I love the singing of this guy in the above video belting out the first words of the Shema. Wow! That’s a bit aggressive. But, hey! Error has no rights, and this guy is right. Good for him! Great evangelization! I love it. Hah! He’s looking over not to the Temple Mount or the Dome of the Rock, but over to the synagogue inside Hebrew University on Mount Scopus (do you see the tower?) where yours truly went to school. Unlike all the rest of priests and sisters at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Jerusalem, I would walk across this valley and back again every day. Everyone knew me by my first name.
Anyway, it’s been a while since I put up any homilies. I better just put one up just to do it. This one is from yesterday. It’s about listening. I should listen to what I myself preach. Yikes! Jesus cites this commandment of listening as the First Commandment. Yikes!
The movie is by Ignatius Press. Came out a few years ago.
I wish there was a common calendar for the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of the Mass. Polycarp falls on different days. Of course, that also means you could celebrate him twice, or, unfortunately, not at all, depending.
There have been a couple of boys over the years that I knew who took the name Polycarp for a Confirmation name, one in my own Confirmation group when I was a kid back in Minnesota, and another in one of my parishes in the outback of Australia. Good for them.
Saint Polycarp was a bishop and a martyr – imagine that: a bishop and martyr – burned at the stake. Today’s Mass was offered for the Bishop of this diocese.
Polycarp is also the name of a character in Jackass for the Hour, though he has the nickname of Carpe Diem.
Here’s the homily:
Here’s the prayer of Bishop Polycarp just before he was put to death:
O Lord God Almighty, the Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of You, the God of angels and powers, and of every creature, and of the whole race of the righteous who live before you, I give You thanks that You have counted me, worthy of this day and this hour, that I should have a part in the number of Your martyrs, in the cup of your Christ, to the resurrection of eternal life, both of soul and body, through the incorruption [imparted] by the Holy Ghost. Among whom may I be accepted this day before You as a fat and acceptable sacrifice, according as You, the ever-truthful God, have foreordained, have revealed beforehand to me, and now have fulfilled. Wherefore also I praise You for all things, I bless You, I glorify You, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, with whom, to You, and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen.
No recording. Sorry. Just a quick point about this being an evil generation that seeks a sign. Seeking a sign is evil.
Look. God’s love is all around us for all to see. Do we see it? If we do, why do we seek a sign? Isn’t Jesus’ love a sign? Jesus healed people, exorcised demons, raised people from the dead, preached the good news in all truth and justice with no political correctness. Do we see the love? The love is the sign. Those who seek a sign see no love. They condemn themselves.
Jesus’ parable in Luke about the Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham and Dives in hell is similar to this. Abraham says to the deceitful ploy of Dives in hell: “No, if they do not accept Moses and the Prophets they will not accept the faith even if someone should rise from the dead. Now THAT is a description of self-absorbed and hate. Yep.
See the love. Look for it in the right place. Look on the instrument of torture and death, the Cross. Look for it in the arms of Mary. Do you see it yet? Love. The sign.
Sorry, no recording. I guess I was a bit clutzy in trying to press the recorder button.
If we carry out the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, helping our least brother in need just to do it, not congratulating ourselves, not even doing it because Jesus would want us to do it, but just doing it just because (and we’re pretty much unwitting pretty much all the time aren’t we?), Jesus will reward us as having done this personally for Him.
There are lots of people who do all the spiritual and corporal works of mercy just to congratulate themselves for having done stuff. But even these good things that were actually done – and they are good things mind you – will be rejected as not having been done at all if done for self-congratulation. It’s all one big omission.
An example of the last one can already be seen in this world from time to time. For instance, a condescending soup-ladle guy at the soup kitchen ladling out soup ever so condescendingly might count his work as a good work for which he can congratulate himself before God and man, but the guy to whom he is giving the soup might well just throw it in his face, disgusted to be treated not even as a least brother, but simply as a tool by which the ladling guy congratulates himself. Don’t. Want. That.
Um. That doesn’t sound right, does it? Doesn’t it sound self-serving? Self-referential? Self-absorbed? Promethean? Self-congratulatory? Neo-Pelagian? Yes.
But it’s true: I do learn a lot.
That’s relative, of course. A lot for me might be next to nothing and just stupid for others.
Some talk down preaching. Some say it doesn’t belong at Mass. Some insist that it’s not part of liturgy. Take off that maniple while you’re preaching! Take off that chasuble while you’re preaching! It’s not part of Mass! Some actually attack priests for preaching with ad hominem remarks, speaking of their probable pride and hubris.
It’s almost as if Saint John Chrysostom never preached at Mass.
It’s almost as if Saint Augustine never preached at Mass.
I’m convinced that preaching is blessed by our Lord.
It’s a small point – what I learned today at Mass, while preaching – but to me it is very far-reaching. It’s about grief, which comes from love, which is very personal, not an ideology. I found out more about just how it is that Jesus is the One, He’s the only One.
O.K. My bad. I combined details from the Gospels of both Mark and Matthew in which event of the “Dog-Woman” is recounted. This is like a mortal sin for Scripture Scholars, but, hey, it’s just a daily homily by which we are in awe of Jesus and we are introduced to this amazing woman. Lots of Scripture Scholars deny her existence anyway, so, what do they care. They deny her because they are deathly afraid of her, lap-dogs that they are. And this is long for a weekday homily, but no one has complained so far. Usually, though, they are not this long. It’s just that this is one of my most absolute favorite women of the Gospels. She is just so pure of heart and agile of soul, such good friends with Jesus.
I didn’t mention this in the homily – I was really overtime already – but it needs to be said. The Apostles at the time would rather that her child continue to be sacrificed to Satan rather than it be delivered from Satan. And if, after listening to this homily and considering that fact, and if you tempted to cynicism against the successors of the Apostles, then also take in this fact: this most incredible wonderful woman did not ever hold the dark idiocy of the Apostles against themselves. She recognized and dealt with it in solidarity with Jesus who was trying to teach them a lesson through her, with her. She’s totally my absolute heroine. I say “Thank you” to her across the centuries, from earth to heaven, “Thank you!”