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, November 4, 2014

Homily - Feast of All Saints - November 1, 2014

Apoc. 7:2-12; Matt. 5:1-12

Whenever I think of All Saints’ Day, I think of the anecdote Fr. James Stehly, the former pastor of this parish, told.  The parish school is right next door, and when the students attended Mass or gathered for prayers, it would always be in this chapel.  One year, in November, Fr. Stehly asked the students, “Who are the saints?”  He called on a fourth grade boy who had his hand up, and, perhaps thinking of the beautiful stained glass windows and the sun low on the horizon, replied, “Those are the people the light shines through.”  He is a pretty good little theologian.  The saints are not perfect, and I am not here to speak about the imperfections of the saints.  But they are faithful.  They reflect Christ.

The saints have encountered all of the obstacles and challenges, both outside and within, which we encounter in our lives.  They have succeeded by imitating Christ.  To imitate Christ is to follow His way of the cross.  Jesus, though He never sinned, knew what it was to fall, and not only once, but three times.  And each time, He got up again, confident in the Father’s love.  He did this for us, to show us how to stay true to the struggles, that is, to stay true to the cross.  We must never become discouraged, but, in our imperfection, when we fall, to rise again at the Lord’s bidding, knowing that this is the way to deliverance, this is the way to life.

The Gospel today gives us the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, and the Beatitudes.  Our retired Holy Father, Pope Benedict, in his book, Jesus of Nazareth, says the Beatitudes are the life of Christ.  They are like the cross put into words.  We can see Christ in all of the Beatitudes.  “Blessed are the poor in Spirit.”  Matthew was writing to Jewish Christians who had given up everything to follow Christ, their place in the society, in the religion of old, and sometimes even in their families.  They had only God to rely on.  We see our Lord with all His trust in the Father while on the cross and in the events of His passion.  “Blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the meek.”  We see our Lord whose message was rejected.  “Blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are those persecuted for His sake.”  We see our Lord in His earthly ministry and in His cross in all the Beatitudes.  While we struggle in the world, with the powers both outside and within, we know that there is no greater power than the power of Christ and Christ crucified and risen from the dead, and so even in the struggle, we are blessed.  That is all we need to know, that the victory has been won for us in Christ, and we are united with Christ in our faith and in the cross, that is all we need to persevere and to live in blessedness.

The Epistle gives us the picture of the Church triumphant, the Church in heaven.  They are gathered around the throne and the Lamb, offering worship, just as we, in this life, gather for the Mass, and offer worship to God.  Already, we take part in the heavenly liturgy, and with the help of the example and prayers of the saints on our pilgrim way, we, too may reflect Christ, and be the people the light shines through.