Daily Catholic Mass – 2018-09-24 – Fr. Matthew

By | September 7, 2019


A READING FROM THE BOOK OF PROVERBS. REFUSE NO ONE THE GOOD ON WHICH HE HAS A CLAIM WHEN IT IS IN YOUR POWER TO DO IT FOR HIM. SAY NOT TO YOUR NEIGHBOR, “GO, AND COME AGAIN, TOMORROW I WILL GIVE,” WHEN YOU CAN GIVE AT ONCE. PLOT NO EVIL AGAINST YOUR NEIGHBOR, AGAINST ONE WHO LIVES AT PEACE WITH YOU. QUARREL NOT WITH A MAN WITHOUT CAUSE, WITH ONE WHO HAS DONE YOU NO HARM. ENVY NOT THE LAWLESS MAN AND CHOOSE NONE OF HIS WAYS: TO THE LORD THE PERVERSE ONE IS AN ABOMINATION, BUT WITH THE UPRIGHT IS HIS FRIENDSHIP. THE CURSE OF THE LORD IS ON THE HOUSE OF THE WICKED, BUT THE DWELLING OF THE JUST HE BLESSES; WHEN DEALING WITH THE ARROGANT, HE IS STERN, BUT TO THE HUMBLE HE SHOWS KINDNESS. THE WORD OF THE LORD. THANKS BE TO GOD. THE JUST ONE SHALL LIVE ON YOUR HOLY MOUNTAIN, O LORD. THE JUST ONE SHALL LIVE ON YOUR HOLY MOUNTAIN, O LORD. HE WHO WALKS BLAMELESSLY AND DOES JUSTICE; WHO THINKS THE TRUTH IN HIS HEART AND SLANDERS NOT WITH HIS TONGUE. THE JUST ONE SHALL LIVE ON YOUR HOLY MOUNTAIN, O LORD. WHO HARMS NOT HIS FELLOW MAN, NOR TAKES UP A REPROACH AGAINST HIS NEIGHBOR; BY WHOM THE REPROBATE IS DESPISED, WHILE HE HONORS THOSE WHO FEAR THE LORD. THE JUST ONE SHALL LIVE ON YOUR HOLY MOUNTAIN, O LORD WHO LENDS NOT HIS MONEY AT USURY AND ACCEPTS NO BRIBE AGAINST THE INNOCENT. HE WHO DOES THESE THINGS SHALL NEVER BE DISTURBED. THE JUST ONE SHALL LIVE ON YOUR HOLY MOUNTAIN, O LORD. ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BEFORE OTHERS, THAT THEY MAY SEE YOUR GOOD DEEDS AND GLORIFY YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER. ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA>>DOMINUS VOBISCUM. ET CUM SPIRITU TUO>>LECTIO SANCTI EVANGELII SECUNDUM LUCAM. GLORIA TIBI, DOMINE.>>JESUS SAID TO THE CROWD: “NO ONE WHO LIGHTS A LAMP CONCEALS IT WITH A VESSEL OR SETS IT UNDER A BED; RATHER, HE PLACES IT ON A LAMPSTAND SO THAT THOSE WHO ENTER FOR THERE IS NOTHING HIDDEN THAT WILL NOT BECOME VISIBLE, AND NOTHING SECRET THAT WILL NOT BE KNOWN AND COME TO LIGHT. TAKE CARE, THEN, HOW YOU HEAR. TO ANYONE WHO HAS, MORE WILL BE GIVEN, AND FROM THE ONE WHO HAS NOT, EVEN WHAT HE SEEMS TO HAVE WILL BE TAKEN AWAY.” VERBUM DOMINI LAUS TIBI, CHRISTE I THINK WE CAN SAY THAT LIGHT IS SOMETHING THAT WE OFTEN TAKE FOR GRANTED. WE ARE OFTEN ACCUSTOMED TO GOING FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER, ONE ROOM TO ANOTHER, ONE STORE OR BUILDING TO ANOTHER AND WE OFTEN DO NOT HAVE AN ISSUE WITH LIGHTING. WE HAVE ACCESS TO LIGHT WITH THE MIRROR FLIPS A SWITCH. BUT WHEN A POWER OUTAGE OCCURS, THIS CAN BECOME SERIOUS COMPLICATIONS FOR US. THERE IS A PROBLEM. WE SEARCH AROUND FOR FLASHLIGHTS ALL ELECTRIC LANTERNS SO THAT WE CAN HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF LIGHT JUST TO FUNCTION OR GET AROUND. WE BECOME SO DEPENDENT ON THAT LITTLE LIGHT THAT BECAUSE IT IS THE ONLY WAY THAT WE CAN SEE, WE CLING TO THAT LIGHT AND KEP IT CLOSE TO US AND WE NEVER LET IT GET SWITCHED OFF OR GET LOST IN ANY WAY. THIS IS THE WAY WE ARE GETTING AROUND IN THE DARKNESS. SO JESUS SPEAKS TODAY OF LIGHT AS, FORGIVE THE PUN, AND ILLUMINATING CONCEPT. THE PURPOSE OF LIGHTING A LAMP IN THE 1ST PLACE IS TO SEE. TO REVEAL WHAT HAS PREVIOUSLY BEEN HIDDEN IN THE DARKNESS. IN ORDER TO MORE FULLY APPRECIATE THIS IMAGE, WE NEED TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE PREVIOUS PARABLE OF THE SOWER WHICH THIS WAS THE GOSPEL READING THIS PAST SATURDAY TO FULLY APPRECIATE TODAY’S PASSAGE. IN THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER, JESUS IS THE SOWER, WHO SOWS WITH THE SEED OF HIS WORD. HE TRAVELS THROUGHOUT GALILEE AND JUDEA AND PREACHES THE WORD TO ALL WHO COME TO HEAR HIM. HE SOWS THE SEED WHEREVER HE WILL TO WHOEVER WILL LISTEN AND AS HE SAYS THE SEED IS LANDING IN DIFFERENT AREAS. JESUS DESCRIBES 3 DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEOPLE WHO HEAR THE WORD BUT IN WHOM THE WORD DOES NOT BEAR FRUIT, AND EVEN THROUGHOUT THE GOSPEL OF LUKE WE SEE EXAMPLES OF EACH OF THESE AREAS THAT HE TALKS ABOUT. THE 1ST IS THE SEED SOWN ALONG THE PATH. THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO HEAR THE WORD BUT DO NOT REALLY RECEIVE IT. THEY DO NOT REALLY ALLOW THE WORD TO SINK IN. PERHAPS, THEY ONLY HAVE A SUPERFICIAL INTEREST IN THE WORD. IT SOUNDS INTRIGUING BUT IT REALLY IS NOT SINKING IN. SO THEY END UP DISMISSING IT AND THE DEVIL COMES AND TAKES IT AWAY FROM THEIR HEARTS. THEY MAY LATER COME TO EVEN RIDICULE AND DESPISE THE WORD. THEY LACK TRUE FAITH. THERE IS NO DEPTH TO IT. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WITH JUDAS. THEN THE 2ND 1 THE SEED SOWN ON ROK, THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO HEAR THE WORD AND ACTUALLY RECEIVED THE WORD WITH JOY, IN THE BEGINNING, BUT AGAIN IT IS ONLY A SUPERFICIAL RECEPTION. THEY BELIEVE IN THE WORD WHILE EVERYTHING IS GOING WELL, BUT THEN WHEN THINGS START TO GO WRONG WHEN SUFFERING AND TEMPTATION AND TRIALS AND SO FORTH, LONG, THEY FALL AWAY. THEY HAVE A SUPERFICIAL FAITH THAT REALLY HAS NOT DEEPENED AND THERE IS NO ROUTE TO IT. WE COULD SAY IN THE BEGINNING THAT THIS IS REALLY THE SORT OF THE RECEPTION THE APOSTLES GAVE TO JESUS BECAUSE AS WE SEE AT HIS CRUCIFIXION THEY ALL RAN AWAY FROM JESUS. THEY WERE NOT READY FOR THAT. LATER ON THEY BECAME GOOD SOIL, AND THEN THE 3RD, THE SEED SOWN AMONG THE THORNS. THE PEOPLE WHO HEAR AND RECEIVE THE WORD BUT THEY END UP HAVING THE WORD CHOKED BY THEIR OWN CONCERNS, THEIR GREED, PRIDE AND HEDONISM OR WHATEVER IT MAY BE. THERE IS NO CONVERSION THAT COMES ALONG WITH THE WORD. THE SEED BEARS NO FRUIT. THE PHARISEES ARE GOOD EXAMPLE. THEY ARE SO CONCERNED WITH THEIR OWN POWER, PRESTIGE AND POSITION THAT THEIR SINS CHOKE THE WORD BEFORE IT EVEN HAS A CHANCE TO SINK IN AND BEAR FRUIT. THE LAST AREA JESUS MENTIONS IS THE GOOD SOIL. THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO NOT ONLY HEAR JESUS’S WORD AND RECEIVE IT BUT THEY ALSO HOLD FAST TO IT AND THEY ALLOW THE WORD TO REALLY SINK IN. THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO REFLECT AND MEDITATE ON THE WORD TO ALLOW THE LORD’S MEANING TO REALLY SINK IN. THEY DO NOT TRY TO IMPOSE THEIR OWN INTERPRETATION ON THE WORD, BUT ALLOW THE WORD TO SPEAK TO THEM FREELY. TO ALLOW THE WORD TO CHANGE THEM FROM THE INSIDE. WHEN JESUS TALKS ABOUT THE GOOD SOIL HE USES 2 ADJECTIVES IN GREEK TO DESCRIBE THE GOOD SOIL. AND BOTH ADJECTIVES HAVE BEEN TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH WITH THE WORD GOOD. HOWEVER THE 1ST WORD HE USES, AG AGAYHOS, MEANS NOBLE KIND AND GENEROUS. AND THE 2ND WORD KALOS CAN MEAN SOMETHING FITTING HANDSOME AND BEAUTIFUL AND NOBLE AND FAIR AND OTHER THINGS. THESE ARE VERY RICH WORDS THAT HE USES. THESE VERY RICH ADJECTIVES. AND THE RICH SOIL REPRESENTS A HEART THAT IS NOT ONLY OPEN BUT IS ALSO SEEKING AFTER WHAT IS GOOD AND TRUE AND BEAUTIFUL. BASICALLY SEEKING GOD HIMSELF. THIS IS A PERSON WELL DISPOSED TOWARD SAVING GOD’S WORD AND NEVER THINKS ILL OF IT NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND AT 1ST. IF THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND SOMETHING IN THE WORD OF GOD, THEY RECOGNIZE THAT THIS DOES NOT INDICATE A DEFICIENCY IN THE WORD, THEY ARE VERY CLEAR ABOUT THIS, BUT RATHER, IT IS A DEFICIENCY IN THEMSELVES. THEY KNOW THAT THE MEANING OF THE WORD WILL BE REVEALED IN TIME. AND SO THEY CONTINUE TO BEAR FRUIT IN PATIENTS. AS THE LORD SAID. A BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLE OF A PERSON WITH GOOD SOIL IS AN EARLIER EPISODE AND LUKE INVOLVING THE SINFUL WOMAN WHO COMES TO JESUS IN TEARS, AND BREAKS AN ALABASTER JAR OF OINTMENT AND POURS IT OUT COMPLETELY AT THE LORD’S FEET. HER HEART WAS READY TO RECEIVE THE WORD AND THE WORD WAS ALREADY BEARING FRUIT IN HER. IT WAS ALREADY BEARING THE FRUIT OF REPENTANCE. THEN IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER, JESUS TALKS ABOUT THE LIGHT FROM A LAMP. THIS LIGHT IS IN KINDLED AND THOSE WHO ARE THE GOOD SOIL. IT IS CONNECTED WITH THE PREVIOUS PARABLE. ONCE THIS LIGHT IS LIT IN SUCH A SOUL, IT IS NOT HIDDEN. IN FACT, IT WOULD BE RIDICULOUS TO THINK THAT A SOUL WAS SUCH A LIGHT WOULD KEEP IT HIDDEN. IT MAKES NO SENSE TO LIGHT A LAMP AND THEN HIDE IT AFTERWARDS. IT DEFEATS THE PURPOSE OF THE LIGHT. RATHER THE GOODHART RECEIVES THE WORD AND CANNOT HELP BUT ALLOW ITS BRIGHTNESS TO SHINE FORTH ESPECIALLY THROUGH THEIR TEACHING AND THEIR EXAMPLE. NOTHING IS HIDDEN FOR THIS SOUL THAT SHALL NOT BE MADE MANIFEST AND NOTHING IS SECRET THAT SHALL NOT BE MADE KNOWN AND COME TO LIGHT FOR THIS SOUL. THE LIGHT ENABLES THIS PERSON TO SEE MORE AND MORE CLEARLY, TO UNDERSTAND GOD’S WORD MORE AND MORE CLEARLY. AND IN THE LAST PART OF THE PASSAGE, JESUS WARNS US ABOUT HOW WE SHOULD HEAR THE WORD. HOW WE SHOULD HEAR THE WORD. THIS ALSO CONNECTS WITH THE PREVIOUS PARABLE. DO NOT HEAR THE WORD LIKE THE 1ST 3 REAS, THE PATH IN THE SEED THAT FELL ON THE PATH OF THE ROCK AND THE THORNS. THEY ARE THE ONES WHO ARE THE HAVE NOT’S, THAT IS THEY DO NOT HAVE THE WORD. THEY FELL AWAY. EVEN THE HAVE-NOTS WHO ERRONEOUSLY THINK THAT THEY HAVE THE WORD IN THEM, SUCH AS PERHAPS THE ROCK WHO RECEIVES THE WORD WITH JOY AT 1ST THEY WILL HAVE IT TAKEN AWAY. THEY DO NOT LAST. BUT THOSE WHO ARE LIKE THE GOOD SOIL, WHO ARE RECEPTIVE AND HUMBLE THEMSELVES BEFORE THE WORD, THEY NOT ONLY HAVE THE WORD, BUT WILL EVEN RECEIVE MORE THAN THEY ALREADY HAVE. THAT IS THE PROMISE THE LORD IS GIVING US HERE. THEY WILL GROW IN THEIR UNDERSTANDING, KNOWLEDGE AND THEIR LOVE FOR THE LORD. SO WHAT IS REALLY UNDERLYING OUR LORD’S WORDS TODAY IS THE NECESSITY OF FAITH AND DISCIPLESHIP. THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, PARAGRAPH 546 SAYS JESUS AND THE PRESENCE OF THE KINGDOM IN THIS WORLD ARE SECRETLY AT THE HEART OF THE PARABLES. ONE MUST ENTER THE KINGDOM, THAT IS, BECOME A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST, IN ORDER TO KNOW THIS SECRETS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. FOR THOSE WHO STAY OUTSIDE, EVERYTHING REMAINS IN THE COMBAT IT. MEANING HIDDEN. IF YOU REMAIN OUTSIDE THE FAITH, IT REMAINS HIDDEN. AS ST. AUGUSTINE TEACHES, WHICH MEANS FAITH SEEKING UNDERSTANDING, FAITH COMES 1ST AND THEN UNDERSTANDING FOLLOWS. THIS IS WHY WE SHOULD NOT BE DISCOURAGED BY THE LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF THOSE WHO REFUSED TO BELIEVE. HOW CAN THEY SEE WITHOUT LIGHT? THE LIGHT OF FAITH? IF THEY REJECT THE LIGHT, THEY CANNOT EXPECT TO SEE ON THEIR OWN. THEY HAVE NO LIGHT. SO WE MUST PRAY THAT THEY MIGHT COME BECOME RECEPTIVE TO THE WORD. THAT THEY MIGHT SEEK THE LIGHT. NOW WE CATHOLICS 1ST RECEIVED THE GIFT OF FAITH THAT ARE BAPTISM, BUT HER WORK DOES NOT STOP THERE. AS BAPTIZED CATHOLICS, WE ARE CALLED NOT ONLY TO HAVE FAITH BUT TO BE DISCIPLES. THIS REQUIRES MAKING A CHOICE, MAKING A DECISION, AN ACT OF THE WILL, LOVE, TO OBEY THE WORD. TO OBEY THE WORD AS IT COMES TO US THROUGH SACRED SCRIPTURE, SACRED TRADITION AND MAGISTERIAL TEACHING. TO FOLLOW JESUS WILLINGLY. TO LIVE ACCORDING TO THE ORTHODOX TEACHING OF THE CHURCH. TO WHOLEHEARTEDLY PRACTICE WHAT WE BELIEVE. WE NEED TO ALLOW THE LORD TO CULTIVATE THE SOIL OF OUR HEARTS THROUGH PRAYER, FASTING, REPENTANCE AND THE SACRAMENTS SO THAT WE MIGHT BECOME BETTER DISPOSED TO RECEIVE THE WORD. THIS IS THE WORK THAT THE LORD PERFORMS IN OUR HEARTS WHEN WE DO THESE THINGS. PRAYER, FASTING, REPENTANCE AND THE SACRAMENTS. THIS IS WHY ALSO THE CHURCH HAS A REGULAR CYCLE OF SCRIPTURAL READINGS. THE SUNDAY CYCLE LAST FOR 3 YEARS. WE HAVE YEARS A, B, AND C. BEFORE THE READINGS REPEAT AGAIN AND DURING THE WEEKDAY CYCLE WE HAVE A TWO-YEAR CYCLE. BEFORE THE READINGS REPEAT. THOSE WHO HAVE GONE TO MASS AT LEAST EVERY SUNDAY FOR YEARS HAVE PRETTY MUCH HEARD THE ENTIRE BIBLE MULTIPLE TIMES. THE SEED IS BEING SEWN IN US OVER AND OVER AGAIN. WE ARE HEARING IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN. AND IF WE ARE GOOD SOIL, WHICH IS WHAT WE ARE PRAYING FOR WITH THE LORD THAT HE IS MAKING US GOOD SOIL TO BE RECEPTIVE TO THE WORD, IF OUR HEARTS ARE DISPOSED TO RECEIVE AND EMBRACE THE WORD, THAT EACH TIME WE HEAR AND REFLECT ON A PASSAGE WE HAVE HEARD MANY TIMES BEFORE, OUR UNDERSTANDING SHOULD ONLY BECOME STRONGER AND DEEPER AND I LOVE FOR THE WORD AND OUR LORD SHOULD BECOME DEEPER. OUR LIGHT SHOULD CONTINUE TO GROW BRIGHTER AS THE WORD SHINES IN US MORE CLEARLY THROUGH OUR OWN CHARITABLE WORDS AND ACTIONS. THAT REALLY TRANSLATES INTO CHARITY. THE MORE WE HUMBLE OURSELVES BEFORE THE WORD OF GOD, THE STRONGER OUR FAITH BECOMES. THE STRONGER OUR FAITH, THE GREATER OUR UNDERSTANDING AND THE BRIGHTER OUR LIGHT SHINES TO ELIMINATE A WORLD THAT IS IN DESPERATE NEED FOR THE LIGHT OF THE GOSPEL.

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