LOS ANGELES (EWTN News)—Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles urged local Catholics to respond to the late Pope John Paul II’s call to re-evangelize modern society during a multicultural Mass on Sept. 17.
In “this holy Mass, this celebration of all the cultures in the family of God, let us renew our promise: that this great Church of Los Angeles may always be a sign that God is near, that in his loving eyes we are all his children, and that no one is a stranger to any of us,” the archbishop said.
The annual Mass, held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, was streamed live by the archdiocese in honor of the vast number of ethnicities in the local Church. The Mass is offered in 42 different languages throughout the archdiocese.
“The word ‘catholic’ means universal,” the archbishop noted. “It means one communion of cultures. It means one family of families drawn from every nation, tribe, people and tongue!”
In his homily, Archbishop Gomez drew from the Gospel reading of the parable of the 10 virgins, saying that every culture within the local Catholic community is called to evangelize.
“In this parable, the Bridegroom stands for Jesus, and the 10 women are a symbol of all of us, we who have been baptized into the life of Jesus,” he said. “We are sent out into this world like these 10 women. We are sent out with a mission: the mission of his Church, the mission of the New Evangelization.”
Archbishop Gomez said that Catholics should follow the example of the wise virgins in the parable, making sure we always have enough “oil” for our lamps.
“We need to make sure that we are always renewing our life of faith,” he said. “We need to have a strong, personal relationship with Jesus. He should be the joy of our lives.”
“And we need to cultivate an interior life,” he added, “through prayer, through our reading of the Gospels, through the graces we receive by the power of his sacraments.”
These things are the “oil” that Jesus talks about in the Gospel reading, Archbishop Gomez taught. “The ‘oil’ of our prayer; the ‘oil’ of all our personal acts of piety and devotion; all our efforts to work with God’s graces and to grow in virtue and holiness.”
Recalling Jesus’ words that he is “the light of the world,” the archbishop noted that the Church, too, is called to be that same witness.
This “is who we are, my brothers and sisters. We are children of light! We are called, each one of us, to be a light to our neighbors and to our nation.”
“We are called to bring the light of his charity, the light of his truth, and the light of his life to the men and women of our times,” he emphasized.
Archbishop Gomez said bringing Christ’s light to the world involves our actions reflecting our beliefs, saying, “We have to prove our love, my brothers and sisters—through serving the needs of our neighbors.”
“There is always the temptation for us to treat our faith like something that is only private and personal, something that we keep to ourselves,” he warned. “But we can’t live an individualistic faith.
“No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket, Our Lord said. So we need to have a zeal for souls, my brothers and sisters. We need to care intensely for the salvation of others.”