With God and With Hope in the World, 29th Tuesday (II), October 21, 2014

Fr. Roger J. Landry
St. Bernadette Parish, Fall River, MA
Tuesday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time, Year II
October 21, 2014
Eph 2:12-22, Ps 85, Lk 12:35-38

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

 

The following points were made in the homily: 

  • St. Paul describes in the first reading the situation of the gentiles in Ephesus before Christianity. “You were at that time without Christ, alienated from the community of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, without hope and without God in the world.” They were hopeless without Christ because they were living without God in the world. Once one begins to live with God, one begins to have hope in every circumstance. That’s the hope that came to all the nations. St. Paul describes it, “Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have become near by the Blood of Christ.”
  • That communion with Christ leads to a communion with his body the Church, which St. Paul also describes. He says of Jews and Gentiles, Christ “made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, … that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two … and might reconcile both with God, in one Body, through the Cross.” That leads to the beautiful reality that in Christ, as St. Paul says, “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God,  built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” That’s the reality of the Church. We are united with the saints, built upon Christ, as a holy temple, the dwelling place of God.
  • The challenge for us is to remember and live this reality. In the Gospel, Jesus praises those who keep an awareness of his presence. He calls us to 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. … And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants.” This is the attitude we call presence of God, an awareness that Jesus is with us in the world, an alertness of the various ways he comes to us. This is contrasted with the attitude Jesus describes we will hear tomorrow, of the one who forgets God, who thinks “My master is delayed in coming” and “begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk.” These are people who live without God in the world.
  • Jesus wants to help us keep a lively awareness of his presence. He meets us in prayer. He comes to abide in us in Holy Communion and help to create us more and more into his Body and make us fellow citizens with the saints. Jesus promised that if we remember him and live with him in the world, if he finds us vigilant, “he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.” That’s what Jesus did at the Last Supper, taking on the form of a slave and washing his apostles’ feet and feeding them with his very own body and blood. That’s what he does for us here at this Eucharistic banquet. That’s what he promises to do forever in heaven if we live together with Him in the world and live in a communion of genuine sacrificial love with all the holy ones, building our entire life on Christ the capstone.

The readings for today’s Mass were: 

Reading 1 eph 2:12-22

Brothers and sisters:
You were at that time without Christ,
alienated from the community of Israel
and strangers to the covenants of promise,
without hope and without God in the world.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off
have become near by the Blood of Christ.For he is our peace, he made both one
and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his Flesh,
abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims,
that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two,
thus establishing peace,
and might reconcile both with God,
in one Body, through the cross,
putting that enmity to death by it.
He came and preached peace to you who were far off
and peace to those who were near,
for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners,
but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones
and members of the household of God,
built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets,
with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.
Through him the whole structure is held together
and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord;
in him you also are being built together
into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm ps 85:9ab-10, 11-12, 13-14

R. (see 9) The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD–for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.

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.”