SAINT AGNES CATHEDRAL 533 South Jefferson Springfield, MO 65806 EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS: Celebrant Rev. Jeffery A. Fasching
January 23, 2011 Third Sunday after Epiphany
Epistle: Rom. 12, 16-21
Gospel: Matth. 8, 1-13
Mass schedule January 24 through January 28
Monday--Saint Timothy, Bishop & Martyr—NO LATIN MASS
Tuesday—Conversion of Saint Paul
Wednesday—Saint Polycarp, Bishop & Martyr
Thursday—Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop, Confessor & Doctor
Friday--Saint Peter Nolasco, Confessor
The presence of evil is always a reality on this earth. If we are honest, there is sometimes an evil that rises up from the depths of our own hearts. How do we fight against this evil? The lesson that our Lord gives us is simple, yet often very difficult to carry out. Christ invites us to be gentle in the face of evil. We must strive to live in peace with everyone. We must strive to forgive everyone. When we experience injustice in the world we must name it for what it is. When we experience an offense against God we must name it for what it is as well. We cannot reply with evil when we are confronted with evil. Saint Paul reminds us that we must bless our persecutors and pray for those who would harm us.
In today’s Gospel we see illustrated the great popularity of Jesus. Huge crowds gathered around to listen to Him. The Jewish leaders dared not arrest Christ for fear of what the crowds might do. However, the elders opposed Christ and called for His execution.
Christ cures the man with leprosy. The Church Fathers have pointed out that leprosy is a vivid image of the reality of sin. Sin is ugly, disgusting, contagious and difficult to cure. We are all sinners and in need of God’s forgiveness and grace. The leper in the Gospel knelt down before Christ and begged to be made clean. He begged with humility and confidence. Christ thus answered the leper’s plea. If we turn to Christ with this same faith, He will always sanctify our souls.
Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Jeffery A. Fasching