Second Sunday after Pentecost—14 June AD 2020
Octave of Corpus Christi
Support our Building Fund
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 Frequent Mass
“In this we have known
the love of God,
because He has laid down His life for us.”
Today is the Second Sunday after
Pentecost. In some missals it is referred to as the “Sunday within the
Octave of Corpus Christi.” It is placed in the liturgical
calendar in such a way that it is always after the feast of Corpus
Christi, and before the feasts of the Sacred Heart and the Precious
Blood. These three feasts constitute a certain unity, in that they work
together to demonstrate God's love for us under three different aspects.
“The Body of Christ”—commemorated the institution of the Mass and the
Blessed Sacrament. It did so in a way that emphasized primarily the
hospitality and friendship of God. We celebrated the love of God, which
induced Him to give us His very Body and Blood as our nourishment; which
induced Him to personally remain with His people in all the tabernacles
of the world; which induced Him to be available to us, to console us in
time of trouble. Corpus Christi emphasized the fraternity of God who
invites us to His Supper to break the Bread of Life with us.
The Feast of the Precious Blood will
come on July 1st, and it also commemorates the God's love for us—but its
emphasis is on the sacrificial nature of that love—how He literally
poured out His Blood for us on the Cross—how His Blood washes us clean
from our sins—and how we receive that saving Blood in Holy Communion—how
it is mystically poured out in union with the Cross at every Mass.
And coming between these two extremes
of God's love—this Friday—we celebrate the feast of the Sacred heart—a
sort of symbolic representation of Jesus' love for us; which
incorporates both the sacrificial aspect—we think of His Heart being
pierced with a lance as He hung on the Cross; and which also
incorporates the idea of personal friendship and consolation—we think of
Jesus waiting patiently for us in the tabernacle, hoping that we will
come to visit Him.
Again, all three of these feasts make
one unity, the Love of God for His people joining the Last Supper with
the sacrifice of the Cross.
In thinking about these three feasts,
I am convinced that the Church has us read this particular Gospel today
for a reason. It is intended to strike home—to confront us with the way
we have treated God's love, and particularly His hospitality.
We are reminded what it is like to
give a party, and then to have only a few of the invited guests show
up. We have all had this happen to us. You plan a party—invite 30 or
40 people—prepare food and drink, and tables and chairs, music and what
have you—and only eleven people show up. And half of the eleven are
people that you invited “because you had to.” The friends you really
wanted to spend time with all had something else they just “had to do.”
Its a feeling of rejection. Your
attempt to share the fruits of your labors has been rejected. People
who call themselves your friends don't want to break bread with you.
You feel embarrassed—worried that the people who did show up will start
asking questions about why so few came—“What's the matter—don't you have
any friends—what's wrong with you anyway?”
Its probably worse when this happens
to important people—heads of state and the like—when they make elaborate
dinner plans and they get “stood up.” I remember, years ago, President
George Bush having a press conference that none of the Networks bothered
This parable that we hear today is
intended to confront us with the fact that we often treat our Lord in
exactly the same way. We attend Sunday Mass because we have to—simply
to avoid committing a mortal sin—and we find excuses even to avoid
Sunday Mass often enough. Even though they are just as important, we
find even more excuses to miss Mass on Holy Days of Obligation.
“I've bought a farm ... married a wife
... had to get my hair done ... went to the senior prom ... had to go
shopping ... had to go to a party." Some of the excuses are pretty
valid, although others are less so. The point is that we work hard to
justify staying away when we should be working even harder to find a way
to come and attend our Lord's great festivity.
And not just on Sundays and Holy Days,
but on the other feasts, and even just the simple saints' days. Our
Lord probably feels just about as neglected when no one comes to Mass on
Saint Swithin's day, as he does on Corpus Christi or the Feast of
the Sacred Heart.
He is, after all, a famous person.
Someone whom we should feel honored to receive an invitation from. He
is—or should be—the “Universal Hero” —the “One who laid down His life
for us”—the Savior of all mankind.
So please start to give more
consideration to attending Mass as often as possible. Sundays, Holy
Days, and great feasts, certainly—but also try to come once in a while
when it is a day of no particular importance.
Come, once in a while, just to make a
visit with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. After all, he has been
waiting for you in a very small room for 2,000 years. Please, don't
make Him feel as though He has been stood up.
That's very important, because there
is something of a threat implied in the closing words of today's
Gospel—don't make Him feel as though He has been stood up, lest you miss
out on the eternal supper of our Lord, and hear Him say of you, that
“none of these that were invited shall taste of my supper.”