One Minute Reflection – 16 January – Saint Pope Marcellus I (Died 309) – 1 Peter 5:1-4, 10-11, Matthew 16:13-19 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven.” – Matthew 16:19
REFLECTION – “Bridegroom and Bride, that is Christ and the Church, are as one, be it in receiving confession or in bestowing absolution. All this makes clear why Christ had to tell each of us: “Go, show yourself to the priest” (Mt 8,4)… It follows that apart from Christ, the Church cannot grant forgiveness and that Christ has no will to forgive, apart from the Church. The Church’s authority to forgive extends only to the repentant, to those, that is, whom Christ has already touched; Christ, on His part, has no intention of regarding as forgiven, one who despises the Church.
Doubtless, Christ need accept no restraints to His power of Baptising, Consecrating the Eucharist, Ordaining Priests, forgiving sins and the like but, the humble and faithful Bridegroom, prefers to confer such blessings, with the co-operation of His Bride. “What God,” then, “has joined, let no man put asunder” (Mt 19,6). “I say this is a great mystery and refers to Christ and the Church” (Eph 5,32)… To remove the Head from the Body (Col 1,18) were to ruin the whole Christ, irreparably. Christ, apart from the Church, is no more the whole Christ, than the Church is complete, if separated from Christ. Head and Body go to make the whole and entire Christ.” – Bl Isaac of Stella (c 1100 – c 1170) Cistercian Monk, Abbot, Theologian, Philosopher (Sermon 11, §11-814).
PRAYER – O Lord, we beseech Thee, graciously hear the prayers of Thy people, that we may be helped by the merits of blessed Marcellus, Thy Pope and Martyr, whose sufferings we celebrate. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).