Category Archives: Homily Quick Takes

Justification

Today, because I was running a little late for the 10:15 am Mass at St. Anastasia and didn’t want to miss part of the liturgy, I went to Guardian Angels for the 11 am Mass. While I didn’t feel particularly welcomed by the people or priest there, I did feel the presence of God and was able to really enter into worship during Mass.

The priest had a few really good analogies during his homily, but the one that stood out for me was when he was talking about justification, and how it’s not something that we can earn.

Think of a typist justifying the margins of a document. This has nothing to do with the document. It is all the work of the typist.

So, too, is our justification not a work of our own, but a work of God. He is the one who justifies us.

Later in the homily, he gave us another great piece of advice to keep in mind and reflect upon: Cultivate a posture of bowing low before the Lord.

(At least, I think it was from this homily. It’s possible I got this from a letter by Fr. Clement in OLGC’s bulletin or somewhere else. I’m transcribing these into my blog from a tiny sticky note, and it’s hard to tell if it was a separate instance or all part of the same. My apologies if I have attributed it to the wrong person!)

Preparing for Eternal Life

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Fr. John suggests that we bring a Bible, paper and pen to church on Sundays. This way, when God speaks to us during the readings or homily, we can write these things down, reflect upon them and put them into work in our lives.

I haven’t reached this point yet.

But, for the past two Masses, I *have* had a couple index cards in my purse….

Yesterday, I caught the 5 pm Mass at St. Anastasia. Fr. JJ was celebrating and gave a homily on John 6, where Jesus says that whoever eats of Him will have eternal life. He went on to give a story of a family on a cross-Atlantic voyage, rationing on bread and cheese, who only finds out at the end of the journey that a sumptuous feast was included in the price of their tickets. So, they could have been eating like kings the whole way. Not only do we sometimes miss the “feasts” that God sends our way during this journey on earth, but we also go the other way and take them for granted — not seeing them as the precious gifts that they are.

In what way to we take Him for granted?

Fr. JJ also reminded us that partaking of the Eucharist is an intimacy, an exchange between people who love each other, and not a one night stand experience. But how many of us treat Communion as a Wham-Bam event? Leaving church as quickly as we can, without so much as a Thank You?

Finally, he left us all with a question. What are we doing — how are we planning — to be a better person?

Because growing in holiness isn’t just going to happen. We have to work on it. We can’t just say, “Oh, I want to pray more.” We have to deliberately set aside the time and DO IT. Are we willing to put forth the effort?

She was Conceived at Conception

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I went to the 7 pm Mass at St. Anastasia for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Let me just say, it was one of the more amusing Masses that I’ve been to in a while! 🙂

I arrived about an hour early and sat in the darkened church, reading a book on prayer. As it got closer to Mass time, Holly pulled down the flag, indicating that they needed Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, of which I am one. So, I put down my book and wandered over to the usher’s room. She saw me and said, “I knew that putting up the flag would get you out of your seat!” !!!

After the start of Mass, the lector began to proclaim the Word. Or, um, to tell us a scary campfire story. He was VERY expressive. Lots of dramatic pauses. And even a different “voice” for the Voice of God. Well, I certainly paid attention. But I’m not sure that I paid as much attention to *what* he was saying as to *how* he was saying it.

And then for Fr. Eric’s homily. He started off well with, “She was conceived at conception.”

Very true. And she was probably born at birth as well.

Then, he spoke of angels. And how 1/3 of the angels fell. Which means that 2/3 of the angels remained. This is what I was thinking: If each of us gets our own guardian angel and since there are twice as many angels as demons, does this mean that there is only one demon for every two people (relatively speaking)? This gives us even more reason to hope.

Fr. Eric also spoke of how God does not see our flaws and our failings, but rather our potential.

With all of the emphasis on how Mary is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Ark of the Covenant, this led me to another way to think of Mary. Not only was she sinless, not only did she have incredible faith and trust in God, not only does she continually point the way to her Son, not only does she teach us how to be a disciple, but Mary also teaches us how to be a tabernacle. Through Mary’s example, we can better know how it is that we are to live and have the Holy Spirit of God and — literally, physically, via the Eucharist — Jesus dwell within us.