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Monsignor Yennock's Homily July 8, 2018 - Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jul 9, 2018

FOURTEENTH SUNDAY JULY 8, 2018

CARDINAL RATZINGER BEFORE HE BECAME BENEDICT XVI, WROTE A LITTLE BOOK ENTITLED GOD IS NEAR US. THIS IS WHAT HE SAYS: “WHAT ABOUT THE SOUL? IN THE PAST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS, THE WORD ‘SOUL’ HAS VERY WIDELY BEEN PLACED ON THE LIST OF FORBIDDEN WORDS.” HE SAYS:”IF WE SET ASIDE THE WORD ‘SOUL’ THEN WE INEVITABLY FALL INTO A MATERIALISTIC CONCEPTION IN WHICH THE BODY IS NOT EXALTED BUT ROBBED OF ITS DIGNITY.”  

CARDINAL RATZINGER IS SAYING THAT MATERIALISM ROBS THE BODY OF ITS DIGNITY. WITHOUT THE SPIRITUAL SOUL A HUMAN BEING IS NO MORE THAN DUST.  

MATERIALISM IS THE IDEA THAT THE ONLY THING THAT EXISTS IN THE UNIVERSE IS MATTER. MATERIALISM IS THE IDEA THAT EVERYTHING IN THE UNIVERSE IS DEPENDENT UPON MATTER FOR ITS EXISTENCE. MATERIALISM REJECTS THE EXISTENCE OF SPIRIT IN GOD. MATERIALISM REJECTS THE EXISTENCE OF SPIRIT IN THE HUMAN BEING. ACCORDING TO MATERIALISM GOD DOES NOT EXIST AND MAN IS NO MORE THAN AN ANIMAL.

IN TODAY’S GOSPEL JESUS PASSES JUDGMENT ON THE PEOPLE OF HIS NATIVE PLACE. THE GOSPEL SAYS: JESUS WAS AMAZED AT THEIR LACK OF FAITH. WHY DO SOME PEOPLE HAVE A PROBLEM WITH FAITH? DO THEY REALLY HAVE A PROBLEM OF FAITH OR DO THEY JUST NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT SPIRIT IS?

WE KNOW THAT FAITH IS A GIFT OF GOD. BUT FAITH CAN BE CONDITONED BY OUR UNDERSTANDING OF MATTER AND SPIRIT. VERY OFTEN PEOPLE WHO THINK THEY HAVE NO FAITH HAVE THE WRONG UNDERSTANDING OF SPIRIT. VERY OFTEN PEOPLE WHO THINK THEY HAVE NO FAITH EVEN HAVE THE WRONG UNDERSTANDING OF MATTER. THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND THE LIMITATIONS OF MATTER.

YOU MAY NOT REALIZE IT BUT YOU RUN YOUR WHOLE LIFE AROUND WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT MATTER AND SPIRIT. THE CHOICES THAT YOU MAKE IN LIFE DEPEND ON WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT MATTER AND SPIRIT. IN FACT YOUR ETERNAL SALVATION DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT MATTER AND SPIRIT.

PLEASE PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS SAYING TO YOU TODAY.

THERE ARE THREE THEORIES ABOUT THE UNIVERSE. IF YOU HAVE A MEANING SYSTEM FOR YOUR LIFE; IF YOU HAVE A WORLDVIEW, IT’S BUILT AROUND ONE OF THESE THEORIES.

FIRST THERE IS THE MATTER—ONLY THEORY—THIS THEORY HOLDS THAT THE ONLY SUBSTANCE IN THE UNIVERSE IS MATERIAL. ONLY MATERIAL SUBSTANCE EXISTS. EVERYTHING IN THE UNIVERSE CAN BE EXPLAINED PRETTY MUCH THROUGH BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY, PHYSICS, AND ANTHROPOLGY. 

IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY HITLER, STALIN, IDI AMIN, MAO TZE TUNG, AND POL POT HELD THE MATTER-- ONLY THEORY OF THE UNIVERSE.THEY WERE ALL ATHEISTS. THEY BELIEVED THAT THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SPIRIT. THEY BELIEVED THAT ONLY MATERIAL SUBSTANCE EXISTS—NO GOD—NO MORAL LAW—NO RIGHT OR WRONG--NO AFTER LIFE—NO HEAVEN—NO HELL.

WHEN THEY DENIED THE EXISTENCE OF SPIRIT IN GOD THEY ALSO DENIED THE EXISTENCE OF SPIRIT IN HUMAN BEINGS. IF A MAN DOES NOT HAVE A SPIRIT HE HAS NO MORE VALUE THAN A CHIMPANZEE. HE IS EXPENDABLE. IF A MAN DOES NOT HAVE A SPIRIT HE CAN BE SACRIFICED FOR THE GOOD OF THE STATE. THAT’S FASCISM. IF A MAN DOES NOT HAVE A SPIRIT HE CAN BE SACRIFICED FOR THE GOOD OF THE COMMUNE. THAT’S COMMUNISM.

THE MATTER- ONLY THEORY OF THE UNIVERSE LEADS TO THE BELIEF THAT HUMAN BEINGS ARE NOT EXCEPTIONAL. HUMANS HAVE NO MORE VALUE THAN THE LOWER CREATURES. ANIMALS HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS AS HUMAN BEINGS.

WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS THEORY? IF YOU HOLD THE MATTER- ONLY THEORY THERE IS NO GOOD REASON TO OPPOSE ABORTION, EUTHANASIA, ASSISTED SUICIDE, EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH, AND PREFERENCE OF ANIMAL RIGHTS OVER HUMAN RIGHTS. THE EXTREME CONSEQUENCE OF THIS THEORY IS THAT ANIMALS CAN SUE HUMAN BEINGS.

WHAT WAS THE CONSEQUENCE OF THE MATTER- ONLY THEORY IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY? THE REGIMES THAT FOLLOWED THE MATTER-ONLY THEORY ENDED UP EXTERMINATING OVER ONE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE. SO MUCH FOR THE MATTER ONLY THEORY.

HISTORY IS A WITNESS THAT IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHAT THEORY YOU HOLD ABOUT MATTER AND SPIRIT.

THE SECOND THEORY ABOUT THE UNIVERSE IS THE SPIRIT- ONLY THEORY. SOME WHO HOLD THIS THEORY BELIEVE THAT MATTER IS ONLY AN ILLUSION. SOME OF THE EASTERN RELIGIONS AND PHILOSOPHIES HOLD THIS THEORY. PANTHEISTS HOLD THIS THEORY.

THE THIRD THEORY ABOUT THE UNIVERSE IS THE SPIRIT- MATTER THEORY. THE SPIRIT-MATTER THEORY TEACHES THAT THERE ARE TWO SUBSTANCES IN THE UNIVERSE-- MATERIAL SUBSTANCE AND SPIRITUAL SUBSTANCE. BOTH MATERIAL SUBSTANCE AND SPIRITUAL SUBSTANCE ARE REAL. THEY ARE SOMETHING. BOTH SPIRIT AND MATTER MUST BE RECOGNIZED OR THE WORLD WON’T WORK.

THE SPIRIT-MATTER THEORY IS HELD BY JUDAEO-CHRISTIANS AND OTHERS. THOSE WHO HOLD THIS THEORY BELIEVE THAT GOD MADE ALL MATERIAL SUBSTANCES. THEY BELIEVE THAT GOD WHO IS UNCREATED SPIRITUAL SUBSTANCE, MADE ALL CREATED SPIRITUAL SUBSTANCES. THE PEOPLE WHO HOLD THE SPIRIT- MATTER THEORY BELIEVE THAT GOD HAS BREATHED A SPIRIT OR SOUL INTO EVERY HUMAN BEING AT THE MOMENT OF CONCEPTION.

ONE OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE SPIRIT-MATTER THEORY IS THE DEVELOPMENT OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION.

IN THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CENTURIES CEASAR HELD THE MATTER-ONLY THEORY OF THE UNIVERSE.

THE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS TAUGHT THE SPIRIT-MATTER THEORY OF THE UNIVERSE. THEY WERE EMPOWERED BY THE WORDS OF JESUS: WHAT DOES IT PROFIT A MAN IF HE GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD AND LOSE HIS SOUL IN THE PROCESS.

THE NOTED BRITISH HISTORIAN, WILL DURANT, WHO WROTE A HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION, SUMMED UP THE VICTORY OF THE SPIRIT-MATTER THEORY WHEN HE SAID THAT FOR THREE CENTURIES CAESAR AND CHRIST HAD MET IN THE ARENA, AND CHRIST HAD WON. THE SPIRIT IN MAN IS UNDAUNTED.

WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SPIRIT? WHAT IS SPIRIT?

WHENEVER I TEACH ABOUT SPIRIT I ALWAYS ASK THE QUESTION. IS SPIRIT A THING? IS IT A SUBSTANCE? HOW WOULD YOU ANSWER THAT QUESTION? IS SPIRIT A THING? MANY PEOPLE ARE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH CALLING SPIRIT A THING BECAUSE ALL THE THINGS THEY KNOW ARE MATERIAL. ALL THE SUBSTANCES THEY KNOW ARE MATERIAL.

BUT WHEN YOU STOP AND THINK ABOUT IT: IF SPIRIT IS NOT SOMETHING THEN IT IS NOTHING. IF SPIRIT WERE NOTHING THEN WE COULDN’T EVEN TALK ABOUT IT. IF WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT SPIRIT WE HAVE TO KNOW THAT IT IS SOMETHING THAT EXISTS. IT’S REAL. MANY PEOPLE ARE CONFUSED ABOUT THE NATURE OF SPIRIT BECAUSE THEY ARE PREJUDICED IN FAVOR OF MATTER WHICH THEY SEE AND HANDLE ALL THE TIME.

MANY PEOPLE HAVE VAGUE AND ETHERIAL IDEAS ABOUT SPIRIT. MANY PEOPLE ARE NOT QUITE SURE ABOUT THE SUBSTANTIAL REALITY OF SPIRIT.

MAYBE THIS IS WHY SOME PEOPLE ARE EMBARASSED TO TALK ABOUT SPIRIT. MAYBE THIS IS WHY SOME PEOPLE ARE UNCOMFORTABLE ABOUT TALKING ABOUT SPIRITUAL THINGS. IF YOU ARE NOT SURE THAT SPIRIT EXISTS; IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT SPIRIT IS A REAL SUBSTANCE THEN IT IS NO WONDER THAT YOU WOULD FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE TALKING ABOUT IT.

THE FIRST THING WE WANT TO SAY ABOUT SPIRIT IS THAT SPIRIT IS REAL. IT IS SOME THING. IT IS A SUBSTANCE. GOD CREATED TWO KINDS OF SUBSTANCES. HE CREATED THE SUBSTANCE OF MATTER AND THE SUBSTANCE OF SPIRIT. MATTER AND SPIRIT EXIST TOGETHER IN THE REAL WORLD.

ALTHOUGH SPIRIT IS A SUBSTANCE IT DOES NOT HAVE THE PROPERTIES OF MATTER. IT HAS THE PROPERTIES OF SPIRIT. FOR EXAMPLE, SPIRIT HAS NONE OF THE LIMITATIONS OF MATTER. MATTER CAN ONLY BE IN ONE PLACE AT A TIME. SPIRIT DOES NOT TAKE UP SPACE SO IT CAN BE EVERYWHERE AT THE SAME TIME.

MATTER CHANGES CONSTANTLY. SPIRIT ALWAYS REMAINS WHAT IS. THE SPIRIT GIVES INDIVIDUALITY AND STABILITY TO HUMAN BEINGS. WHEN I WAS SEVEN YEARS OLD, I COULD SAY: I AM SEVEN YEARS OLD. WHEN I WAS 90 YEARS OLD, I COULD STILL SAY: I AM 90 YEARS OLD. THE “I “AT SEVEN AND THE “I” AT 90 IS THE SAME “I”. THE UNCHAINGING SPIRIT IN ME ALLOWS ME TO KEEP MY IDENTITY IN TACT. THE MATERIAL BODY IN ME HAS OBVIOUSLY CHANGED FOR THE WORSE.  

SOMETIMES CHILDREN OR EVEN SOME ADULTS SAY: I CANNOT SEE GOD SO HOW DO I KNOW HE IS REAL? OR I CANNOT SEE THE SOUL SO HOW DO I KNOW THE SOUL IS REAL. THE REASON FOR THIS PROBLEM IS THAT WE DON’T EXPERIENCE SPIRIT AND MATTER IN THE SAME WAY.

MATTER IS EXPERIENCED THROUGH THE FIVE SENSES WHICH ARE MATERIAL. SPIRIT IS EXPERIENCED THROUGH THE MIND WHICH IS SPIRITUAL.

HUMAN BEINGS HAVE FIVE SENSES TO EXPERIENCE ALL THE QUALITIES OF MATTER.THE EYE WILL EXPERIENCE COLOR.THE EAR WILL EXPERIENCE SOUND.THE SENSE OF TOUCH EXPERIENCES ROUGHNESS AND SMOOTHNESS. THE SENSE OF SMELL EXPERIENCES ODORS AND FRAGRANCES. THE SENSE OF TASTE DECIDES WHAT RESTAURANT WE GO TO. 

EACH OF THE FIVE SENSES WAS MADE TO EXPERIENCE CERTAIN QUALITIES OF MATTER. THE EYE WAS MADE TO EXPERIENCE COLOR AND NOT SOUND. WE HAVE ANOTHER SENSE TO EXPERIENCE SOUND. IT’S CALLED THE EAR.  WE DON’T SAY I CAN’T SEE SOUND SO HOW DO I KNOW THAT IT EXISTS. THE EYE WAS NOT MADE TO EXPERIENCE SOUND. THE EAR WAS NOT MADE TO EXPERIENCE COLOR.

WE SHOULD NOT EXPECT ANY OF THE FIVE SENSES TO EXPERIENCE SPIRIT. THEY WEREN’T MADE FOR THAT. THE EYE AND THE EAR AND THE HAND WERE NOT MADE TO EXPERIENCE SPIRIT. WE HAVE ANOTHER FACULTY THAT WAS MADE TO EXPERIENCE SPIRIT WE CALL IT THE MIND. THE MIND IS MORE THAN THE BRAIN. THE MIND EXPERIENCES IDEAS AND THOUGHTS WHICH ARE NOT MATERIAL. THE MIND IS AN INSTRUMENT OF THE SPIRITUAL SOUL.

A SISTER WHO WAS A NURSE IN A CATHOLIC HOSPITAL WAS ATTENDING A DOCTOR IN SURGERY. WHEN THE DOCTOR REMOVED THE SKULL FROM THE PATIENT’S HEAD THE BRAIN WAS EXPOSED.THE DOCTOR THOUGHT HE WOULD HAVE SOME FUN WITH SISTER. HE SAID: “SISTER DO YOU SEE THE SOUL?” THE SISTER REPLIED: “NO DOCTOR. BUT DO YOU SEE THE PAIN”?

THERE ARE MANY REALITIES THAT THE EYE CANNOT SEE. THE MIND KNOWS THESE REALITIES EXIST. THE MIND RECOGNIZES THE INTELLECT, THE WILL, PAIN, GOODNESS, HAPPINESS, JUSTICE, CHARITY AND MANY OTHER REALITIES THAT CANNOT BE SEEN.THE INTELLECT KNOWS THAT THESE REALITIES EXIST EVEN THOUGH WE CAN’T SEE THEM WITH THE EYE.

THE SOUL IS NOT SOMETHING YOU HAVE BECAUSE YOU ARE RELIGIOUS. THE SOUL IS STANDARD EQUIPMENT FOR EVERY HUMAN BEING RELIGIOUS OR NOT RELIGIOUS. YOU COULD NOT FUNCTION, INTELLECTUALLY OR PHYSICALLY WITHOUT A SOUL. THE SOUL IS THE SPIRITUAL EQUIPMENT YOU USE TO PRODUCE AND PROCESS IDEAS AND THOUGHTS WHICH ARE NOT MATERIAL.

THE SOUL IS THE SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE OF LIFE IN EVERY HUMAN BEING. TO BE ALIVE IS TO HAVE A SOUL. TO BE HUMAN IS TO HAVE A SOUL. WHEN THE SOUL LEAVES THE BODY THE HUMAN BEING IS DEAD.

THE SOUL DISTINGUISHES HUMAN BEINGS FROM ANIMALS.  HUMAN BEINGS CAN THINK WITH THEIR INTELLECT. THEY CAN CHOOSE WITH THEIR FREE WILL. THEY CAN LOVE WITH THEIR FREE WILL. ANIMALS OPERATE BY MATERIAL INSTINCT.

THE INTELLECT AND THE WILL PERFORM SPIRITUAL FUNCTIONS. THE SENSES PERFORM MATERIAL FUNCTIONS.THERE IS NO CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE THAT THE MATERIAL BRAIN ALONE IS CAPABLE OF KNOWING AND WILLING. THESE ARE SPIRITUAL OPERATIONS PERFORMED BY VIRTUE OF SPIRITUAL INSTRUMENTS THAT ARE IN EVERY HUMAN BEING. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IN THE SOUL OR NOT, IN REALITY THE SOUL IS STANDARD EQUIPMENT FOR EVERY HUMAN BEING. A HUMAN BEING CANNOT OPERATE WITHOUT IT. YOU EVEN HAVE TO USE THE SOUL TO EXPRESS YOUR ACT OF UNBELIEF.

IF A SCIENTIST IS SATISFIED THAT THE MATERIAL BRAIN ALONE CAN ACCOUNT FOR THE INTELLECTUAL ACTIVITY OF A HUMAN BEING, THEN THAT SCIENTIST HOLDS TO THE MATTER-ONLY THEORY OF THE UNIVERSE.  THERE ARE MANY SUCH SCIENTISTS.

IF A SCIENTIST IS NOT SATISFIED THAT THE MATERIAL BRAIN ALONE CAN ACCOUNT FOR THE INCREDIBLE INTELLECTUAL ACTIVITY OF A HUMAN BEING, THEN THAT SCIENTIST HOLDS THE MATTER—SPIRIT THEORY OF THE UNIVERSE. THERE ARE MANY SUCH SCIENTISTS.

IF THE SPIRIT-MATTER THEORY OF THE UNIVERSE IS TRUE THEN THE SCIENTIST WHO HOLDS THE SPIRIT-MATER THEORY, IS ACTUALLY A MORE AUTHENTIC SCIENTIST BECAUSE HE IS INCLUDING ALL OF THE EVIDENCE.

IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN (Jn.6:63) JESUS SAYS “IT IS THE SPIRIT THAT GIVES LIFE, THE FLESH HAS NOTHING TO OFFER. THE WORDS I HAVE SPOKEN TO YOU ARE SPIRIT AND THEY ARE LIFE.”

TO BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST IS TO BELIEVE THAT THERE IS SPIRIT AND MATTER IN THE UNIVERSE.

TO BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST IS TO BELIEVE THAT IT PROFITS A MAN NOTHING IF HE GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD AND LOSE HIS SOUL IN THE PROCESS.

TO BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST IS TO BELIEVE THAT THE MATERIAL BODY LASTS FOR A TIME BEFORE IT TURNS TO DUST.

TO BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST IS TO BELIEVE THAT THE SPIRITUAL SOUL WILL LIVE FOREVER. JESUS SAID: “HE WHO BELIEVES IN ME WILL NEVER DIE”.

THE RISEN JESUS IS THE GUARANTOR OF THAT PROMISE. JESUS IS STILL ALIVE AND HE ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES.

LORD, JESUS CHRIST I BELIEVE. HELP MY UNBELIEF.

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