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, January 5, 2015

Homily - Sunday within the Octave of Christmas - December 28, 2014

Gal. 4:1-7; Lk. 2:33-40

So great is the mystery of our Lord’s birth and incarnation that the Church gives us an entire season to reflect on its meaning.  What we see in the readings of this season is that the circle around our Lord becomes larger and larger.  It begins with Mary and Joseph at the manger, and the shepherds, the poor in spirit who respond with awe and wonder to spiritual things, and ends with our Lord’s baptism at the Jordan, where He disappears into the crowd of humanity which seeks God, and begins His earthly ministry.

In our own encounter with Christ by the gift of faith and the sacraments, the Church invites us to be ever mindful of this divine intimacy which we see in the small circles accompanying our Lord’s nativity.  In today’s Gospel, Simeon and Anna encounter our Lord in the temple, they recognize Him, and Simeon holds Him in his arms giving thanks that his own eyes have seen the salvation of Israel:  the first First Holy Communion.  With awareness and affection, we encounter the same Lord and see the same holy face in the celebration of the Holy Mass and our reception of the Eucharist.

Today’s Gospel of the Presentation also relates our Lord’s first encounter with His people.  Simeon is a prophet and Anna a prophetess.  They represent Israel.  They have achieved noble old age, with all its blessings:  they possess a vitality born of a lifetime of seeking the face of God, they know and cherish the promises of God, and they have the faith and wisdom which recognizes their fulfillment, moved by the Spirit of God.  Mary and Joseph come desiring to fulfill the law for the firstborn son, an offering of a turtle dove, or two young pigeons for those who are poor.  This is no mere external observance, they come not because they have to, or that it is the right thing, but that they delight in the law of the Lord, what it means to please God, and wish to offer Him real thanks for His blessings.

Now they all meet, in the Temple:  the Old Testament and the New Testament, the old covenant and the New Covenant, the old sacrifice and the New Sacrifice, the observance of the law and the movement of the Spirit, which animate one another, and, in the center is Christ.  He is the center of all their hopes and aspirations for God, He is the center of the Temple, He is the center of history, uniting Jew and Gentile in one hope of redemption.  He must well be the center of all our hopes, of all our ways, of all our times and places, where we wish to encounter the love and grace of God Incarnate, and where He wishes to encounter us.  The Savior reveals to us where we came from and to where we are destined.  Without Him, our lives are incomprehensible, and we founder.  In Him, we are able to achieve heaven, life’s goal.

For setting aside the crown of His glory, born of the Virgin, and seen by Simeon and Anna, we, too rejoice, that in the Incarnation, our Lord has shown us the face of God.