Basic Information

Mass Location: St. Mary Magdalen Chapel, 2532 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, CA 93010
Mass Time: Sunday 10 a.m. (check parish website bulletin for special feastdays which may be different)
Confessions: 9:00-9:45 a.m. - see schedule below

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Homily - Fourth Sunday of Lent - March 30, 2014

Gal. 4:22-31; Jn. 6:1-15

Today is the Fourth Sunday of Lent, the midpoint of the Lenten Season.  It is also Laetare Sunday, a word which means Rejoice.  We use the rose vestments instead of the seasonal violet.  It is enough for us to rejoice knowing that the celebration of the Easter mysteries, the source of our salvation, is near.  But there is more.  The word comes from the Introit of today’s Mass, taken from the Old Testament Book of the Prophet Isaiah:  “Rejoice with Jerusalem; exult all you who were mourning over her.”  It is a tribute to the heavenly Jerusalem, which is ours even now.

It is because of the nature of a promise that the heavenly Jerusalem is ours now.  St. Paul says in our Epistle that we are children of the heavenly Jerusalem, consequent on the promise made to Abraham.  A promise is a present thing, but it refers to the future.  The assurance of it brings the future reality forward to the present.  We already possess it.  Moreover, between the promise and its fulfillment, Christ has appeared, in His cross and resurrection.  A generation before us will remember VE Day as the day World War II ended.  But the historians will tell us that the war was won on D Day, almost a year earlier.  Similarly, Christ has won the victory for us, and it is only a matter of time before that victory subdues every power, the strife is over, and the promise is fulfilled.  In the meantime, the victory is ours, even as we struggle to realize it in our lives and in the world and during this Lenten season.

The sign which the Lord gives us for this time in between, is the Eucharist.  The multiplication of the loaves in the Gospel today signifies the Eucharist, the sacrament of our Lord’s cross whereby He has overcome all things, and of His real presence, body, blood, soul, and divinity.  The Eucharist, the very life and presence of the Lord Himself, gives us strength and encouragement in life’s journey of faith and Lent’s journey of discipline.  It is also the sacrament of His victory, the pledge of resurrection:  “He who eats this bread will never die, but I will raise him on the last day.”  This, too, is a promise.  We already possess the risen life even as we seek it.  In sacred Tradition, the first day of the week, Sunday, is the day of creation.  We celebrate the Eucharist on Sunday, not seven days later, but every eighth day.  The eighth day brings us outside of time, to the Lord’s Day, the Day of Resurrection, a foretaste of the heavenly Jerusalem.  This is why Sunday is sacred.  It is the eighth day, made holy by the Eucharist, the source and the fulfillment of the heavenly Jerusalem.

No wonder we rejoice, so near is the celebration of the Easter mysteries.  But that the victory has been won, heaven’s joy is ours, the promise has its time, as we go forth strengthened by our Eucharistic Lord.