Published on:

20th Apr 2020

Batman and the Church (2nd Monday of Easter)

Monday, April 20th, 2020

Boring. Drab. Fossilised. Old. These are some words that our contemporaries can have little difficulty in associating with the Catholic Church. One thinks of the cathedral of Gotham city as portrayed cathedral in the 1989 movie Batman. An interior cold, black, dusty which no one save pigeons and rats has been making use of for now many years. It’s still at the heart of the city: even in desolate decay, it evokes awe. But its empty: its not like it is part of anyone’s daily life. 

Which is what makes what we hear in the first reading all the more shocking: As they prayed, the house where they were assembled rocked; they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim the word of God boldly. But Father, where can I find this church? I would love to be part of something like this. Its true: not one wants to be a cold abandoned statue. But to be filled with life, united in a strong group - this is what every human heart desires. And it is this which is what we should be offering them.

But we cannot offer what we do not have. And this unity is not a human invention. It is the gift of God, in the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not a gently weak wisp of air. United to the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit is the virility of creation and is fire! Part of the reason we may not experience this is we do not call on him: let us call on him daily! Part of the reason also maybe because we try and to things by ourself: we are made for community life! And only flourish in that way. Let’s decide to call on the Holy Spirit daily, and join or rechoose active life in a Catholic parish, group or community.

Let us pray:

Grant, we pray, almighty God,

that we, who have been renewed by paschal remedies,

transcending the likeness of our earthly parentage,

may be transformed in the image of our heavenly maker.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

Show artwork for The Furnace

About the Podcast

The Furnace
The Furnace is a free brief daily homily podcast by a priest of the Emmanuel Community for the Archdiocese of Sydney. The aim of the podcast is to proclaim the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the "glowing furnace of love" (St Gertrude the Great).
Why The Furnace? Quite simply because most people in Australia, and the
world, can no longer get to Mass, or even into a church. The point of these
podcasts is to bring people a share of the Mass in the Word of God and prayer.
But why the name? Because the Heart of Jesus is a “Furnace of love”. This
is how St Gertrude the Great describes it. As she prays:

O Sacred Heart of Jesus,
fountain of eternal life,
Your Heart is a glowing furnace of Love.
You are my refuge and my sanctuary.
O my adorable and loving Saviour,
consume my heart with the burning fire
with which Yours is aflamed.
Pour down on my soul those graces
which flow from Your love.
Let my heart be united with Yours.
Let my will be conformed to Yours in all things.
May Your Will be the rule of all my desires and actions.

The point of these homilies is first of all to share this with everyone - to
share the love of God’s heart with every human heart. There is nothing original
about that. This is, basically, all priests are ever trying to do. And it’s the only
real point of the Catholic Church: invented by Christ to share Christ, starting
from his pierced heart on the cross on Good Friday. It’s only fitting that at this
time each of us are being refitted with slightly larger crosses that our creator
comes to meet us from the cross with his own heart pierced and broken.

There is so much I could say about the Heart of Jesus - but I would have
to go on forever, because his Heart is infinite. So I’ll finish with the invitation of
another of the great saints of the Sacred Heart, St Claude la Colombiere:
May the Heart of Jesus Christ be our school! Let us make our abode there . . .

Let us study its movements and attempt to conform ours to them.
My friends, lets enter Jesus’ heart together.

It’s not just me recording it, or just you listening to a recording.

I rely on your prayers, and as I write and talk I am praying for each of you. And
in any case, there is no such thing as a Christian doing something by themselves:
like the Trinity, where one is, the others are. So let’s enter together, for Jesus is
standing in front of us now, with his heart wide open, to enter and experience
his love, his healing, his teaching, authentic freedom - and eternal life with him.