Homily ·Ordinary time
By Archbishop Gomez
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
July 31, 2011

My brothers and sisters in Christ,1

I am very happy to be with you on this important moment in the life of your parish! I am here to wish you a holy and joyful anniversary! I pray that this will be a year of renewal for you all, in which you will rediscover the beauty and joy of being Catholic!

Before we turn to reflect on the readings from sacred Scripture that we have just heard, I would like to say a few words to encourage you in your next 100 years.

You know, my friends, there are no coincidences in this Christian life of ours. You find yourselves belonging to a parish named for the great St. Ignatius. That suggests that this parish will always find deep resources for inspiration and renewal in the life and teaching of St. Ignatius and today is his feast day!

I would urge you today to make St. Ignatius’s motto your own. In Latin it is: Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam. Do everything for the greater glory of God.

That is a beautiful way to live, my brothers and sisters. Everything for God! Everything for his glory!

En esta celebración del Centenario de su parroquia no es mera coincidencia que celebremos este aniversario precisamente en la fiesta de San Ignacio de Loyola.

Como ustedes saben el lema de San Ignacio era Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam. Hoy los invito a todos a que lo hagamos nuestro también. Hacer todo para la Gloria de Dios!

Que bonita manera de vivir! Hacer las cosas no únicamente por razones humanas sino por Dios, para dar Gloria a Dios! Lo que parece sencillo y lo que parece importante. Todo por Dios!

So as we turn to the readings now, I pray that you will always strive for holiness and be guided by the example and words of your great patron.

The readings we have just heard are rich for meditating on our Christian identity and discipleship.

In the first reading from the prophet Isaiah, two things stand out — the prophet’s promise of an “everlasting covenant” and the blessings of abundant bread and wine given to all who hunger and thirst.

The message of our liturgy today is that these promises are fulfilled by the new covenant made by Jesus Christ.

As the prophet promised: all who thirst indeed now drink from the living waters of Baptism — the rivers of living water that flow from the heart of Jesus Christ!2 And in the Eucharist, Jesus feeds the hungry with his own hand and with his own Body and Blood.

This is all shown to us in a glorious way in today’s Gospel, which tells of the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 people with just five loaves and two fishes.

Whenever we hear of his miracles in the Gospels, we are invited to strengthen our faith. So today as we hear about this miracle of the loaves and the fishes let us make a new resolution in our personal life to grow in deeper devotion to the Eucharist.

Because this miracle is not only a miracle in its own right. It is a miracle that is a sign of the greatest of all the signs and wonders of Jesus — the Eucharist.

Las lecturas de la Misa de hoy nos hablan de la Alianza de Dios con los hombres. Una alianza que anuncia el Profeta Isaias será eterna y las bendiciones de pan y vino abundante se darán a todos los que tienen hambre y sed.

Como sabemos esta Alianza se cumple en Nuestro Señor Jesucristo que con su Misión Redentora nos da los Sacramentos que nos ayudan a buscar la Vida Eterna y nos dan el agua viva, en el Bautismo, y el alimento de su Cuerpo y Sangre, en la Eucaristía.

El milagro que se nos narra en el Evangelio es mas que un milagro para satisfacer el hambre de un gran numero de personas es señal y llamada a amar a Jesus en la Eucaristia!

Notice that today’s Gospel describes what Jesus does in a very particular way. Jesus takes bread and the fish, he says a blessing, he breaks the bread, and gives it to his disciples.

If we compare this language to the description of the Last Supper, we see that there Jesus does the same actions in the same sequence — He takes bread, blesses it, breaks it and gives it.

We notice also in today’s Gospel that Jesus himself does not feed the crowd. The apostles distribute the bread that has been blessed by Jesus.3 And the leftovers are enough to fill precisely 12 baskets — corresponding to each of the apostles.

This is to show us that the Eucharist is a beautiful gift that Jesus gives to us through his Church — through the apostolic ministry of his bishops and priests.

The Eucharist is the sacrament of Jesus’ great love for us. His gives us the gift of his Body, Blood, his Soul and his Divinity so that we have the strength to continue in our journey of faith, hope and love.

This bond that is created by the Eucharist — this bond of divine love — can never be broken. St. Paul tells us that in today’s second reading. He makes a beautiful promise to us — that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ!

So our readings today challenge us to renew and increase our love for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

La Eucaristía es el Sacramento del Amor de Dios por nosotros! Jesus que se hace ‘pan’ para estar con nosotros y alimentarnos espiritualmente!

Your patron, St. Ignatius, was far ahead of his time in the Church, in encouraging daily Communion with Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

In one of his letters he quoted the great St. Augustine who said: “This bread is our daily bread. so live, therefore, as to be able to receive it daily.”4

And St. Ignatius added: “You may without doubt receive daily — in fact it would be better for you to do so.”

My friends, I think this is great advice — for priests and for every one of us. We would all be better Christians if we could receive Jesus often in the Holy Eucharist.

So let’s make some practical resolutions today. Maybe it is possible for us to get to Mass more often, maybe on workdays?

If we cannot do that, maybe can come a few minutes early for Mass on Sunday and use that time to pray and reflect before our Eucharistic Lord who is present in the Tabernacle. Or maybe we can start spending a few minutes after Mass, when the church quiets down, to sit in the presence of our Lord.

These little gestures of love mean a lot. They can help us grow in our love for Jesus Christ and give us strength for our mission as his disciples.

Estar con Jesus en la Eucaristia y ver a Jesus en los demas!

Let us remember also what the saints like Blessed Mother Teresa taught us. In the Eucharist we have the real presence of Jesus Christ. But we also have his real presence in the poor and in everyone we meet in our daily lives.

This is my prayer for you, my dear parishioners of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

I pray that you will lead others to love the Jesus Christ that we find in the Eucharist. And I pray that you will lead them also to love the Christ who meets us in the person of our brothers and sisters — especially those who are most in need.

And let us ask Mary, the Woman of the Eucharist, intercede for us. That we all become Eucharistic Souls — men and women who believe, love and live by the Eucharist.

1. Readings (18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A): Isa. 55:1-3; Ps. 145:8-9, 15-18; Rom. 8:35, 37-39; Matt. 14:13-21.

2. John 4:14; John 7:37-38.

3. Matt. 15:36. 

4. Letters, 71-72.

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