Archive for the ‘Traditional Latin Mass Homilies NEW!!!’ Category

Homily – Divine Mercy Sunday MMX 4/11/10

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Homily – Divine Mercy Sunday MMX 4/11/10

The Second Reading this weekend is taken from the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation.

John was just a young man when Jesus rose from the Dead, but in the second reading John is now a very old man exiled on the tiny Greek Island of Patmos, which was probably where the government sent criminals to die. All his other brother Apostles had been martyred, and the Virgin Mary whom he lived with for many years had years before been assumed into Heaven.

It was there on Patmos one Lord’s Day, which is Sunday, that John was caught up in Spirit and is given a vision of seven gold lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands was the Risen Lord Jesus.

Seeing Jesus amidst the Lampstands on the Lord’s Day, John fell down at Christ’s Pierced Feet, as one dead to the world, and alive only for Jesus.

This passage is the reason why Catholic Altars traditionally have six big gold candlesticks with an Altar Crucifix in the middle of them, like our altar does, to represent these seven lampstands that John saw in His vision.

Just like John’s vision, on the Lord’s Day, on Sunday, when we come to Church, the Risen Jesus, Body Blood, Soul and Divinity, appears in the midst of the Seven Lampstands on our Altar.

May we too like John fall down before Him, dead to the world and alive only for Jesus.

While we see Jesus at Mass hidden under the species of Bread and Wine, John in His Vision saw Him as He really looks like in Heaven, wearing an ankle length robe, with a gold sash around his chest.

In this respect, John’s vision of Jesus is very similar to the Private Revelation the Polish Nun St. Faustina Kowalska had of Jesus on February 22, 1931.

Sister Faustina writes in her diary the following:

(That) evening, when I was in my cell, I saw the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment.  One hand (was ) raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast.  From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside at the breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale.

“After a while, Jesus said to me, “Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus I trust in You.  I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel and (then) throughout the world.

“I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over (its) enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory.”

Just as Jesus told John to write down the vision he saw on a scroll, for the world to read, so Jesus told St. Faustina to paint the Vision she saw, for the world to Venerate.

St. Faustina told this to her priest in confession, who told her Jesus was speaking to her figuratively: “Jesus wants you to paint (that) image in your soul.”

But afterward Jesus spoke to her and said: “(The priest is mistaken), My image already is in your soul. . . .I want this image, which you will paint with a brush, to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy.  I desire that priests proclaim this great mercy of Mine towards souls of sinners. Let the sinner not be afraid to approach Me. The flames of mercy are burning Me –  clamoring to be spent; I want to pour them out upon these souls.”

Then Jesus told her why He wanted the words “Jesus I Trust in You” written under the image.  He said to her “Distrust on the part of souls is tearing at My insides. The distrust of a chosen soul (that is, a baptized person) causes Me even greater pain; despite My inexhaustible love for them, they do not trust in Me.  Even My death is not enough for them.  Woe to the soul that abuses these (gifts I’ve given them).”

All of this is private Revelation and we’re not required to believe Jesus really appeared to St. Faustina, still it is amazing that this Polish nun who died in 1938 was absolutely correct in prophesying that this Divine Mercy image of Jesus would be venerated throughout the world, and that this Sunday would become officially known as Mercy Sunday, which became a reality in 2000 by decree of Pope John Paul II.

The Divine Mercy image and devotions surrounding the image such as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy have become so popular because it’s message is much needed in our world today.

Jesus gave the Church in the modern world this consoling image to heal the wounds of this past 20th Century, a century of widespread atheism, unbelief, a century of unprecedented violence and hatred, a century which saw the Jewish Holocaust, the Russian Gulag, the Armenian and Rwandan Genocide,  legalized abortion, abuse of children and many other atrocities.

But instead of sending the world fire and brimstone, God the Father sends us His Son in this image of Divine Mercy, saying to us “I still love you and forgive you.”

It is as if the 20th Century was the century of the doubting Thomas, Jesus appeared to us again in the Divine Mercy image as if to say “Doubt no longer but believe, and trust in me!”

And so as the Risen Lord comes to us on this Easter Feast of the Divine Mercy amidst the Seven Gold Lampstands on our Altar, may Jesus give us the grace to fully Trust in Him, and to be a people generous in works of Mercy:

Giving food and drink to the hungry and thirsty, clothing the naked, housing the homeless, visiting the sick, ransoming the captives, burying the dead, instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful;

Admonishing sinners, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving offenses willingly, comforting the sorrowful, and praying for the living and the dead.

Jesus we trust in you, may this image of Divine Mercy truly be written in our hearts and lives.

Traditional Latin Mass Homily – 4th Sunday after Pentecost

Monday, June 9th, 2008

Traditional Latin Mass Homily – 4th Sunday after Pentecost 6/8/8

(Note: the Gospel for this weekend in the Extraordinary Form is Luke 5:1-11, the miraculous catch of fish)

In today’s Gospel we read:

Et sedens, docebat de navicula turbas.
And sitting,
(Jesus) taught the multitudes
out of
(Peter’s) boat.

This image of Jesus teaching from Peter’s boat has always been viewed to be a foreshadowing of the Holy Catholic Church. For the past 2000 years, Our Lord Jesus has sat in the middle of this boat which is the Church, a boat which sails safely through the stormy waves of history, with the successor of St. Peter, the Pope, at the helm.

And from this boat which is the Catholic Church, Jesus continues to teach the multitudes that are found both on and off the boat; and the multitudes down through the centuries continue to be taught by Christ in whatever waters this boat is found sailing in.

And once in a while, Jesus will cease teaching for a moment, and turn to the Captain of the ship, and say to him what He said that day to St. Peter: Duc in altum. Launch out into the deep, and lower your nets for a catch.

A few years ago, our beloved Holy Father Pope John Paul II went home to the Lord, and the Cardinals in conclave elected Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to succeed him as Pope. And taking the name Benedict XVI, he became the vicar of Christ, the successor of St. Peter, the captain of the S.S. Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict wasn’t long at the helm when he heard Jesus say to him: “Duc in altum- Launch out into the deep, Benedict, and lower the nets for a catch. But before you do that, Sailor, go down below the deck, and bring up from the storage room that older net that I like so much, the one you’ve hardly used these past 40 years, and start fishing with it again. And tell the sons of Zebedee, James and John, and all the other ships in the fleet, to get the older net out as well, and to start casting it alongside the newer one.”

And so our great Captain, Pope Benedict, obedient to the Lord’s voice, went and got that 900 year old net which is the Traditional Latin Mass. And on July 7th, 2007 he sent out a letter to all the Fishers of Men in the Church today, the Priests of the Church. And in this letter, this Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, the successor of Peter said that beginning September 14th, 2007, the Church was launching out into the deep, and lowering the nets for a catch, and that any validly ordained Fisher of Men of the Roman Rite who wished to had permission to use the older net instead of the newer one, and no one could tell him he wasn’t allowed to.

And over the past nine months since the implementation of Summorum Pontificum, we are seeing in more and more Parishes and Chapels around the country and around the world the older net being used by more and more priests.

And also over the past nine months, we are seeing more and more fish getting hooked by the beauty, the reverence, the mystery, and the majesty of this Extraordinary Form of Mass.

In the opinion of not a few Master Fishers of Men, the older net can go down much further into the depths than the newer one can, which enables it to catch some prize fishes that the newer one can’t hook.

Many also feel that the Traditional Latin Mass is able to reach further into the depths of our being: the silence, the rituals, the Latin prayers allow us to leave the shallowness of this fallen world and to plunge deep into the world of the spirit, deep into the unfathomable mystery of the Thrice Holy Trinity.

Certainly in a well celebrated Traditional Latin Mass reverently entered into, Jesus is capable of bringing us to our knees as he brought Peter to his knees after the miraculous catch of fish. Here we encounter the Holiness of Christ, and beg Jesus to depart from us, for we are sinful men and women, O Lord.

But at the same time, we also hear Jesus respond back to us, “fear not, stay close to Me on this great boat of mine, and with Peter at the helm, we’ll sail together, and catch many men and women for the Kingdom of God.”

Homily — Pentecost MMVIII May 11, 2008

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Homily — Pentecost MMVIII May 11, 2008
[Note: My parish had the second of three special Traditional Latin Masses this Sunday. The additions to the homily for this Mass are indicated in brackets.]

One of the most popular novels of the 20th century is J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The three volume work was also made into three movies several years ago, which were all in large part faithful to the original books.

While millions of people have enjoyed reading or seeing this fantasy story filled with hobbits, elves, wizards and magical rings, many people are surprised to find out that Tolkien was a very devout Roman Catholic, that he dedicated the work to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and called The Lord of the Rings a “fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but conscious in the revision.”

[Traditional Latin Mass: It also should be noted that Tolkien had a great love for the Traditional Latin Mass, and he lamented many of the Liturgical Reforms being promoted after Vatican II, which he considered to be a dangerous tampering with Tradition (see “The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien,” Houghton Mifflin, 2000, p. 393-395). But I digress from my main topic.]

One of the many amazing things about The Lord of the Rings is that while whole books have been written showing how almost every aspect of the Catholic Faith can be found in the work, in the 1200 plus pages of the Trilogy itself, Tolkien mentions God by name only once, and even then, most people don’t even realize he’s referring to God in the passage.

I bring this up today, not because I’m a huge J.R.R. Tolkien fan (which is certainly the case), but because that one time Tolkien does mention God in his book, it is God the Holy Spirit that he refers to.

But Tolkien doesn’t call Him “God the Holy Spirit” straight out, he instead uses a phrase which beautifully describes God the Holy Spirit: He calls Him “The Secret Fire.”

“I am the Servant of the Secret Fire” says Gandalf to the Balrog down in the Mines of Moria, towards the end of Part I, the Fellowship of the Ring, in case you’re wondering just where in the book or movies it is. After the book was finished, Tolkien was asked what the “Secret Fire” was, and he said It is the Holy Spirit.

“Secret Fire” is a wonderful way to think of the Holy Spirit. From the creation of the world up until the time of Moses, the “Secret Fire” who is the Holy Spirit was kept well hidden in the bosom of the Holy Trinity. But in the Old Testament, every now and then glimpses of the Secret Fire could be partly seen, hidden in the voice of the Old Testament Prophets.

Then, when the fullness of time had come, the Secret Fire came upon the Virgin Mary at the Annunciation, and was then fully seen to be hidden in the Person of Her Son, Jesus. And Jesus the God Man from the moment of His Incarnation became the True and Perfect “Servant of the Secret Fire.”

Throughout Our Lord’s life, this Secret Fire would at times flame out, as Jesus worked miracles and taught with authority and healed the sick and expelled demons.

But at other times the Secret Fire would stay secret, as He did the first 30 years of Jesus’ life, as He did during Jesus’ Passion and Death and Burial.

But at the Resurrection, and even more so at the Ascension, the Secret Fire who is the Holy Spirit was least secret in showing the faithful just what it was fully capable of doing in raising Christ from the dead, and setting Him on the Throne at the Father’s right hand high.

And Today, Fifty Days after Christ’s Resurrection, Jesus sends this very same Secret Fire that He carried in this world, into the heart of every Baptized believer in Him.

And it’s by this tremendous grace of Pentecost that you and I are now “Servants of the Secret Fire,” Servants of the Holy Spirit who now dwells in us the same way He dwelt in Christ.

Throughout His earthly life, Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit, and was totally obedient to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, both in ordinary things and in extraordinary things. And you and I should also be led by the Holy Spirit, and be obedient to His promptings, both in our every day life, and in the exceptional times when we face big trials or decisions.

As we celebrate this Great Feast of Pentecost, which to the Church is on a par with Christmas and Easter, may we ask the Holy Spirit to be that Secret Fire within us whom we serve, who will warm and brighten our hearts and our Church, no matter how cold and dark the world around us may get, and who will also at times flame out of us and out of the Church, to renew the face of the earth.

Traditional Latin Mass Homily — 3rd Sunday After Easter April 13, 2008

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Homily — 3rd Sunday After Easter (Traditional Latin Mass)

[Note: This weekend, I offered for the first time as a priest the Traditional Latin Mass at my parish. Here is my homily for that special occasion. If you wish to see my homily for the 4th Sunday of Easter in the Ordinary Form of Mass, please scroll down under this homily.]

We welcome the Reverend Clergy, (Religious), and lay people from other parishes for this, the first of Three Masses in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, commonly known as the Traditional Latin Mass.

We hope you will be able to attend one of both of the other two Masses, the next one being the second Sunday of May, May 11, which is Pentecost Sunday and also Mother’s Day (the Traditional Latin Mass makes a great Mother’s Day gift!); and the last one being the second Sunday of June, June 8.

This Mass is being offered for St. Joseph Parishioners, living and deceased, and especially for the many parishioners who have helped make this Mass a reality.

About a month ago I was talking to an older priest friend of mine, Fr. G., about how I was in the process of training the Altar Servers for the Traditional Latin Mass. Father said he remembered serving the Mass as a boy, but he didn’t remember the part at the Consecration, where, as the priest raises the Body of Christ, the Server lifts the back hem of the priest’s chasuble with one hand, while with the other hand he rings the bell.

Father remembered ringing the bell, but not raising the back hem of the chasuble.

But a few days later, he was with Fr. R., who also served the Traditional Latin Mass growing up. So he asked this priest if he remembered doing that.

And Father said said “Yes, I remember doing that. One time when I was serving all alone, I was so nervous that I shook the priest’s chasuble with one hand and raised the bell with the other!”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells His Apostles at the Last Supper A little while, and you shall not see Me, but . . . . I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice: and your joy no man shall take from you.

Jesus’ words proved true when on Easter Sunday Night, Jesus appeared again to the Apostles in the Upper Room and showed them His hands and side, and the Gospel says The Disciples Rejoiced when they saw the Risen Lord.

Well, Easter was 21 days ago, and the Easter Lilies are starting to droop, but the Joy of the Resurrection remains in full bloom in the Church, and hopefully in our hearts in a most special way throughout these 50 days of Easter.

But this Easter Season of 2008, the joy our hearts experience is made even greater by the return of this Traditional Latin Mass.

This Easter, thousands of believers throughout the Church, both young and old, are rejoicing in the Holy Spirit, as they hear Mass begin with the words “Introibo ad altare Dei”– “I will go to the Altar of God, to God, who gives Joy to my Youth;”

Rejoicing in hearing the Mother Tongue, the ancient and stately Latin language, being used again at Mass, as it was for well over 1000 years throughout Western Christendom;

Rejoicing, — yes, I say it again, rejoicing, to see the priest offering the Holy Sacrifice the way all priests everywhere offered it from Apostolic times up until the 1960s: Ad Orientem, Facing the East along with their congregation, where Christ, the Rising Sun that will never set, will one day return from to Judge the Living and the Dead.

Throughout the Church this Easter, more and more Catholics are coming to rejoice in the intimate and prayerful silence which takes place during the Canon of the Mass, a silence which many people find the best part of the Traditional Latin Mass, as it allows them to enter more deeply into the mystery of God coming down from Heaven to be present on this very Altar.

Rejoicing also as the Angelic sounds of Sacred Polyphony and Gregorian Chant can be heard adorning the Divine Worship.

Rejoicing in the Confiteor, the Last Gospel, and all the other ancient prayers that have nourished generation upon generation of Catholics for centuries.

And finally, rejoicing when the Server rings the bell, and lifts the hem of the priest’s garment (or visa versa if Fr. R is serving Mass!), and at that moment the greatest joy of all, seeing there, in the hands of the priest, Jesus Himself, come to us in this Holy Sacrament so that we may receive Him as food for our hungry souls at the Altar Rail in Holy Communion.

My brothers and sisters, let us ask our blessed Mother Mary and St. Joseph our Patron to intercede for the Church on earth today, that these Heavenly Joys may never again be taken from those of us who have a love and devotion to this Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite of Mass.