“Proclaim a fast, call an assembly; Gather the elders, all who dwell in the land, Into the house of the LORD, your God, and cry to the LORD!” Those words are from our first reading today, from the prophet Joel. How fitting, given our feast today of Pope St John XVIII, who called an assembly, gathered the elders, invited everyone into the house of the Lord….in summoning together the 2nd Vatican Council. “To open up the windows”….
Here’s this from our Gospel today, fitting given that Mass today is here in the perpetual adoration chapel, a place where so many ask, receive, and knock……“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Gradually, the unthinkable becomes tolerable then acceptable then legal then praised
Today we hear the story of Jonah. Jonah is going the wrong way and then ends up getting swallowed up into a whale and spat out. When we are baptized in the waters of salvation, we enter into the Lord …. we become part of him, in the belly of the Holy Beast….and then, should we be faithful and remain in Him, he will keep us safe int he storms of life and then one day spit us out onto the shores of heaven
Today is the feast of Our Lady of Victory, now known as Our Lady of the Rosary. We celebrate that beautiful gift that si the rosary. It won on this day back in 1571 a decisive battle at Lapanto. St. Dominc was given it and he used it to win the battle against albigensianism. It is the slingshot David used to slay Goliath. IT is the weapon Mother Teresa had in her pocket when she announced to airport security that yes, she did have a weapon with her. Folks…the rosary does so much for us….can slay the heresies in our hearts, the enemies in front of us, the Goliaths within us…..pray the rosary
3 things today-
- There’s one word today in all three readings: faith. In the gospel today, it starts with the apostles’ prayer: Increase our faith. The apostles surely needed all the faith, all the help they could get. They were praying for an ocean of faith. And what does Jesus say? He says: have faith of a mustard seed. What must those apostles have thought?? I bet the saints asked God for oceans of faith…like the saints we just celebrated last week (Faustina, Francis of Assisi, Therese of Liseaux, Mother Theodore Guerin, Jerome…)……
Here’s the thing: we usually say, O I could never be a saint….the saints, the apostles….they had so much faith. But maybe they didn’t. Maybe their faith was the same as yours or mine. God can do a ton with a little faith. Still, it’s good to pray ofr more faith….but Jesus seems to say today that even a mustard size bit of faith is pretty good, pretty powerful
- Our readings today also speak of integrity. The first reading in particular says that the wicked folks don’t have any. Integrity is when there is a harmony between my words, actions, and thoughts. A man of integrity is integrated, his thoughts and actions and words. Example: I have decided I am the kind of man who will wake up at 6am every day, then actions follow. Or: I am the kind fo man who, no matter what, attends Mass every weekend. Or: I am the kind of man who has decided not visit a certain type of website. ETc etc etc…..our actions match our beleifs and all that matches our words.
But we must be integrated with the Church, the body of Christ….such that the Church’s beliefs are my beliefs, the Church’s words are my words, the Church’s actions are mine as well…..an integration with the body of Christ….what a great thing!!!!
- Generosity. “And when you have done all you were commanded to day, say to yourself, ‘I am an unprofitable servant, for I did only what I was obliged to do.'” Folks! Generosity is KEY! The saints did not become saints by doing the bare minimum. ALl those saints and apostles I mentioend before, not a one of them because a saint just by going to Sunday Mass or going to confession once a year. No, sir. The commandments and precepts of the church are there to give us the minimum, but that is far from enough. We are to be generous members of JEsus, active members of Christ.
We live in a world that has lost its focus, of course, and that is to be lamented. The one who goes to Mass once a month is the “good Catholic” in many folks’ minds. But that is not the case, far from it. We have to do better than that. We have to do better than fulfilling all the commandments and precepts. Jesus raises the bar…..and woe to him who doesn’t try with all his heart to reach it.