Last year I
started to work with two or three parishioners of our parish community in the
RCIA program, a course to prepare those who received the sacraments of
Christian initiation on Easter night. During the course I have a question box
session where I answer whatever questions the participants have previously
prepared. OK, so that means that a lot
of them are about “difficult topics” but that is acceptable as long as they are
sincerely searching for answers.
One question I
often get, though, is not about sex, it is about Twilight. If you are not aware of what Twilight is, it’s a series
of books and an accompanying chick flicks of the “young girl loves vampire”
genre. That’s one that Shakespeare never dabbed in. Back to the question. Teens
will often ask what the Church’s position was on Twilight. Well, an official position was never published. What the
Church expects is that the reader is able to distinguish between fiction and
reality. I tell the 8th graders, “If you
can’t separate fact from fiction, you shouldn’t read the books.”
Vampires are not
real. Werewolves are not real. Zombies are not real. But Jesus is real. And the
Risen Lord Jesus is not a ghost. He is
the Son of God become man, who died for us, but then rose from the
dead. When the disciples saw Jesus, they
did not see a ghost. To be sure they realized this and that those who came
after them realized this, we have today’s Gospel reading. Jesus said, Look at my hands and my feet. It is me. Touch me and see, because a ghost
does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have. He then went on to eat
something right in front of them.
will ask me if it is OK to mess around with an Ouija board, or visit a fortune
teller. All that is wrong. Certainly,
most of it is a scam, but what if there was a slight percentage of it that is
not a scam? What if there was a spiritual power that does not come from
God? There is. It is the power of the
devil, the evil one. If a spiritual power does not come from God, then why
would anyone chance messing around with the devil?
The forces of
evil suffered a devastating loss when Jesus conquered hate with His sacrificial
love on the cross. But the forces of evil
are not totally defeated. They are still trying to make inroads in our world
and in our lives. They will never defeat the Lord, and they will never defeat
us as long as we are united to the Lord.
Many people who
lived at the time of the Lord had given up on having any sort of spiritual
life. The devil had defeated them. Many people who live in our time have given
up on life. They can’t see a reason for living. They can’t see anything
positive in life. The devil is defeating them. But this no longer is the devil’s
world. It is Jesus’ world. People need
to know that there is truth, and beauty and meaning in life. People need to
know that Jesus is present for them also, not as a ghost, but as the real Risen
Lord wanting to share His Life with them.
That is why the message of the Lord is called the Gospel. The word Gospel means Good News. People need to know the Good News about the Lord: life
is beautiful when lived with the Lord.
How can people
come to know this, to know the Good News?
Through us. Today’s reading concludes with Jesus telling the disciples
and us, You are witnesses, witnesses
of the Lord’s wonders and love and beauty and reality.
Much of the
world suffers from Twilight. Many people have given up on reality and seek
spiritual fables and even occult powers to free them from their disillusionment
with life. Of course, they are just digging a deeper hole of frustration for
themselves. These people need something. They
need Someone. They need Jesus. They
need us to bring Jesus to them. We are Christians. We are Catholic. We are called to be witnesses to the
Gospel. We are called to proclaim to the
world the Good News: Jesus is real! ■
 Sunday 22nd
April, 2012, 3rd Sunday of Easter. Readings: Acts 3:13-15, 17-19. Lord, let
your face shine on us—Ps 4:2, 4, 7, 9. 1 John 2:1-5. Luke 24:35-48.
 Twilight is a
series of four vampire-themed fantasy romance novels by American author
Stephenie Meyer. It charts a period in the life of Isabella "Bella" Swan,
a teenage girl who moves to Forks, Washington, and falls in love with a
104-year-old vampire named Edward Cullen. The series is told primarily from
Bella's point of view, with the epilogue of Eclipse and Part II of Breaking
Dawn being told from the viewpoint of character Jacob Black, a werewolf. The
unpublished Midnight Sun is a retelling of the first book, Twilight, from
Edward Cullen's point of view. The novella The Short Second Life of Bree
Tanner, which tells the story of a newborn vampire who appeared in Eclipse, was
published on June 5, 2010 as a hardcover book and on June 7 as a free online
eBook. The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide, a definitive
encyclopedic reference with nearly 100 full color illustrations, was released
in bookstores on April 12, 2011.
Illustration: Roundel with Resurrection (1480-90), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York).
Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.