Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Homily for Our Recent Rorate Mass


Fr Kwang Lee saying a Votive Mass for the Blessed Virgin Mary in Advent, commonly called a Rorate Caeli Mass, after the first words of the introit for the Mass: Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant justum." 

Our recent Rorate Mass at St. Paul's in Cambridge was said by Fr. Kwang Lee, a priest of this Archdiocese who has been a friend of Juventutem Boston for years. We are truly grateful to him for offering the Mass, and also for delivering a beautiful homily, which is reproduced in full below:


1. My Lord, during this Advent season, we are reminded that, just as you once came in fulfillment of all prophecies, you will come again.

2. And, so, we come to you this morning to share a few quiet moments with you—to “reorient” ourselves—, and to “make straight your way” (your path) into our own hearts.

3. During this so-called “holiday season,” which is, for so many of us, a time of anxiety and stress, we would like to make this brief “retreat” (this brief time away) from the world (from all the noise of the shopping mall) to recollect ourselves and to discover once again joy (“gaudium”)—not “giddiness,” but that deep, quiet, inner joy which the world cannot give (is not equipped to give).

4. The world’s joy is a poor and transitory thing. It is entirely dependent upon things that we cannot control (or, upon things over which we have only minimal control): the weather, our health, our finances, other people.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Second Coming: Advent

"From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord" -Psalm 129:6. The photo is from this morning's Rorate Mass at St. Paul's in Cambridge, hosted by Juventutem Boston.


Why Advent? What is the point of Advent? Most of the world, in its headlong rush towards Christmas, has no concept of this season. Perhaps this is because, in much of the English-speaking world at least, the culture has been shaped by Protestantism, which often has a vague sense of Christmas and Easter, but generally forgets about the rest of the liturgical calendar. We spend all of December over-buying, over-eating, over-drinking, and generally over-indulging, so come Christmas evening we are exhausted, bloated, and broke. And in all the merriment, the real meaning of Christmas is lost – a beautiful child, the hope of mankind, destined one day to die upon a cross for our sins. A day which should be so full of meaning is empty, the gap filled with kitsch and egg nog. 

But – thank God! – the Catholic Church has a built-in defense against this modern attack on Christmas. It is Advent! What is Advent? It is a time of preparation, in which we ready ourselves for the coming of God. How does God come to us?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Homily for the Feast of St. Andrew Avellino

Mass offered on the Feast of St. Andrew Avellino

The members of Juventutem Boston rely on the friendship and generosity of several priests, all of whom (Deo gratias!) are gifted preachers. One of them, Fr. Juan Carlos Rivera Castro of the Society of Jesus, recently said Mass for us on the feast day of St. Andrew Avellino. His homily is printed in full below.

You also must be ready, because at an hour that you do not expect, the Son of Man is coming.

Dear brothers and sisters,

We’re gathered tonight to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and to honor God in the person of St Andrew Avellino. We know about St Andrew that “he was outstanding for his abstinence, patience, humility and contempt of self.” Whatever was good and holy in this man belonged to God.

But what is striking about his life is precisely the way that life ended: “After giving heroic examples of virtue, worn with old age and broken by his labors, as he was beginning the celebration of Mass, after the third repetition of the words, “I will go into the altar of God”, he suffered a stroke and apoplexy and died peacefully soon afterwards fortified by the sacraments.”

Our saint, dear brothers and sisters, was taken from this life suddenly, unexpectedly, without time for preparation. This is what we know as a sudden death. And this should make us tremble! For a sudden death is a terrible thing!