Homily on the Mass #7

Fr. Joel Homilies

True Independence

You could come to Mass week after week and never really understand what we are doing here. So we are back to our series on the Mass. If you would like to review the previous posts, they are available under the tag “The Mass“. The Bible reveals three aspects about the Mass.

Sacrifice

The Jews used to sacrifice animals and then join in a meal. The greatest sacrifice was the Passover Lamb. Jesus came as the Lamb of God to sacrifice himself for us. This sacrifice is made present in the Mass.

The Real Presence of Jesus

Through the Mass, Jesus fulfills his promise to be with us always. Under the appearance of bread and wine, Jesus himself is present at Mass.

Communion

Human beings are made in such a way that we yearn for union and communion with others. This leads to lots of strange behavior when young people (and not so young) get desperate for a relationship. But our faith tells us that we were made for more — we were made for Communion with God himself. The Mass is a foretaste of this Communion that will be fulfilled in Heaven.

Easy Yoke; Light Burden

In today’s Gospel Jesus says:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Mt 11:29-30)

Surely the Gospel is very demanding — love your enemies, turn the other check, hating your brother is like murder. How can this be an easy burden?

We are not burdened by the demands of the Gospel. We are burdened by our own ego. We carry with us the need to prove ourselves to everyone, the need to be right, to maintain our own reputation, to make up for the mistakes of the past and to be ready for what might come in the future. Jesus wants to carry all these things. The only burden he asks us to bear is the challenge of loving Him fully at this particular moment. Compared to what you have been carrying, this burden is easy and light.

The presence of Christ always brings peace and joy. Do you have enough peace? Do you have too much joy? I doubt it. Because we all need more Jesus in our lives. You have sacrificed by being here at Mass today. Jesus is really present here. Are you really present here? Or are you distracted by the things you watched on TV last night and the plans you have for the afternoon? Jesus comes to enter into Communion with you. Are you coming to enter into Communion with Him? This weekend the United States celebrates our Independence Day.  While we are a peaceful and prosperous nation, we have not experienced the peace that our hearts long for. Come to Christ and you will find true independence. (3 Jul 2011)