Responding to the Lord’s Superabundant Grace, 29th Tuesday (I), October 20, 2015

Fr. Roger J. Landry
Visitation Convent of the Sisters of Life, Manhattan
Tuesday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I
Memorial of St. Paul of the Cross
October 20, 2015
Rom 5:12.15.17-21, Ps 40, Lk 12:35-38

 

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

 

The following points were attempted in the homily: 

  • Jesus calls us to a two-fold vigilance in the Gospel: to have our lamps lit like prudent virgins for his coming and to have our loins girded ready to leave with him and go out to continue his mission. He says that if he finds us vigilant in this way, he will do something totally shocking: pretend he’s our servant and proceed to wait on us at table, something he did during the Last Supper and something he promises to do at the Eternal Wedding banquet. His response is so much greater than our receptivity.
  • We see the same dynamic of generosity in today’s first reading. St. Paul describes that that God’s response to our sin and openness to his mercy will be far surpass the depth of our sin. St. Paul stresses this superabundance: “If by that one person’s transgression the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ overflow for the many.” “For if, by the transgression of the one, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.” “Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through justification for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” We’re living in a day in which sin abounds and therefore the death to which sin leads is all around us. But St. Paul tells us that it’s precisely at this time where God’s grace and life overflows all the more. We just need to be vigilant with lamps lit to receive it and with loins girded to live in it and bring it to others.
  • Someone who lived in this way was St. Paul of the Cross, the founder of the Passionists, who in pondering the Lord on the Cross saw not only what sin did but also how God in his mercy responded. The Resurrection is so much greater than the Crucifixion and that’s how God responds beautifully to the ugliness of our sin. When St. Paul of the Cross would preach missions on this, he was able to pierce even the hardest hearts, because he himself was overflowing with the Lord’s superabundant grace. It’s an indication for us of precisely what is possible for each of us.
  • Today we have come here with lamps lit and loins girded and the Lord is going to have us here around his table where not only will he serve us but feed us with himself — and the whole rest of the day is an opportunity to allow the superabundant gift of God we receive here to overflow, bringing his peace to the disquiet of so many hearts, his mercy to sin, his life to death.

 

The readings for today’s Mass were: 

Reading 1 ROM 5:12, 15B, 17-19, 20B-21

Brothers and sisters:
Through one man sin entered the world,
and through sin, death,
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned.If by that one person’s transgression the many died,
how much more did the grace of God
and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ
overflow for the many.
For if, by the transgression of the one,
death came to reign through that one,
how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace
and the gift of justification
come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, just as through one transgression
condemnation came upon all,
so, through one righteous act
acquittal and life came to all.
For just as through the disobedience of one man
the many were made sinners,
so, through the obedience of the one
the many will be made righteous.
Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more,
so that, as sin reigned in death,
grace also might reign through justification
for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Responsorial Psalm PS 40:7-8A, 8B-9, 10, 17

R. (8a and 9a) Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Burnt offerings or sin offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
May all who seek you
exult and be glad in you,
And may those who love your salvation
say ever, “The LORD be glorified.”
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Alleluia LK 21:36

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Be vigilant at all times and pray
that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 12:35-38

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding,
ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.
Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself,
have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.
And should he come in the second or third watch
and find them prepared in this way,
blessed are those servants.”
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