Sunday, August 26, 2007

Homily 21st Sunday C

If I recall correctly, I first noticed this when I was 10 years old. It still happens today and it doesn't matter whether you are young or old, simple or smart- it happens to all of us. It is so subtle that I wouldn't have noticed if my dad hadn't said anything.

Every time I or my brother, or anyone of us sits down in front of a TV we look like this: [blank stare]. I'm sure you all recognize this reaction, whether from your own life or your friends and children. Well, I never recognized this until one day, my brother and I were [extended blank stare] with the TV. Dad came in and, neither loudly nor softly but normally, said "John, do you want $5?" John replied [blank stare]. Dad had a great laugh and told us what he had done.

A few weeks later as John and I were [blank stare] with the TV, Dad came in and, neither loudly nor softly but normally, said "John do you want $5?" John replied, "Yes!" Sadly, I never heard Dad make that offer to me.

That story came to me as I reflected on how I was struck by today's Gospel.
"you will begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, open to us.' He will answer you. 'I do not know where you come from.' Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.' But he will say, 'I tell you, I do not know where you come from.'"


I thought, don't I celebrate Mass daily, I eat the Body of Christ, I drink His Precious Blood, I hear His teaching in Scripture. What will He say to me? Am I partaking of this Mass, these Sacred Mysteries as an attentive, eager priest, or [blank stare] no different than TV or other things in life?

How do we participate in Mass? We, not simply you faithful people, but you and I: we. Thankfully, I came across a great saying that helped me focus myself for Mass. It is in Pope Benedict XVI's new book: Jesus of Nazareth. It is in Latin and I worked hard to remember it, so listen to it in Latin before I give you the translation. Mens nostra concordet voci nostrae. Again. Mens nostra concordet voci nostrae.

For those of you that aren't Latinists- "Our minds must be in accord with our voices." "Our minds must be in accord with our voices." Mens- minds, nostra- our, concordet- must agree, must be in accord, voci- voices. Mens nostra concordet voci nostrae, "our minds must be in accord with our voices."

Each Mass we say many words: peace be with you, our Father, we believe in one God, glory to God in the highest- and many others. Are our minds in agreement, in accord with our voices or are our minds [blank stare]? Let us take this and every Mass as an opportunity to grow in greater agreement with the words we speak and profess to believe. Mens nostra concordet voci nostrae.

If we live mens nostra concordet voci nostrae then at the end of our life, our Lord will say: "Welcome dear friends, enter the Kingdom of My Father, for you ate with Me and drank with Me and heard My voice."

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