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!