Celebrate Sunday Mass - 10.10.21

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10/10/2021 (2 weeks ago)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Oct 10, 2021, 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Catholic Online Community and Catholic Online School students...

I AM HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU AN INVITATION TO SUNDAY MASS ON THE 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time in the Catholic Diocese of Tyler.  Our participation at Holy Mass is always enhanced when we take time to prayerfully reflect on the readings. 

This is one of the reasons we are encouraged to read the readings for Holy Mass before we come to assist at Holy Mass.

In our first reading we heard the prayer of Solomon, found in the Book of Wisdom. Solomon preferred the Wisdom of Heaven to scepters, thrones, and wealth. He knew that the wisdom that comes from the Lord is greater than any earthly good.  The Psalmist David, in our responsorial Psalm, prays to the Lord, "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart". 

Our second reading is an excerpt from the Letter of St James to all the churches. The Apostle speaks to us of the power found in the written Word of God. He writes "It is sharper than any two-edged sword". We find the wisdom of heaven in words on the pages of the Bible, the Sacred Scriptures. But we must read it. We must seek it. We must look for it. We must ask for it. 

In the first chapter of this same letter, we read, "But if any of you lacks wisdom,* he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it. But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind." (James 1:5 and 6)

The written word is intended to lead us to the Living Word. The Living Word is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, who became like us so that we could become like Him. He is the Word Incarnate, Jesus Christ.

In a dialogue found in the Gospel of St. John Jesus tells those who oppose his healing on the Sabbath "You search" the scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life." (Jn 5:39) 

We need to come to the Lord Jesus Christ, to encounter Him, for the written word to come alive. 

The Gospel reading for today's Holy Mass is taken from St Marks account of the encounter between the Lord Jesus and the rich young man. Notice that the man "went away sad". He knew the commandments and tried to live them.  But he refused to renounce earthly wealth for the treasures of heaven, and he lost the happiness which comes from both encountering and choosing to follow Jesus Christ. 

He "went away sad", not because he had riches, but because they had him. His possessions possessed him. He was standing in the very presence of the Living Word, the Savior, the One sent from the Father. He was invited to follow Jesus Christ and in following Him, to find true happiness and freedom. But he chose instead to hold on to the goods of this earth.

In Saint John Paul's Letter on the Moral Life, entitled the Splendor of Truth, (Veritatis Splendor) he uses this encounter between Jesus and the rich young man as a framework within which to discuss the Moral Life and the Christian calling to follow Jesu, putting Him first in our lives. In its first chapter, the letter provides an exegesis of the scriptures based on the Lord's encounter with the Rich young man within which John Paul sets forth a beautiful teaching on the moral theology of choice. 

Our choices not only change the world around us, they change us. 

It was not the man's possessions which made him choose to say no to the Lord's invitation. It was his disordered relationship to those possessions which impeded his freedom to choose what is right. To follow Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. They possessed him. So, he went away sad because he made the wrong choice. 

From this encounter the letter develops its teaching on choice and authentic human freedom, explaining the proper development and formation of conscience in relationship to objective truth. It issues a strong reaffirmation of the Natural Moral Law and a powerful explanation of the effect of our choices.

What do we choose in our daily life? What do we set our hearts on? What is our relationship to the goods of the earth?  Is the Lord our greatest treasure? 

God bless you,  

Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School

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