Sunday, October 26, 2008

Anniversary of Dedication of St. Boniface

This weekend, we celebrated the anniversary of the dedication of St. Boniface Church in October, 1865.

The readings differed from the regular lectionary, as this is a solemnity for our parish. I chose a passage from 1st Kings, recounting King Solomon's prayer as his temple is dedicated; Psalm 84, with the refrain, "Here, God lives with his people"; the Epistle was from 1st Peter, about the Living Stone that is Christ, and we are also the living stones with which Christ is building his Church; the Gospel was the meeting of Zacchaeus with the Lord as told by Luke, which I chanted at 10:30 am.

We had incense and the bell choir at 10:30 am, and began Mass with "Laudate, Laudate Dominum!" a very nice chant with English verses. Scroll down the links column to "Laus Deo" to see all the music. I chanted most of the prayers, including the Roman Canon.

I am sorry I don't have the text of my homily, but my principal points were:

> Solomon was right--God did not dwell in the temple; I described the layout of the temple and the ark of the covenant, containing the tablets of the 10 Commandments and the jar of Manna--and those have disappeared; but we have the Word made Flesh and the Bread of Life in our tabernacle--God truly does dwell here!

> These are difficult times, we are concerned about the parish, the economy, the city, the nation and the future. Recall when this church was built: the 1860s, dedicated 1865. What was our nation going through? Only our worst crisis, the War Between the States! How many parents cried over sons that would never come home? How much wealth was consumed by a destructive war? Our forebears had less than we did--and yet, they built this church. They made an act of faith, in God and in those who would follow--in us.

> Each generation has built on what they did, and we are doing the same. Some requests are out for funds, including to restore our windows--will you pray for success of that? We are making an act of faith in those who will come after us.

> We might wonder, why did God put us here--in this place, in these times? Because as St. Peter said, we are called to make Christ present. This building, strong as it is, can fall; but Christ will never fail, and we, bound together by the Holy Spirit, will not fall! We are here to be Christ to those in pain, those in need, especially in the months ahead. That's why we're here; and Christ has, as it were, made an act of faith in us!

> At 4 pm Mass, I cited Zacchaeus caring for the poor as something we can do in this community--maybe that's why we're here--but I neglected to repeat that point this morning.

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