Daily Catholic Mass – 2017-05-24 – Fr. Mitch

By | September 6, 2019


A READING FROM THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. AFTER PAUL’S ESCORTS HAD TAKEN HIM TO ATHENS, THEY CAME AWAY WITH INSTRUCTIONS FOR SILAS AND TIMOTHY TO JOIN HIM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THEN PAUL STOOD UP AT THE AREOPAGUS AND SAID: “YOU ATHENIANS, I SEE THAT IN EVERY RESPECT YOU ARE VERY RELIGIOUS. FOR AS I WALKED AROUND LOOKING CAREFULLY AT YOUR SHRINES, I EVEN DISCOVERED AN ALTAR INSCRIBED, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ WHAT THEREFORE YOU UNKNOWINGLY WORSHIP, I PROCLAIM TO YOU. THE GOD WHO MADE THE WORLD AND ALL THAT IS IN IT, THE LORD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, DOES NOT DWELL IN SANCTUARIES MADE BY HUMAN HANDS, NOR IS HE SERVED BY HUMAN HANDS BECAUSE HE NEEDS ANYTHING. RATHER IT IS HE WHO GIVES TO EVERYONE LIFE AND BREATH AND EVERYTHING. HE MADE FROM ONE THE WHOLE HUMAN RACE TO DWELL ON THE ENTIRE SURFACE OF THE EARTH, AND HE FIXED THE ORDERED SEASONS AND THE BOUNDARIES OF THEIR REGIONS, SO THAT PEOPLE MIGHT SEEK GOD, EVEN PERHAPS GROPE FOR HIM AND FIND HIM, THOUGH INDEED HE IS NOT FAR FROM ANY ONE OF US. FOR ‘IN HIM WE LIVE AND MOVE AND HAVE OUR BEING,’ AS EVEN SOME OF YOUR POETS HAVE SAID, ‘FOR WE TOO ARE HIS OFFSPRING.’ SINCE THEREFORE WE ARE THE OFFSPRING OF GOD, WE OUGHT NOT TO THINK THAT THE DIVINITY IS LIKE AN IMAGE FASHIONED FROM GOLD, SILVER, OR STONE BY HUMAN ART AND IMAGINATION. GOD HAS OVERLOOKED THE TIMES OF IGNORANCE, BUT NOW HE DEMANDS THAT ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE REPENT BECAUSE HE HAS ESTABLISHED A DAY ON WHICH HE WILL ‘JUDGE THE WORLD WITH JUSTICE’ THROUGH A MAN HE HAS APPOINTED, AND HE HAS PROVIDED CONFIRMATION FOR ALL BY RAISING HIM FROM THE DEAD.” WHEN THEY HEARD ABOUT RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, SOME BEGAN TO SCOFF, BUT OTHERS SAID, “WE SHOULD LIKE TO HEAR YOU ON THIS SOME OTHER TIME.” AND SO PAUL LEFT THEM. BUT SOME DID JOIN HIM, AND BECAME BELIEVERS. AMONG THEM WERE DIONYSIUS, A MEMBER OF THE COURT OF THE AREOPAGUS, A WOMAN NAMED DAMARIS, AND OTHERS WITH THEM. AFTER THIS HE LEFT ATHENS AND WENT TO CORINTH. VERBUM DOMINI. DEO GRATIAS.>>HEAVEN AND EARTH ARE FULL OF YOUR GLORY. HEAVEN AND EARTH ARE FULL OF YOUR GLORY.>>PRAISE THE LORD FROM THE HEAVENS; PRAISE HIM IN THE HEIGHTS. PRAISE HIM, ALL YOU HIS ANGELS; PRAISE HIM, ALL YOU HIS HOSTS. HEAVEN AND EARTH ARE FULL OF YOUR GLORY.>>LET THE KINGS OF THE EARTH AND ALL PEOPLES, THE PRINCES AND ALL THE JUDGES OF THE EARTH, YOUNG MEN TOO, AND MAIDENS, OLD MEN AND BOYS. HEAVEN AND EARTH ARE FULL OF YOUR GLORY.>>PRAISE THE NAME OF THE LORD, FOR HIS NAME ALONE IS EXALTED; HIS MAJESTY IS ABOVE EARTH AND HEAVEN. HEAVEN AND EARTH ARE FULL OF YOUR GLORY.>>HE HAS LIFTED UP THE HORN OF HIS PEOPLE; BE THIS HIS PRAISE FROM ALL HIS FAITHFUL ONES, FROM THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, THE PEOPLE CLOSE TO HIM. ALLELUIA. HEAVEN AND EARTH ARE FULL OF YOUR GLORY. ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA I WILL ASK THE FATHER AND HE WILL GIVE YOU ANOTHER ADVOCATE TO BE WITH YOU ALWAYS. ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA>>DOMINUS VOBISCUM. ET CUM SPIRITU TUO. LECTIO SANCTI EVANGELII SECUNDUM JOHANNEM GLORIA TIBI, DOMINE.>>JESUS SAID TO HIS DISCIPLES: “I HAVE MUCH MORE TO TELL YOU, BUT YOU CANNOT BEAR IT NOW. BUT WHEN HE COMES, THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, HE WILL GUIDE YOU TO ALL TRUTH. HE WILL NOT SPEAK ON HIS OWN, BUT HE WILL SPEAK WHAT HE HEARS, AND WILL DECLARE TO YOU THE THINGS THAT ARE COMING. HE WILL GLORIFY ME, BECAUSE HE WILL TAKE FROM WHAT IS MINE AND DECLARE IT TO YOU. EVERYTHING THAT THE FATHER HAS IS MINE; FOR THIS REASON I TOLD YOU THAT HE WILL TAKE FROM WHAT IS MINE AND DECLARE IT TO YOU.” VERBUM DOMINI. LAUS TIBI, CHRISTE. ST. PAUL HAD COME TO ATHENS BECAUSE HE HAD A LOT OF TROUBLE EARLIER IN — AND PHILIPPI AND [OTHER PLACES]. HE IS HERE AT A PLACE CALLED THE AREOPAGUS. IT IS A SECTION [OF SCRIPTURE] THEY SKIPPED THAT TALK ABOUT HOW HE WALKED AROUND ATHENS AND THERE WERE IDOLS EVERYWHERE. THAT THE PAGANS IN GENERAL HAD A FEAR OF THEIR GODS. LOVING THE GODS WAS NOT SUCH A STRONG MOTIVE. THE ANCIENT GREEK AND ROMAN WANTED TO MAKE SURE THEY COVERED THEIR BETS. THEY MADE SURE THAT THEY WORSHIPPED ALL THE DIFFERENT GODS BECAUSE IF YOU DO NOT, YOU COULD GET ONE OF THEM PRETTY MAD AT YOU AND THEN THEY WILL GET YOU. IF YOU SKIP SOMEBODY, LOOK OUT. IF YOU SKIP NEPTUNE HE WILL SINK YOUR SHIP. (LAUGHTER) IF YOU SKIP ZEUS, YOU HAD BETTER NOT SKIP HIM BECAUSE HE IS THE CHIEF OF THE GODS AND HE MIGHT SEND A LIGHTNING BOLT YOUR WAY. THAT WAS THEIR FEAR. THEY LIVED IN THAT FEAR AS WELL AS THE FEAR OF HUBRIS WHERE YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD KNOW WHAT THE GODS KNOW OR BE LIKE THE GODS AND IN GENERAL BE GODS. WHEN YOU READ THE STORIES, READ THE METAMORPHOSIS AND SOME OF THE OTHER MODERN SUMMARIES OF THE LIVES OF THE GODS AND SUCH. IT IS WORTH READING THEM. AND THANK GOD THAT PAUL WENT AROUND THE WORLD AND PREACHED THE GOSPEL AND THE GOSPEL SPREAD TO THOSE OF US WHO CAN READ ABOUT THESE DEITIES. BECAUSE THEY COULD GET AWAY WITH ALL KINDS OF IMMORALITY. THEY COULD KILL YOU OR RAPE YOU OR DO SORTS OF STUFF TO YOU. YOU COULD NOT DO ANYTHING TO THEM. AND IF ONE OF THE OTHER GODS GOT MAD AT [ANOTHER OF THE GODS] THEY WOULD PUNISH YOU BECAUSE THEY COULD NOT PUNISH THE GOD. IT WAS A DIFFERENT WORLD. THIS IS WHY AS ST. PAUL NOTICES, YOU ARE VERY RELIGIOUS. RELIGIOUS IN A RELIGION OF GREAT FEAR. I LOOK AT YOUR SHRINES THAT WERE ALL OVER THE MARKETPLACE. WHEN YOU GO TO ATHENS YOU CAN SEE SOME OF THE NICHES OF WHERE THEY WOULD PUT STATUES OF THE DIFFERENT GODS. THEY EVEN HAVE DISCOVERED AN ALTAR INSCRIBED TO THE UNKNOWN GOD AND THEY DID THAT TO COVER THEIR BETS. THERE WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WOULD COME TO VISIT THEIR CITY AND THEY WERE SAYING WE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOUR GODS. BUT WE HAVE GOT OURSELVES COVERED HERE. HE PICKS UP ON THAT. THE UNKNOWN GOD. HE SAID I HAPPEN TO KNOW HIM. I KNOW WHO HE IS. HE GOES AROUND AND EXPLAINS HOW IT IS THE GOD WHO MADE THE WORLD. NOW IN ATHENS, SAYING THAT GOD MADE THE WORLD WAS A LITTLE BIT OF A RADICAL STATEMENT BECAUSE PHILOSOPHERS LIKE ARISTOTLE BELIEVED THAT THE WORLD WAS ITSELF ETERNAL. COETERNAL WITH GOD. NOT UNUSUALLY THEY BELIEVED THAT THE GODS CAME TO BIRTH. SO WHAT IS HIS NAME ZEUS, WAS THE SON OF SATURN. THE FATHER OF TIME. NOW YOU SEE FATHER TIME ON NEW YEAR’S. THIS IS TYPICAL OF OUR CULTURE NOW. THEY KEEP TRYING TO REVERT BACK TO THE OLD PAGAN CELEBRATIONS ON CHRISTIAN FESTIVALS LIKE NEW YEAR’S. THE NAMING OF JESUS AND THE CIRCUMCISION, THEY GO BACK TO FATHER TIME AND HIS SON TO ZEUS. THAT IS WHAT THE LITTLE BOY (NEW YEAR) IS. THEY BELIEVED THAT ZEUS CAME TO BIRTH AND SATURN ATE ALL OF HIS CHILDREN. HE ATE ALL OF HIS CHILDREN. TO TRICK HIM THE MOTHER OF ZEUS PUT A LARGE ROCK IN A BLANKET SO HE ATE THE ROCK AND DIED. THIS IS THE KIND OF MYTHOLOGY [THEY HAD]. HE SAID YES THE WORLD WAS MADE BY GOD. IT WAS A RADICAL STATEMENT. THE IDEA THAT THE WORLD HAD A BEGINNING FROM GOD RATHER THAN SEEING THE GODS HAVING BEGINNINGS WITHIN THE WORLD, THIS IS A VERY DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE. AS A MATTER OF FACT YOU EVEN SEE THAT PEOPLE LIKE ALBERT EINSTEIN, THE PHYSICIST, BELIEVED THAT THE PHYSICAL WORLD WAS THE ETERNAL. IT WAS ONLY WHEN USING SOME OF HIS THEORIES AND OBSERVATIONS, THAT THE THEORY NOW CALLED THE BIG BANG THEORY, THAT IS NOT THE ORIGINAL NAME, BUT THE PHYSICS THEORY OF THE BIG BANG SHOW THAT THE UNIVERSE HAD A BEGINNING. HE HAD TO BE CONVINCED BECAUSE HE LIKE THE GREEKS BELIEVED THE WORLD WAS ETERNAL. THE PHYSICAL WORLD. THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE. NOT THE PLANET BUT THE UNIVERSE. IT WAS IN FACT THE INVENTOR OF THE DISCOVERER OF THAT THEORY OF THE BIG BANG WHO WAS A CATHOLIC PRIEST. FATHER GEORGES LAMAITRE FROM BELGIUM. [IT WAS FR. LAMAITRE] WHO CONVINCED ALBERT EINSTEIN THERE WAS A BEGINNING. AND THAT CONVINCED HIM EVENTUALLY. THE GOD WHO MADE THE WORLD AND ALL IN IT IS THE LORD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH AND DOES NOT DWELL IN SANCTUARIES MADE BY HUMAN HANDS. HE IS TO; HE IS A UNIVERSE ITSELF FOR ALL ITS VASTNESS THAT WAS AT ONE POINT BEFORE THE BIG BANG WAS ONE SMALL MASS THAT WAS CREATED AND FROM THAT SMALL MASS CAME AN EXPLOSION THAT WAS EVERYTHING. THEY USED THE ANALOGY THAT THE WORLD IS LIKE A BIT OF DUST IN THE HAND OF GOD. IT IS NOT EVEN THAT BIG. THE GREATNESS OF GOD IS INFINITY AND SUCH THAT THE UNIVERSE IS NOTHING COMPARED TO HIM AND THE LORD GOD IS PRESENT EVERYWHERE. AND NOT ONLY IS HE PRESENT EVERYWHERE BUT HE IS STILL SOMEONE WHO IS KNOWN. THAT IS WHY ST. PAUL SAYS HE KNOWS HIM. HE MADE EVERYTHING AND SET THE SEASONS AND BOUNDARIES AND REGIONS SO THAT PEOPLE MIGHT SEEK HIM. AND THIS IS ONE OF THE THINGS WE HOPE FOR AS CATHOLICS STUDY SCIENCE. IT IS AMAZING TO ME I’VE BEEN READING A NUMBER OF HISTORIES OF SCIENCE. AND HOW MANY OF THEM TELL THE STORY OF SCIENCE WITH AN ANTI CHRISTIAN AND OFTENTIMES ANTI CATHOLIC TONE, MEANWHILE DESCRIBING HOW MANY CATHOLIC PRIESTS WERE THE SCIENTISTS THAT THEY WERE DEPENDING UPON. LIKE GENETICS WAS INVENTED BY FATHER MENDEL THE AUGUSTINIAN PRIEST. WE STUDY SCIENCE BECAUSE IT POINTS TO THE GREATNESS OF GOD AND THE MORE WE ENTER INTO THE MYSTERY OF SCIENCE, THE MORE WE DISCOVER THAT GOD IS THE SOURCE AND ORIGIN AND THE INTELLECT AND WISDOM THAT UNIFIES THE UNIVERSE. WE SHOULD STUDY SCIENCE AND CATHOLICS SHOULD BE INVOLVED BUT JUST BE CAREFUL OF THE WAY SOME OF THE SCIENCE STORIES ARE TOLD ABOUT THE CHURCH AND ITS ROLE IN SCIENCE BECAUSE THERE ARE [HUGELY TWISTED STORIES]. FURTHERMORE IN HIM WE HAVE OUR BEING AND WE MOVE AND HE IS THE ORIGIN OF US AND HE IS ONE GOD. THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT THE GREEKS RESPONDED TO. [SOME OF THEM] THEY SCOFFED. THEY SAID HE TALKS LIKE A BIRD. LIKE MAGPIE. THIS IS NONSENSE. [THEY SAID] THIS IS BIRDBRAIN TALK; ESPECIALLY WHEN HE SAID THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD. BECAUSE THE GREEKS DID NOT LIKE THE BODY. THEY THOUGHT THAT THE BODY WAS A PRISON AND [IN DEATH] HAD BECOME PURE SPIRIT. YET GOD DOES CHERISH THE MATTER HE CREATED. AND HE WANTS TO RAISE OUR BODIES FROM THE DEAD. AND HE EVEN, ST. PAUL WOULD LATER WRITE TO THE CORINTHIANS. HIS NEXT STOP AFTER ATHENS IS CORINTH, WHICH ISN’T FAR AWAY FROM ATHENS. AND TO THE CORINTHIANS, HE WILL EVENTUALLY SAY IN FIRST CORINTHIANS THAT THE BODY IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. MAYBE HE DOESN’T DWELL IN BUILDINGS MADE BY HUMAN HANDS AND GET LIMITED TO THAT. BUT HE DOES DWELL WITHIN HUMAN BEINGS, AND THEN HE GOES ON LATER ON TO THE EPHESIANS, WHERE HE WENT AFTER CORINTH. AND HE TELLS THEM THAT THE WHOLE CHURCH IS THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD AND THAT WE ARE LIVING STONES IN THAT BUILDING OF THE CHURCH AS HE MENTIONS IN EPHESIANS CHAPTER 2. AND THAT’S WHAT WE CELEBRATE TODAY ON THIS FEAST OF ST. FRANCIS BASILICA IS NOT THAT WE SAY, “OKAY, THE LORD DWELLS IN THAT CHURCH AND HE DOESN’T DWELL ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD.” NO, WE DON’T TEACH THAT. CATHOLICS DON’T TEACH THAT YOU CAN ONLY PRAY IN A CHURCH AND THAT’S IT. WE DO PRAY IN CHURCH AND CHURCH IS WHERE THE BLESSED SACRAMENT IS AND WE WANT TO BE CLOSE TO THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST, BUT WE ALSO KNOW CATHOLICS WHO PRAY IN EVERY OTHER PLACE IN THE WORLD. PEOPLE ARE PUT IN PRISON FOR THEIR FAITH. THEY PRAY THERE, TOO. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHERE WE ARE. BUT THERE IS SOMETHING SPECIAL THAT THE CHURCH BUILDING REMINDS US OF [AND THAT IS THAT] OUR BODIES ARE TEMPLES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. AND ALSO THE WHOLE CHURCH IS THE TEMPLE AS A UNITY. AND THE BEAUTY THAT WE PUT IN THE CHURCH TO COMMEMORATE AND IN THIS CASE [TO COMMEMERATE] ONE OF THE GREAT SAINTS WHO WAS COMMISSIONED BY GOD COMMISSIONED BY GOD TO REBUILD MY CHURCH. AND HE AT FIRST THOUGHT IT WAS HELP REBUILD SAN DAMIANO. THAT WAS NOT IT. IT WAS TO REBUILD THE CHURCH ITSELF AS A COMMUNITY [TO BE] LIVING STONES. BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE DID NOT FIT ANYMORE BECAUSE OF THEIR OWN SINFULNESS AND TAKING THEIR CATHOLICISM FOR GRANTED. AND WHEN WE SIN WE’RE STONES THAT ARE SO ROUGH ON THE EDGES THAT WE DO NOT FIT IN. HIS PREACHING AND EXAMPLE HELPED TO SMOOTH THE STONES SO THAT THEY COULD FIT INTO THE CHURCH. AND BE PROPER MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH. AND HE CALLED THE CHURCH AWAY FROM THE GREAT TEMPTATION TO THE NEW WEALTH THAT WAS POURING INTO ITALY AT THAT TIME. WITH THIS HE DID A GREAT SERVICE THAT WE CONTINUE TO SEE WITH THE FRANCISCANS AS LIVING STONES OF THE FRANCISCAN CHURCH AND OTHER COMMUNITIES. THIS IS A GREAT GIFT. SO THAT WE CELEBRATE THIS REALITY, NOT WITH A FEAR THAT UH OH WE’RE GOING TO GET ST. FRANCIS MAD AT US AND HE WILL GET GOD TO STRIKE US WITH LIGHTNING BOLTS. NO THAT IS PAGAN THINKING. BUT INSTEAD WE UNDERSTAND THERE IS THIS RICHNESS OF WHAT ST. FRANCIS DID AND HOW GOD USED HIM TO BUILD UP HIS CHURCH AS A LIVING TEMPLE AND FILLED IT WITH FRANCISCANS OF GREAT VARIETY. THAT IS ONE OF THE THREE THINGS AS SOME PEOPLE SAY ONLY GOD KNOWS. [GOD ONLY KNOWS] HOW MANY ORDERS OF FRANCISCANS THERE REALLY ARE (LAUGHTER) THE OTHER TWO [THINGS ONLY GOD KNOWS IS] HOW MUCH MONEY THE CHURCH REALLY HAS. AND WHAT IS REALLY ON THE JESUITS’ MIND. (LAUGHTER) BE THAT AS IT MAY, WE SEE THIS BUILDING UP AND THIS IS WHAT WE CELEBRATE ON THE FEAST. THE BEAUTY OF THE BASILICA IS MEANT TO BE A REMINDER OF THE BEAUTY THAT GOD WANTS US TO BECOME AS WE WORSHIP HIM. AND AS WE SEEK THE HOLINESS BY WHICH WE AS THE LIVING STONES FIT INTO THE CHURCH AND BECOME PART OF THAT ONE COMMUNITY OF WORSHIP OF GOD, THAT REMINDS US OF THE GLORY OF HEAVEN, WHICH IS OUR OWN GOAL.

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