Wednesday of 33rd Week of Ordinary

Mass, A Special Free Gift

In today’s Gospel, while people were listening to Jesus speak, he proceeded to tell them a parable of a nobleman, a king, entrusted his gold coins to ten of his servants to make profits when he went away to a distant country. One of the ten didn’t do anything with the gold coin, in fact, he buried it and gave it back to the king when he came back from his trip. Out of anger, the king took the gold coin back and gave it to the one who made profit of ten more coins and concluded, “I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.” What have you and I been given to make profits in our Christian journey here on earth?

We are given Sacraments, especially the first three Sacraments called the Sacraments of Initiation, that we are asked to make profit for our Christian life. What would we do and how would we make profits of these Sacraments?

Perhaps, learning and understanding help us to participate in the life of the Church, especially through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the Mass. How would we make profits from our Sacraments of Initiation, the Sacraments of Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation? These Sacraments are like the gold coin that we are entrusted by the Lord to make profits from it.

Regularly attending Mass to receive the Body and the Blood of Jesus Christ is the food and drink to sustain our lives to make profits in front of God’s eyes. What does it mean, the Mass? We begin the Mass with the Sign of the Cross to remind us that we have been marked for Christ and that Jesus saves us by his death and resurrection. It represents our freedom from sin and reminds us of the work of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in our lives. Why do we kneel in some parts of the Mass? Anytime that we kneel during Mass it is to show reverence for Christ. It is an act of humility and unites us with Christ.

Liturgy of the Words and liturgy of the Eucharist are two important parts of Mass. In the liturgy of the Word, on weekdays, there are three readings—first reading taken from Old Testament, second is the Psalm response which is read from the book of Psalms, finally the Gospel reading from one of the four Gospel books Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. During Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, there is an additional reading after the Responsorial Psalm. In all these readings in the Liturgy of the Word, the Gospel is an important reading since the Evangelists reported the Words of Jesus himself. Before the proclamation of the Gospel, we cross our forehead, lips, and heart. These prayer and action ask God to root His Word in our mind so we can meditate on it, on our lips so we can proclaim it, and in our hearts so we can fall more deeply in love with it. All these readings are read from the ambo which signifies a place of prominence for the Word of God. This ambo is one of the four places Christ presents in the Church.

The Altar is the second place that Christ presents, specifically in the priest at the moment of consecration of bread and wine and in those species after the consecration, since it is a place of sacrifice, the cross, the bread and wine become the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. This means that Jesus is not re-sacrificed at every Mass, but His sacrifice is made present for all eternity in remembrance of him.

Why do we need to receive Communion? Just as food sustains and nourishes our bodies and is necessary for our survival, the Eucharist or Communion sustains and nourishes our souls and is necessary for our salvation. The more we receive the Body and the Blood of Christ, the more we become like Christ helps us to cleanse our past sins and helps keep us from sinning in the future. This does not mean Eucharist replaced the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but it does wipe away venial sins. It also preserves us from committing mortal sins because we are in such union with Christ we will not want to commit a mortal sin which breaks this unity.

At the end of every Mass, our deacon normally says, “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life” or “Go forth, the Mass is ended.” We are sent forth to bring Christ whom we received at Communion into the world in our everyday lives, living out the mission He has given to us. Mass contains and expresses all forms of prayer, so it is the highest form of all prayers.

We are all given gifts, a gold coin to make profit in our Christian life. Mass is a special gift that we are all invited to come to participate in it to sustain and to nourish our souls and necessary for salvation. Would you like to sustain and to nourish your soul and achieve salvation on the last day? Regularly attending Mass.


Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen

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