Friday, July 08, 2011

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost - Notes from Fr. Eric Forbes

This coming Sunday is the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost - Extraordinary Form (Traditional Latin Mass)
11AM Mass with Fr Andre

One theme for this Sunday's liturgy : WAITING ON A SUPERABUNDANT GOD

INTROIT : sets the tone for this Sunday's liturgy.  All our enemies which we think get in the way of real happiness are no match for God's power.

COLLECT : Nothing happens in the world without God a) actively making it happen or b) passively allowing it to happen.  We ask that God direct the events of this world (our own little world, and in the larger world), in either His active will or His passive will, in a way that is advantageous to us and the whole Church.

EPISTLE : We have to wait.  Little in life happens as quickly as we want it.  Saint Paul is teaching us that all this waiting is not a waste of time, as long as we are waiting for what counts : our salvation.  This future salvation gives us the perfect happiness our hearts desire, including the glorification of our bodies.  We wait and we groan, but for the right thing.  Unfortunately, many others wait and groan for the wrong things; things that don't bring perfect happiness.

GRADUAL : God's goodness is not just for our good, but is also for His glory.  When God is good to us, in the eyes of His enemies (the Gentiles, the unbelieving world or "nations"), God is glorified.  His power and His goodness are manifested and the eyes of His enemies see this.  God does not personally need to be glorified, as if He would be lacking something He needed if He was not glorified.  God is glorified no matter what, whether we glorify Him or not.  God is always glorified because He is always deserving of glory; He is by nature glorious.  We benefit from glorifying Him!  And we suffer when we do not glorify Him.

ALLELUIA : God is mighty (sitting on His throne) but He is also kind and gracious, helping the poor.  We will see this in the events of the Gospel.

GOSPEL : All the miracles our Lord performed were primarily for a supernatural benefit, not just for the passing, material benefit.  In providing superabundantly for the Apostles when their own efforts failed, our Lord was showing us that He provides abundantly when we are weak.  Christ reiterates their calling to be the Church's fishermen, reminding them (by filling their nets) that He will make up for what they cannot do naturally as fishers of men.  This must have been a consolation to them, who realized their nothingness (Peter says, "Depart from me; I am a sinful man!).  Christ responds, "Fear not!"  We wait on a superabundant God.  He will provide!  We need not fear.

OFFERTORY : We can easily stray from God and move towards spiritual death, so we pray that God enlighten our eyes and keep us on track.

SECRET : "I don't want, but I wish I wanted!"  This is human life in all honesty.  In this remarkable Secret, we acknowledge that, despite all our statements that we want God and to follow Him, there is in all of us a fallen human nature that wants its own way.  Still, we wish we could truly want God above all things, so we ask that He constrain our wills even as we resist Him.

COMMUNION : With the psalmist, we acknowledge God as the mighty one, greater than all our foes.

POST-COMMUNION : The Eucharist is a mystery.  A mystery is something real which we cannot see with our physical eyes.  We see its reality with the eyes of faith.  That is why we call it the Mystery of Faith - Mysterium Fidei.  The Sacrifice of Jesus purifies us - of venial sins, weaknesses, imperfections, the remnants of past sins.  The Sacrifice also protects us, because His blood shields us from our greatest enemy, the devil.
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