JULY 14 / 15, 2018
5:00 PM (SAT), 8:00 AM, 11:00 AM (ST. HELENA)
5:30 PM (ST. APOLLINARIS) ORDINARY FORM (ENGLISH) MASSES
Originally formed in 1968, the folk-rock supergroup Crosby, Stills, and Nash – or sometimes Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young – have recorded 8 studio albums, 5 live albums, 6 compilation albums, 4 video albums, and 19 singles. They music is noteworthy for it’s intricate vocal harmonies and influence on contemporary music. As a group, they are remembered for their tumultuous interpersonal relationships and political activism.
One of their biggest hits, written by Stephen Stills, is titled Suite: Judy Blue Eyes – and consists of four movements, the fourth being a short stanza in Spanish with the back-up vocalists intoning “doo-doo-doo-da-doo” during this coda final verse.
The song is memorializes the imminent breakup between Stills and female artist Judy Collins.
In the second movement – where the tempo slows down to half of the other up-beat sections – almost like a mantra – we hear the phrases “what have I got to lose” or “what have you got to lose” repeated nearly half a dozen times.
Despite its popularity, it ranks #418 among Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Today is the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time – with the Sunday falling on July 15.
Our first reading is from the Prophet Amos – historically the first of the twelve minor prophets – pretty much being “shown the door” by the wicked priest Amaziah. Amos is outside of his homeland, preaching to the Northern Kingdoms, and trying to get across a message of social justice, God's almighty power, and divine judgment.
What does he have to lose? The worst that can happen to him is that he gets to go home to the Southern Kingdom and the Land of Judah.
Amaziah, on the other hand, would have to get rid of the false gods he was promoting, and the false worship – the consequences of which, Amos was trying to warn him and the people about.
In the Gospel, Jesus sends out the Twelve Apostles. His instructions to them are to head out with only the barest of human necessities – but well-equipped with the power and the authority of God.
They may only have the sandals on their feet and the tunic on their backs and a walking stick, but they have been given divine power over evil and illness.
From a material perspective: What do they have to lose?
Finally, St. Paul in the opening of the Letter to the Ephesians speaks of the riches of God bestowed on us as Christians. Not only do we have “every spiritual blessing in the heavens” but we are to be “chosen . . . holy . . .” and blameless. We are loved and adopted by God “through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of [God’s] will” and are forgiven and redeemed “in accord with the riches of [God’s] grace”.
These spiritual riches, as well as knowledge and wisdom of God’s mysteries, are ours in abundance through Christ Jesus Our Lord.
With such an abundance of spiritual wealth – what can the world offer us?
Our inheritance is found in our relationship with God in Christ Jesus. We have everything we need to foster and build this relationship.
At the end of Mark’s 8th chapter, we hear:
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? What could one give in exchange for his life? Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.What do we have to lose if we turn our back on Christ?
As we approach this altar to receive the Sacred Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ – let us pray that we might recognize the passing nature of this world, and the eternal riches offered to us as children of God. May the Eucharist we receive today nourish us and enlighten us to follow Christ Jesus . . . always and everywhere . . . He who is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.