St. Patricks parish is in Kowloon, Hong Kong. There are four weekend Masses including a childrens Mass at 10:45, Sunday. This is the parish where I was formerly pastor. [email protected]. Cf. also Social Concerns Education: www.acpp.org -- Fr. Gene Thalman M.M.]

 

 

SUNDAY MASS DRESS REHEARSAL

November 16, 2003 33 Sunday (B) Mark 13:24-32

 

We will begin with three questions. Please answer yes or No.

 

1. Do you attend Sunday Mass mostly to make you feel good?

2. Do you attend Sunday Mass mostly to get things from God e.g.

grace?

3. Do you attend Sunday liturgies mostly to pray intensely and

deepen your personal relationship with God?

 

If you answered yes to any of these three questions, it is important that you listen carefully to todays homily. We will talk about the main reason why we gather each Sunday at St. Patricks Church to celebrate our Eucharist.

 

Grandmother and Grandfather Wong have a large family. And they have this custom. Each Sunday morning Mrs. Wong invites all the members of her family to have morning tea and breakfast. Mrs. Wong spends several hours preparing delicious food. She plans games and prizes for the grandchildren. Sometimes there is friction in the family and she has to make special calls to ensure that everyone comes.

 

Mr. Wong often suggests: Lets discontinue this custom. It is so much work. Besides I would rather just have a quiet morning reading the newspaper. The kids make so much noise that I cant have pleasant conversation with any of my sons or daughters. Besides I know that the teenagers find these gatherings boring and would rather play with their computers or hold hands with their girlfriends.

 

But Mrs. Wong smiles and insists: What you say is true but it is important for our family to have these weekly get-togethers! It is a sacrifice for some of us to attend. But this custom helps us to strengthen our family bonds. Otherwise we could easily scatter to the four winds like some families in Hong Kong.

 

 

GODS WORD DURING HARD TIMES We are approaching the end of Marks good news to the beleaguered Christians in Rome. They find it tough to follow Jesus. Relations with the Roman government are precarious. Worst of all there are misunderstandings among the Christians themselves. Some formerly fervent Christians no longer gather at the weekly Lords Supper. Sadly the stories about Jesus and the celebration of the Lords Supper are no longer so appealing. The preachers are getting old and bald-headed. The sermons are rather dull. The older Christians try, often unsuccessfully, to make it a pleasant experience for the young people. But often fail. The singing is old-fashioned and off-key.

 

Therefore Mark wants to remind the Roman Christians those of us gathering at St. Patricks this morning of the deep meaning of the weekly Eucharistic gathers. He seeks to refresh these early Christian communities by recalling Jesus vision of that final assembly:

 

He will dispatch his angels to

assemble his chosen ones

from the farthest bounds of earth and sky. Mark 13: 27

 

Mark is saying something like this: At our weekly assemblies we are rehearsing for that final glorious assembly. Will our Christian community of Rome be ready to join that final assembly? Will the Christians of St. Patricks, Wang Tau Hom, be prepared to join that final assembly?

 

OUR RESPONSE:

 

Our Sunday Eucharist here at St. Patricks has the same purpose as Mrs. Wongs family gatherings. Jesus calls us together. Jesus wants us to come together to form a strong and loving community. He knows that there may be serious troubles ahead. He moreover wants to heal any misunderstandings or division in our community. If there are some who are discouraged or in sorrow he wants them surrounded each week by a community of tender support. He wants us to invite the non-Christians we know to join us. And finally Jesus takes the opportunity to nourish us with the Word of God and the Holy Eucharist so that we have the energy to carry out our mission during the coming week.

 

Therefore we do not gather each Sunday mostly to feel good, enjoy ourselves, pray in peace and quiet, review our Catholic doctrine or to get gallons of grace. We come together because we are family-- Gods little family in Hong Kong. Our gathering this morning is a

 

dress rehearsal

 

for the big assemblyso that we will be prepared when the Son Man will dispatch his angels to call his chosen ones from the farthest bounds of earth and sky to that

 

the super assembly on the last day!

 

FINALE

 

Each Sunday morning our St. Patricks community readies itself to share in the joyful spectacle that Jesus has prepared for us. We hope on that day that everyone of us will be present and accounted for. After all we have had so many Sunday dress rehearsals!

 

 

HOMILETIC NOTES AND STUFF

 

November 16, 2003 33 Sunday (B) Mark 13:24-32

 

ONE WORD: Assembly

 

THEME: Each Sunday Christians form an assembly to prepare for the final glorious assembly when Christ will gather us all together.

 

TEXT: He will dispatch his angels and assemble his chosen ones from the four winds, from the farthest bounds of earth and sky.

 

DESIRED RESULT:

 

As a result of last Sundays homily, I attended Mass this morning with a sense of purpose. Through my participation, I felt I was strengthening the bonds of our St. Patricks community and that of God family in Hong Kong. After Mass I tried to talk to someone I didnt know before. But he said he was in a hurry and didnt have time to talk.

 

GODS POINT OF VIEW:

 

I think God is a lot Mrs. Wong in bringing the family together once a week.

 

CHURCHS POINT OF VIEW

It is the whole community, the Body of Christ united with his Head, that celebrates. Liturgical services are not private functions but are celebrations of the Church which is the sacrament of unity Catechism of the Catholic Church, (Mission Hills: Benziger Publishing Co, 1994), #1140, p. 295.

 

REFERENCES:

 

In the LXX [The Greek rendition of the Bible] the word describes an assembly convened for a religious act, often of worshipekkaleo (I call from, I convoke); of itself it indicates that Israel, the people of God was the assembly of men [and women] convoked by divine initiative. Xavier Leon-Dufour, ed., trans. P. Joseph Cahill S.J. Biblical Dictionary (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1967), p. 58-59.

 

TIDBITS

 

There seems to be a trend in the world that reasons: I dont go to Church on Sundays. There are too many distractions. I pray best in the quiet of my room or when I take a solitary walk. Or another person will say: I get nothing out of Sunday Mass. The same songs are repeated week after week. The sermons are dull. I dont like a lot of the parishioners.

Chewing, Digesting and Practicing Gods Word

November 16, 2003 33 Sunday (B) Mark 13:24-32

NAME_________ Grade_____________

 

1. It is the whole c_________, the Body of Christ united with his Head, that celebrates.

2. Liturgical services are not p_______functions but are celebrations of the Church

which is the sacrament of u______.

3.__ T/F Christians should attend Sunday liturgies mostly to make them feel good and

get closer to God.

4. __T/F The main reason why Christians assemble each week is to get things from God

e.g. grace.

5. __T/F The main reason why Christians assemble each week is to deepen their

personal relationship with God.

6. __T/F If the Sunday liturgy does not give me an experience of deeper prayer, I

should be disappointed.

7. Jesus wants us to come together each week to form us into a more dedicated and

loving c______.