Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost—20 October AD 2019
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Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Text - Latin
Mass Text - English
“Brethren, be renewed in the spirit
of your mind, and put on the new man, who according to God is created in
justice and holiness of truth.”
Gospel (Matthew XXII: 1-14) is very likely an account of the same event
narrated on the second Sunday after Pentecost (Luke XIV:16-24). Anyone
who has ever given a large party will understand the feelings of the
king—invitations are issued, many people say they will attend, but yet
when the dinner is ready, a lot of them will have lame excuses as to why
they won't be able to attend. Today's account has the dinner as a
wedding feast given by a King for his son. As Catholics, we can think
of this as a dinner given by God the Father for His Son Jesus Christ, or
perhaps as a dinner given for all of us by our Lord Jesus Christ.
In fact, there is a
dinner given for us by Jesus Christ—the sacrificial meal that we know as
the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass—offered in honor of our heavenly Father
in heaven. Our Lord hosts this dinner at great personal expense—He
literally had to die in order for us to have it. It is His sacrificial
offering, made on our behalf to the Father, so that sins may be
forgiven. This sacrifice was made once, for all of us, on the Cross at
Golgotha, but we are invited to renew it together with Jesus Christ
through the ministry of His priests. At Holy Mass, bread and wine are
changed in their substances to become the true body and blood of Jesus
Christ. We are invited to partake of His body and blood, thereby
joining Him in the Sacrifice offered to the Father, and receiving the
abundance of His grades in return.
By our good
fortune, our parish members are invited to this banquet on a daily
basis. Roughly every twenty-four hours we are able offer the Sacrifice
that makes the forgiveness of sins possible—the forgiveness of our own
sins, and those of all mankind. We also receive the Graces which will
enable us to live sinless lives, so that we may receive this
forgiveness, and so that we can pray effectively for the forgiveness of
others. We are offered this gift, more precious than any other in the
world, every day.
most of us, our response is similar to that of the guests in these
Gospel parables. Most of us seem to have an excuse most of the time.
We have to admit,
though, that sometimes the excuses are reasonable. Some of us must be
at work to earn a living; some must care for children or relatives who
are dependent on us. Distance may be a factor as well.
But in the absence
of such excusing causes, it really would make sense to take up our
Lord’s invitation on a regular (even daily) basis. There is nothing more
important than our eternal salvation, and there are few other things (if
any) that can insure that salvation.
You have the
opportunity for daily Mass, but let me call your attention to another
Gospel which you will hear about a month from today on the Last Sunday
after Pentecost. You will hear our Lord speak a very ominous phrase: “you
shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken
of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place….”
The phrase “abomination of desolation” is apocalyptic, which is
to say that it may have occurred in the distant past, the immediate
present, or at the end of the world.
We know that the “abomination
of desolation” took place a hundred or so years before Christ (167
BC) when the Seleucid Antiochus IV, king of Syria invaded Jerusalem and
desecrated its Temple, expelling the priests and their pure sacrifice,
and replacing it with the sacrifice of a pig to the false “god” Zeus
(later called Jupiter by the Romans).
Our Lord could also
have been speaking of the desecration of the Temple that would take
place in 69 or 70 AD, when the Romans replaced the sacrifice of the
Jewish priests with one to their false “god” Jupiter. Of course, this
Jewish sacrifice had already been replaced at the Crucifixion, when “the
veil of the temple was rent in two from the top even to the bottom,.”
It was replaced by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, celebrated throughout
But many Scripture
scholars believe that the “abomination of desolation” will take place in the future, near the
end of the world, with the persecution by the Antichrist:
Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and
signs, and lying wonders, And in all seduction of iniquity to them that
perish; because they receive not the love of the truth,
that they might be saved.
If the first two
examples of an “abomination of desolation” define a pattern, it
is quite possible that in the end times the Sacrifice of the Mass will
be taken away from us, and replaced with the worship of false gods in
our churches. If this sounds too far‑fetched, just think back a week or
two to the opening of the Amazon synod in Rome on October 4th, with the
worship of the fertility “goddess,” Mother Earth under the Amazonian
title of Pachamama!
My point in all of
this is that we will never have a better chance at salvation than we do
now, with God’s true Sacrifice offered every day. The foolishness in
Rome may seem very far away. But when the operation of the Antichrist
begins in earnest it will spread all over the Earth—it will spread
wherever there are souls to be stolen.
The damned will
“perish; because they receive not the love of the truth,
that they might be saved.” So now is the time to “put on the new man,
who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth.”
Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life.
Now is the time to begin taking advantage of Jesus Christ’s Holy
Sacrifice as often as is humanly possible.