Being Commissioned

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2014/07/18 at 12:00 AM


  • In our Gospel today we hear the familiar story of Jesus sending out the 12 apostles, 2 by 2, to spread the Gospel. In presenting us with this story, Holy Mother Church is calling us to do the same.
  • Just as the apostles were called to go forth and preach the Good News, we, too, are called to take the Gospel into our world. The Mass is our commissioning to go forth!
  • In the days before the liturgical reforms that followed the 2nd Vatican Council, the Mass ended with the phrase: “Ite, Missa Est,” which we render now in English as “go forth, the Mass is ended.”
  • When the priest or deacon proclaims this dismissal at the end of the Mass, he’s not simply telling us to leave the church because the Mass is over.
  • To the contrary, he’s telling us that now that the Mass is completed and we have been strengthened by the graces conferred upon us in the Mass, we are to go forth and share those graces with others so that they, too, might come to know our Lord!
  • Because of the importance attached to this dismissal, in the Traditional Latin Mass there are elaborate chants that accompany this dismissal to remind us of the seriousness with which we must take this charge to go out and spread the Gospel!
  • Truly, spreading the Gospel in our world today is of utmost importance.
  • Last Sunday I spoke a bit about the nature of truth, and I made the point that evil mencan only bend, distort, and try to destroy the truth if people who are committed to theTruth do not speak up and fight.
  • As Christians we are all called to joyfully spread the Truth of the Gospel. Indeed, ourworld needs the Gospel now more than ever – and so none of us gets us a pass in thistask of sharing the Gospel.
  • The fact that we are told in the first reading today that Amos was not a prophet bytraining or choice, but rather a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores, shows that ourLord can and will call any of us to preach His Word.
  • We must simply trust that the Holy Spirit will supply for any of our defects in orderto use us!
  • But while it is true that the Holy Spirit will supply for our defects and come to our aidas we try to accomplish His will, we must still seek holiness. For no human skill or talent will aid us as much as true holiness if we want to be effective ministers of the Gospel.
  • In our second reading today St. Paul makes it clear that we are all called to holiness. As he says to the Ephesians, we are called: “to be holy and without blemish before [the Father],” because He has adopted us to Himself through Jesus Christ.
  • Holiness is God’s gift to us, and it’s something that He desires for each of us. While it is the Holy Spirit who works within us and makes us holy, we must seek Him out.
  • You see, my brothers and sisters, while it is true that Christ has redeemed us by His blood, and that He offers us forgiveness for our sins, our blessed Lord wants more for us than simply redemption and forgiveness.
  • God doesn’t want us just to “squeak” our way into Heaven after being purified in the fires of Purgatory. He wants us to go straight to Heaven when we die. But this requires that we be saints here on earth! It requires that we be holy.
  • And Jesus wants us to be holy not simply so that we’ll go to Heaven, but “so that we might exist for the praise of [God’s] glory.” When we live holy lives, we are pleasing to our Lord, and our very lives give praise to God’s glory.
  • It’s for this reason that we need our Blessed Mother Mary, for of all people who have ever walked this earth, no one’s life has given more praise to God’s glory than hers.
  • When we consecrate ourselves to Mary, she takes charge of our life. She sets us onfire with God’s love – filling us with zeal for our Lord, for His Church, and for allmankind.
  • Moreover, Mary brings us the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, for when we are moreclosely united to her, we are more closely united to the Holy Spirit, for she is Hisspouse.
  • We say that Mary is the spouse of the Holy Spirit because she was perfectly unitedwith the Spirit in a way that no other human ever has been. In fact, her union with the Spirit is deeper than what we typically understand by a spousal relationship (Gaitley, p.54).
  • It was through the power of the Holy Spirit that Mary was conceived without any stain of sin in the womb of our patroness, St. Ann. And it was through the power of the Spirit that Mary conceived and brought forth from her own womb our Lord and Savior.
  • By the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary always and in every way perfectly fulfilled God’s will in every aspect of her earthly life. Indeed, she is united with God more perfectly than any other creature.
  • And this is precisely why we should unite ourselves to her: Mary brings us closer to the Holy Spirit so that He can accomplish His work of holiness within us.
  • St. Louis de Montfort teaches that “when the Holy Spirit, Mary’s spouse, finds a soul united to Mary, ‘He flies there. He enters there in His fullness; He communicates Himself to that soul abundantly, and to the full extent to which it makes room for His spouse’” (Gaitely, p. 108).
  • Just as Mary conceived and brought the Christ Child to birth some 2000 years ago, through the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary continues to give birth to Christ within the souls of the faithful united to her (Gaitly, p. 109).
  • The closer we are to Mary, the more fully the Spirit will work within us to make us holy.
  • Brothers and sisters, Holy Mother Church calls us to go forth from the Mass to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel. We will only do this effectively if we are holy. And if we wish to be holy, we must unite ourselves to Mary, the spouse of the Holy Spirit.
  • Let us pray that all of us may be steadfast in our love for the Mother of God. May we seek to imitate her virtues and call upon her with our every need.
  • And like trusting children running to the safe arms of their loving mothers, may each of us entrust ourselves fully to Mary’s maternal care and trust that through her intercession, the Holy Spirit will work within us to make us holy.
  • O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.


July 1, 2012

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio .
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