Daily Catholic Mass – 2018-11-09 – Fr. John Riccardo

By | September 9, 2019


A READING FROM THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET EZEKIEL. THE ANGEL BROUGHT ME BACK TO THE ENTRANCE OF THE TEMPLE, AND I SAW WATER FLOWING OUT FROM BENEATH THE THRESHOLD OF THE TEMPLE TOWARD THE EAST, FOR THE FAÇADE OF THE TEMPLE WAS TOWARD THE EAST; THE WATER FLOWED DOWN FROM THE SOUTHERN SIDE OF THE TEMPLE, SOUTH OF THE ALTAR. HE LED ME OUTSIDE BY THE NORTH GATE, AND AROUND TO THE OUTER GATE FACING THE EAST, WHERE I SAW WATER TRICKLING FROM THE SOUTHERN SIDE. HE SAID TO ME, “THIS WATER FLOWS INTO THE EASTERN DISTRICT DOWN UPON THE ARABAH, AND EMPTIES INTO THE SEA, THE SALT WATERS, WHICH IT MAKES FRESH. WHEREVER THE RIVER FLOWS, EVERY SORT OF LIVING CREATURE THAT CAN MULTIPLY SHALL LIVE, AND THERE SHALL BE ABUNDANT FISH, FOR WHEREVER THIS WATER COMES THE SEA SHALL BE MADE FRESH. ALONG BOTH BANKS OF THE RIVER, FRUIT TREES OF EVERY KIND SHALL GROW; THEIR LEAVES SHALL NOT FADE, NOR THEIR FRUIT FAIL. EVERY MONTH THEY SHALL BEAR FRESH FRUIT, FOR THEY SHALL BE WATERED BY THE FLOW FROM THE SANCTUARY. THEIR FRUIT SHALL SERVE FOR FOOD, AND THEIR LEAVES FOR MEDICINE.” THE WORD OF THE LORD. THANKS BE TO GOD. THE WATERS OF THE RIVER GLADDEN THE CITY OF GOD, THE HOLY DWELLING OF THE MOST HIGH. THE WATERS OF THE RIVER GLADDEN THE CITY OF GOD THE HOLY DWELLING OF THE MOST HIGH. GOD IS FOR US A REFUGE AND STRENGTH, AN EVER-PRESENT HELP IN TIME OF DISTRESS: SO WE SHALL NOT FEAR THOUGH THE EARTH SHOULD ROCK, THOUGH THE MOUNTAINS QUAKE TO THE HEART OF THE SEA; THE WATERS OF THE RIVER GLADDEN THE CITY OF GOD THE HOLY DWELLING OF THE MOST HIGH. THE WATERS OF A RIVER GIVE JOY TO GOD’S CITY, THE HOLY PLACE, THE DWELLING OF THE MOST HIGH. GOD IS WITHIN, IT CANNOT BE SHAKEN; GOD WILL HELP IT AT THE DAWNING OF THE DAY. THE WATERS OF THE RIVER GLADDEN THE CITY OF GOD THE HOLY DWELLING OF THE MOST HIGH. THE LORD OF HOSTS IS WITH US: THE GOD OF JACOB IS OUR STRONGHOLD. COME AND BEHOLD THE WORKS OF THE LORD, THE AWESOME DEEDS HE HAS DONE ON THE EARTH. THE WATERS OF THE RIVER GLADDEN THE CITY OF GOD THE HOLY DWELLING OF THE MOST HIGH. A READING FROM THE FIRST LETTER OF SAINT PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS BROTHERS AND SISTERS: YOU ARE GOD’S BUILDING. ACCORDING TO THE GRACE OF GOD GIVEN TO ME, LIKE A WISE MASTER BUILDER I LAID A FOUNDATION, AND ANOTHER IS BUILDING UPON IT. BUT EACH ONE MUST BE CAREFUL HOW HE BUILDS UPON IT, FOR NO ONE CAN LAY A FOUNDATION OTHER THAN THE ONE THAT IS THERE, NAMELY, JESUS CHRIST. DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT YOU ARE THE TEMPLE OF GOD, AND THAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLS IN YOU? IF ANYONE DESTROYS GOD’S TEMPLE, GOD WILL DESTROY THAT PERSON; FOR THE TEMPLE OF GOD, WHICH YOU ARE, IS HOLY. THE WORD OF THE LORD. THANKS BE TO GOD. ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA I HAVE CHOSEN AND CONSECRATED THIS HOUSE, SAYS THE LORD, THAT MY NAME MAY BE THERE FOREVER. ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA THE LORD BE WITH YOU. AND ALSO WITH YOU. + A READING FROM THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN. GLORY TO YOU, LORD.>>SINCE THE PASSOVER OF THE JEWS WAS NEAR, JESUS WENT UP TO JERUSALEM. HE FOUND IN THE TEMPLE AREA THOSE WHO SOLD OXEN, SHEEP, AND DOVES, AS WELL AS THE MONEY-CHANGERS SEATED THERE. HE MADE A WHIP OUT OF CORDS AND DROVE THEM ALL OUT OF THE TEMPLE AREA, WITH THE SHEEP AND OXEN, AND SPILLED THE COINS OF THE MONEY-CHANGERS AND OVERTURNED THEIR TABLES, AND TO THOSE WHO SOLD DOVES HE SAID, “TAKE THESE OUT OF HERE, AND STOP MAKING MY FATHER’S HOUSE A MARKETPLACE.” HIS DISCIPLES RECALLED THE WORDS OF SCRIPTURE, ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME. AT THIS THE JEWS ANSWERED AND SAID TO HIM, “WHAT SIGN CAN YOU SHOW US FOR DOING THIS?” JESUS ANSWERED AND SAID TO THEM, “DESTROY THIS TEMPLE AND IN THREE DAYS I WILL RAISE IT UP.” THE JEWS SAID, “THIS TEMPLE HAS BEEN UNDER CONSTRUCTION FOR FORTY-SIX YEARS, AND YOU WILL RAISE IT UP IN THREE DAYS?” BUT HE WAS SPEAKING ABOUT THE TEMPLE OF HIS BODY. THEREFORE, WHEN HE WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD, HIS DISCIPLES REMEMBERED THAT HE HAD SAID THIS, AND THEY CAME TO BELIEVE THE SCRIPTURE AND THE WORD JESUS HAD SPOKEN. THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD. PRAISE TO YOU, LORD JESUS CHRIST. WE CAN TELL WHENEVER WE HEAR THE GLORY BE AT MASS IT MUST BE AN OCCASION OF FAITH SPECIAL FEAST WHEN IT IS NOT SUNDAY SO LET US TRY TO UNDERSTAND FEAST WE ARE TRYING TO CELEBRATE AND MORE IMPORTANTLY WHAT IT HAS TO DO WITH YOU AND ME AND WHAT GOD IS ASKING OF YOU AND ME AS WE REFLECT ON THE SCRIPTURES. MOST PILGRIMS TO GO TO ROME FOR THE 1ST TIME ARE MOST EXCITED TO RUN TO ST. PETER’S AND FOR OBVIOUS REASONS IT IS THE CHURCH THAT IS PROBABLY MOST KNOWN OF ALL THE CHURCHES IN THE WORLD AND PETER IS BURIED THERE UNDERNEATH THERE. BUT ST. PETER’S IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT CHURCH IN ROME. EVEN THOUGH PETER IS BURIED THERE. PILGRIMS GO TO ST. PAUL’S AND ST. PAUL’S AND ST. PETER’S BECAUSE IT IS OFF THE BEATEN TRACK AND ST. PAUL’S IS AN IMPORTANT CHURCH BECAUSE PAUL IS BURIED UNDERNEATH ST. PAUL’S BUT ST. PAUL’S IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT CHURCH IN ROME. THE HONOR BELONGS TO THE CHURCH WE CELEBRATE TODAY THE DEDICATION OF THE LATERAN BASILICA THAT WAS DEDICATED IN THE EARLY PART OF THE 4TH CENTURY AND 324 BECAUSE IT IS THE POPE’S CHURCH IS THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ROME AND THAT IS WHERE HIS CHAIR IS AND EVEN FEWER PEOPLE GO THERE. WHENEVER WE CELEBRATE THE DEDICATION OF A CHURCH ESPECIALLY THE DEDICATION OF THIS CHURCH IT IS REFERRED TO AS THE BIRTHDAY OF THE CHURCH. OR THE BIRTHDAY OF THE TEMPLE TO USE THE LANGUAGE WE USE IN SCRIPTURE. IF YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN TO JERUSALEM, IT IS HARD TO FATHOM JUST HOW BIG THE TEMPLE WAS. SO THE TEMPLE WAS EVERYTHING FOR OUR JEWISH BROTHERS AND SISTERS BECAUSE THE TEMPLE WAS THE PLACE OF THE ENCOUNTER WITH GOD. SO WE WALK AROUND HERE AND WE SEE CHURCH AFTER CHURCH AFTER CHURCH ALL ON THE SAME BLOCK BUT IN JERUSALEM THERE WAS ONLY ONE TEMPLE. IT IS 2/5 THE SIZE OF THE CITY. IT IS ENORMOUS. BUT THE TEMPLE WAS A PREFIGURING OF THE PERSON OF JESUS. SO JESUS IS THE TRUE TEMPLE. HE IS THE PLACE WHERE GOD IS ENCOUNTERED IN THE FLESH AND WE HEAR THAT IN THE GOSPEL THAT JESUS IS ALLUDING TO HIMSELF. DESTROY THIS TEMPLE. WE IMAGINE HIM SAYING AND I WILL REBUILD IT IN 3 DAYS. YET PAUL SAYS SOMETHING STRIKING TODAY. EVEN THOUGH JESUS IS THE ONE TRUE TEMPLE. PAUL SAYS DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT YOU ARE THE TEMPLE OF GOD? THAT I AM THE TEMPLE OF GOD. THAT GOD DWELLS IN YOU. AS A FRIEND WOULD SAY GOD DWELLS IN YOU THE WAY HE DWELLS IN HOT WATER. THAT IS TO SAY EVERYWHERE. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? THAT YOU BECAME A TEMPLE? THAT I BECAME A TEMPLE? WHY DID IT HAPPEN? IT HAPPENED IN BAPTISM. WHICH TRAGICALLY FOR MOST OF US CATHOLICS WAS JUST A RITUAL. BUT IF YOU WERE BAPTIZED AS AN ADULT, BAPTISM WAS NO EMPTY RITUAL. THE STRONGEST TEXT AT LEAST FOR ME REFLECTING A BAPTISM IS FROM PAUL’S LETTER TO THE COLOSSIANS EARLY ON IN COLOSSIANS PAUL WRITES, HE HAS TRANSFERRED US AND RESCUED US OR DELIVERED US, GOD HAS, FROM THE DOMINION, THE LORDSHIP OF DARKNESS AND BROUGHT US INTO THE KINGDOM OF HIS BELOVED SON. SO ST. PAUL IS WRITING THIS LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS IN AN EARLIER PLACE OR ANOTHER PLACE IS TRYING TO TELL US THERE WAS ONCE A TIME WHEN YOU AND I FOR REAL AND WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS, FOR REAL BELONGED TO THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS. IT CONTROLLED US AND TO GET IF YOU WERE BAPTIZED AS AN ADULT, YOU KNEW THAT. HARD TO PICTURE A CUTE LITTLE INFANTS GETTING BAPTIZED AS BELONGING TO THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS BUT THAT WAS TO REALITY. SO WHEN WE WERE BAPTIZED SOMETHING HAPPENED TO US. WHY DID THIS NEED TO HAPPEN? WHY DID YOU AND I NEED TO GET TRANSFERRED. I THOUGHT GOD WAS GOOD AND EVERYTHING HE MADE WAS GOOD AND HE LOVES AND HE IS ALL-POWERFUL. AND ALL THOSE THINGS ARE TRUE. YET WE KNOW THAT 1 OF THE THINGS THAT GOD CREATED 1 OF THE CREATURES THAT HE MADE OUT OF THE ENVY OF YOU AND ME HE REBELLED AGAINST GOD AND WENT TO WAR AGAINST US, GOD’S MOST FAVORITE CREATURES. WE READ ABOUT THAT WHEN WE READ IN GENESIS 3 AND WHAT WE CALL THE FALL. THE RESULT OF THE FALL OF THE DECEPTION OF THE ENEMY AGAINST OUR 1ST PARENTS, 1 OF THE TRAGIC RESULTS, WAS THAT OUR RACE IF YOU WILL SOLD ITSELF INTO SLAVERY AGAINST POWERS WE CANNOT COMPETE AGAINST. SO IT WAS THEN THAT WE BECAME CITIZENS IF YOU WILL OF THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS AND EVERY PERSON WHO HAS EVER BEEN BORN SINCE ADAM AND EVE IS BORN AS A MEMBER OF THAT KINGDOM THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN. THAT IS WHY WHEN I MEET ADAM I AM GOING TO SLAP HIM BECAUSE OF YOU I STRUGGLE SO MUCH MY LIFE! THIS IS THE SITUATION OF OUR RACE. IT MIGHT SEEM LIKE A BOLD CLAIM. I WOULD SAY THERE 2 WAYS TO PROVE IT. ONE IS THAT I AM GOING TO DIE AND YOU ARE GOING TO DIE AND THERE’S NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT. I JUST BURIED MY MOM. I WAS STANDING AT HER BEDSIDE WITH MY SISTERS AND AS I AM WATCHING HER LEAVE THIS LIFE I AM UTTERLY POWERLESS. AND MANY OF US HAD THE SAME EXPERIENCE. THAT IS ALL THE RESULT OF WHAT HAPPENED WITH OUR RACE BEING SOLD INTO SLAVERY. BUT THE OTHER PROOF I THINK OF THIS REALITY OF SCRIPTURES THAT IT IS REMINDING US OF IS THAT THERE ARE THINGS THAT YOU AND I DO THAT WE HATE AND DO NOT WANT TO DO THAT WE DO NOT LIKE AND THAT WE KNOW WE SHOULD NOT DO AND WE DO THEM ANYWAY. I DO NOT KNOW IF YOU CAN RELATE TO THAT OR NOT. IT COULD BE PATTERNS OF THOUGHT OR WORDS WE SAY OUR ACTIONS WE DO. HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY? WHY DO WE DO THINGS WE DO NOT WANT TO DO? THE ANSWER TO THAT IS BECAUSE THE SLAVERY WE HAVE BEEN BORN INTO. IT WAS FOR THAT REASON THAT GOD BECAME MAN. IT WAS TO RESCUE US. HE DID NOT DO IT BY WAVING A MAGIC WAND OR SENDING AN ANGEL. GOD DID THIS BY HIMSELF BECOMING FLESH. IT BECAME FLESH FOR A PURPOSE. AND THE PURPOSE WAS TO FIGHT FOR US. AND THE ULTIMATE CONFLICT, THAT THAT PLACE WHERE HE RESCUES US IS THE CROSS. WHICH OF COURSE CALLED TO MIND AGAIN TODAY BECAUSE IT IS A FRIDAY. WHEN YOU LOOK AT JESUS ON THE CROSS, YOU ARE NOT LOOKING AT THE VICTIM OR A MERE VICTIM, YOU ARE LOOKING AT AN AGGRESSOR. YOU CANNOT NAIL GOD TO A CROSS. WHERE YOU GOING TO GET THAT KIND OF NAIL? THIS IS THE TREE OF THE UNIVERSE. THE ONLY WAY THAT GOD COULD GET ON THE CROSS IS IF GOD WANTS TO BE ON THE CROSS AND WHY WOULD GOD WANT TO BE ON THE CROSS. BECAUSE GOD ON THE CROSS IS DRAWING NEAR TO HIMSELF IN DISGUISE, THE ENEMY, AND THE EARLY CHURCH WOULD OFTEN SAY IT WAS FITTING THAT THE ONE WHO DECEIVED US AT THE BEGINNING OF OUR RACE SHOULD HIMSELF BE DECEIVED AND HE WAS DECEIVED BY GOD BECOMING MAN AND ENGAGING THE ENEMY IN A BATTLE AND ALTHOUGH IT LOOKS LIKE HE LOSES IT TURNS OUT TO BE A ROUTE. BECAUSE OF THE RESURRECTION. AND BECAUSE OF THAT, BECAUSE OF WHAT IT IS JESUS HAS ACCOMPLISHED ON THE CROSS, IT MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR YOU AND TO BE THROUGH THE WATERS OF BAPTISM AND ALL THE BAPTISM BRINGS US TO TO BECOME TEMPLES OF GOD IN PLACES WHERE THE LORD LIVES AND WHERE WE ARE RESTORED TO OUR RIGHTFUL SELVES GIVEN BACK OUR INHERITANCE AS BELOVED SONS AND DAUGHTERS AND SUDDENLY YOU AND I HAVE AUTHORITY OVER OUR LIVES AGAIN. THIS IS HUGE. THIS MEANS GOD GIVES ME BACK BECAUSE OF THE GRACE OF THE SPIRIT WHO LIVES WITHIN ME THE GRACE NOT TO GIVE IN TO EMOTIONS, FEELINGS AND DESIRES WHICH ARE CONTRARY TO WHAT I KNOW I SHOULD DO. I REALLY HAVE THAT. YOU HAVE THAT. I HAVE AUTHORITY OVER MY THOUGHTS AGAIN. DOES THAT MEAN THAT I DO NOT HAVE THOUGHTS BUT IT MEANS THAT I DO NOT HAVE TO GIVE INTO THEM. I STILL DO, BUT I DO NOT HAVE TO. AND IT MEANS DEATH HAS NO MORE HOLD ON ME. OR ON YOU AS A CHRISTIAN. AND IT MEANS THAT NOW BECAUSE THE SPIRIT DWELLS IN YOU AND ME I AM ABLE TO IMITATE THE LORD AND POUR MY LIFE OUT FOR OTHERS AS A SACRIFICE, WHETHER AS A MOM OR DAD OR PRIEST OR SISTER OR TEACHER OR COACH OR WHATEVER I MAY BE IN LIFE. BUT IT ALSO MEANS THAT EVERY SINGLE PERSON I ENCOUNTERED TODAY IS ALREADY EITHER OR HAS BEEN CREATED TO BE A TEMPLE. WHICH MEANS IT DEMANDS AN AMAZING LEVEL OF RESPECT FOR ME. AS CS LEWIS WOULD SAY THERE ARE NO ORDINARY PEOPLE. YOU HAVE NEVER MET A MERE MORTAL. OUTSIDE THE BLESSED SACRAMENT HE SAID THE HOLIEST OBJECT EVER PRESENTED TO YOUR SENSES AND BIND IS WHOEVER IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. BECAUSE THEY ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD AND THEY ARE CREATED TO BE A TEMPLE OF THE SPIRIT TO BE REDEEMED BY HIS PRECIOUS BLOOD AND THEY ARE DESTINED TO BE. 2 THINGS FLOW FROM THIS TODAY. MAYBE 3 LET US CONDUCT OURSELVES AS TEMPLES, AND LESS US ASKED THE LORD WHATEVER IS IN ME JUST LIKE THE TEMPLE AND THE GOSPEL READING THAT JESUS NEEDS TO DRIVE OUT THAT JESUS WILL DRIVE OUT AND INVITE HIM TO MAKE A GENTLE COURT OF WHIPS AND WALK THROUGH OUR MINDS AND HEARTS AND WORLD AND GET RID OF WHATEVER DOES NOT BELONG. 2ND THAT YOU AND I WOULD INTERACT WITH EACH OTHER THIS DAY MINDFUL OF WHO WE ARE INTERACT RING WITH AND THAT IS JESUS AND HIS DISTRESSING DISGUISE. HE IS IN YOU. HIS SPIRIT DWELLS IN YOU AND I NEED TO CONDUCT MYSELF WITH YOU ACCORDINGLY. BUT THEN 3RD, YOU AND I HAVE TO FEEL A SENSE OF URGENCY TO GO OUT AND SHARE THE GOSPEL BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY IT IS EITHER GOD AND HIS LOVE OR IT IS NOTHING AT ALL! AND WE ARE EITHER UNDER THE DOMINION OF DARKNESS OR WE BELONG TO GOD. SO WE ASKED THE LORD TO FILL US WITH THE SAME LOVE HE HAS THAT MOVED HIM TO BECOME MAN, TO SEND US FORTH TO SHARE THE GOSPEL WITH THOSE AROUND US WHO HAVE NOT YET ENCOUNTERED JESUS IN A WAY THAT WILL CHANGE THEIR LIVES FOREVER.

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