By Fr. Carlos Zepeda
The Liturgy of the Church during the time after Pentecost, seems at first glance not to follow a particular order. There is no chronological order; nor a definite succession of ideas from one Sunday to the other. Instead, each Sunday seems to have a particular theme, an idea that dominates most of the prayers, readings, even the Divine Office which the Priests and Religious pray.
Today, the idea that permeates all of the Liturgy, may be summarized as follows:
“Acknowledge the dignity of the graces you have received, and correspond to them, lest you have to suffer the punishment if you reject the blessings from God”.
This is an unmistakably personal calling to each of us.
First, to realize the great accountability we ought to give, for the graces and blessings received.
Let us draw a parallel between the Jews in the old testament, and ourselves in the new. Let us compare our vocation to theirs, for St. Paul tells us in the Epistle, of their infidelity, their sins, and how God held them accountable for them. And He tells us, that this was done as an instruction for ourselves.
The Jews were chosen to keep the faith of the old testament, till the coming of the Messiah, we have been chosen to keep and guard the teachings of the Messiah himself.
The Jews were brought into this alliance by the blood of calves and animals. We were bought to belong to the Church, by the Sacrifice of the Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ himself.
The Jews did not see God to his face, and trembled when they heard His voice from afar. We have God truly present in our midst, during Mass, and in the Tabernacle when we have a Church with it.
The Jews ate manna, a food made by God for their material sustenance. They ate it, and yet, it did not give them life. We have been given by God to feed on Our Lord Jesus Christ, by receiving Him full and entire, whenever we attend the Holy Mass.
We could go on, my dear friends, but this should suffice to show, that our calling is far greater, of far more dignity, than the calling of the Jews.
And yet, (and I say it with great sorrow even for myself) Woe to us!… If in the Jews their sins were so terrible, and deserved such a just and unforgiving punishments, for they had violated their alliance with God, and this alliance was but a figure of ours… What can we expect for our sins and infidelities?
How great is the alliance we break when we sin? How horrible is our covetousness, when God became poor? How offensive our idleness and drunkenness, when we are fed by Spiritual food, how abominable our fornication, when we have heard the words of the Angels, and have the Virgin Mary, the examples of the Saints, the fullness of revelation, things all that the Jews did not have?
And if the Jews perished in one day twenty three thousand, if they were delivered to fiery serpents, if they were destroyed by an Angel, what punishment will the Catholic deserves who sins?
It is, in this consideration, that the tears of Our Lord over Jerusalem, tears which reveal to us, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, make full sense, and are but most understandable.
For Our Calling and vocation is great, and the consequences of our infidelities to grace, will bear great punishment.
How many times could our Lord weep over us, saying “If thou hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace”…
How often does he weep over us saying : “How many times have I tried to gather you under my wings, as the chicken to the chicks, and you would not”…
And the tears of our Lord reveal his pain, for he sees that every grace that we abandon, every sin committed, every good inspiration neglected, calls upon us that punishment, of which our Lord could also say : “The days shall come upon Thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench upon thee.. and beat thee flat to the ground… because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.”
Ah! my friends, let us work our salvation, let us do away with the things of the world that repeatedly lead us away from God, let us cast away the netflix, the youtube, the cell phones, the bad friends, the bad music, our idleness perhaps, all such things which prevent us to follow our Lord when he calls us; and if you believe that there is nothing else for you to remove, then with St. Paul I will say, “he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall”
What are we to do, when we find ourselves once again in such deplorable state? Let us immediately do an act of contrition. Let us immediately turn our heart to God, and tell him from our heart that we wish never to have sinned, that we repent sincerely, and that, not for our sake, but rather because He is so good, because his Sacred Heart has always been so good and loving, and we wish never to have wounded such loving and merciful heart. Let us make a resolution, right there and then, to put all the means necessary to get rid of the things which tempt us, to get rid of them for good, and let us make a strong heartfelt resolution, never to sin again.
And in doing so, we will have done a good act of contrition.
We pray to our Blessed Lord, through the intercession of His most Holy Mother, that we may receive the grace of our conversion to a better life, and may be, from now on, faithful to our vocation, and to all the blessings received.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.