Saturday, July 26, 2014

O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! Late have I loved Your body the Holy Church and late have I loved You in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.

Matthew 13; 44-52. Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. July 27th, 2014

We have for the past few Sundays heard parables from Jesus. And today we continue with parables; The Kingdom of heaven; the buried treasure; the pearl of great price; the net thrown into the sea; and the goods from the storehouse. These parables have a common theme…“our relationship with Jesus Christ is the most valuable thing we own—He and His Church, must be our most valuable possession.” Jesus concludes His teaching today with a short discussion with His disciples, asking them if they had understood, and they reply they did. Then he adds one more parable- the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” Jesus’ teaching was very much like this, bringing the Old with a new perspective. This new prospect certainly invoked many emotions not only in the disciples, but in all of those who heard Jesus words.

Certainly in our times, our Church has gone through this process of presenting old with a new perspective. In fact, this is exactly why Vatican Council II, was called, that the great gathering of all the bishops of the world which ended in 1965. The Fathers of the Council desired to present the Old with a new perspective. Before the Council the Church knew who she was and what she believed, there was no such thing as an identity crisis.

Because of the surety of faith the Church was experiencing, the Fathers wanted to boldly take the truths of our faith and all of its beauty out into confident dialogue with the modern world. Instead of hiding from an ever increasing secularize world, the Church wanted to take its great patrimony of faith and its 2,000 years of human experience and use it to confront the great challenges facing the modern world in order to save it from Itself—literally!!!

The Church has struggled much to try to understand this noble aspiration of Vatican II—that is, presenting the old with a new perspective. However, in the last forty years since the Council there has arisen the mistaken notion of a “pre-Vatican II Church” opposed to “a post-Vatican II Church,” as if the Church before Vatican II was somehow different, and since then even Her teachings have changed. Vatican II of course changed nothing, this is very clear to those who have read and studied the documents; the truth is the truth and as such is unchangeable. The Church is the same Church, with the same teachings as before. Even Her Sacred Liturgy, although it may be offered in a different manner than before the changes after the council, it is still the same Holy Mass; and whats more, the Old way of offering it still just as valid and true as before. Pope Emeritus Benedict explain this all by his Hermeneutic of Continuity…which is just a fancy way of saying that what was right and true and good for centuries and centuries cannot all of sudden be wrong and false and bad now (you don’t need a PHD to understand this). In fact the old, what has been the case for centuries, is the litmus test to make sure that we are truly present the old with a new perspective, and not just something different from what is good, true and right. This goes for the Church and all of her teachings; it also by the way goes for how the Holy Mass was offered as well…the old way is still valid and true and good along with the new, but we look to the old to judge the new.

A wise old priest friend and mentor of mine by the name of Father Jordan, (God rest his soul…please pray for him), once said to me, “Right is Right even if no one is doing it, and wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.” In other words, because Truth comes from God who doesn’t change, truth therefore does not change. And even more, Ultimately the Truth which comes from God is not just a list of things to be believed with our intellect and lived with our will, but Truth is actually a person, a divine person, Jesus Himself, Who the Father in His great love has sent to save us by giving us the truth. Jesus is Himself the Truth….And so Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever and so too His Holy Church and her teachings…they are true and so like Jesus they can not change.

It was after all, Jesus who came to establish on earth the Kingdom of Heaven, which is also known as the Kingdom of God…He compares it today to a treasure buried in a field and the head of a household who presents the old with the new. To establish this Kingdom, He personally and intentuially founded one Church whose mission is “to proclaim and establish among all peoples the Kingdom of God, which is also the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the King of all kings. This Church, according to Vatican II, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in [subsistit in] the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him”. (SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 8.)

The Church on earth is Herself, according to Vatican II, the Church on earth is Herself then mysteriously, the seed and the beginning of that Heavenly Kingdom already present” (SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 5” Why? Because she mysteriously contains the Kingdom of God in Person—Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Eucharist is in fact, Jesus Christ Himself, the King still present on earth in His human body, although hidden from our senses in the Holy Eucharist. The Church is then this treasure that Jesus speaks about, it is the treasure buried in the field of this present world because it alone contains the Treasure of all treasures, Jesus Christ the King of the Kingdom who is truly present in the Holy Eucharist....the Holy Eucharist is then the pearl of great price which is attainable by all of those who believe, adore, hope and love Him there and who love the Church who brings Him to us through the Holy Spirit working through Her Sacred Priesthood.

In our Mass today, we ask this grace of Jesus- the grace to have Him alone as our only Treasure, for “where you treasure is, there is your heart too.” (Matt. 6.21). Jesus has given us His Kingdom on earth, the Catholic Church, so that She could lead us by her teachings to Himself who is the Truth. Jesus has given us His Church to give us Himself and His mercy and love through Her great Sacraments, especially in Her Most Blessed of all Sacraments which is Jesus in Person in the flesh, Body Blood, Soul and Divinity, so that we would be in loving union with His Kingdom already in this world and fully in world to come.

Let us discover anew the awesome mystery of Our Holy Mother Church and Her Sacraments. But especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which actually bring us our True Treasure, Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Some of the externals of the way in which Holy Mass has been offered may have changed after Vatican II. But what hasn’t change is the reality of what the Mass is….It is the once and for all Sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary made present for us on this Sacred Altar by the Power of the Holy Spirit working through the gift of the Sacred Priesthood, in order that we through faith might become one with God by first adoring and offering ourselves in trust to God in union with Jesus’ Sacrifice and then by loving and reverently receiving Jesus our true treasure who is truly and physically present in the Holy Eucharist into our body and souls at Holy Communion.

May we abandon ourselves completely to Him and allow His grace to fill our hearts by our obedience to His Kingdom on earth, the Catholic Church and her teachings which are His teachings. Our Lady of the Holy Eucharist helps us to be aware of the Mystery of the Holy Mass, help us to adore the Blessed Trinity through uniting our lives to the Sacrifice of Your Son on this Altar. O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! Late have I loved Your body the Holy Church and the truth of her teachings which are your teachings, late have I loved You in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. O Mary mother of the Truth, help us to love Him by loving His One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church more!!! God Bless You!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Let us make our offering acceptable by making it through the Immaculate Heart and the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary through which the Word of God took flesh and entered into our world as one of us…

Dear Blog followers. I apologize for not posting a homily last week. Below is the homily for this week my first as a chaplain at OSF St. Anthony's Hospital in Rockford, IL. Please continue to pray for me as I do for you and your families. God bless.
Fr. Lange

Matthew 13, 1,23 Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary time. July 12th, 2014

Today the Word of God speaks to us from the Sacred Scriptures about the Word of God. The Word of God we are told springs from the Father and goes out into the world.... and returns to the Father not void, but, bringing with It great fruit. This fruit is the fruit of souls who have totally entrusted themselves, who have totally given themselves to the Father, Who gives Himself to us totally through His Word. These souls, allowing themselves to be fed by the Word of God, have been transformed and are being transformed, by the same Word, into glorious sons and daughters of the Father. They, by their very lives have become those who the Father seeks, those who would worship Him in Spirit and truth, thus becoming one with the Father through His Word in the unity of His Love. In this transforming union they become a way for others to become one with God through His Holy Word.

This is the fruit of the Word, to become one with God. The Word of God comes to us order to bring this union of love about, in the hearts and the souls of those who would believe. The Word definitely brings this about in many souls. Sadly however, has we have heard from our Gospel, not in all; for many as well, have not allowed or do not allow the Word of God to take root fully in their lives. They refuse to believe or fail to live out that belief in the way they live their lives. They have allowed the devil (and his lies), and the things of the world and the cares of the world to prevent it from being so.

Today we are called, you and me, to allow the Word of God to more fully penetrate our heart, our soul, our mind and our life. Through our personal repentance, our radical turning away from sin and from those things that we have place before God, we are call to turn to Him more fully, to love Him more faithfully. For this to happen we must beg the Holy Spirit to enlighten us to the things in our lives that are not allowing the Word of God to fully penetrate our inner most being, and to take root, grow, and bear fruit.

We must then humbly admit that we have through our sin, what we have done or what we have failed to do, not allowed or choke off a more intimate fruitful relationship with God and with His Holy Church. We do this by confessing these sins in the Sacrament of Confession, truthfully and fully…This leads us to be more open to His Holy Word, to receive it more worthily and fully, thus allowing it to bear more fruit in us, the fruit of becoming one with God in a loving union not only in the life to come but already here on earth….This is a union with leads to great joy in our lives even amidst great sufferings and struggles; a union with allow us to share this joy with others helping to lead them to this same loving union with God.

It is important to remember that the Word of God comes to us today through the Sacred Scriptures, which we just heard. It come to us through those Scriptures which are explain and taught to us infallibly, without error, by the Holy Church and her teachings. It comes to us through It’s minister the priest through the Sacraments of the Church. But most especially and substantially it comes to us through the Holy Eucharist, which is, or better yet, Who is the Word of God become flesh.

The Holy Eucharist, the Word of God who is none other than Jesus, comes to us from the Father. In the Holy Eucharist, Jesus who is equal to the Father and so God Himself comes to us seeking to enter into our souls fully and bear great fruit in and through us through our holiness of life. In the Holy Eucharist Who is God, the Father wishes to bring us into an intimate fruitful union of love with Him. And as I said, the fruit of this union is not only the individual soul becoming one with God, but also others, through that soul and its life, becoming one with God.

God is the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Eucharist is God. Let us at this Holy Mass ask God to help us to rid our lives of anything, anything that is preventing our reception of God at Holy Communion from taking root in our lives and bearing great fruity. Let us be willing to make any effort, suffer any pain or endure any tribulation to do so. For the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed in us by witness of our lives to the Word of God, Jesus whom we receive in Holy Communion.

And when we look at the Holy Eucharist let us remember that blessed are our eyes because they see (through faith) the Word of God which has sprung forth from the mouth of the Father and becomes flesh once again on this altar of sacrifice through the Holy Spirit working through the gift of the Sacred Priesthood. And in order to receive Him more fruitfully let us, in response to the God who gives Himself totally to us in Holy Communion, give ourselves totally to Him by placing our hearts in spirit on the paten to be offered to Him in loving sacrifice.

Let us make our offering acceptable by making it through the Immaculate Heart and the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary through which the Word of God took flesh and entered into our world as one of us…let us ask her to help us to allow this Holy Mass and Holy Communion to bear great fruit in our lives…for many prophets and righteous people longed to see what we see but did not see it, hear what we hear and did not hear it…that is to see and hear Jesus, the Word of God, truly present in the Holy Eucharist, the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar bearing much fruit through you and me transforming our world by transforming us making us and others through us one with God in Truth and Love. Holy Mary Mother of the Eucharist pray for us