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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Homily - Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost - November 16, 2014

Philipp. 3:17-21; 4:1-3; Matt. 9:18-26

When we read today’s Gospel with our mind’s eye, the Lord, by stages, moves from the crowd, to the few, and then into the house where he raises the child who has died.  It is a movement from the macrocosm to the microcosm, from the big picture to the individual, from the universal to the particular.  When we pair it with the words of St. Paul in the Epistle, that the Lord will remake our lowly bodies after the glory of His own in the resurrection, we realize that what he has done for the child and the woman with the hemorrhage in a moment, He does for us over a lifetime.

In the Old Testament book of Wisdom, the inspired author says the Lord refines the just one like gold in the furnace.  We do not know much today about how a fuller refines gold, but in the old days, by stages, he would remove any flaw or imperfection, and he knew that his work was complete when he could raise that precious metal before him and see his own face reflected back.  So it is with God that, by stages, through the events of this life, and by His grace, He refines us more and more into His own image and likeness.

What is required of us are two things, first, faith.  The Lord, in His earthly ministry was very directed.  Here He is in the Galilean ministry, about to send the twelve apostles out to proclaim to the Gospel to Israel, like sheep without a shepherd, but when He sees faith, He stops.  He cannot resist it.  The synagogue official showed Him great faith, and the woman with the hemorrhage, as well.  “If only I can touch the fringe of his garment.”  At critical moments in our lives, if we show the Lord faith, He stops for us.  Not that He is ever far from us, but united with Him in faith, already we are transformed from our earthbound selves to what is from above, as the Epistle urges.  The Lord sees in us His own image and likeness.  He knows that we are ready to receive the grace He wants to give us.

And what is required are those moments of encounter with our Lord.  In both episodes of today’s Gospel, there is encounter, there is contact, there is touch.  The synagogue official asks that the Lord lay His hands on his daughter, the woman with the hemorrhage touches the fringe of our Lord’s garment, the Lord raises to life by his touch.  The Lord touches our lives, in the sacraments, especially the Mass, in His Word, in His indwelling by sanctifying grace, by the promptings of the Holy Ghost which light our path.  It is our encounter with life itself which, in the great exchange which is the cross, where He stands in our place so that we may stand in His, He transforms us more and more into His own likeness.

And so, for now, we gather to offer worship to God through the sacrifice of the Mass.  It is our faith which brings us here, and, in a wonderful way, the Lord stops.  In this encounter, then, let us be transformed by the touch of His hand.