Sir. 3:17-18, 20, 28-29; Ps. 68; Heb. 12:18-19, 22-24a; Lk. 14:1, 7-14
(Audio recorded live, 28 August 2022)
The passage we heard from the Letter to the Hebrews is both historical and current. The author speaks of the way in which the people of Israel cowered before the awesome display of God’s power on Mount Sinai. He says, however, we have not approached that spectacle. Rather,
[We] have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.
How many of us walked into Church today thinking: “That is what I am approaching?” Because everything described in the passage is inextricably linked to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Mass is heaven on earth. So, the next time you open the door to a church, consider what you are approaching, it truly is out of this world.
In the gospel, we continue to hear the new paradigm for living that Jesus established for us, namely, “For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” This is an elaboration on last’s week teaching that some who are last will be first, and some who are first will be last. I could not think of a more appropriate message for our Annual Missionary Cooperative, Mary’s Meals. The work they do to bring food to those most in need fulfills the gospel, as Jesus says, “When you hold a banquet…invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.” In other words, those who are unable to repay. This is a powerful opportunity for us to be a blessing for those most in need. Jesus says, “Blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.” Throughout my life, I have always been blessed by giving to others. Something St. Aloysius once said is, “It is better to be a child of God than to be king of the world.” God takes care of all his children, and for those who are struggling, he gives others the means to be his helping hands in the world. We have this opportunity today to be a blessing for others. May our generosity be a blessing to the poor, and the communion we share today, be a foretaste of the great heavenly banquet, where we are gathered together as children of God.
Mary’s Meals is responsible for providing much needed food and nourishment for over 2.2 million children across twenty countries in the developing world. The cost to feed a child every school day throughout the year is $21. To learn more about Mary’s Meals and to offer them your support, please visit their website.