IHS Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost—20 October AD 2019 Ave Maria!

 

 

 

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 “Brethren, be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth.”[1]

 

    This morning’s Gospel (Matthew XXII: 1-14) is very likely an account of the same event narrated on the second Sunday after Pentecost (Luke XIV:16-24).  Anyone who has ever given a large party will understand the feelings of the king—invitations are issued, many people say they will attend, but yet when the dinner is ready, a lot of them will have lame excuses as to why they won't be able to attend.  Today's account has the dinner as a wedding feast given by a King for his son.  As Catholics, we can think of this as a dinner given by God the Father for His Son Jesus Christ, or perhaps as a dinner given for all of us by our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

    In fact, there is a dinner given for us by Jesus Christ—the sacrificial meal that we know as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass—offered in honor of our heavenly Father in heaven.  Our Lord hosts this dinner at great personal expense—He literally had to die in order for us to have it.  It is His sacrificial offering, made on our behalf to the Father, so that sins may be forgiven.  This sacrifice was made once, for all of us, on the Cross at Golgotha, but we are invited to renew it together with Jesus Christ through the ministry of His priests.  At Holy Mass, bread and wine are changed in their substances to become the true body and blood of Jesus Christ.  We are invited to partake of His body and blood, thereby joining Him in the Sacrifice offered to the Father, and receiving the abundance of His grades in return.

 

    By our good fortune, our parish members are invited to this banquet on a daily basis.  Roughly every twenty-four hours we are able offer the Sacrifice that makes the forgiveness of sins possible—the forgiveness of our own sins, and those of all mankind.  We also receive the Graces which will enable us to live sinless lives, so that we may receive this forgiveness, and so that we can pray effectively for the forgiveness of others.   We are offered this gift, more precious than any other in the world, every day.

 

    Unfortunately, for most of us, our response is similar to that of the guests in these Gospel parables.  Most of us seem to have an excuse most of the time.

 

    We have to admit, though, that sometimes the excuses are reasonable.  Some of us must be at work to earn a living; some must care for children or relatives who are dependent on us.  Distance may be a factor as well.

 

    But in the absence of such excusing causes, it really would make sense to take up our Lord’s invitation on a regular (even daily) basis. There is nothing more important than our eternal salvation, and there are few other things (if any) that can insure that salvation.

 

    You have the opportunity for daily Mass, but let me call your attention to another Gospel which you will hear about a month from today on the Last Sunday after Pentecost.  You will hear our Lord speak a very ominous phrase:  “you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place….”[2]  The phrase “abomination of desolation” is apocalyptic, which is to say that it may have occurred in the distant past, the immediate present, or at the end of the world.

 

    We know that the “abomination of desolation” took place a hundred or so years before Christ (167 BC) when the Seleucid Antiochus IV, king of Syria invaded Jerusalem and desecrated its Temple, expelling the priests and their pure sacrifice, and replacing it with the sacrifice of a pig to the false “god” Zeus (later called Jupiter by the Romans).[3]

 

    Our Lord could also have been speaking of the desecration of the Temple that would take place in 69 or 70 AD, when the Romans replaced the sacrifice of the Jewish priests with one to their false “god” Jupiter.  Of course, this Jewish sacrifice had already been replaced at the Crucifixion, when “the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top even to the bottom,.”[4]  It was replaced by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, celebrated throughout Christendom.

 

    But many Scripture scholars believe that the “abomination of desolation” will take place in the future, near the end of the world, with the persecution by the Antichrist:

 

                Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders,  And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.[5]

 

    If the first two examples of an “abomination of desolation” define a pattern, it is quite possible that in the end times the Sacrifice of the Mass will be taken away from us, and replaced with the worship of false gods in our churches.  If this sounds too far‑fetched, just think back a week or two to the opening of the Amazon synod in Rome on October 4th, with the worship of the fertility “goddess,” Mother Earth under the Amazonian title of Pachamama![6]

 

    My point in all of this is that we will never have a better chance at salvation than we do now, with God’s true Sacrifice offered every day.  The foolishness in Rome may seem very far away.  But when the operation of the Antichrist begins in earnest it will spread all over the Earth—it will spread wherever there are souls to be stolen.

 

    The damned will “perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”  So now is the time to “put on the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth.”  Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life.[7]  Now is the time to begin taking advantage of Jesus Christ’s Holy Sacrifice as often as is humanly possible.

 

 

NOTES:
 

[1]   Epistle: Ephesians iv: 23-28    http://www.drbo.org/cgi-bin/d?b=drl&bk=56&ch=4&l=23-#x

 

[2]   Matthew xxiv: 15—35    http://www.drbo.org/cgi-bin/d?b=drl&bk=47&ch=24&l=15-#x   
        The phrase occurs several times in Daniel, beginning with Daniel ix:27     http://drbo.org/x/d?b=drl&bk=32&ch=9&l=27#x

 

[3]   I Machabees i:57-67   http://www.drbo.org/cgi-bin/d?b=drl&bk=45&ch=1&l=57-#x

 

[4]   Matthew xxvii: 51    http://www.drbo.org/cgi-bin/d?b=drl&bk=47&ch=27&l=51#x

 

[5]   2 Thessalonians ii:9-10    http://www.drbo.org/cgi-bin/d?b=drl&bk=60&ch=2&l=9#x

 

[6]   4 October AD 2019   Video at https://t.co/yjSbyKcbDw

 

[7]   John xiv: 6    http://www.drbo.org/cgi-bin/d?b=drl&bk=50&ch=14&l=6#x

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