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, September 15, 2015

Homily - Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost - September 13, 2015

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

In the world, we often find that those who seek the highest place and honors obtain them.  However, if we think about it, those are only passing, and end when our earthly journey ends.  Our Lord in the Gospel today is talking about something much greater and more important than that.  What we have are two of four lessons which St. Luke groups together since they all have to do with a banquet.  In the lesson which follows our Gospel today, our Lord says to invite those who cannot pay us back.  Our charity must be gratuitous.  Then He says, “and you will be repaid in the resurrection of the just.”  It is wonderful to think that we share that life even now, and that our Lord speaks to us today about something which will be fulfilled in the resurrection.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the 13th century founder of the Cistercians, who follow a strict observance of the Benedictine Rule, and a master of the spiritual life, says, simply, of humility, that when we are humble, it directs us to what is above.  It helps us to understand this only to think of the proud, who are always looking down.  They look down on everything, they look down on people.  It was the sin of Lucifer, that he looked down on God Himself, and wanted to usurp His power.  It was the sin of Adam, to whom God said, “Do not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” and who looked down on God’s law, and said, “I will decide what is good and what is evil.”  Pride looks down, and makes the proud earthbound.

Humility, on the other hand, directs us to what is above.  If we are aware of what we have, we are grateful to God, because we know it came from Him, and our gratitude keeps us from being proud.  If we are aware of what we need, we look above to God Who provides for what we need.  Humility looks up, to what is above.  It elevates us.  It uplifts us.  It directs us to God.  It is a wonderful outlook.  It is a wonderful way of life.

That would be enough to be good news for us, but there is more, and it comes from the traditional Latin Mass missal.  We don’t know how far back these readings began to be paired together.  But in the Epistle, St. Paul speaks about the greatness of God, His incomprehensible breadth, length, height, and depth, which he wishes his hearers to know inwardly.  By the birth, incarnation, and cross of Christ, God has taken the lowest place, making Himself the servant of every person who ever lived, who ever will live, of all of us here, in the work of redemption.  And by the resurrection, He has taken the highest place, the glorified body, the beginning of the kingdom of God.  It is there, in the humble place which is faith, that we encounter Him.  The cross is a sacrifice, where one stands in the place of another.  There, He stands in our place, taking upon Himself our sins and frailty, so that we may stand in His place, freed from sin, sharing the divine life, the highest place.

It is wonderful to know that this life is at work in us even now, and that the humble place of faith will find its fulfillment in the resurrection.