Who are you with? Homily for Sunday, January 22, 2017

Readings for Today

Who is it that you cast your lot in with? Is it God? Or is it some person, or group or cause, that relies on your own efforts?  That is the question that is before us today.  Over the past few weeks, we have seen a lot of division.  We have seen people really get mean to each other with terrible words and phrases.  We have just finished a brutal election season, which, even though it seems impossible, seems to get worse and worse.  So, who are you with?

The temptation can be to rely more on our own efforts than to trust in God.  Paul encounters this in the second reading for today.  Some side with him, some side with Apollos, some side with Cephas, or Saint Peter.   But when this happens, there is too much trust in the messenger and not in the message.  We forget that the disciple of Christ is not more important than Christ.  So, who are you with?

The first reading is similar.  In the sections that come before what we heard today, it is King Ahaz who forsakes God and trusts in human political alliances to save his country.  It fails miserably.  The country is taken over, the people are exiled, and it feels like darkness covers the earth.  Rather than listening to God’s message that came through the prophet, Ahaz got scared.  He simply could not trust God.  While he was in a precarious position, he could not place his trust in God.  But God delivered anyway.  Even though Ahaz did not see the great power of God, the people eventually did.  This is what we read about today.

The gospel reminds us that it is in our call by Jesus that we ultimately experience fulfilment.  A very important reminder is needed.  Jesus was Lord before the election, Jesus is Lord now, and Jesus will be Lord.  it is not about what we can do by ourselves.  It is what God does for us.  Open your hearts to be ready for God.  Pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament, find silence in your home, read the Word of God.  In so doing, you become the vehicle of God’s grace and action in the world.

Homily for Saturday, May 16, 2015

Readings for Today

It is important to acknowledge great people of the faith. Each of us in our lives probably have a person or two (or maybe even more) who served as a great inspiration for us in the ways of the faith. For me I think of my grandmother, my parents, and other relatives, as well as priest and friends I have met along the way. From them I have learned much about how to live the faith, how to be a Christian. This is not to say I have always lived up to these examples, but it is to say that I have learned much from these people who believed so deeply in Jesus.

What is interesting when we consider those people who have influenced our faith, is that rarely can we say they were always right. There were times when they believed things that we came to see later, by grace and instruction were not true. Such is the case with a man that Paul mentions in his readings, a man named Apollos. He is an expert on Scripture, and can speak eloquently about the Scripture and how it verifies the person of Jesus. But his knowledge is not complete.

He only knows of the baptism of John, and thus has not experienced the full outpouring of the Spirit that comes from the baptism of Jesus through the early Church. Yet, this does not make him any less an expert, but rather serves as a reminder that we can never understand the mysteries of God completely. Our lives are a constant path of trying to learn more and more about the faith. Our lives are more and more about trying to know better and better this Jesus whom we seek to follow.

And so the invitation today is to pledge to continue to learn more and more about Jesus. We can never exhaust our quest for Jesus, but we can grow, even if only in little baby steps, we can grow into a more fulfilling relationship with our Lord.

 

Homily for Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Readings for Today

In so many aspects of human existence, we know we need to develop and grow. When we are exposed to a new skill, we understand it will take us time to become proficient at it, often after lots of practice. If we take a new job, we know we will not feel comfortable right away. And today Saint Paul reminds us that the same is true in the spiritual life as well. It is not all at once that we are completely put together in the spiritual life, but there too is a need for growth and development.

While we may be familiar with the term to grow in holiness, sometimes we can forget what it means for us. We can lose sight that each day we are called to grow in holiness. Why is something that seems to have such obvious benefit for us so difficult for us to accept?

Sometimes in my life it is because I want things right away. I am not always, and maybe never, patient. Why wait when I can have it now. Like many, I can fall trap to an instant society, one that seeks instant gratification. And the spiritual life is just that – a life that does not always conform to a timetable that expects everything to be available instantly.

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