Tuesday, February 6, 2024
Holy Ghost Church – 8:00am
1 Kings 8:22-23, 27-30; Psalm 84:3, 4, 5 and 10, 11; Mark 7:1-13
In today’s Gospel, Jesus strongly criticized the religious leaders because their hearts were lacking true worship. The various traditions of the elders were not necessarily bad, such as the careful ceremonial washing of one’s hands before eating. But these traditions were empty if they were not motivated by a deep faith and love of God.
The external following of human traditions was not truly an act of divine worship, and that’s what Jesus wanted for them. He wanted their hearts to be set ablaze with a love of God and with true divine worship.
I wanted to share an email message I received this morning from an acquaintance who is married to a Vietnamese woman and is currently visiting her family in Vietnam. He is now seeking to enter the Church and is attending Mass regularly while he’s there. I believe his message gives witness to the true worship Jesus is speaking of in today’s gospel.
This is his email to me…
“One more thing I wanted to share with you, Deacon because it’s so lovely. My mother-in-law she goes to Mass every day. She teaches the catechism. She goes to pray weekly for the people buried in the Catholic cemetery. Her sisters are consecrated virgins. This is the strongest Vietnamese Catholic family, at least that I’ve been around.
With that being said, I go to Catholic Mass here. Of course I don’t understand the language. I know about five words of Vietnamese, enough to be dangerous! I asked God this past Sunday “Lord, I know I don’t understand the language. Speak to my heart through your spirit.”
In Vietnam they don’t say the prayers of the Mass, they sing. The prayers of the Mass are so beautiful and I just close my eyes. I pretty much knew where we were in the order the Mass, but the beauty that came in my heart, the peace the fulfillment, was unbelievable. Then I thought about Zachariah being not able to talk and then I thought about Elizabeth going in solitude in silence, and then I thought about our blessed mother, who pondered these things in her heart.
I thought maybe God has let me have this experience. It was so beautiful. It’s was so sweet. Pray for me Deacon. I hope to be confirmed one day. I hope if I die before I’m confirmed that God will have mercy on my soul. Saint John Paul the Great, pray for us.”
My dear friends, I believe this is the true worship Jesus speaks of in today’s Gospel. Let us all pray for this beautiful soul and pray that our hearts might be set ablaze with the love of God he has been given.
What our Lord wants of each one of us is worship. Pure, heartfelt, sincere worship. He wants us to love God with a deep interior devotion. He wants us to pray, to listen to Him, and to serve His holy will with all the powers of our soul. And this is only possible when we engage in authentic worship.
Let us all reflect today upon the burning desire in the heart of our Lord to draw us more and more deeply into worship. Let us reflect upon how well we allow ourselves to be drawn into this worship every time we attend the holy Mass.
Seek to make your participation not only an exterior one but, first and foremost, an interior one, as my friend is doing. Doing so will help ensure that the rebuke of our Lord upon the scribes and Pharisees does not also fall upon us.
God bless you.