Receiving and Imitating God’s Kindness, Forbearance, Patience and Mercy, Wednesday of the 28th Week of Ordinary Time (I), October 16, 2013

Fr. Roger J. Landry
St. Bernadette Parish, Fall River, MA
Wednesday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I
Memorial of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
October 16, 2013
Rom 2:1-11, Ps 62, Lk 11:42-46

To listen to an audio recording of this homily, please click here: 

 

The following points were attempted in the homily:

  • Today Jesus and St. Paul both talk about the externalism of the Scribes, Pharisees and Judaized Christians. Jesus said that the Scribes and Pharisees were externally religious, paying tithes, saying prayers three times a day, fasting and observing feasts, but they were neglecting the weightier things of the law, “judgment and love of God.” Likewise St. Paul says that the Judaizing Christians were focusing on everyone else’s flaws, forgetting first that God’s “priceless kindness, forbearance and patience” was meant to call them to conversion and to change them to share those same priceless gifts to others. God, he said in fact, will repay everyone according to his deeds, but the deeds he wants to see are the weightier things of faith, receiving and imitating God’s merciful work and love of the world above.
  • Today we celebrate the feast of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, the 17th century Visitation nun who was the instrument Jesus used to reveal the love of his Sacred Heart to the world. She was given this mission during a time in history when many Christians looked to God as a harsh judge just looking for an excuse to send us to hell forever, rather than a merciful Father who would sacrifice his only begotten Son in order to save us. Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary to reveal the heart that so much loved men that it exhausted itself for our salvation. He revealed the principal means by which he seeks to transform us and our hearts to be more like his: the Eucharist. Jesus wants us to treat him in this “Sacrament of Love” (Jesus’ words!) not with indifference, irreverence, sacrilege, coldness and scorn, but as the biggest difference in our life, with piety, with purity, with passion, and with praise.
  • This connection between the Eucharist and Jesus’ mercy was made very clear in what Jesus revealed to St. Faustina in the 1930s about the  Divine Mercy devotion, which is the sequel to what Jesus revealed to St. Margaret Mary. We offer to God the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ to the Father in expiation for our sins and the sins of the whole world. Through the Eucharist, we beg God the Father not only to forgive our sins, but being transformed in union with Jesus’ love, but to forgive the sins of others. Today as we come forward to receive the Sacrament of Love, we ask him to transform us by his kindness, forbearance, patience and mercy so that we may bear those priceless gifts to the world.

The readings for the Mass were: 

Reading 1
ROM 2:1-11

You, O man, are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment.
For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself,
since you, the judge, do the very same things.
We know that the judgment of God on those who do such things is true.
Do you suppose, then, you who judge those who engage in such things
and yet do them yourself,
that you will escape the judgment of God?
Or do you hold his priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience
in low esteem, unaware that the kindness of God
would lead you to repentance?
By your stubbornness and impenitent heart,
you are storing up wrath for yourself
for the day of wrath and revelation
of the just judgment of God,
who will repay everyone according to his works,
eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality
through perseverance in good works,
but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth
and obey wickedness.
Yes, affliction and distress will come upon everyone
who does evil, Jew first and then Greek.
But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone
who does good, Jew first and then Greek.
There is no partiality with God.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 62:2-3, 6-7, 9

R. (13b) Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.
Only in God is my soul at rest;
from him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed at all.
R. Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.
Only in God be at rest, my soul,
for from him comes my hope.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed.
R. Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.
Trust in him at all times, O my people!
Pour out your hearts before him;
God is our refuge!
R. Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.

Gospel
LK 11:42-46

The Lord said:
“Woe to you Pharisees!
You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb,
but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God.
These you should have done, without overlooking the others.
Woe to you Pharisees!
You love the seat of honor in synagogues
and greetings in marketplaces.
Woe to you!
You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.”Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply,
“Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.”
And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law!
You impose on people burdens hard to carry,
but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.”