Appreciating and Responding to Christ’s Greatness, 28th Monday (I), October 12, 2015

Fr. Roger J. Landry
Visitation Convent of the Sisters of Life, Manhattan
Monday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I
Votive Mass for the Family
October 12, 2015
Rom 1:1-7, Ps 98, Lk 11:29-32

 

To listen to an audio recording of today’s homily, please click below: 

 

The following points were attempted in the homily: 

  • One of the real dangers in the spiritual life, especially those who are always around the sacred, is to begin to take the sacred for granted because of routine. Today’s Gospel is one of the best to help snap us out of it. Jesus reminds us that he’s a greater sign of conversion than Jonah and a greater source of wisdom than Solomon. That leads us to ask ourselves that if the pagan Ninevites totally converted at Jonah’s preaching and the Queen of Sheba were willing to travel 1660 miles each way just to hear Solomon, are we converting each time we come into God’s presence as profoundly as the Ninevites did and are we hanging on Christ’s words of wisdom the way the Queen of Sheba did.
  • St. Paul is someone who was converted entirely when he encountered Christ, spent 14 years in the desert of Arabia seeking to learn Christ’s wisdom in prayer and then spent the rest of his life trying to enrich the Church with that wisdom. In today’s first reading we begin four weeks studying his greatest theological treatise, written not so much in response to questions or problems in a community he had founded (like in so many other letters) but to a community he had never visited, proposing what were in his mind answers to the biggest questions they probably would have, about how to be right with God, about the status of the Jews, and about authentic Christian spirituality.
  • In this Year of Consecrated Life, we can begin our look at this great Epistle from the lens of consecration. We see several different attributes of Paul’s consecration that are relevant to our own: to be a “slave of Christ Jesus,” serving him as Lord; “set apart for the Gospel,” which is the purpose of our consecration; the “obedience of faith,” in which we listen attentively and trustingly for God’s voice as a word to be done, including through superiors; “called to belong to Jesus Christ,” which is the essence of consecration; and “called to be holy,” as consecration is meant to be sanctification. All of this is meant to happen in encounter with Jesus Christ, whom St. Paul regularly and concisely presents as the God-man in two images: “descended from David according to flesh,” the truth of his humanity and Messianic call; and “established as Son of God in power … through resurrection from the dead,” the sign of his divinity and transcendence over the end of humanity in death.
  • That is the Jesus we meet at Mass, with his human body and blood received from Mary according to the Davidic line, and risen from the dead. He’s greater than Solomon and Jonah. And he’s here teaching us, calling us to conversion, sanctifying us and sending us forth with the “grace of apostleship.”

The readings for today’s Mass were: 

Reading 1 ROM 1:1-7

Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus,
called to be an Apostle and set apart for the Gospel of God,
which he promised previously through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,
the Gospel about his Son, descended from David according to the flesh,
but established as Son of God in power
according to the Spirit of holiness
through resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Through him we have received the grace of apostleship,
to bring about the obedience of faith,
for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles,
among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ;
to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Responsorial Psalm PS 98:1BCDE, 2-3AB, 3CD-4

R. (2a) The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.

Alleluia PS 95:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 11:29-32

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
“This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here.”
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