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 - Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost - September 28, 2014

Eph. 3:13-21; Lk. 14:1-11

Our Gospel today has two episodes which appear to be unrelated, except that they take place in the context of a banquet.  The banqueters gather, and Jesus performs a miracle of healing, on the Sabbath, from which we observe the tenet of our faith of avoiding servile labor on the Lord’s Day, except that we must not neglect those actions which are consistent with the Gospel and of mercy and charity.

The banqueters then choose their places.  This is a parable, and the point of the parable is enunciated at the end of the passage:  the first shall be last and the last shall be first.  Luke, as you know, remembers Jesus who has an eye for the poor and the lowly.  On the large scale, the Epistle exemplifies this, where St. Paul teaches the Ephesians the plan of God for salvation, that even the Gentiles, now, the non-Israelites, have the Gospel proclaimed to them, and by faith, they, too, receive the gifts of grace:  the indwelling of the Lord, the strength of the Holy Ghost, the root and foundation of charity.  This was a great drama in the early Church, that the Gentiles have taken their place with the faithful Israelites, the unfaithful having lost their place, in what St. Matthew addresses in his Gospel as a new Israel, the Church.  The first shall be last and the last shall be first.

On the more personal scale, it is the lowly, those who recognize their need of salvation, who, by the gift of grace, make progress in perfection.  Without presumption or pretense, the Lord allows us to come before Him as we are, with our need of Him, to receive those same gifts of which St. Paul speaks:  sanctifying grace, the indwelling of God.  Only those whose hearts are not yet full are able to receive the gifts of grace which God so desires to give us.  No wonder Jesus had an eye for the poor and lowly.  These are the ones whose hunger makes them ready to receive.

The next episode, which is not contained in the Gospel today, continues the banquet motif.  It is there that the Lord admonishes His hearers that they, too, when they give a banquet, should then invite the poor, the lowly, the lame.  We are invited to be like Him, and to know the blessedness of gifts given gratuitously, unwarranted, unmerited, undeserved, a foretaste of something to be made perfect in the resurrection of the just.

And, finally, there is the parable of the great banquet, where those invited did not accept, the unfaithful of the Old Testament people of God, and so the giver of the banquet opens the doors to a universal call, even to the Gentiles.

Underlying the parable of today’s Gospel, is that God is the One Who invites, and already it is fulfilled in us:  called, recognizing the voice of the Shepherd, our hearts filled with desire for God, we have come to the banquet of heavenly food, where Jesus raises to Himself all those who hunger.