Growing in the Hope in Which We’re Saved, 30th Tuesday (I), October 27, 2015

Fr. Roger J. Landry
Visitation Mission of the Sisters of Life, Manhattan
Tuesday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I
Votive Mass for the Family
October 27, 2015
Rom 8:18-25, Ps 126, Lk 13:18-21

 

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

 

The following points were attempted in the homily: 

  • The Kingdom of God is both now and not yet. Jesus says it’s among us but also something that we pray will come. Like a mustard seed, it is meant to grow. It’s still the kingdom, but it’s basically in embryonic form in a seed and late will come to full stature.
  • Once we understand this dynamic of the Kingdom we can more easily grasp what St. Paul is saying in the first reading. Yesterday, in the passage from his Epistle to the Romans, he said that we have already “received a spirit of adoption” but today he tells us “we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption.” He describes the whole process as “groaning in labor pains” and labor is an appropriate image. There’s a child waiting to be born; the child is the same before and after, but there is a massive change between the womb and the light. Likewise the mother remains a mother to the child, but there is a massive growth in that relationship after birth.
  • This is why St. Paul says that “in hope we were saved,” which means we are saved as we hope — what Pope Benedict would call in Spe Salvi “living with Christ in the world” — and are saved through hope, meaning by faith in the fulfillment of Christ’s promises.  Part of that salvation in hope happens through suffering, which are like labor pains. Pope Benedict in Spe Salvi had said, basing himself on the Letter to the Hebrews, that faith/hope is the substance of things hoped for and the guarantee of things not seen: there’s already something present that is meant to grow. And because of that substance, that presence as a mustard seed of what will flourish later, the early Christians were willing to suffer the plundering of their property because they had a better possession: namely the treasure of the faith that they already had, even if unfulfilled.
  • That’s why we can say with the Psalm today, “The Lord has done marvels for us,” while recognizing that greater marvels await. And the greatest downpayment of all is Christ in the Eucharist. To live with him, to be conscious of his Eucharistic presence, is to live with hope in the world, which is the path of salvation. Let’s take this truth and this “substance” and let it grow in us so that we might be like mustard seeds or leaven in making Christ’s kingdom come in the world.

The readings for today’s Mass were: 

Reading 1 Rom 8:18-25

Brothers and sisters:
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing
compared with the glory to be revealed for us.
For creation awaits with eager expectation
the revelation of the children of God;
for creation was made subject to futility,
not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it,
in hope that creation itself
would be set free from slavery to corruption
and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now;
and not only that, but we ourselves,
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
we also groan within ourselves
as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
For in hope we were saved.
Now hope that sees for itself is not hope.
For who hopes for what one sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.

Responsorial Psalm PS 126:1b-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6

R. (3a) The Lord has done marvels for us.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.

Alleluia See Mt 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 13:18-21

Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like?
To what can I compare it?
It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden.
When it was fully grown, it became a large bush
and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.”Again he said, “To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God?
It is like yeast that a woman took
and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”
mustard-tree