3rd Sunday After Pentecost: The Roaring Lion

My parish added a Sunday Extraordinary Form (that is, traditional Latin) mass (in addition to the Saturday Vigil and three on Sunday in English, plus the Spanish).  We had a beautiful Missa Cantata this morning for the third Sunday after Pentecost.  The kids all did a pretty good job, and are getting into the rhythm of the mass very well.  While I have printed out a hand missal, and the Propers from Extraordinary Form.org, it’s getting much easier just to go with the flow of the prayers, rather than obsess about where you are in the book.  So, we’re getting there.  This morning, Quarta was trying to chant along with the Credo, which was charming.

Also, our pastor gave an excellent homily.  I had expected him to unpack the gospel (Lk 15: 1-10, the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin), but rather, he started with the Epistle (1 Peter 5: 6-11, which is also said weekly during Compline) with the warning to watch and be sober because the devil is prowling about, roaring like a lion seeking prey.  Sober meaning not to get so excited about things of this world that we lose sight of Heaven, and get distracted, because that’s what the devil wants.  Just like a lion that roars to startle his prey, then sneaks up in silence, the devil gets us distracted by things, then pounces.  The way to maintain this sobriety is to remain joined with Christ on the cross through voluntary penance, which sharpens our conscience.  The gospel closes with a line about the angels in Heaven rejoicing over one sinner who is doing penance, that is, who is continually turning and converting to God.  As our pastor pointed out, penance isn’t about pain and suffering, it’s about conversion back to God, which all of us need on a daily basis.  We have to work at it, but the rewards are great indeed, resting in the peace of Christ, and safe from eternal damnation.