Sunday after Pentecost (Within the Octave of Corpus Christi)-6 June A.D. 2010
Certain man made a great supper, and invited many.
And he sent his servant at the hour of the supper to tell those invited that all
things were in readiness.”
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
Today is the second Sunday after Pentecost-and, since
1264, by decree of Pope Urban IV, it is the Sunday within the Octave of Corpus
Christi-thus the white (or gold) vestments, and the second collects recited in
The story of the man giving the supper should sound
familiar to us-we have all been there: We' all had the experience at one time or
another. We are invited to a party, and, at first, it seems like a wonderful
idea. We are filled with expectation; good food, good drink, pleasant
atmosphere, good conversation, and so on. But, when the time for the party
approaches, perhaps our priorities change. We've had a hard day at work, we need
to get up early tomorrow, need to get to sleep early tonight, don't want to go
off our diet, don't want to have to see that fellow who is always trying to get
us to buy insurance, and on and on. So we begin to make excuses.
Most of us, at one time or another, have also been in the
other position. We gave a party, and invited people to it, spent time and money
to get everything just right, and then were horrified as the phone began to ring
and the excuses to pour in. It can be an awkward situation from either point of
But this is the Sunday after Corpus Christi, the feast of
the Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Banquet of the Mass. In this morning's
Gospel, our Lord is not concerned so much with the social graces-the point of
His story is not to shame us into keeping our social appointments. Rather, He is
gently reminding us that we who call ourselves Christians have accepted His
invitation-and that we don't always do a very good job of keeping our
appointments with Him. Much more important than any party, dinner, or other
social event, the appointments we have with the Lord are our opportunities to
grow in love of Him, and to increase His graces in our soul.
At the very least, we have been invited to join Him by
keeping His Commandments. When we don't-when our souls are in the state of
serious sin-it is very much like showing up for a party in dirty clothes and
muddy shoes. We dishonor the host by our condition.
We have been invited to join our Lord informally, each day
in our prayers. To spend a few minutes with Him, two or three times each day.
Sort of like being invited for tea at the White House with a President for whom
We've been invited to join Him for His more formal
occasions, when He renews the Sacrifice of the Cross in His Holy Supper, the
Mass. We have been to visit Him in His home, and to spend some time in
conversation with Him in the most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
He has given us tokens of His love to carry home with us
after His party-mementos of the great occasion-the Rosary, the Scapular, the
Miraculous Medal, just to name a few.
We have been invited to all these things-And how do we
respond? Well, we can only answer that for ourselves. Do we keep the
commandments? Do we pray with regularity? Is our prayer true conversation with
God, or mere rote recitation? Do we attend Mass because we love God, or only
because we are obliged to? When was the last time we attended Mass when it
wasn't a day of obligation? When was the last time we visited our Lord in the
Blessed Sacrament-walked into a Catholic Church just to be with Him for a few
minutes? How good are we about making use of His mementos, the Sacramentals?
If our answers to these questions are the wrong ones, then
we should sit back and ask ourselves why we are so reluctant to associate with
God and with holy things. In most cases, the reason is simply lack of
familiarity. Many people have never taken the time to get to know God in the
first place, so it is not surprising that they have no basis for a continuing
relationship. They may have attended Mass many times, because they were told to
do so, but did not make the effort to penetrate to an understanding of the holy
things that transpired at Mass. (They may have attended Catholic schools and
attended Mass every day; but their attendance may have been nothing more than a
“mind game” played with the nuns-“I am here in body, but you can't make my
Material things become dull and routine when we do them
over an over. We may become positively disgusted with ourselves if we go through
a long round of parties; eating and drinking too much. But things of the spirit
become more and more refined in their pleasure as we repeatedly take pleasure in
them. We have been invited to the Supper of the Lamb. The fact that we have been
baptized, and continue to call ourselves Catholics is an indication that we have
accepted the invitation.
Please don't leave our Lord Jesus Christ waiting in an
empty hall. Join Him frequently in prayer, at Mass, in personal visits, in
making use of His Sacramentals. Don't pass up the greatest treasures ever
known-learn to love Him more and more by becoming His close friend and
Don't be like those who were called to the supper, who
made excuses, and are now left without even a taste of divine life.