This outdoor Mass is lovely and the choir sings the parts of the Mass in Latin (Kyrie, Greek of course) the Gloria, the Sanctus and Agnus Dei. They sing a more complicated version that isn't even often heard at the Vatican. I am sure JN will tell us what version of the chant it is. The fly in the ointment is the Responsorial Psalm sung by a guitar strumming vocalist. It is so out of place and unintegrated. Yikes! I still advocate that the parts of the Mass chanted in Latin should become the universal norm or law and the rest of the Mass optional in the vernacular. This would be closer to what Vatican II actually requested but was completely ignored by the implementation of Pope Paul VI's missal in 1970.
Pope Francis' homily at the Mass in Campobaso, Italia on Saturday July 5 (near my former parishioners who live in Trani which I visited in the fall which is near Padre Pio's Shrine in San Giovanni Rotondo, which they took me to visit, Matt and Brandi Froehlich and a glorious Italian day it is there today. I wish I were there!
The homily: The first reading reminded us of the characteristics of divine wisdom, which liberates from evil and oppression those who place themselves at the service of the Lord. In fact, he is not neutral, but in his wisdom he is close to people who are fragile, discriminated against and oppressed, who abandon themselves in trust to him. This experience of Jacob and Joseph, recounted in the Old Testament, reveals two essential aspects of the life of the Church. The Church is a people who serves God; the Church is a people who lives in the freedom that he gives. (My comment: God's freedom is found in Scripture, Tradition and Natural Law. It is found especially in the 10 Commandments and the Beatitudes. In all of these we are liberated from the slavery to evil and oppression and of course through Jesus Christ and the Christ Event, from eternal damnation, the ultimate loss of freedom in the eternal sense.)
First of all, we are a people who serves God. Service to God is realized in different ways, in particular in prayer, in adoration, in the proclamation of the Gospel and in the witness of charity. And always, the icon of the Church is the Virgin Mary, the “handmaid of the Lord” (Lk 1,38; cfr 1,48). Immediately after having received the message from the Angel and having conceived Jesus, Mary leaves in a hurry to go to help her elderly relative Elizabeth. And, in this way, she showed that the preferred way to serve God is to serve our brothers and sisters who are in need.
At the school of the Mother, the Church learns to become every day “handmaid of the Lord”, to be ready to go to encounter situations of greatest need, to be caring toward the small and the excluded. But we are all called to live the service of charity in ordinary life, that is, in the family, in the parish, at work, with neighbours. It is the charity of everyday, ordinary charity. ( My comment: I have always emphasized in my preaching that charity begins at home where parents provide for their children who are the poorest of the poor, house, clothe, educate, feed and care for them in their sicknesses--the family is the Church in miniature and where praise and worship, as well as reading and hearing the Gospel should take place. But our charity extends to our friends and acquaintances and to those we meet in the public square. There is nothing dramatic about this although others are called man soup kitchens, organize social work and the rest of it.)
The witness of charity is the main path of evangelization. In this, the Church has always been “on the front line”, a maternal and fraternal presence, which shares the difficulties and frailties of the people. In this way, the Christian community seeks to instill in society that “supplement of the soul”, which allows you to look beyond and to hope.
It's what you also, dear brothers and sisters of this Diocese, are doing with generosity sustained by the pastoral zeal of your Bishop. I encourage you all, priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful, to persevere on this path, serving God in the service of others and spreading everywhere the culture of solidarity. There is much need for this commitment, in the face of situations of material and spiritual precariousness, especially in the face of unemployment, a plague that requires every effort and much courage on everyone’s part. Because this challenge of work calls upon, in a particular way, the responsibility of institutions, of the business and financial world. It is necessary to place the dignity of the human person at the centre of every prospect and every action. Other interests, even if legitimate, are secondary. At the centre is the dignity of the human person. Why? Because the human person is in the image of God, he was created in the image of God and we are all in the image of God! (My comments: This ties in very much with our science fundamentalism discussion of a few weeks ago in which so many, like PI, simply do not grasp and do not understand that the earth is at the center of God's creation because as Pope Francis states marvelously, "at the center is the dignity of the human person." Of course the Holy Father doesn't mean this in some circular or linear trajectory as though the human person is at the center of some kind of physical space but in the ontological, philosophical, theological, and dogmatic sense. The same is true of the earth and that all revolves around the earth to sustain the crown of God's creation, mankind. It is mankind and his dignity that we must "place the dignity of the human person at the center of every prospect and every action!" So while Galileo was right in the physical sense that the earth revolved around the sun, not the sun around the earth, the Church was right in saying that the earth is at the center to sustain the dignity of the human person who is truly the center of God's creation. All revolves around the earth, including the sun, of course in the philosophical and ontological sense, to place the human person's dignity at the center!)
Therefore, the Church is the people who serve the Lord. For this, it is the people who experiences his freedom and lives in this freedom that He gives. The Lord always give true freedom. First of all, the freedom from sin, from selfishness in all its forms: the freedom to give of oneself and to do so with joy, like the Virgin of Nazareth, who is free from herself, she does not close in on herself in her condition – and she would have had reason! – but thinks of those who, in that moment, has greater need. She is free in the freedom of God, which is realized in love. And this is the freedom that God has given us and we must not lose it: the freedom to adore God, to serve God and to serve him even in our brothers and sisters. (My comments: Again we see where true freedom lies when we use our free-will to give ourselves to God's freedom, not to the devil's oppression and slavery. This has implications for the here and now of course, but certainly eternally for the hereafter. Eternal life does not necessarily mean life in heaven, it also means death in hell, the living dead! After all, the soul is immortal and God's judgement of us at our personal judgement determines where the soul will experience eternity, either in heaven or in hell. At the final judgment our bodies will join our souls. It is here that I am unclear or perhaps the Church is unclear, do our resurrected bodies go to hell if our soul is there or do they remain dust? Does anyone know what the Church's teaching is on this?)
This is the freedom that, by the grace of God, we experience in the Christian community, when we put ourselves at each other’s service, without jealousy, without taking sides, without chatter… Serving one another. Serving! Then the Lord frees us from ambition and rivalry, which undermine unity and communion. He frees us from distrust, sadness — look, this sadness is dangerous because it casts us down. It casts us down. It’s dangerous. Be careful. He frees us from fear, internal emptiness, isolation, regret, and complaints. Even in our communities, in fact, there is no shortage of negative attitudes that make people self-referential, more concerned with defending themselves than with giving of themselves. But Christ frees us from this existential grayness, as we proclaimed in the Responsorial Psalm, “You are my help and my deliverer”. For this reason, we disciples of the Lord, though still always weak and sinners – we are all so – still weak and sinners, we are called to live our faith with joy and courage, communion with God and with our brothers, adoration of God, and to face with strength the labors and trials of life.
Dear brothers and sisters, may the Holy Virgin, who you venerate in particular with the title of “Madonna della Libera”, attain for you the joy of serving the Lord and of walking in the freedom that He has given us, the freedom for adoration... May Mary help you to be a maternal Church, welcoming and caring towards everyone. May she always be beside you, your sick, your elderly, who are the wisdom of the people, and your youth. For all your people, may she be a sign of consolation and sure hope. May the Madonna della Libera accompany us, help us, console us and give us peace and joy. (My comments: The Holy Father's profound and down to earth Marian spirituality is a model for all of us as the Blessed Mother is the Model of the Church, what we are and who we should be! From the ecumenical point of view, especially Protestantism, how unecumenical is it to hold up the Blessed Virgin Mary as the model of the Church--does it compute for them? Do they grasp this Catholic doctrine and dogma?)