, Archbishop of Ohrid.

First & third lessons from the pentecostarion, second & fourth from the menaion for the Martyr, according to the Ruthenian recension of the Byzantine Rite:

• II Corinthians 3: 4-11.
• II Timothy 2: 1-10.
• Matthew 23: 29-39.
• John 15: 17—16: 2.


10:49 AM 7/27/2016 — The murder of Father Jacques Hamel as he offered early morning Mass horrifies us, I’m sure, but clarifies what the current crisis is really all about: one religion seeking the salvation of mankind, the other seeking its enslavement. It flies in the face of anyone who ever said—and there have been many—that all religion is dross and corrupt, or that the problem doesn’t have to do with the bigamist Mohamed and the artificial religion he invented to give sociological context to his dreams of world domination.
     In a sense, it was foreordained that the current abandonment of faith in our society would come to this: our maniacal desire to avoid offending anyone, our adolescent scramble to "fit in" and be modern and pretend that "it's not what you think" (odd motto of the "Catholic Channel" on radio) to the point that we can no longer preach our religion to be true since that would require that a different religion with a different creed must be false. The simple fact is: Jesus is God, and Mohamed is not His prophet; and, neither the decrees of Vatican II, nor airplane interviews with Pope Francis, nor the musings of Scripture scholars nor the declarations of revisionists of history can ever directly challenge what is inherent in the Gospels, taught by the ancient Fathers and still explicit in the current Catechism of the Catholic Church: Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. “Outside the Church there is no salvation.”*** As much as we like to pretend it isn’t so, the fact remains that all religions are not equal. Only one religion is true, which means—by reason of the very laws of logic itself—all other religions must be false; nor can something be true in the past but not in the present, nor true for one and not for another. Something is either true or it isn't.
     The mad dash to kill every believing Christian that was the trademark of the Church for the first four hundred years of her existence has not returned: it never went away. It didn’t always take the form of the Roman Circus; in more recent times it took the form of the imposition of a relativist ethic, of a condemnation of anyone who believed, of the passage of laws that impede conscience and feign pitting faith against the common good, of a declaration that the believer is someone lost in a best-forgotten, unenlightened past and not able to “get along” with his fellow man. It's simply returned to it’s original form, but it hasn’t really changed.
     The Scripture lessons of today’s Mass give us two contrasting ways to respond: we can react as the prophet Jeremiah, and say, “Woe to me, mother, that you gave me birth! a man of strife and contention to all the land!” (Jer. 15: 10 RM3); or, we can take the advice of our Blessed Lord, and see the truth of the Faith as a pearl of great price, willing to sell all we have to possess it (cf. Matt. 13: 46), just as Father Hamel did when he, like thousands of priests before him over the centuries, died simply because he was a priest. And what a great blessing for him—and for us—that he was privileged to give his life while offering the Holy Sacrifice! How perfectly his death fulfills what was sung by the psalmist in today’s Responsorial: “For behold, they lie in wait for my life; / mighty men come together against me, / Not for any offense or sin of mine, O Lord” (Psalm 59: 4-5 RM3).
     Hand-wringing is not the answer. The answer is to accept the correction imposed by God on Jeremiah when he doubted the truth of the Faith:

Though they fight against you, they shall not prevail, For I am with you, to deliver and rescue you, says the Lord. I will free you from the hand of the wicked, and rescue you from the grasp of the violent (15: 20-21 RM3).

* In the extraordinary form, the lessons for ferial days are taken from the previous Sunday.

** Pantaleon (or Panteleimon), a physician in Nicomedia and the patron of doctors, died for the faith during the persecution of Diocletian in AD 303.

*** Catechism of the Catholic Church, §846-848, 851.