Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Text Latin - Sunday within the Octave
Mass Text English - Sunday within the Octaveh
English Mass Text - Corpus Christi
Latin Mass Text - Corpus Christi
On the traditional Catholic Calendar, this is not only the second Sunday after
Pentecost, but it is also the Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi—the
continuation of the celebration of the Last Supper of our Lord’s Body and
Blood. That is why the vestments are white today, rather than the
Anyone who has ever given a party will
recognize the disappointment felt by the man in today’s parable. You invite
people—they agree to come—you clean your home—you buy food and drink—you spend
time cooking—and then the phone rings and the excuses begin to roll in. In our
time, you don’t hear about the farm or the oxen, but all of our friends seem to
have equally lame excuses.
But the supper being given in today’s
parable is much more important than your Saint Patrick’s day corned beef,
cabbage, and green beer, or even you Fourth of July hot-dogs, sauerkraut, and
apple pie dessert. The parable describes the celebration given by God and His
only-begotten Son in eternity—not corned beef, not hot-dogs, but eternal life
lived in the beatific vision of God. God desires the salvation of souls. Men
and women are made in His image and likeness.
If we receive His advances toward us we can “become the adopted sons and
daughters of God.”
He does not want us to perish in Hell. Only we, ourselves, send us there—when
we reject His invitation.
The parable clearly addresses two
rejections of God’s invitation—those who remain outside of God’s Church due to
(1) avarice and (2) lust. Most of the commentators on this Gospel expand this
to (1) pride, (2) avarice, and (3) lust, because Jesus was speaking to
the Pharisees, who were supremely proud of their own keeping of the Law of
Moses—those who liked to be seen praying and fasting by other men, for that made
them feel self-righteous. Moses commanded them to wear tassels on their
clothing, so the Pharisees found the biggest tassels in Israel, so that they
could be seen wearing them, even at a distance!
We might add a fourth category that
causes people to reject God’s invitation, and that would be laziness. So,
pride, avarice, lust, and laziness. We must make a concerted effort to drive
these vices out of our lives. No one is more important than God. Nothing is so
valuable that we would rather have it than God. Nothing can be more pleasurable
that the embrace of God in the beatific vision. Nothing could bring a greater
loss than being too lazy to pursue God.
As I mentioned earlier, we are within
the Octave of Corpus Christi, the great feast of the Most Holy Eucharist. And
there is no greater weapon against these four vices—pride, avarice, lust, and
laziness—than frequent attendance at Holy Mass and the worthy reception of Holy
Communion. Holy Mass is a prelude to the vision of God in heaven—in the
Eucharistic Banquet, God is every bit as real as He is in heaven. No vice
should be allowed to keep us away from Him.
And the Mass is much more than just a
community meal—that is one of the principal errors of the Modernists. It is a
dinner hosted by Jesus Christ Himself, even if the people are few, even if no
one but the priest is present. But even more important, Holy Mass is the
renewal of our Lord’s Sacrifice on the Cross. As such, it is the source of our
Redemption, and the mechanism by which the sins of the faithful are forgiven—the
priest forgives sins in the confessional, but he is able to do so precisely
because he has the power to offer Jesus Christ in sacrifice to God the Father.
That Sacrifice is the source of all forgiveness of sins.
In Holy Mass we share the sacred
offering of Jesus Christ who both perfect priest and perfect victim. God, who
is the essence of holiness, comes to dwell spiritually and physically in our
body and soul. God the, Holy Ghost, will take up His abode with us and remain
permanently as long as we drive out the vices that are so repugnant to Him.
Holy Mass and Holy Communion represent a
foretaste of the divine life we hope to live with God in heaven for eternity.
If we recognize the value of Holy Mass and we make the effort to receive our
Lord both worthily and frequently, we will shed all of those pitifully lame
excuses for turning down God’s invitation to eternal life.