During the Sacrifice of the Mass, we as a community pray the Eucharistic Prayer presided by the priest and is directed to God our Father calling upon the Holy Spirit and consecrating the bread and wine into the true and real presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. We participate in this extraordinary and mystical event, the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ at the Last Supper, and receive the Lamb of God who takes away our sins. In this Passover feast we experience the Mystery of Faith and open ourselves up to live the Eucharistic life in Christ by the efficacious graces given to us in this most sacred sacrament.
It is during the Eucharistic Prayer that we say, “May this Sacrifice of our reconciliation, we pray, O Lord, advance the peace and salvation of all the world. Be pleased to confirm in faith and charity your pilgrim Church on earth, with your servant Francis our Pope and John our Bishop, the Order of Bishops, all the clergy, and the entire people you have gained for your own.” We pray for us to be reconciled to God and to be in union with our Pope, the Bishops, the clergy, and all the faithful.
From our Catechism of the Catholic Church: When Christ instituted the Twelve, “he constituted them in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the head of which he placed Peter, chosen from among them.” Just as by the Lord’s institution, St. Peter and the rest of the apostles constitute a single apostolic college, so in like fashion the Roman Pontiff, Peter’s successor, and the bishops, the successors of the apostles, are related with and united to one another.
The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the “rock” of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock. The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head. This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church’s very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.
The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, “is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and the whole company of the faithful.” For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.
“The college or body of bishops has no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter’s successor, as its head.” As such, this college has supreme and full authority over the universal Church; but this power cannot be exercised without the agreement of the Roman Pontiff (CCC #880 – 883).
As Roman Catholics and its Apostolic foundation, we must always be united and, therefore strengthened to live out our missionary vocation in the world of being witnesses to the Gospel by our words and actions. It is also important as we remain true to our living our faith to be in union with the Vicar of Christ, the Roman Pontiff, Pope Francis. We must never succumb to the ongoing onslaughts and attacks of Satan who continues to break the bonds of unity.
Let us keep our Holy Father, Pope Francis, in our prayers and, also, his special petitions for the world. Let us not echo the words and actions of the past that brought about the Schisms within the Church or the Protestant Reformation that broke that precious bond of unity. Again, when we come together as a community to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass we need to be in union with Pope Francis and one another. That’s what being a Catholic is about. Otherwise, it’s all a protest, like being a Protestant.
St. Jude, pray for us ~