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

Monday, October 27, 2014

Homily - Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost - October 5, 2014

Eph. 4:1-6; Mt. 22:34-46

We can well speak of the Eucharist as the heart of the Church, and yet, it is more than the heart.  The Church is a living being, and so the Eucharist is the heartbeat of the Church.  We see it even in this moment.  We come to gather for the celebration of the Eucharist, the one Sacrifice of our Lord for the salvation of the world, we are nourished with His real presence, body, blood, soul, and divinity, and we go out, into the world, to bring it a transfusion of this grace, and we come back again, bearing the burdens of the world, offering them to this saving Sacrifice, newly fortified by heavenly grace.

I say this because today is Respect Life Sunday in the archdioceses and dioceses of the United States.  Here, close to home, we are singularly blessed with the Ventura County Life Centers, which support women in crisis pregnancies.  The men and women who dedicate themselves in these centers have spared the lives of countless children and improved the lives of countless expectant mothers.

These centers were founded entirely by laity, and by laity from our traditional Latin Mass.  The Mass helps us to discover ourselves both in our coming forth and our going out.  In times past, there were many links between the Mass and daily life:  the Friday abstinence, still recommended, the midnight fast before receiving holy communion, the holy days, the processions.  They were all ways of reminding ourselves that we are Catholics living in the world, and of letting people see who we are and what we believe.

Today is also the beginning in Rome of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, to be followed next year by the Ordinary Synod on the Family in Philadelphia.  The family has to do with each one of us.  It is where we learn our name, where our personalities are formed, where we first learn what it means to love, and where faith is handed on.  And the family has to do with all of us together.  In marriage, spouses form the community of life, open to the gift of life, and so every family becomes part of the larger community which is the society, and forms it as its fundamental and vital cell.

The Gospel understands this, but not the world.  Jesus was one of the few leaders in the ancient world who even acknowledged the family, and what is more, showed us the beauty of marriage and family life in the plan of God.  The family is the little Church, with Jesus at the center, a mirror of the love and fidelity of God, a school of perfection where we may grow into the full stature of Christ.

The Gospel possesses that strength capable of turning back the countercurrents of the world, and bears that salvation which fulfills the most profound needs of every person.  Just as from the big church, we come forth and go out, so from the little church, the family, deeply rooted in the Gospel, we are brought forth in love and are able confidently to go far, without getting lost, to be Catholics living in the world.