Sermon for the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany – February 10, 2019 by Monsignor Patrick Perez
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Monsignor began the sermon by reciting the Hail Mary.
Just a couple of things – they are not a part of the announcements, not part of the sermon either –
First of all, I hope you are all aware by now of the legislation that has passed in New York which is indicative of the things to come. It’s a little more frightening for us who are Catholics as a statement on the Church in general these days.
For those of you who don’t know, which I don’t suppose is anybody because you are more informed than I am because you have TVs, but New York passed a law which makes murdering babies not only up until the time of birth legal but actually beyond the time of birth. They can kill the baby in the womb up to the time the baby is coming out and when the baby is born they can leave the baby on a table while they decide whether the parents want to keep it or not. This is nothing short of pagan barbarism.
Remember, I have been talking about the Church and what’s happened to the Church and that truly it has been replaced by a false church dedicated to Satan. As I told you before, the souls of the unbaptized babies are what Satan requires as a constant sacrifice from his followers and these people are his followers. I list amongst them Cardinal Dolan in whose jurisdiction, the governor of New York (who claims to be a Catholic – claims to be a Catholic!) lives. Not only should Cardinal Dolan have excommunicated him for this, but he should have done much more before this occurred. He should have been warning the governor when the first signs that these laws were coming up for consideration, when they first saw this, he should have said, You will be excommunicated and every so-called Catholic that’s in the legislature voting for this will be excommunicated! But he did nothing. And then afterwards the Cardinal was interviewed on TV and they asked, Well why don’t you excommunicate Governor Cuomo? And he goes, Oh, well, it would be counterproductive. Yeah, counterproductive – you know what it is? I’m pretty sure that Cardinal Dolan and Governor Cuomo and all these other Satan-worshiping so-and-sos, they just give each other the secret hand shake and wink at the lodge, and say, No, I won’t say anything; you go ahead and do your legislation.
But more importantly, the Holy Father the Pope – not-so-holy father in this case but I just use it euphemistically – he has jurisdiction in the entire world. Shouldn’t the pope have said something to Cuomo and his cronies before this? Not a word, not a peep before, during or after this horrific, horrific thing. Now there are other states rushing to enact similar legislation because the way they plan it is, if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade it won’t affect the abortion in the State of New York the way they’ve set it up. So that’s what they’re doing.
Think about it. I don’t know if there are any Democrats here for the most part, but the Democrat party is one that has two platforms right now; murdering babies and hate Trump. That is the extent of it. They have nothing else to offer other than let’s murder babies and let’s hate Trump at any cost. That’s the platform if you want to continue to be a Democrat and support their party. If you are in a union and your union gives money to these people, you’ve got to do something about that because this is what they are doing with your money, and this is what they are doing to the world.
And finally, before I begin my real sermon, I hope you noticed the oration or Collect from the beginning of today’s Mass – today is the feast of St. Scholastica. Now St. Scholastica was the sister of St. Benedict. St. Benedict was the founder of Western monasticism. So all the monasteries you hear about basically in the Catholic Church owe their origin to St. Benedict and many of them used the Rule of St. Benedict. Well St. Scholastica was his sister and the night she died the two of them, St. Benedict – they had like monasteries and convents side by side – and they spent all night discussing God. And at the end as St. Benedict was leaving and was walking back to his monastery he looked back and he saw St. Scholastica’s soul rising to heaven in the form of a dove. If you read the Collect it refers to that miracle. Now for us, that’s just good to know.
But another thing you should know when people go… Well, what did they do when they made up the Novus Ordo? One of the things they did is eliminate all prayers like that that refer to a miraculous event. In the new Mass it’s a completely different thing, completely different. The first thing they did was remove every single one of the prayers that referred to a miracle and so if you look up the feast of St. Scholastica in the Novus Ordo (I don’t want you to do that – just take my word for it because it’s like touching radioactive material or asbestos – you want to stay away from that) but it is not in there. It’s some watered-down version instead. For those of you who are wondering, you can tell your Novus Ordo friends – but from the Latin Traditional Mass and Latin Novus Ordo Missals, the original of the Novus Ordo is in Latin. There are only seventeen percent of the prayers that made it from one to the other. And of the seventeen percent when they were translated into the English vernacular, every one of those seventeen percent was changed. So there is actually zero percent of the old Latin Missal prayers left in the new one in case anyone is wondering about the difference.
Sermon for the 5th Sunday after Epiphany
Today we have the gospel of cockle among the wheat. “Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? Whence hath it cockle?” I first want to point out that when Our Lord uses parables, He is God, and He knows us better than we know ourselves. And He is using images and references that mean something very deeply to us as humans. Much more so in certain cases like this one, to people in His time or ages gone by, but this one isn’t that far removed from our experience. He was telling something that was true about the Kingdom of God, what His followers were to expect in this life, and what the truth of it was.
But to look forward to the end of it: What did He want us to know? Well, consider the story – a man or his servant plant wheat in his field and at a certain time the wheat comes up but also cockle and the servants see it and say, what do you want us to do about this cockle? Didn’t you sow good seed? And he says, Yes, I sowed good seed but an enemy hath done this. They ask, do you want us to pick it together, to get out the cockle now? He says, No, some good wheat might be rooted up with it so just leave it.
Now who here knows anything about cockle? This is the interesting thing I found while I was doing my homework. (Monsignor: Yeah, I do homework, kids, okay, so take an example here.) Cockle is something that has actually plagued mankind since mankind existed and farmed. We are a little bit removed from it in our culture now because most of us don’t farm anything, let alone our own wheat to make bread. It’s so funny because you talk to city kids and they ask, where does bread come from? The grocery store. Where does milk come from? The grocery store. I remember a program several years ago where inner-city kids took buses to farms to see what the reality was of the stuff in the grocery store. And when they showed them- this is a cow, and this is where milk comes from, and they practically needed therapy after that seeing this beast where you had to tug on udders to get milk and it was just unimaginable.
So we are far removed from that but let me tell you, most people don’t know much about cockle, having had little experience with it. But as long as we have been an agrarian society living off the land and even farmers in some parts of the world today, to them cockle was well known. And I am convinced not only was it well known but you know, when Adam committed his sin nature turned against man in part, things went wrong. Now cockle is actually a beautiful flower. But I’m convinced that cockle was one of the first things turning against man after the sin of Adam and I’ll show you how that went.
Now the cockle in today’s gospel is something that is commonly called corncockle. Cockle is kind of a family of plants or weeds if you want to look at them that way. But the one specifically that they are talking about today is commonly just called corncockle. It is something found on every continent in every country of the world and has been as far as we can tell, since the dawn of mankind. Why is it called corncockle? Well, you have to understand a little language here because the word corncockle is obviously of European origin, British in particular.
To us when you say corn you are talking about corn on the cob, right? Grits or something to do with corn. Well, that isn’t what original corn is. If you talk with somebody who speaks the English language that has spoken it for longer than the United States of America has been in existence, corn means grain, wheat, barley, and oats. That’s what corn is. If you go to England, Great Britain, Ireland and you say corn they don’t think of corn on the cob. To them that’s called maize, which makes sense to people who speak Spanish, maíz – it is maize to the English. It is called corncockle because it is affiliated with grains such as wheat and barley and oats.
Corncockle is apparently a harmless weed, beautiful even. In fact you can go on any gardening seeds website on the internet and you can buy corncockle seeds to plant in your garden. It seems a bit silly in light of the gospel today however, and they have made it illegal in certain countries because of what it does. It is a pretty flower and in fact when I thought back on it, at my grandfather’s ranch there was cockle growing there wild. I mean it didn’t take over the fields or anything; he used to keep it in check. But I remember it had these beautiful purple flowers and when I was little my grandfather – the generation that did everything off the land – showed me how to make ink out of the flowers of the corncockle. I was so fascinated because a pen is a Bic, right? But to him a pen was something you dipped in this ink that you made from the corncockle flowers. It was all over the place and it is quite pretty. It’s an apparently harmless weed or plant and it grows wild pretty much everywhere.
The bad part is this: for some reason (and I say original sin) it likes to grow wherever wheat and grains are grown and all parts of it are poisonous. The reason it is called corncockle is because it is inseparable from the wheat crop or the barley crop, whatever it is you’re planting. It has the same growing season, it grows the same height as the wheat, and there is just not much you can do about it once it has sprung up, which is the point that enters into today’s gospel. All you can do is at the end of the harvest when you harvest everything, you have to separate the wheat from the cockle like they talk about in the gospel. But it gets even worse than that because it’s not just a matter of pulling up the cockle plants and burning them. Some of their seeds escape and the seeds get mixed in with the seeds or berries as they call them, of the wheat, all mixed up together.
Now the cockle seeds are about a quarter of the size of the wheat berry and they’re black, they’re bitter, and they’re toxic. When they say, “Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field?” what does that mean, especially at the time of Our Lord but right up to modern history? That meant you had to pay somebody to go through every grain of wheat that you were going to plant in your field and make sure there were no cockle seeds in it. The more cockle-free the wheat to plant was, the more expensive it was because those little seeds had to be taken out painstakingly one by one by somebody. It’s a process that continued until our modern day.
I read an article by a Romanian woman. Large parts of Romania are still agricultural and not as advanced with all the farm equipment and techniques that we have in the United States. And in her youth she remembers the farmers’ wives used to get together to pull the cockle seeds from the wheat berries when they were going to make bread because if some escaped your bread would be toxic of course, but it would be darker colored and it would be bitter. And then they would also pull out the seeds to plant for the next year. So that’s within a generation of now in certain countries and still going on in others.
Now you get the picture. The good seeds – what does Our Lord mean by this? The good seeds are the graces of God which take root in our souls, the souls of the children of God where they will bear fruit. The bad seeds are the temptations and vices that take root in the souls of the bad people. In baptism the good seeds are planted in our souls. The one who sows the seed, of course, is God; the enemy referred to is of course the devil. But once these good seeds have been sown in our souls in baptism, our enemy, the devil, scatters the bad seed far and wide with the hope of them growing and choking the fruits of the good. So the devil goes in and even with the good seeds in our souls they’re not fully developed, they haven’t come to term; they haven’t really grown up to be the full thing for good or for bad. The devil goes and sows the bad seeds amongst them hoping that they will be the ones who stick and lead us to our perdition.
Now Our Lord is asking us to ask ourselves, Do we recognize the cockle that has been sewn in each of our souls? You notice He gives us an unfortunate truth about the effects of original sin on humans is that we are going to have to put up with the fruit of the cockle planted in our midst. That will only end with our death, the last judgment or our particular judgment when we are finally freed from this world and the wheat has been separated from the cockle. It will go on. You know, when Our Lord redeemed us He ended the dominion of the devil but not his ability to tempt us. People often wonder, well, if we are baptized and original sin is gone, why do we still have all these problems? Well, that’s why. The damage was done. We are still inclined to give in to the attacks of the devil.
When we recognize the cockle that has been planted in us, we have to do what the farmers’ wives of old did; we have to laboriously and painstakingly remove them one by one from our souls. People are often overwhelmed, you know the cockle and the thistle they are together; what are we going to do with our own soul? And the thing is you start with something, you start somewhere. You couldn’t pick the cockle out of the wheat if you tried to do it all at once. You start with one seed at a time. What’s your main problem; what’s your main temptation, what’s your main vice? Start there. Weed that out through prayer, penance and sacrifice until finally there remains only the good.
I wanted to end with a prayer on that subject:
O faithful Jesus, Thou great lover of our souls, who hast sown the seed of Thy Divine Word in our hearts, grant that it may be productive, and bear in us fruit for eternal life; protect us from our evil enemy, that he may not sow his erroneous and false doctrine in our hearts, and corrupt the good; preserve us from the sleep of sin, and sloth that we may remain always vigilant and armed against the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, overcome them manfully, and die a happy death. Amen.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.