Living Faithfully the Gospel We Have Received, 11th Thursday (I), June 22, 2017

Fr. Roger J. Landry
Acton University, Grand Rapids, MI
Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time, Year I
Memorial of SS. John Fisher and Thomas More, Martyrs
June 22, 2017
2 Cor 11:1-11, Ps 111, Mt 6:7-15

 

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

 

The following points were attempted in the homily: 

  • St. Paul confronts those among the Corinthians who were corrupting their sincere and pure commitment to Christ, preaching another Jesus from the one he proclaimed, living by a different spirit than the Holy Spirit who had been given them, believing a different Gospel from the true Gospel Paul had entrusted to them as of the first importance. Paul, out of love, seeks to give them a paternal correction, to get them back on the straight path.
  • This temptation to be seduced by a different version of the Gospel has plagued the Church throughout the centuries. Some versions have been by a stricter Gospel, like that of the Donatists in the early Church, or the Albigensians in the Middle Ages, or the Jansenists after the challenges of the Renaissance and Enlightenment, or some genuinely rigid situations today. Others have been for a laxer, watered down Gospel, something that rises up in almost every generation.
  • The saints we celebrate today confronted a different Gospel than the one received from Paul and the Apostles in 16th Century England, when the King pronounced himself, rather than Christ, rather than the Successor of St. Peter, the Supreme Head of the Church in England and sought to attack the indissolubility of marriage in order to satisfy his lust for Anne Boleyn and his desire to perpetuate his own kingdom. And he sought to make everyone swear two oaths to believe and live according to that corrupted commitment to Christ and his Church. Saints John Fisher and Thomas More refused to proclaim faith in and live by that Gospel at a time when most of the bishops and faithful, like the ancient Corinthians, were following another Gospel. They would die in witness to the faith.
  • They not only prayed, but illustrated, what Jesus taught us in the Gospel. As the Catechism teaches, we live as we pray and pray as we live, and their lives and deaths are commentaries on the way Jesus taught us to relate to the Father:
    • They hallowed God’s name by their good deeds and by the light of their witness to him, that he was worth living for and dying for.
    • They sought the coming of his kingdom, not theirs, not Henry’s. Thomas would die proclaiming that he was the king’s good servant, but the King of King’s first.
    • They did God’s will rather than their own, even when it required drinking, like Christ, the chalice of martyrdom they wish they would not have needed to drink.
    • They forgave those who sinned against them, as we see St. Thomas More do to his gaoler, and as both did to those who sinfully sentenced them to death.
    • They responded to God’s grace not to fall when tempted, and their imprisonments were lengthy periods in which they were tested in so many ways, but passed the test.
    • They responded to God’s help to be protected from the evil one, from the “serpent [who] deceived Eve by his cunning, [so that their] thoughts may be corrupted from a sincere and pure commitment to Christ.” They remained true to God until the end.
  • And the way they were able to remain faithful was through God’s giving them every day not only enough food for survival — despite the attempts to torture them by withholding food — but also the “super substantial” (epiousios) bread of the Holy Eucharist, in which they received the Lord himself within, the Gospel enfleshed, so that they would remain faithful to Him until the end. As we prepare to receive that same Gift of the Father, let us ask for the grace, like them, courageously to live and announce the Gospel we have received from Paul and the others, the Gospel which is our boast and glory, the Gospel through which we have been crucified to the world and the world to us,  so that we, like St. Paul, John and Thomas, may say, “I have been crucified with Christ and the life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me.”

 

The readings for this Mass were:

Reading 1 2 COR 11:1-11

Brothers and sisters:
If only you would put up with a little foolishness from me!
Please put up with me.
For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God,
since I betrothed you to one husband
to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning,
your thoughts may be corrupted
from a sincere and pure commitment to Christ.
For if someone comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached,
or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received
or a different gospel from the one you accepted,
you put up with it well enough.
For I think that I am not in any way inferior to these “superapostles.”
Even if I am untrained in speaking, I am not so in knowledge;
in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.

Did I make a mistake when I humbled myself so that you might be exalted,
because I preached the Gospel of God to you without charge?
I plundered other churches by accepting from them
in order to minister to you.
And when I was with you and in need, I did not burden anyone,
for the brothers who came from Macedonia
supplied my needs.
So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way.
By the truth of Christ in me,
this boast of mine shall not be silenced
in the regions of Achaia.
And why? Because I do not love you?
God knows I do!

Responsorial Psalm PS 111:1B-2, 3-4, 7-8

R. (7a) Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Majesty and glory are his work,
and his justice endures forever.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
R. Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
sure are all his precepts,
Reliable forever and ever,
wrought in truth and equity.
R. Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia ROM 8:15BC

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You have received a spirit of adoption as sons
through which we cry: Abba! Father!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:

‘Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.’
“If you forgive others their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”