Saturday, October 21, 2017

29th Sunday, A: "Render to God What is God's"

“Render to God What is God’s”

Christ is here to serve you
Wash your feet

Do you have to move around?


Make noise?


Most important active participation for all of us at Mass is that which we cannot see

It happens in silence, interiorly
You have a rich interior life

This is who you are

But if you do not truly possess it you cannot give it

“We cannot give what we do not have”
What is God’s?
Your mind?
Your heart?
Your money?
Your time?

All of these and more: Christ’s total self-giving on the Cross here at Mass and at every Mass, is the key to understanding the love He asks of us.

God does not ask us to do anything He does not first do Himself: “You shall love the Lord your God with your whole mind, heart, soul and strength”

The dictatorship of noise so present in our lives today hampers and make difficult this self-giving necessary for loving God and others. Frustrates loving.

Silence enables us to possess ourselves. To encounter God. To give ourselves to Him.

Two very short periods of silence are mandated in the Mass we celebrate tonight which was put together after Vatican II: after the homily and after Communion. We have done our best to implement these opportunities for recollection here at our parish. Some of you may not have encountered this in other parishes because it was not implemented carefully and consistently for many years.

But there is another way that silence was organically offered in the Mass before being discarded with Vatican II as an excuse. The canon of the Mass (also known as Eucharistic Prayer I) was intoned in a low voice so that the people could hear themselves pray along. They followed the text of the prayer in their missals as many of you have continued to do even though the Mass is now offered also in English. We will do that this evening, allowing God to enter more powerfully through the silence made possible this way, enabling us to enjoy more fully the sense of intimacy with God we always have in the Mass.

Though He is always present here, especially in the Eucharist, sometimes the noise crowds Him out.
We can begin here and now to defeat the tyranny of noise with the power of holy silence and even carry this force for prayer and holiness with us throughout the week.

The Lord Himself invites us to do this. He will be with us, especially in the silence. Give Him permission.

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