Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Third Sunday of Lent, 2023

Jesus tells the woman at the well in today’s Gospel that “the hour is coming when people will worship the Father in Spirit and truth”


Saint John Chrysostom, a saint in the 300’s, (whose relic is on our rerdos back here, which, by the way, these relics were donated by the Hopwood’s to Saint Paul’s.  So the first one, as you are looking up here left to right is Saint Basil.  The next one is a relic from St. Philip the Apostle.  On the other side of the Tabernacle is St. Gregory of Nyssa and then the one on the end is St. John Chrysostom.  Relics are meant to hearken back to the days when the first Catholics would have Mass in the catacombs over the dead bodies of the saints.  Each Catholic altar also has a relic of a saint in it.


Anyway, St. John Chrysostom said about this line that Jesus speaks to the woman that the hour is coming when people will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, that Jesus is talking about the Catholic Church as being the place where this true worship takes place.


The Catholic Mass has been handed on through 2,000 years


There have been lots of changes through those 2,000 years, but the essence remains unchanged


There are now tens of thousands of denominations, and a lot of those denominations strive to worship more spontaneously than the Catholic Mass, but even then, there is a form to their spontaneous-ness.  No denomination would say that complete and utter chaos is worship, so various denominations might not be aware of the form their worship takes, but there is always some form or another to any worship.


So the Catholic Mass has a form that has been preserved for 2,000 years.  At this and every Mass we understand ourselves to be joining something that is already going on. Jesus appears on this altar when the words of consecration are prayed over bread and wine.  Heaven, Calvary and this Church are intermingled in a glorious way.


At this and every Mass, literally the hour has come where we are worshipping the Father in spirit and in truth.

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