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, July 13, 2015

Homily - Seventh Sunday after Pentecost - July 12, 2015

Rom. 6:19-23; Mt. 7:15-21

The Gospel today had a specific application in our Lord’s day, in the apostolic Church, and in our own day.  It is a perennial issue, that is, false teachers.  And our Lord says something wonderfully and disarmingly simple:  the inside and the outside must match.  There is a sensibility about this in the society in some areas.  We have laws about truth in advertising.  The list of ingredients on the outside of the can need to be the same as the inside, and, if not, there are penalties.  But the society rarely thinks of this in terms of other important areas, as well.

The Lord has given us the whole truth through His Church, and no one may replace it with an agenda or ideology.  Doctrine does not develop.  Our understanding of it does.  There is no new revelation.  The Gospel is sufficient in itself.  By the same token, no one can teach revealed truth separated from the Church.  How can someone teach the truth, while rejecting the true Church?  It is a contradiction.  Their actions speak louder than words.  The Lord gives the criterion of the true teacher at the end of this Gospel, the one who does the will of my Father.  It is God’s will that all people belong to the Church.  The inside and the outside must match.  We are to be members of the Church and to proclaim revealed truth faithfully.

The genius of the 1962 Missal has paired this Gospel with the Epistle reading from Romans, which gives this Gospel a wider application to our lives.  By our faith and baptism, we have been given sanctifying grace, the very indwelling of the life of God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Then our whole lives become a process of interiorization, by conversion, where the inner person is reshaped after the manner of that divine life.  How wonderful that God, in love has created us in His image and likeness, and recreated us by baptism in the image and likeness of His Son.  Then, refined, He invites us to let the inside and the outside match, in such a way that our works are at once entirely our own, they emanate from our will, and, at the same time, the work of God, emanating from His grace.  “I am the vine, you are the branches,” He says.  So near is God to us, as St. Thomas Aquinas says, nearer to us than we are to ourselves.  This is a great mystery to be contemplated and appreciated.

There are many places in the Scripture where a tree is used to illustrate some aspect of grace or the Kingdom of God.  There is a beautiful verse in Psalm 1, referring to the just man, which says, “Like a tree planted near running waters, whose leaves never fade.”  With your mind’s eye, you can picture King David, in the desert, dry and arid, and all the vegetation shriveled up.  And then he sees a tree, thriving, green, laden with fruit.  And then he looks at the trunk, and sees that it is rooted in a river closeby.  We are like that tree, rooted in Christ, with an steady supply of grace, thriving, bearing fruit which is at once ours and also God’s, where the inner life and the outer life match.