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

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Homilly - Fourth Sunday after Pentecost - July 6, 2014

Rom. 8:18-23; Lk. 5:1-11

St. Paul is keenly aware that all creation has been affected by original sin.  It groans and travails because, of itself, it cannot achieve its end.  It strives to fulfill its highest aspirations, but is constantly frustrated.  At the center of creation is the human person.  Likewise, we cannot achieve our end of ourselves.  But, St. Paul says, there is sure hope, because under the effects of grace, the coming of the Kingdom of God is inevitable and will see its day.

St. Paul puts this in a beautiful way.  He says we have the first fruits of the spirit.  We possess the Holy Ghost, the bond between the Father and the Son.  We possess the very life of God, won for us by His cross and resurrection, and in its fullness.  However, it takes time and effort for that life of grace to permeate all our lives and all creation.  In the days of the Old and New Testaments, the practice was to offer to God the first fruits of the crops, and in this way, the whole harvest was consecrated to God.  And so we have received the first fruits of His life, and therefore, our whole lives, and the whole endeavor of the mission, is consecrated to God, and will be fulfilled.

As you may know, on Friday, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the dedication of this St. Mary Magdalen Chapel.  Archbishop Gomez celebrated the Mass.  He said this chapel was inspired by human hearts filled with faith and love, and built by human hands, but it is the Lord who builds the city.  He went on to say that St. Mary Magdalen is an example.  She was the first to see the Lord after He rose from the dead.  She told the disciples.  For this, St. Thomas Aquinas calls her apostol apostolorum, the apostle of the apostles.  She was the first missionaries.  The archbishop said all of us are missionaries, sent to proclaim the risen Lord.

We see the first fruits again in the call and mission of St. Peter in today’s Gospel.  At the word of the Lord, he lets down his nets and makes a huge catch, a sign of the effectiveness of his mission and the mission of all the Church.  And it is an encounter with God.  At first, he address Christ as Master, and then as Lord.

What is crucial here, is that the Lord told Peter to set out into the deep.  We set out into the deep when we take part in the Holy Sacrifice of Mass, the inexhaustible source of grace the Lord has given us, and when we take part in the Church.  And we set out into the deep when we are sent out then, Ite, Missa est, and we live as Catholics in the world bearing witness to the Lord, in great ways, and in ordinary ways.

I remember years ago, when we had the rules of abstinence from meat on Fridays and the long fast before receiving Holy Communion.  We were the family with four kids out to dinner on a Friday night, and the family with six kids would come in and take the booth across from us.  We would order the fish sticks and they would order the fish sticks.  Our parents would nod in acknowledgement, my mother would wave.  We knew they were Catholics, and they, us.  Everyone knew we were Catholics.  When you went to see friends on a Friday, maybe nothing was said, but they knew you were Catholic, and prepared accordingly.  We need to make our presence known in the marketplace and our voices heart as we address the issues of our day.  In great ways, in ordinary ways.  In the order of grace, nothing is lost.  We may not see the great catch now, but the Kingdom of God will have its day.

St. Paul tells us in another place where we are going, and what will happen on the last day.  The Lord will present to God the Father as a gift all creation completely redeemed, His mission fulfilled.  That means no more death, no more suffering, no more sadness, no more tears.  And we, the baptized, will stand by Him and be able to say, “Father, this is the part that I did with the help of your Son.”  In great ways, in ordinary ways, we are preparing for that day.  We are called, we are sent, we are the Lord’s instruments, we are His missionaries, as we set out into the deep.