Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Contrition, and Fr. John Hardon, S.J.

My trusty worn copy!

For a Doctrinal Homily Outline for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, click here.

Its focus is contrition.

Some theologians, even some who have received the Sacrament of Holy Orders, make ambiguous statements that seem to mean it is not necessary for a sinner to repent, that is, to turn away from his sin. Yet, at the beginning of his Gospel, Mark wrote that “John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mk 1:4). Then, the very first words of Christ that Mark records are these: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mk 1:14).

Another book and author

Another book that was a great help to me back in the day, was The Catholic Catechism, written by the great and faithful Jesuit priest, Fr. John Hardon, published in 1975.

When I returned to my childhood Catholic faith as a young adult, I was dismayed by the flood of theological garbage being spewed out by the supposed Catholic press and even by many priests and religious. For just one example, in the inaugural issue of the slick monthly magazine that replaced The Monitor, the century-old weekly newspaper of the Diocese of San Francisco, the new priest-editor wrote that from now on, the Sacrament of Reconciliation only needed to be received a few times during one’s life, maybe before some big milestone, like getting married.

A good Catholic friend recommended Fr. Hardon’s book. I found it to be clear, reasonable, and thorough as it systematically discussed the doctrines of the faith, morality and the spiritual life, and the Church’s ritual and worship. It is still a valuable read, even though superseded by the Catechism of the Catholic Church. By the way, here is a link to the most convenient on-line version of the CCC I have found (and I’ve used it a thousand times).







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