I offered a Mass of Reparation here at St Gabriel Church this past Saturday. On Saturday morning, September 15th at 10:30, Bishop Caggiano, in union with his priests of the Diocese of Bridgeport will offer a collegial Mass of Reparation at the Cathedral in Bridgeport. If you can, please join us that morning. We, your bishop and priests, very much need to offer acts of sorrow and repentance because of the evil which has been committed by our brothers in the clergy. We need your assistance in this, as you are configured to the Body of Christ through your baptism, and together we are to work so that Christ’s offering is made manifest and evil is confronted and cast out. Through prayer and fasting and the Mass we, your clergy who seek to serve you, must “make ready again” what has been damaged by our sin. Reparation comes from the Latin for “make ready again”—and it is so necessary that we do this. Below is an excerpt from the Catholic Encyclopedia which explains what Theological Reparation is. It is dense, because it is a concept which touches on our relation to God and how we enter into His divine life. I ask you to read it, meditate on it, let it work in your mind and heart. I will preach about the concept over the next few weeks, and I ask you to help me through your prayer. Let me know what the Holy Spirit reveals to you, let me know how you understand the concept.
Reparation is a theological concept closely connected with those of atonement and satisfaction, and thus belonging to some of the deepest mysteries of the Christian Faith. It is the teaching of that Faith that man is a creature who has fallen from an original state of justice in which he was created, and that through the Incarnation, Passion, and Death of the Son of God, he has been redeemed and restored again in a certain degree to the original condition. Although God might have condoned man’s offences by grace if He had chosen to do so, yet in His Providence He did not do this; He judged it better to demand satisfaction for the injuries which man had done Him. It is better for man’s education that wrongdoing on his part should entail the necessity of making satisfaction. This satisfaction was made adequately to God by the Sufferings, Passion, and Death of Jesus Christ, made Man for us. By voluntary submission to His Passion and Death on the Cross, Jesus Christ atoned for our disobedience and sin. He thus made reparation to the offended majesty of God for the outrages which the Creator so constantly suffers at the hands of His creatures. We are restored to grace through the merits of Christ’s Death, and that grace enables us to add our prayers, labors, and trials to those of Our Lord “and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ” (Colossians 1:24).
We can thus make some sort of reparation to the justice of God for our own offences against Him, and by virtue of the Communion of the Saints, the oneness and solidarity of the mystical Body of Christ, we can also make satisfaction and reparation for the sins of others.