Chaplain’s Corner | 5th Sunday after Pentecost (July 9, 2017)

We express our gratitude to Fr. Joseph Previtali, who has written extensively for our blog’s Chaplain’s Corner since the beginning of the Traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco way back in 2013. Fr. Previtali is departing to Rome for a new assignment and has indicated to us the need for him to step aside as the Assistant Chaplain. We are thus grateful to the recently-ordained, Fr. Alvin Yu, who has agreed to step up to be our new Assistant Chaplain, thus continuing the work begun by Fr. Previtali.

We are now therefore pleased to share Fr. Alvin Yu’s first Chaplain’s Corner article for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost:

“If you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift before the altar and go first to be reconciled to your brother; and then come and offer your gift.”

In our Gospel from St. Matthew for this 5th Sunday after Pentecost, we learn how our love of God and our love of neighbor are not two things that are separate, exclusive and distinct from one another. First of all, our love of God is something that must flow into a love of neighbor and even our enemies. This is after all what our Lord commanded us to do in the New Commandment, “To love one another as I have love you.” If we love God, than we must also love those who God loves.

But at the same time, our love of neighbor must have at its foundation our love for God. Why? Because it is God Who shows us what true love really is, how we are truly suppose to love, to love as the Trinity loves. The notion of love in our Western culture tends towards seeking pleasure and good feelings that aim to satisfy ourselves and our own egos. “I ‘love’ someone or something because it makes ‘me’ feel good.” It results in the taking or possessing of someone or something for oneself. But as we see on the Cross, Our Lord shows us how true love involves the giving of ourselves entirely to the other in self-donation, as a free gift. It means living a life of sacrifice and also sharing in the joys as well as the pains of our brothers and sisters.

Does this mean that we are suppose to be nice, soft and timid to everyone whom we encounter? No. True love, at times, will demand that we call those around us to task, to correct and to call them back to the truth, steering them back on the path towards our ultimate destination, which is heaven, but always doing so in charity and humility.

So as we approach the altar at each Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, let us pay particular attention to the part of the Mass when the priest extends the “Pax” or the “Kiss Peace” to the sacred ministers, to the clergy and to the people participating at the Mass. Let us be mindful that as we are about receive the One Who is the “Prince of Peace,” may we make the resolution to also make peace with those around us.

Father Alvin Yu

Assistant Chaplain

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