Monday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time [II]

Monday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time [II]
1 Peter 1:3-9  +  Mark 10:17-27
May 23, 2016

“He has given food to those who fear Him….” [Psalm 111:5]

The Octave of Pentecost, as you well know, was removed from the Church’s Sacred Liturgy following the Second Vatican Council, although the Octave did endure in the Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass.  One of the many spiritual benefits of the Pentecost Octave is to highlight the three-week period following Pentecost Sunday.

This three-week period, moving as it does from Pentecost to the Most Holy Trinity, to Corpus Christi, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (as well as the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Ordinary Form) is the Church’s transition from Paschaltide to Ordinary Time.  The grace of Pentecost—the outpouring of the Holy Spirit—helps us enter more fully into the Church’s celebrations of these sacred mysteries.

Through these sacred mysteries, the Lord “has given food to those who fear Him”.  In his exposition of today’s Responsorial Psalm, Saint Augustine asks what good the Lord’s miracles would “have done, if they had not led people to fear Him?  And what purpose would fear have served, unless ‘the merciful and compassionate Lord’ had given ‘food to those who fear Him’?  It was an incorruptible food, the bread that came down from Heaven,[1] given to the wholly undeserving; for Christ died for the wicked.”[2]

The Sacred Liturgy, through all the mysteries of the life of the Lord and His sacred Bride, the Church, is the food by which He nourishes the People of Jesus’ new and everlasting covenant.  St. Augustine rhetorically asks:  “if He has given us so much in this life, if a sinner in need of justification has received the Word made Flesh, what will the believer, once glorified, receive in the world to come?  The Lord ‘will be mindful of His covenant for eternity.’  He has given us His pledge, but He has not yet given [us His] all.”

[1] John 6:32,33,50,51.
[2] Romans 5:6.